While construction began last September, McShannock acknowledged that the actual planning began more than six years ago. Noting the impact of COVID and how costs have increased over the years, he said paNOW the community was very supportive during the soft opening.
“Last winter, even when it was cold outside, you would come to the rink and there were 20, 30, 40 people there,” he said. “I expect it to be used a lot more this year.”
The School Community Council (SCC) was one of the groups involved in fundraising. Vice President Carmen Dognez fought back tears as she looked up at the roof and discussed the project, which in her words was nothing more than a dream.
“To be completely honest, our group of six moms and a manager had no idea what creating an ice rink entailed,” she shared. “We just had a vision to provide a safe community space for our children. A place where they could let off steam and stay positively occupied. A place where they could only be children.
Acknowledging the magnitude of the financial goal, Dognez explained how CSC partnered with the region’s recreation council and organized a raffle for one trip per month. Funds raised were used to help purchase the appropriate rink boards and mats for people to walk on skates.
“These raffles were successful thanks to people who bought tickets. Thank you to everyone who saw the value in our efforts,” she said.
Funds received from a Sask. The community lottery grant was used to help purchase basketball nets, hockey nets and other sports equipment that would improve the rink area.
Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure program, the federal government contributed more than $98,000 to the project, and the province’s share was more than $82,000.
Among the dignitaries at Thursday’s grand opening ceremony was Prince Albert Northcote MP Alana Ross, who expressed personal amazement at seeing the outdoor arena on behalf of Saskatchewan. To party.
“Congratulations to everyone in the community who put in the time, effort and planning to bring this beautiful facility to your community,” she said.
Norseman Structures of Saskatoon was responsible for putting the roof on the rink and representative David Kelso, whose family is also part of the community, explained that the company sets a goal each year to invest in a community project.
“This one hit a little harder than most others I’ve been involved in; only because I have a child who plays hockey. I understand the importance of building community and keeping children off the streets,” he said.
McShannock noted that some final touches will be completed in the fall, but the added council can now move forward with other projects in the community, including a 1.2 kilometer paved walking path.
On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell