Summer Games gets $300,000

Glen Winkler (second from left), co-chair of the Summer Games committee, discusses part of the outdoor amphitheatre with Meadow Lake mayor Gary Vidal (far left), Meadow Lake MLA Jeremy Harrison (second from right), and Coun. Toby Esterby at a funding announcement Oct. 4 in Lions Park.

By Mac Christie

The 2012 Saskatchewan Summer Games received a financial boost last week, getting $300,000 in funding from the the provincial government to help with capital projects for the elite event.

The money, announced Oct.4, will be used in order to finish off projects such as the outdoor amphitheatre to house the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as upgrading baseball diamonds and bleachers for various venues.

Meadow Lake MLA Jeremy Harrison said the Summer Games committee approached him, saying they required more money to properly put on the games.

“They indicated…to put on the kind of show we felt appropriate for the city, that additional funding was necessary,” he said. “I talked to my colleagues (in cabinet) and indicated the importance of this, so we were able to move forward on this very quickly.”

John Arnold, 17, of Meadow Lake works on a new dugout for the softball diamonds in Lions Park on Oct. 5. A part of the legacy projects from the Summer Games, the dugouts are being built by students from the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies.

The funding was transferred from the $1.9 million Building Communities Program, originally established in 2007 to build a multi-use recreational facility for Meadow Lake, so the provincial government had to approve the switch.

Coun. Toby Esterby said the city was able to transfer over some of the money because there was a correlation between the legacy projects and the original intent of the money.

“It’s based on a 25-75 funding scenario,” he noted. “The $300,000 is the 25 per cent and the $1.2 total project value of the games (is the 75).”

Esterby added the city still has time to find a use for the remaining $1.6 million.

Harrison noted the funding is an example of how government can work, if everyone is working toward the same goals.

“This is something that’s very tangible,” he added, “people are going to be able to utilize it, not just for the games, but into the future.”

Summer Games committee co-chair Glen Winkler agreed, noting although the committee wants to have top notch facilities for the event itself, having the facilities the Monday after the games finish is another priority.

He added the amphitheatre in particular will be improved with additional funds.

“We said it was going to (be built), but we were on a wing and a prayer and now we’re not,” he explained. “You can do it bare bones, or you can do it with lights and sound and have it ready to go.”

Among other projects that the funds will be used for are improvements to stampede grounds, soccer fields, the Civic Centre and the aquatic centre.

The Summer Games will be held in Meadow Lake form July 29-Aug. 4, 2012.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: