Goodsoil Arena to receive $120,000 facelift
by Phil Ambroziak
The people of Goodsoil are prepared to bring their local arena into the 21st Century.
An ongoing fundraising initiative to collect $120,000 toward renovations and repairs at the facility may not be quite complete but, according to Vanessa Weber of the village’s parks and recreation board, thus far the response from the community has been outstanding.
“We need about $20,000 more, but all the groups and people who have come forward so far have been great,” Weber explained. “It’s been amazing. When we started this, I thought we’d only get a small amount from the community because it’s a lot to ask. But, everyone has really stepped up – it’s just fabulous.”
The arena, which also houses a curling rink and bowling alley, was built in 1987.
“A few years before that, our old rink burnt down, so there was a while where we were without one,” Weber said. “It’s a volunteer-run facility, so – aside from a new artificial ice plant a few years ago – there hasn’t really been anything done to the building since ’87. It looks its age as far as the colours and fixtures go. We can’t even find parts for some of the urinals and the roof in the lobby leaks in the springtime – it needs a lot of updates.”
The project’s first major financial injection came courtesy of the provincial government’s Community Infrastructure Grant.
“I knew about this grant where the province will match however much you can raise up to $50,000,” Weber said. “I told the board I would apply and look for funding if this project was something they were interested in doing. With the help of the village, the various clubs that use the building and private citizens, we were able to raise $33,000, which the government matched.”
The provincial government also supplied funding as part of its Community Rink Affordability Grant.
Meanwhile, Weber approached the Hockey Night in Canada Help Fund, which provided the board with an additional $10,000.
“I also just found out we would be receiving another $10,000 from Farm Credit Canada’s AgriSpirit Fund,” Weber noted. “Meanwhile, some of arena’s user groups that are unable to provide money have offered to help paint the building or perform other odd jobs.”
The decision to restore the building was made close to a year ago and Weber hopes the majority of the work can be completed throughout the coming spring and summer in preparation for next fall.
“A condition of the Community Infrastructure Grant is the project must be completed within two years,” she said. “We’ve already done a lot of the sealing work on the roof, so now we’re just kind of waiting to make sure that part is fixed. Then, a whole bunch of renovations can begin.”
Efforts to collect the outstanding funds are also underway. The Goodsoil Credit Union recently partnered with the community’s parks and recreation board with a promise to match funds donated to the project up to $6,000. Donations can be made at the Goodsoil Credit Union.
“We decided to do something that could add to the overall effectiveness of the project opposed to a straight out donation,” noted Credit Union manager Ron Inkster. “We have it (arena), but we don’t want to risk losing it because it wasn’t looked after.”