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Posted: March 22, 2012

Canal Flats gets $800,000 for arena

The Village of Canal Flats today (March 22) was handed $800,000 from the Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development’s Community Recreation Program, delivered courtesy of Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett.

Bennett and constituency assistant Jennifer Osmar braved the aftermath of a harsh spring snowstorm to deliver the good news to Canal Flats Mayor Ute Juras, members of her council and arena committee members this morning.

The smile didn’t leave Juras’ face for over half an hour, as she happily accepted the funds from Bennett.

“I’m really happy to see you!” she exclaimed when the MLA from the neighbouring constituency arrived at the Canal Flats Arena.

Village chief administrative officer Brian Woodward explained the funds would be used, mostly, to replace the arena’s slab, which is cracked and impacted by frost heaving. There will also be some clad/insulation work to try and make the arena more comfortable in all seasons.

“My vision is to have it as a year-round facility,” Juras said.

Woodward said the arena is “like a tin box” in the summer time some long-needed insulation will help even temperatures inside.

Also on hand for the funding presentation was Regional District of East Kootenay Electoral Area F director Wendy Booth, who expressed her gratification to Bennett and the province for the much-need funds.

Woodward explained that a portion of Electoral Area F (from Canal Flats up to but not including Columere Park) provide 45% of the annual funds needed to keep the arena running.

The electoral area funding is “a huge, major plus for the municipality. We would be able to do it (keep arena running) otherwise,” he said.

Above photo: Village of Canal Flats council and arena committee members Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett for a photo at centre ice today (March 22). Included in the photo are (not in order): Gilbert Delorme, Marie Delorme, Bill Doroschuk, MLA Bill Bennett, Sjac Pronk, Mayor Ute Juras, Area F’s Wendy Booth, Doug Cartwright, arena manager Mathieu Fournier, Kristen Magee, Gloria Perry and Brian Woodward.

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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