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As part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan (EAP), Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) has invested over $438 million towards more than 1,000 projects across the West. These projects are contributing to Canada’s economic recovery and creating jobs. Almost 600,000 more Canadians are working today than when the recession ended, resulting in the strongest rate of employment growth by far among G-7 countries.
Through the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) initiative, WD has provided almost $150 million in funds for the construction or improvement of recreational facilities in local communities across the West.
In all four western provinces, arenas represented a significant proportion of the 718 projects funded under RInC – about 34 per cent. The following are two examples of RInC projects that are making a difference in western Canadian communities:
An aerial shot of the new arena in Dease Lake.
Located in northern B.C. just a few hours south of the Yukon border, the small rural community of Dease Lake has, until recently, had very limited recreational opportunities to offer its 450 citizens. For more than a decade, residents have been raising funds to fulfill their dream of building a local arena – a dream that an investment of almost $131,000 from RInC has helped to advance. Funding allowed the Dease Lake Recreation Centre Society to continue development of their arena by preparing and constructing a refrigerated concrete floor slab and a dasher board system with plexi-glass. The improvements have created a facility that now enjoys heavy use from the Stikine Minor Hockey League, school groups and other community members. The Society has already begun planning for the project’s next stage, in which the arena will move to artificial ice by adding a refrigeration plant.
The new arena flooring at the Rose Kohn Arena in Calgary.
The City of Calgary received over $615,000 in RInC funding for an extensive renovation of Rose Kohn Arena. The improvements, completed in September 2010, included exterior upgrades to curbs, boulevards and landscaping, as well as a new irrigation system. Inside the building, the heating system was upgraded and the arena floor was replaced. The new refrigerated concrete ice arena floor – which includes new surrounding dasher boards, glass, benches and players boxes – increases the facility’s energy efficiency and lowers energy and water consumption. The new floor surface can also be utilized when the ice is not in place, which allows the arena to offer Calgarians a broader range of sports and recreational programs.