After years of discussion and many months of work, the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena will finally celebrate its upgrade opening, Saturday, March 12, during a day’s worth of festivities.
“I’m anxious to see what the people of the town have to say about it,” Cowichan Lake Recreation Commission chair Sheila McFarlane said. “It’s the nicest looking arena on Vancouver Island.”
Although the grand opening has been scheduled for Saturday, the new facilities have been open for the past couple of weeks.
Last weekend’s Juvenile Boys and Girls’ Provincial Championships served as a good example of putting the new facilities to good use.
While the new warm viewing area of the hockey arena was being used by those viewing minor hockey games, the newly renovated curling lounge, complete with brand new washrooms, was being well utilized.
Situated between the hockey arena and the curling lounge, the brand new concession area was servicing spectators of both sports.
For the Provincial Championships’ grand opening ceremony, the upstairs multi-purpose area served as both a dining hall and as a presentation room.
During the event’s closing ceremonies, several of the team’s skips took a moment to praise the facility.
Even Curl BC vice president Mike West paused to comment on the “beautiful” facility’s excellent ability to handle the provincial event.
The items listed above only skim the surface of what the $7.6 million in upgrades to the arena have consisted of.
“It’s getting a lot of comments,” architect Keith Tetlow said, of his design. “I don’t know of any other place like it.”
Saturday’s grand upgrade opening event will begin at 10 a.m. sharp, with seating beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Following a series of presentations by various parties involved in the project, Cowichan Lake Recreation Commission members will then take small groups of people on tours of the facilities, outlining just what the upgrades have consisted of.
Free skating and curling will then take place from noon to 1:50 p.m.
Then, later on in the evening, an Appollos Alumni Hockey Game, featuring local players from the past 40 years, will take place.
Aside from a $1 million government grant, the $7.6 million in upgrades to the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena have come from local taxpayers. As such, the facility is quite literally yours to explore.