The Township of Greater Madawaska

The New Olympia Ice Resurfacer

Big Day at the Calabogie Community Rink!

On Thursday, February 2, 2017, the students and staff of St. Joseph’s School, Rink and Recreation committee members, Greater Madawaska Township staff, and local residents were all on hand to welcome the latest addition to the Community Centre facility. We were excited to accept delivery of an Olympia ice resurfacer from Andy Schlupp, founder of Resurfice Corp, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ice resurfacers. Andy says that it is a real pleasure to donate "gently used” machines to community projects such as ours, where he knows they will be appreciated and put to very good use. In fact, the machine arrived just in time for our first hockey tournament on February 3 and 4 and players report that they were thrilled with the quality of the ice, especially on an unrefrigerated surface.

Our motto is “By Your Community, For Your Community.” The Calabogie Community Rink is a labour of love made possible through the efforts of dozens of dedicated volunteers and a high-energy fundraising campaign to ensure the completion of this outstanding facility. Thanks to grants from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Farm Credit Canada, and OPG and numerous generous corporate and private donors, the covered, NHL-sized rink is a community hub, not only for winter sports, but also for a wide variety of other all-season events.

In 2010, Greater Madawaska Township Council stood up a committee to replace the deteriorated existing rink structure and replace it with something that could better serve the needs of the community. With Council approval, and enthusiastic support from area residents, the Committee developed a multi-phased approach to tear down the old rink, fortify the infrastructure of the existing site, acquire all the required materials, and assemble and build a serious outdoor rink. Lacking sufficient funds for this far-reaching project, the Committee turned to the community to make up the difference in terms of volunteer labour and donated materials and equipment.  The response was truly outstanding. By January 2011, a new rink opened to the enjoyment of the entire community.

On the strength of this success, the Committee identified further projects to expand the facility to a four-season, all-weather venue that provides our community with a safe, affordable, inviting recreational facility that will enhance the quality of life for people of all ages by promoting an active lifestyle in Calabogie and area. Over the next three years following the installation of the boards, a reinforced slab replaced the existing gravel surface and an insulated steel roof was added over the entire rink area to include sufficient overhang on the south side to block the sun’s rays from melting the ice during the latter part of the season. Again, all of this is entirely funded by grants and private donations. The original cost of $400,000 for the roof is covered by a ten-year, low-interest loan that is being repaid through a series of annual fundraising events, including a hockey tournament, the Community Spirit Bogie Style ball tournament and community fair, the Raise the Roof Golf Tournament, a business showcase, the Calabogie Christmas Concert, and more. The current balance stands at $178,000 after only three years. In 2016, a $95,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation allowed modifications to ensure barrier-free access and the construction of a utility building to house the new Olympia ice resurfacer. Once again, where possible, much of the work has been accomplished by volunteers. We are truly grateful to Trillium for its generosity and commitment to the development of Ontario communities. A huge thanks also to all of the volunteers and donors and other supporters who contribute so much to our community in so many ways.

Future items on the Rink Committee wishlist include improved lighting, an audio system, and portable bleachers for spectators. For more information about this project, visit our website http://www.greatermadawaska.com/recreation and Community Spirit Bogie Style on Facebook.

An attendant is on duty from 6-10 PM weekdays and noon-10 PM on weekends. Skating is free of charge or available for group rental.

  
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