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Referendum looks at ice age

First annual Okanagan Valley Bonspiel at Vernon's Civic Arena. (Circa 1938.)
Image Credit: Greater Vernon Museum and Archives

VERNON - Days are numbered for a Vernon ice rink that has hosted hockey players and curlers since the 1930s.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has approved a November referendum to decommission Civic Arena and build a new ice sheet either at Kal Tire Place or Priest Valley Arena.

Committee chair Juliette Cunningham says the aging arena is the site of many fond memories, but it’s time for it to go.

“It was the place to be,” Cunningham says. “I remember going to hockey games there back in the day. We’re just concerned about having a catastrophic failure and losing operations."

An engineering report revealed the frailties of the facility and numerous renovations required to keep it going. Cunningham also points out the building isn’t designed to be energy efficient and is costing a lot to operate. 

Not only would it save money in staffing and operations to expand Priest Valley Arena or Kal Tire Place (which was designed for expansion), one local politician says it would improve opportunities for sporting events.

“With two ice sheets, you could then have tournaments and round robins,” Vernon councillor Mary Jo O’Keefe says. “It would make a lot of sense to expand Kal Tire Place.”

Staff will be looking into the feasibility of adding an ice sheet at either Kal Tire Place or Priest Valley Arena. Civic Arena would be decommissioned as an ice facility, but could be home to other uses.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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