West Kelowna has ‘a lot of need’ for Hockeyville money

West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater says that several upgrades need to be made at both Jim Lind Arena and Royal LePage Place.

All six West Kelowna councillors focus on voting for West Kelowna to become Kraft Hockeyville 2012. The council members headed straight to the Hockeyville voting centre after Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting.

Although the winner of Kraft Hockeyville 2012 has yet to be named, participating has been worth West Kelowna’s while.

Hockeyville co-chairs Adam Less and Andrew Deans have been quick to highlight the non-financial benefits, pointing at high levels of community spirit and the unifying factor of the competition.

But the cash isn’t bad, either.

West Kelowna has a reasonable shot at winning the whole competition, which would produce $100,000 for arena upgrades. On top of that, the Westside would host an NHL preseason game this fall while soaking up all the national recognition that comes with the Hockeyville title.

Even if the municipality doesn’t outvote the four other Canadian communities in the finals, it has already earned a minimum of $25,000 for arena upgrades for making the top five.

Although most have supported the community’s bid in the campaign, some have questioned West Kelowna’s need for arena upgrades compared to other communities in the competition.

But West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater didn’t hesitate when asked to think of possible uses for the money.

“There have been some saying ‘No, we don’t need it,’ but really there’s a lot of need there to really help this facility reach its full capacity. Neither arena is completely adequate,” said Findlater, speaking about both Royal LePage Place and Jim Lind Arena.

He said that the District of West Kelowna council is aware of over $1 million in upgrades that are necessary for both arenas.

Findlater said several aspects of Royal LePage—such as washrooms and concessions—were made to service an arena with 500 seats: Royal LePage has 1,500.

“On the other hand, Jim Lind is in tough shape. It’s a 30 to 35-year-old arena. The floor under the ice, the piping infrastructure and so on all has a shelf life. It’s approaching the end of (that) shelf life.

“We know that has to be fixed or the whole thing could fail on us.”

Findlater said he would also like to see new boards put in at Jim Lind Arena, in the same configuration as the boards at Royal LePage Place. He noted that if this were done, the district’s dry floor would work properly in either arena.

“(We) could really turn it into a tournament centre if we make it so we can put the dry floor in the other arena.”

The mayor said that no official decision has been made yet as to where the Hockeyville prize money will go.

“We (will) sit down with the Hockeyville (organizers) who have taken the initiative and see where their thoughts are—it’s a bit early to decide that.”

Findlater is still hopeful that West Kelowna will take home the grand prize and said he contributed “a couple thousand votes” of his own to help the cause.


Just Posted

Kelowna and Lake Country popular stories from the week

The Capital News and Calendar highlight popular stories every Saturday afternoon

Cook kicks off byelection campaign in West Kelowna

The campaign office will be open seven days a week in the Westbank Shopping Centre

Kelowna students complete D.A.R.E. program

Students at Heritage Christian School received their certificates Friday

Dual-credit film program approved for Central Okanagan students

The Central Okanagan Public Schools is developing a program with the Vancouver Film School

Kelowna youth wellness centre receives $10,000 donation

The Foundry received a cheque from the Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise Friday

Disappointing turnout for Kelowna women’s march

The Kelowna Women’s March on Washington was held Saturday, Jan. 20

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Most Read