As we wave goodbye to May, thoughts of snowy highways and early Saturday mornings in a rural arena seem like a distant memory. And even though that scene won't be playing out for several months in southern Manitoba, work continues all year long to keep these facilities viable and open. Many are also used for various events over the summer months and without volunteers, community support and extra cash from grants and contests, there's a good chance many would not be able to continue operations.

The arena in Notre Dame is one such arena and the facility has hosted thousands of hockey events over the years. And the people behind the scenes are hoping to score an extra $25,000 for the operation of the facility thanks to a contest put on by BASF. Five worthy community projects have been identified in each of the prairie provinces and each province will have its own winner based on your votes! The voting ends tonight and everyone who uses the Notre Dame Arena is hoping you will cast some votes their way to help them win!


Some history of the arena from their entry:

A group of community members and volunteers had a dream in 1975-76 and built an amazing complex, the Notre Dame Arena. This arena has become the heart of our community. Over the years many upgrades have been completed: In 2009-2010 the artificial ice plant was installed along with new boards, glass, concrete and piping. They also extended the viewing area and updated the seats, added seamless glass, renovated the restrooms and lighting with a total cost of $800,000. In 2018 the dressing room showers and bathrooms were upgraded with a total cost of $105,000. Many other upgrades have been completed including a new sound system, kitchen upgrades, time clock and defibrillator installed. All these projects have been possible through grants, donations, and community events. We have been working hard to preserve our complex for many generations to enjoy.

The complex is used year-round for many functions: such as 10 minor hockey teams, 1 high school hockey team, 2 senior hockey teams, public skating, can skate, star skate, synchro figure skating, family curling, spring curling bonspiel, family hockey tournament, ball hockey, breakfast club, hockey school, Howdy Neighbour, Santa day, funerals and many more community events. This is a place to gather for our community, a packed parking lot if a very common thing to see. This arena is filled with laughter and joy week after week, from young to old as they gather to watch a U7 game, curl with old friends, skate with their synchro team, cheer on their local hawks or enjoy a Notre Dame famous Poutine. And now once again we find us at a time where our local arena needs more upgrades. The next project is to replace the original arena roof and insulation, change the exterior tin, install heaters for the viewing stands, repair any damage from leaks, and refresh the viewing area and bleachers. The total cost of the project is estimated at $1.2 Million.

Our arena operates with the dedication of volunteers. The arena board, kitchen committee and community members all contribute to the rink operations and financials. They all devote countless hours so our community can enjoy the arena and all the activities it provides. We have formed an 8-member sub-committee “Rajeunissement Arena Rejuvenation” working to complete this project. Our goal is to raise money through local fundraisers and grants. We are lucky to live in such a supportive community where they all see the value in upgrading our facility as needed. We want to see many more generations enjoy our arena for years to come!