News release

Major Expansion and Renovations for Port Hood Arena

SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS--Major Expansion and Renovations for Port Hood Arena


The Port Hood arena is receiving a $1.3 million face lift.

The Port Hood and District Recreation Commission, the Canada/Nova Scotia Infrastructure Program, the Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation Commission, National Hockey League (NHL) star Al MacInnis, and the NHL Players' Association have joined forces to fund the renovation.

Joint federal and provincial funding from the Strategic Initiatives element of the Infrastructure Program, in the amount of $900,000, was announced today for the project. Rodger Cuzner, Member of Parliament for Bras d'Or, on behalf of Robert Thibault, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, made the announcement with Rodney MacDonald, Minister responsible for the Sport and Recreation Commission, on behalf of Angus MacIsaac, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

"The enlarged arena will be a boon for the area, offering better facilities for sports enthusiasts year-round and boosting the local economy as a venue for larger tournaments, community events and other activities," said Mr. MacDonald.
"Improved infrastructure for our communities is a priority for the Government of Canada," said Mr. Cuzner. "Through the Canada/Nova Scotia Infrastructure Program, we can take part in projects in our communities which help us achieve those goals."

Other contributions to the project include $150,000 from the Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation Commission's Facility Development Program, $150,000 from the NHL Players' Association, $100,000 from Port Hood's Al MacInnis and $50,000 from the Port Hood and District Recreation Commission which owns and operates the facility. The federal and provincial Infrastructure Program funding is subject to the formal approval of the Port Hood and District Recreation Commission's contribution.

The expansion will extend the arena by 212 square metres at both the north and south ends, accommodating a 1.5-metre widening and a six-metre lengthening of the ice surface. Additions to the facility include a hospitality room, dressing rooms, a canteen, a kitchen catering facility, washrooms, an office, a weight room and storage. The arena's existing compressor will be refurbished, a new compressor will be added and the arena will be connected to Port Hood's sewer system.

"The arena is an important community facility for this region and it operates year-round thanks to many volunteers who support and use it. The funding we have received from various sources is enabling the expansion and renovations to proceed and it is greatly appreciated by the community," said Debbie MacDonald, chair of the Port Hood and District Arena Commission.

The arena has been enjoyed by the community for more than 25 years. During the winter it is the focal point of activity and in the summer it serves as a community centre for events, celebrations and fundraising activities. After renovations, the arena will be better equipped to handle larger crowds and community events.

The $195 million, six-year Canada/Nova Scotia Infrastructure Program is administered by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation is a member of the management committee. The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities is also represented on the program's management committee.

This is one in a series of project approvals announced under the program totalling more than $41 million to date. Additional announcements are expected as projects complete environmental assessments and final approvals.

The Strategic Initiatives element of the Infrastructure Program allows the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia to respond to infrastructure priorities in a balanced and flexible manner. To be eligible for funding, all Strategic Initiative projects must meet Infrastructure Program criteria. The Strategic Initiatives element is valued at $25.7 million.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Residents of Port Hood will soon see major renovations to their arena.

N-H-L hockey star Al MacInnis, the N-H-L Players' Association, along with the Port Hood and District Recreation Commission, and the provincial and federal governments are partners in the one-point-three million dollar project.

Nine hundred thousand dollars in funding from the Strategic Initiatives element of the Infrastructure Program was announced today by Rodger Cuzner, M-P for Bras d'Or and Rodney MacDonald, Minister of Tourism and Culture.

This is one in a series of project approvals announced under the Infrastructure Program totalling more than forty-one million dollars to date.

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Contact:

Deborah Bayer
Canada/Nova Scotia Infrastructure Secretariat 902-424-0112 E-mail:
Jennifer Savoy
Office of the Honourable Robert G. Thibault 613-941-7291
Debbie MacDonald
Port Hood and District Recreation Commission 902-787-5224
kjd            September 27, 2001       2:45 P.M.