Refreshing the heart of Canal Flats

Comfort, economy and esthetics are being upgraded at the Canal Flats Arena

The well-used Canal Flats Arena is undergoing some welcome upgrades

The well-used Canal Flats Arena is undergoing some welcome upgrades. — Photo courtesy Village of Canal Flats

The Canal Flats Arena—a utilitarian steel building that had heating and new bleachers installed as part of an upgrade in 2013—is very important to the economy of the Village of Canal Flats and that of the nearby communities.

Here’s why:

Every weekend from mid-October to late March, the Canal Flats Arena is an important gathering place for young hockey teams, most of them from southern Alberta, who play their tournaments here. Arena space is in such short supply that the players and their parents need to travel for several hours to find it—in fact, the Canal Flats Arena is fully booked for at least a full year in advance.

And while the teams play their hockey games in Canal Flats, they get most of their overnight accommodation and their meals in Fairmont Hot Springs, Invermere or Radium Hot Springs.

“This arena benefits the region as much or more than it benefits the community of Canal Flats,” said Adrian Bergles, CAO of Canal Flats.

Adrian Bergles is the CAO of the Village of Canal Flats. — Photo courtesy Village of Canal Flats

And here’s what’s making the visitors happy:

The Canal Flats Arena is currently being upgraded again, with new insulation to the building envelope. It’s also getting a new accessibility entrance, more dressing rooms and an improved exterior look. According to Bergles, the facade of the building will be painted and prettied up a lot.

The capacity to both heat the building more effectively in the wintertime and cool it more effectively in the summertime will cut the energy costs and increase the possibilities for additional revenue. It is hoped that more efficient cooling will allow the ice to be made earlier and kept in longer, extending the season for an additional four to six weeks. That same efficient cooling should open possibilities for using the arena in the summer as well.

The contractor for the upgrades is T.A. Rendek & Associates from Creston, and—as long as the forces align as hoped—project completion is planned for the end of September.

Marie Milner

Marie Milner is a writer and photographer for Kootenay Business magazine and several other publications. She appreciates the inspiration that she gets during her interviews and hopes to share that inspiration with you. View all of Marie Milner’s articles

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