Canada 150 Rink Comes to Gananoque!

By: Susan W. Smith

Volume 13, Issue 10, October 2018

If you google  “Hockey and culture” in Canada you will find, ”Ice Hockey: A symbol of  Canada, a national sport, and even a way of life.” It is true, Hockey is  a Canadian National sport.

lOGO 50

The rink was built as part of the 150th celebrations of 1867 - the year the British colonies were united into one Dominion of Canada.

The idea to bring the Rink to Gananoque was originally suggested by  the late Gordon Brown, the region’s Member of Parliament from 2004 until  his untimely death in May 2018. At the time, Gord, as he was known, had  stated that the Town would be honored and could easily justify being a  recipient of the Rink, which comes complete with the boards, glass,  benches, nets and scoreboard. But this would take a major financial  commitment.

Canada150 Facebook link

Ironically, Gord died soon after returning to his office after an  early morning hockey game with his hockey buddies in Ottawa. At the time  he had already secured a $100,000 fund donated by the Thousand Islands  Accommodation Partners, created in 2009 by nine local hotels. (Today,  TIAP includes more major attractions including, GanBoatLine.com, 1000IslandsPlayhouse.com, Fly1000Islands.ca and1000IslandsKayaking.com.)

However, after Gord’s death, the River community embraced the idea  that completing his project would be a fitting tribute to a man who had  done so much for his constituency. Jeff Brown, Gord’s brother headed a  new fund-raising campaign which has now raised an additional $100,000  from the Thousand Islands Community Futures Development Corporation and  local residents have contributed private donations of another $50,000  coupled with GoFundMe.com/Help-Gord-Browns-Gan-Ice-Pad-Vision. Not sure how the bidding would go, the Town and Township were pleasantly surprised when, on Friday, September 21st, the Ottawa International Hockey Festival announced Gananoque’s bid was accepted and the River has won the Rink!

News articles explain that the new rink is scheduled to open in the  fall of 2019 with the engineering studies and construction planning  beginning first. The rink will be placed beside the indoor Lou Jefferies  Rink at the east end of town. This will facilitate the use of Town  equipment including the Zamboni machine and maintenance personnel.

In addition to the original donation, TIAP recently pledged $5,000 a year for five years to cover the first operating funds.

“We want to make sure,” said Jeff Brown emphatically, “that the Town  of Gananoque and the Township taxpayers are not saddled with the cost of  establishing this. We consider the almost year-round rink will be a  unique tourist attraction for the region, so we have an aggressive  fund-raising plan. The next event is a Gord Brown Memorial Hockey Game  to be held on November 28that the Lou Jeffries Rink in  Gananoque. This, we feel, will be a good start. Proceeds will be split  between the rink and the United Way. “

Yes, Hockey may be a Canadian national sport, but skating on an  outdoor rink – will become a unique and integral part of a Thousand  Islands experience!

Posted in: Volume 13, Issue 10, October 2018, People, Places, Sports, Videos



Submit an Article

Do you have an article you would like to submit? Click here to participate.