Friday, Sept. 21, 2018
Ottawa International Hockey Festival (OIHF) announces that the Town of Gananoque has been selected as the recipient of the Canada 150 Rink legacy project.
OIHF and founding partner the Ottawa Senators to offer unique community programming in Gananoque
OTTAWA – The Ottawa International Hockey Festival (OIHF) announced today that the Town of Gananoque has been selected as the recipient of the Canada 150 Rink legacy project.
The Town of Gananoque will construct an outdoor community rink as part of a Canada 150 legacy project that will provide much needed recreation opportunities to residents and visitors alike. As part of this project, the OIHF will donate the rinkboard system, glass, nets and scoreboard, from the Canada 150 Rink on Parliament Hill to the Town of Gananoque, as well as cover expenditures up to $150,000 related to the site preparation, installation and construction of the community rink. The Town of Gananoque and its local community partners are responsible for the construction, operation and programming of the rink in their community. Construction is scheduled to start later this year, with the rink expected to open in time for the fall 2019 skating season.
The Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, one of the founding partners and key supporters of the OIHF and the Bell Capital Cup, will continue to deliver unique programming to the Canada 150 Rink following its installation in Gananoque. The Senators will partner with the Town of Gananoque and the local minor hockey associations to have Sens Alumni take part in the grand opening festivities and hosting a Sens Alumni Skill Development Clinic on the rink. Further details on the Senators Alumni visit to Gananoque will be announced later this year.
The donation of the Canada 150 Rink to a community legacy project in eastern Ontario or western Quebec was a key component of the Canada 150 Rink on Parliament Hill project developed by the Department of Canadian Heritage and the OIHF in order to provide a uniquely Canadian experience to close out the Canada 150 celebration year. Open from Dec. 7, 2017, to Feb. 28, 2018, the Canada 150 Rink welcomed more than 150,000 skaters to Parliament Hill through public skating sessions, minor hockey clinics and games, ringette, speed skating, broomball and other ice sport demonstrations.
With respect to the donation of the Canada 150 Rink, the OIHF received a number of strong proposals from a wide variety of interested communities. In selecting the proposal from the Town of Gananoque, the OIHF selection committee considered the vision for the community rink project, the budget and local financial support for the construction and operation of the rink, the community support and local partners, the year-round programming plan and the overall benefit to the local community. Taking into consideration the stated factors, the Town of Gananoque’s comprehensive bid was selected as the successful proposal.
Quote from Ottawa Senators:
“The Senators were proud work with the OIHF to play a founding role in making the Canada 150 Rink a success by offering unique and special programming to this one-in-a-lifetime project,” said Ottawa Senators owner and CEO Eugene Melnyk. “Being part of the community is something incredibly important to our organization. As part of our ongoing commitment to grow the game of hockey, we are thrilled to be part of delivering this Canada 150 Rink legacy project to the Town of Gananoque, and we look forward to bringing exciting Senators programming, our community alumni ambassadors and hockey development opportunities to the area.”
Quote from OIHF:
“On behalf of the OIHF, we are excited to announce that the Canada 150 rink will deliver this legacy project to the Town of Gananoque,” said OIHF board member and president of the Ottawa Senators alumni, Laurie Boschman. “There were many strong bids made for the rink by many municipalities and community groups across the national capital region, but the Town of Gananoque’s stood out among them all. We congratulate the town and thank them along with all the many other communities who participated for their interest. The Sens Alumni are excited take part in the grand opening of the rink early next year and we look forward skating on the rink once again as part of a skill development session with the Town of Gananoque.”
Quote from PCH
“Our Government is pleased that the people of Gananoque will be able to enjoy the Canada 150 rink for many years to come,” said the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. “This legacy project will offer visitors and residents alike a place to come together as a community to skate and play hockey on a very unique rink.”
Quote from Mayor Erika Demchuk, Town of Gananoque
“The Town of Gananoque, in union with its community partners, is elated to be the recipient of the Canada 150 Rink. The groundswell of local support for this project as well as the legacy of our beloved former MP Gord Brown will live on in Gananoque for years to come. On behalf of the Council and citizens of the greater Gananoque community, I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to the Ottawa International Hockey Festival, the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, and the Government of Canada for selecting the Town of Gananoque as the recipient.”
About the Ottawa International Hockey Festival
The Ottawa International Hockey Festival (OIHF), known as the Bell Capital Cup, is a not-for-profit corporation established to showcase and promote tourism within the capital region and also to promote sportsmanship, fair play and team work along with helping to develop local minor hockey teams and players by providing a world class, local hockey tournament and festival.
Each year since 2000, the Festival has welcomed minor hockey teams to the nation’s capital from across Canada and around the world to compete in the world’s premier atom (9- and 10-year-olds) and peewee (11- and 12-year-olds) minor hockey festival during the holiday season.
Since its inception, the OIHF has donated more than $2 million to minor hockey associations and charitable organizations in the capital region, helping to make hockey more accessible for families in Ottawa-Gatineau.
Starting with 94 local teams in 2000, the OIHF established a new world record for the largest international hockey tournament in 2007 with 510 teams (8,145 players). The 2017 Festival had more than 300 teams representing 4,500-plus participants and more than 15,000 spectators and visitors.
The annual economic impact of the OIHF is estimated to be in excess of $11 million, drawing thousands of visitors to the National Capital Region.