Ice season at Hay River Rec Centre nears end

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Stephane Millette is the recreation director with the Town Hay River. NNSL file photo
Stephane Millette is the recreation director with the Town of Hay River.
NNSL file photo

There are just a few more days to enjoy the ice at the Rec Centre.

At a March 25 meeting of town council, Stephane Millette, the recreation director for the town, said the curling ice and the arena ice will be going out on April 8.

“The last day of programming will be April 7 for those ice surfaces,” he said.

Millette noted that planning is currently underway for summer programming.

Speaking to The Hub later last week, Millette, who became recreation director in December, reflected on a successful season on ice at the Rec Centre, the first full season of winter activities since the demolition and rebuild of the facility began in the summer of 2016.

“The feedback has been awesome,” he said of the season.

Millette noted he had a meeting with ice user groups on March 27.

“And they were very satisfied with the building and the scheduling, and it sounds like everybody had a good season,” he said.

In fact, he noted that the groups had similar numbers of participants as before the reconstruction of the Rec Centre.

“Not surprised by it, I think, because we’ve got a beautiful facility,” he said. “Sometimes not having access to something makes people realize how much they want it and how much they like it. So I don’t think it’s that surprising for people to want to be in this beautiful building that we have and to use these facilities that are amazing for a small town like this.”

Millette pointed to a number of new features at the Rec Centre that proved popular over the winter season.

“The way the walking track is being used is fantastic,” he said. “People really appreciate that walking track, whether it’s the people that are coming in during the day when it’s quiet, but they’re here every single day, or if it’s the families that are using the walking track while the kids are on the ice in the evening.”

Even a detail like two windows in the Rec Centre to look into the curling rink has been positive.

Those windows have meant more exposure for curling, said Millette. “I think it’s having more people interested in curling for the fact that you can see what’s going on, you can see how busy the curling sheets are.”

The new Community Hall, Multipurpose Room and Doug Wieterman Hall are also getting well-used.

“The use of those rooms is being defined according to the needs and the interests that are being identified in town right now,” said Millette, adding he did not expect the rooms would be so busy and have such varied uses.

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