Extreme Makeover: AG Ross Edition

Volunteers work tirelessly to upgrade arena

Photo Credit: Town of Elk Point Rec Department 

Elk Point Minor Hockey is hosting Midget D Provincials in just over a month, March 24-27th, 2017. The event will bring in kids from all over the province to compete in a three-day round-robin style tournament; with the winning club skating away with all the glory, a Provincial Championship. Doug Bassett, official scorekeeper and grandfather of the rink, says the town is elated to be hosting the tournament, “we haven’t hosted in many years and we just love doing it. It’s very exciting; but we have a bunch of projects we need to get done.”

A group of 20+ volunteers have been working for two-weeks straight painting the massive building, originally built in 1974. “Myrna Morozuik and Tim Smereka were here for a week straight, day and night, painting. They both worked so hard,” Bassett says the pair worked on the six change rooms that stretch down the south wall of the building. The change rooms were part of an addition put on the rink in 1991 and have never been painted. Originally, a one-off from baby blue, the walls were bright and exuberant in their prime. However, they had become stale with years of looking into the deep sea of blue. The new colour, Bassett explains, “it’s very modern. It’s all going to look very sharp.”

After a week of hard work, Myrna and Tim took some time off on Monday evening, when six ladies and six men worked hard to get some of the finishing touches in the bathrooms and change rooms done. Volunteers worked hard as their kids enjoyed an extended hockey practice, lead by James Capjack. The team of 12 then moved onto the trophy room, reminiscing and sorting through the immense collection of trophies. Bassett says the team has been tasked with sorting out which to keep and to shine up the trophies to be in grand display in the Horizon Room (meeting room) of the arena.

Even the host team has been helping. The Midget team came out early in the makeover stage to wash down the walls down the dressing room hallways, giving them new life.

The lobby has yet to be completed, Bassett says there will be some changes, “we’re not going to have business signs in the front anymore. Those are all going out to the stands. We’re going to have our banners and other prominent displays in the lobby. Keep it clean and fresh looking.”The figure skating room will also need to be completed, which Bassett says is next on the list.

The Senior Elks dressing room has already undergone a transformation, which some say sparked the desire to spruce up the entire building. Whatever the case, Bassett says he couldn’t be more proud of the team of volunteers, “these people have been coming in, on their free time, and just working hard. Even if their kids aren’t here for practice, they are. We’re all so grateful of their hard work. Thank you.”

The AG Ross Arena received a Canada 150 grant to help with new lighting, arena upgrades, painting, and a condenser. Shortly after receiving the grant, and spending a good chunk on fixing the condenser, the warm weather revealed a leaky roof. Bassett says the Ag Society will be working on securing more grant funding to help pay for the leak. The arena also received $5,000 from local charity organization, For the Love of the Game, to cover the cost of the paint; incidentally, Bassett was the original honouree at the charity event. It seemed fitting that money be used to help give new life to the arena, a place known as Bassett’s winter home.

If you would like to volunteer or sponsor the Midget D Provincials, please contact Doug Bassett 780-645-8372.