ARENA INFRASTRUCTURE IN CANADA
A Message from the President and CEO – Hockey Canada, Bob Nicholson
Hockey Canada is one of the largest Sport Governing bodies in Canada with over 500,000 members enjoying
the game of hockey. Combine this with figure skating, speed skating, adult recreational hockey and the many
other user groups in Canada it is quite easy to determine that we must work together to not only retrofit the
aging infrastructure that exists but also support initiatives that result in the establishment of new arena
facilities across Canada.
In May of 2005 Hockey Canada completed a very successful National Arena Census in partnership with Natural
Resources Canada and the Canadian Recreation Facilities Council, building a comprehensive inventory of arenas
across Canada and collecting crucial information with respect to year of construction, energy costs, months
of operation and much more. A key piece of information within the report is that of the 1,847 facilities that
reported the year of construction approximately 42% were built in the 1970’s and approximately 73% were built
prior to 1980. Many of these buildings now or will very soon need renovations to enable them to continue to
meet today’s expectations and with 86% of them reporting being municipally owned many may not be able to
afford the costly retrofitting required.
The National Arena Census emphasizes that the current infrastructure is at a point where massive funding
and innovative funding ideas will be necessary in order to keep up with the growing demand for recreational
facilities. A copy of the executive summary of the National Arena Census is attached for your
We are only one of the many users within arena facilities and we see tremendous growth using this
multi-faceted initiative over the next few years. Hockey Canada has identified several programs that with
certainty will increase the number of people participating in the game of hockey, including the expansion of
adult recreational hockey, the new OneGoal Program, the Canadian Hockey Foundations Outreach Program aimed at
families restricted from playing the game, expansion of the female side of hockey and the new Pond to Podium
Program. Each of these are briefly described in the recruitment package attached.
The “Innovative Sources of Funding for the Development and Rehabilitation of Sport and Recreation
Infrastructure” report tells us that immigration is predicted to account for 100% of Canadian population
growth by the end of this decade. Hockey Canada has identified the importance of making contact with various
multicultural communities showcasing hockey and the positive elements to being involved.
Hockey Canada is truly excited about all of these potential initiatives however as we move to increase our
membership and the participation level of this sport by all Canadians we face a significant infrastructure
roadblock. We cannot recruit people to waiting lists. Hockey Canada cannot pursue increased participation
levels on our own, we need some serious assistance in terms of providing the necessary infrastructure to
house future potential hockey players in this country immediately.
Hockey Canada is interested in teaming up with all stakeholders to look for alternative methods of
encouraging both retrofitting of our aging infrastructure and the building of new facilities across Canada.
As we continue to be working members of the Canadian Recreation Facilities Council we become more and more
sensitive to the issues facing the infrastructure “crises” that exists and will certainly support any
movement that will not only increase ice availability but that will increase facilities for our young people
to engage in fun and fitness.
For more information regarding Hockey Canada's recommendations for ice facilities,
Manager, Facilities Infrastructure
Phone/Tel : 403-777-3603
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
OF CANADA'S ICE HOCKEY FACILITY INFRASTRUCTURE
Insuring accessibility and the chance to play our national game is a core funding interest of
the Canadian Hockey Foundation. The issue of Canada’s aging ice hockey facility infrastructure and the lack
of new capacity to keep up with our growing population and the corresponding demographic changes has resulted
in a looming threat that seriously compromises our ability to provide future generations of Canada’s sons and
daughters with the opportunity to play our game.
A strong case can be made that playing hockey is the most encompassing of all Canadian
cultural activities. In addition to the daily physical activity associated with playing hockey, participation
continues to be an important factor to the overall health and wellness of young people today and crucial to a
balanced lifestyle for our youth. Along with the development of hockey skills, active involvement helps build
life skills that will serve our youth well throughout their lives, with the added benefit of keeping them on
the ice and out of hot water. » more
» Canadian Hockey Foundation