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Council approves 5-year contract with Salmon Arm Silverbacks on heels of 1-year deal

New contract provides more certainty for Junior A team, Shuswap Recreation Society
The Salmon Arm Silverbacks Junior A hockey team have been a tenant of the Shaw Centre since 2001. (File photo)

Council has approved a five-year contract between the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and the Shuswap Recreation Society.

Due to restrictions and disruptions during the pandemic, discussions of a contract longer than just one year did not materialize until the summer of 2021, explained David Knight, arena manager with the rec society, in a report to council.

“Due to the ongoing uncertainty of starting a new season, the challenges of tighter restrictions with the pandemic still lingering, and the inability to meet and discuss in person on a regular basis – negotiation and discussions of a new contract extended further than either side was hoping. In the end, both sides were able to come together and agree to terms for a new 5 year contract that will keep the Silverbacks in Salmon Arm until 2026,” Knight wrote.

He said the structure of the new contract remains essentially the same as the previous one-year agreement that ended in May 2021.

The fee structure, for instance, is the same. Ice usage during the 2021-22 season was just over $49,000, the report states, with practices totalling $26,000, games $19,000 and playoffs $4,500. Office and storage space rentals amounted to $13,650.

A similar usage pattern for ice and games is anticipated for the seasons ahead.

Wording around practice times was changed to allow flexibility for both the facility and the team.

The Silverbacks Junior A team has been a tenant of the Shaw Centre arena since 2001, providing a source of entertainment to Salmon Arm citizens by participating in the BC Hockey League, the report noted.

“The relationship with the Silverbacks organization over the past few years has been positive. We are hoping that game attendance improves as the team continues to put the best product on the ice,” the report concluded.

Mayor Alan Harrison expressed his appreciation for the recreation society, particularly David Knight and general manager Darby Boyd.

“Relationship’s everything when it comes to agreement and I know that the relationship is strong within the Silverback and Shuswap Recreation Society, so thank you for your part in that,” Harrison said.

Council members voted unanimously to approve the new contract. Coun. Sylvia Lindgren was absent.

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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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