Community support can make what seems like an impossible task easier to bear – like completing a multi-million dollar construction project on time and under budget.
Such was the case with the Shaw Centre arena in Salmon Arm, and on Nov. 10, two brothers were recognized for the contributions made by them and their family business which helped the project succeed.
When planning and construction of the arena was underway in 1998, Bill and Doug Newnes and their family business, Newnes Machine, were instrumental in helping get the facility completed.
Their company assisted in planning the facility, with construction work and also with fundraising and generating community support for the project.
To recognize this contribution, the Spectator Arena in the Shaw Centre was renamed to the Newnes Spectator Arena, and a plaque now sits between the ice-level doors behind the home goal-posts showcasing some of the family’s contributions.
“Not only did they help with the boardrooms, the people, the phone lines – there were many things the Newnes family and Newnes Machine did for us,” said Steve Hammer of the recreation society. “Once we broke ground in 1998, a year later we had our first skate on the ice. The building came in on time and under budget, so hats off to the team that did that and thanks very much to Newnes Machine.”
Bill and Doug Newnes were on hand during the event, and took the opportunity to express their thanks both to the community for involving them in the project and for the local contractors who helped build the arena.
“It’s a beautiful facility and we are happy to be a part of it; it gives you a good idea what good management can do,” said Bill. “I think the real people who deserve the biggest hand are the actual local contractors that built this place and contributed themselves.”
“I understand a lot of them had a special price for this contract; a lot of the local contractors probably didn’t make a lot of money on this. The city had the foresight to get the right people involved at the right time,” Doug added.
“From what I hear from talking to people, it has brought in a lot of tournaments which translates to dollars in the community – this thing is a real success story.
“We are honoured to be associated with this and have the opportunity to participate, so thank you.”
Among their contributions, Newnes Machine provided a project manager for zero-cost, and the family made a donation to the arena after selling their company, which allowed the connecting walkway and several offices to be built.
The Shaw Centre has allowed Salmon Arm to be the site of many tournaments, training camps and special on-ice events, not to mention it being the home of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
The facility sees an estimated 50,000 users each year, and to top it all off, it is projected to be completely paid off in 2019.
“BC Hockey and Hockey Canada have been in this building many times, and what we hear from all of those visitors is what a great facility this is.
The way it is designed and laid out, it is the perfect facility even for a community bigger than we are,” says Darby Boyd, arena general manager.