A multi-million dollar project to upgrade Lumby’s Pat Duke Memorial Arena is now in the books, and a video showcasing the results has been shared for all to see.
On Wednesday the Regional District of North Okanagan announced the completion of the $3.5 million project, which expanded the rink and added a full suite of new change rooms, a new players’ entrance and viewing area, newly renovated referee change rooms and complete renovations to two existing change rooms.
Infrastructure minister Catherine McKenna and municipal affairs minister Josie Osborne were among the Canadian politicians who appeared in the video to offer their congratulations to the Lumby community — a community that rallied up a winning campaign to host Kraft Hockeyville in 2016 to secure the initial funding for the project.
“As we move through the pandemic response and into recovery, I know that places like Pat Duke will form the opportunity for people to come together safely for many, many years to come,” Osborne said. “I look forward to the day when I can come and visit in person and help you celebrate your success.”
“Hockey is very important, not just the small town of Lumby and our youth but just a small town in general,” said Rhonda Catt, a Lumby minor hockey pillar who helped spearhead the Hockeyville campaign. “It’s actually bringing the family and the community together in, I think, more ways than we actually realize.”
Before the renovations, the more than 50-year-old arena lacked adequate change rooms for women.
“You can’t wait to get off the ice because the rooms are so warm,” said David Oliver, assistant coach for the New York Rangers of the NHL and Lumby Minor Hockey coach.
“They’re so big, it’s spacious, I can’t imagine them doing a better job than what they did in here.”
The RDNO hosted a virtual tour of the facility Thursday afternoon, which can be viewed on its website.