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This article was published 29/5/2009 (3789 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A new multi-rink hockey complex, a new home for Winnipeg Harvest and renovations to the Centennial Concert Hall were among a half-dozen projects to receive federal and provincial funding Friday.
The largest project — and perhaps the biggest surprise — is the $25-million, 172,000-square-foot hockey facility, with four North American regulation-size ice surfaces.
It's to be built at the Perimeter and Trans-Canada highways, near Pointe West Autopark.
True North Sports & Entertainment, which owns the MTS Centre and the Manitoba Moose hockey team, will contribute the bulk of the money, $13.2 million, to build the complex. The federal and provincial governments each will throw in $5.9 million.
True North will own the entity, which is targeted to open next summer.
Mark Chipman, True North's chairman, said Friday the new facility, which will include 20 player dressing rooms, a pro shop and seating for 1,500 people around one of the rinks, will also be home to only the third Hockey Canada centre of excellence. The other two are in Toronto and Alberta.
Chipman said the facility — the True North Hockey Canada MoosePlex — will be an asset when the company applies to host the World Under-17 Hockey Championship for two successive years beginning at Christmas 2010.
"It just puts us in a better position to acquire events and to do so on a unique basis," Chipman said.
In response to a reporter's question, he said the new facility — which would also have 30,000 square feet of leasable space for a restaurant, high-performance training facilities and office space for True North, Hockey Manitoba and Hockey Canada — would not compete in any way with the MTS Centre.
Premier Gary Doer said the added hockey surfaces, which will be available year-round, will help address a shortage in Winnipeg. He hinted the province and Ottawa would announce funding for more ice facilities in the near future.
Winnipeg Minor Hockey Association president Doug Lischka said the rinks will be gobbled up by recreational and minor-league players, who are always looking for ice time. The crunch is especially bad in the fall when teams hold their tryouts, and again in late winter during playoffs.
"It's certainly going to help alleviate the big rush in September and October," Lischka said. "I'm just glad that someone has stepped up and done this."
The projects announced Friday will cost a total of about $57 million. The private sector and social agencies are picking up part of the cost.
New infrastructure money is being used to fund a $5-million refurbishment of the Centennial Concert Hall, a new $10-million United Way headquarters on Main Street near the Disraeli Freeway, an $8-million food distribution, training centre and headquarters for Winnipeg Harvest, a new $4.5- million building for the Salvation Army in St. Vital and improvements to Brandon's Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium. Two other projects, the True North MoosePlex and the Punjab Cultural & Seniors Centre, are being funded through an existing federal-provincial capital fund.
— with files from Mary Agnes Welch
What: A new, three-storey building on Main Street at the Disraeli Freeway to house the agency's staff. The main floor will be devoted to a storefront office for agencies or people looking for referrals, as well as training and meeting rooms. There will also be room for a business that can be used to teach people life skills.
Project cost: $10 million
Who is paying: United Way says Ottawa and the province are picking up most of the tab, with a few key donors chipping in the remaining amount — about $1 million. CentreVenture is helping with the cost of the land.
When: Groundbreaking is this summer for a move-in target of late summer or fall 2010.
What: A new food distribution centre, headquarters and training centre all under one roof.
The cost: $8 million, according to the province.
Who is paying: The two levels of government and Winnipeg Harvest. Harvest plans to launch a fundraising campaign to cover its share.
When: David Northcott, Winnipeg Harvest's executive co-ordinator, said the agency will soon decide between two different properties it has its eye on not far from its current location. It hopes to open its new building in mid-2010.
What: A new Salvation Army multicultural family centre that will replace a rundown facility in St. Vital. The centre provides transition services and training to new immigrants.
Project cost: $4.5 million.
Who is paying: The two levels of government and the Salvation Army are sharing the cost equally. Capt. Les Marshall, a spokesman for the agency, said the group already has its funding in place.
When: The Salvation Army hopes to begin construction in September and move into the new building in December 2010.
What: A meeting place for seniors, youth and new Canadians for the more than 20,000-member Punjab community. Amarjeet Warraich, president of the Punjab Cultural Centre, said his group has acquired a former school on King Edward Street that it plans to refurbish.
Project cost: $3.8 million
Who is paying: The Punjab community is raising the bulk of the money, with Ottawa and the province also contributing.
When: Target date for the centre's opening is April 2010.
What: A new 172,000-square-foot multiplex facility that includes four North American regulation-size hockey rinks, 20-player dressing rooms, a pro shop, concession and vending facilities, and 30,000 square feet of leasable space for a restaurant, high-performance training facilities and office space for True North Sports & Entertainment, Hockey Canada and Hockey Manitoba.
Project cost: $25 million.
Who is paying: True North Sports & Entertainment is footing $13.2 million, while Ottawa and the province are contributing $5.9 million each.
When: True North hopes to complete the project in the summer of 2010.
Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.