Arena honours Winnipeg NHL goalie


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This article was published 08/01/2019 (1423 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Pioneer Arena (799 Logan Ave.) has officially been renamed Charlie Gardiner Arena, in honour of former NHL goalie Charlie Gardiner.

Point Douglas city councillor Vivian Santos hosted a renaming event Dec. 15 that was attended by Gardiner’s family and community members.

In the summer, the city’s Standing Policy Committee on Protection, Community Services and Parks unanimously agreed to rename the arena. A new sign, which consists of a metal silhouette of Gardiner’s figure in laser-cut corten steel mounted on limestone blocks, was installed in the fall. On the building’s front, the address number 799 and the name Charlie Gardiner Arena have also been placed in laser-cut corten steel. The $38,460 project was funded through the Point Douglas Ward Land Dedication Reserve Fund.

Photo by Ligia Braidotti Coun. Vivian Santos and Edna Poulter, Charlie Gardiner’s niece, in front of the new sign at the Charlie Gardiner Arena.

Santos was executive assistant to former Point Douglas councillor Mike Pagtakhan when the project began and said she was pleased to see it through to fruition.

She said they chose to rename Pioneer Arena after reading the book Before the Echoes Fade. by Antonia Chambers, which ponts out that renaming buildings and parks is a way to immortalize people.
“Winnipeg has such a rich history and doing that makes people wonder ‘Who is this Charlie Gardiner? Where is here from? How is he part of Point Douglas?’ so it’s more like an educational piece and kind of restoring the history of Point Douglas,” she said.

Gardiner was born in 1904 in Edinburgh, Scotland, and his family immigrated to Winnipeg in 1911. He and his family lived in houses on William Avenue, Alexander Avenue and Lydia Avenue, and he played professionally with the Winnipeg Maroons of the Central Hockey League in 1926-27. Later in 1927, Gardiner joined the Chicago Black Hawks, where he played as a goalie for seven seasons. He won the Vezina Trophy as best goalie in the NHL in 1932 and in 1934 became the first goaltender to be captain of his team.  

Gardiner helped the Hawks to a 1934 Stanley Cup victory while suffering from tonsillitis. Sadly, upon his return to Winnipeg shortly after the victory, he died in St. Boniface Hospital on June 13, 1934 and is now buried in Brookside Cemetery. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945, the Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame in 1957, and is a member of the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

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