Puck drops for Arena Task Force

The newly-formed Arena Task Force met for the first time this week kicking off a multimonth process to determine the future of Penticton’s Memorial and McLaren Arenas.

At 66 and 45 years old respectively, both arenas are starting to show their age and are in need of significant investment in the next few years. The job of the task force is to consider the needs of the user groups, the condition of existing facilities, and the financial impacts and funding options in order to make a recommendation to Council about how to meet Penticton’s arena needs.

The City’s infrastructure deficit was a big part of the conversation at the first meeting on Monday evening. “The task force understands the financial challenges facing the City,” says Bregje Kozak, manager of facilities and staff representative for the task force. “They also recognize how important arenas are to a healthy lifestyle for both adults and youth in our community and want to come up with a solution that will serve Penticton for years to come.”

The task force is made up of a combination of six citizens representing the primary user groups and eight citizens from the community-at-large. The City received 18 applications for the eight community-at-large positions. Members were selected based on their knowledge of construction and engineering, arena operations and requirements, accounting and finance, and the history of hockey in Penticton. (See list below.)

“It is my hope that this committee can provide Council with a sound, logical recommendation that will meet the community needs and benefit all citizens for decades to come,” says Stewart Ladyman. Ladyman (left in photo) was voted in as Chair at the meeting with Larry Lund (right in photo) were voted Chair and Vice Chair at the first meeting of the Penticton Arena Task Force. 

Keeping the community informed will be a priority for the task force. Committee meetings are open to the public and citizens have opportunities to get involved through upcoming tours and drop-in sessions. Citizens can also stay informed about the work and share their feedback at www.shapeyourcitypenticton.ca/arenataskforce.

Task force members:

(6) User Group representatives

• Jamie Materi (Minor Hockey)

• Pam MacDonald (Dry Floor, Lacrosse)

• Trevor Buttenham (Glengarry Figure Skating)

• Mike Hopkin (Adult Hockey Leagues)

• Fred Harbinson (Penticton Vees)

• Andy Oakes (Okanagan Hockey Group)

(8) Community representatives:

• Stewart Ladyman

• Frank Regehr

• Bruce Millington

• Larry Lund

• Ryan Schulz

• Garth Astles

• Neil Jamieson

• Larry Kenyon

(2) Council representatives

• Helena Konanz

• Max Picton