BROOKLYN, N.S. – The Newport and District Rink in Brooklyn has a new name and a new look, thanks to a major contribution from GFL.
The facility, now known as the GFL Recreation Centre, will continue to see upgrades as the non-profit society that operates the rink continues to fundraise to complete the project over the next few years.
Darryl Landry, president of the Newport and District Rink Society, said the $200,000 announced on Jan. 25, on top of an amount previously donated by GFL, makes them the largest corporate sponsor in the facility’s history.
Landry said he couldn’t give a definitive number on how close they are to their final goal, but said fundraising efforts are still underway.
“Our dreams are big, we want to continue to expand and we’ve got more space to develop,” Landry said. “Until we’re 100 per cent complete, our mission never stops.”
Landry did say that GFL’s contribution has brought the society ahead by “a couple of years” in its long-term fundraising goals.
With the donation, the facility will also change its name from the Newport and District Rink to the GFL Recreation Centre. Facility staff also have new uniforms that reflect the new brand.
Landry said the upgraded parking, paid for with the GFL funds, is a huge asset for the arena, helping to enhance the cleanliness of the building.
Landry said the society had received previous offers for naming rights to the building, but said they didn’t feel the deals were fair enough.
He estimated that GFL has contributed over $300,000 between the old rink, which collapsed in 2015, and the new facility.
• Read more about the Newport Rink rebuild here
“We don’t want to rely on levels of government for funding to support our operation,” Landry said. “To have a facility go down and rebuild as quickly as we did, that speaks to the dedication of the board and this community.”
West Hants Warden Abraham Zebian said the announcement will do a lot for the facility and surrounding community.
“It’ll allow them to finish up the things that needed to be finished up,” Zebian said following a cheque presentation. “GFL is a great company, we have a great partnership with them. They’re very community-minded and it shows in the community what they’ve done.”
Zebian said GFL’s contribution to the arena does not impact any decisions council or municipal staff would make regarding waste collection.
“We have a great partnership, they operate our landfill, but this is not to buy any favours, they just care about this community,” he added.
Joey Warwick, director of business development in Atlantic Canada for GFL, said the company remains committed to the community.
“We certainly believe in our public-private partnership that we’ve had here for the last little while and we’d like to continue that,” Warwick said. “Public-private partnerships work best when both partners are involved and we believe strongly in being a partner in the community.”
Warwick said a lot of GFL employees live in the area and utilize the facility.
“We’re not just here to do business, we want to be a part of the community,” he added.
Warwick said the company did submit a tender to be the municipality’s organics collector, but was unsuccessful in obtaining that.
The municipality recently re-affirmed their commitment to rolling out compost collection service to the whole municipality.
• Read more about green bin rollouts in West Hants here
Warwick said it’s up to the municipality on how they want to proceed with organics collection.
“We take guidance from them, what their decisions are are their decisions, we’d be supportive of whatever direction they’d go,” he said.
GFL will continue to collect waste products in the municipality until April 1, 2018, when Royal Environment (RE Group) takes over collection for the entire municipality including Hantsport until 2023. (weblink - https://www.westhants.ca/waste-and-recycling.html)
GFL continues to operate a landfill facility in Cogmagun.