World class rink in the works for Windsor

Province chips in $3 million towards new Hockey Heritage Centre

Carole Morris-Underhill editor@hantsjournal.ca
Published on January 30, 2016
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Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Premier Stephen McNeil, Rich Sutter, chair of the Long Pond Hockey Arena Society Greg Kelley, and Hants West MLA Chuck Porter were among those who spoke at the funding announcement for the new Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre Jan. 30. Pictured standing are Kings North MLA Keith Irving and Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

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Published on 30 January 2016

<p>NHL legend Guy Lafleur posed for countless photos with fans as Windsor celebrated the Long Pond Heritage Classic.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

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Published on 30 January 2016

<p>The Long Pond Heritage Classic on Jan. 30 was a sold out success and featured hockey players of all ages and skill levels.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

Long-Pond-Heritage-Classic-2016-4

Published on 30 January 2016

<p>The Long Pond Heritage Classic on Jan. 30 was a sold out success and featured hockey players of all ages and skill levels.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

Long-Pond-Heritage-Classic-2016-5

Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Hundreds of people stopped by Long Pond to take in the fun activities Jan. 30, and to meet some former NHL players.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

Long-Pond-Heritage-Classic-2016-6

Published on 30 January 2016

<p>The Long Pond Heritage Classic on Jan. 30 was a sold out success and featured hockey players of all ages and skill levels.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

Long-Pond-Heritage-Classic-2016-7

Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Hundreds of people stopped by Long Pond to take in the fun activities Jan. 30, and to meet some former NHL players.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

Long-Pond-Heritage-Classic-2016-8

Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Windsor firefighters Frances Oliver and Jeffrey Moffat were among the many who volunteered their time at the fundraiser.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

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Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Jeremy Beaton helps his eight-year-old son Connor lace up his skates at Long Pond.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

Long-Pond-Heritage-Classic-2016-10

Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Lucas Grant had the right idea as his dad, Steve Grant, from Martock, helped him put on skates.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

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Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Members of the Valley Maple Leafs helped keep the ice clear in between games at Long Pond Jan. 30. Pictured here are captain Craig Anderson, Wesley Demone and Jonah Allen.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

Long-Pond-Heritage-Classic-2016-12

Published on 30 January 2016

<p>NHL legend Guy Lafleur was a popular man in Windsor on the weekend, with several autograph signings taking place throughout the town – including at Long Pond. Also pictured is Windsor firefighter Graham Driscoll.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

Long-Pond-Heritage-Classic-2016-13

Published on 30 January 2016

<p>NHL legend Guy Lafleur was a popular man in Windsor on the weekend, with several autograph signings taking place throughout the town – including at Long Pond.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

Long-Pond-Heritage-Classic-2016-14

Published on 30 January 2016

<p>David Parker, on saxophone, and Greg Simms kept guests at the Long Pond Heritage Classic entertained.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

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Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Former NHLer Guy Lafleur chats with Windsor hockey legend Chook Smith.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

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Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Former NHLer Guy Lafleur poses for a photo with Windsor hockey legend Chook Smith at the Cradle of Hockey.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

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Published on 30 January 2016

<p>King's-Edgehill School's Emma Belliveau piped in the dignitaries for the official opening ceremonies of the Long Pond Hockey Heritage Classic.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

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Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Hants West MLA Chuck Porter said the funding announcement for the new hockey heritage centre was a long time in the making.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

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Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Chair of the Long Pond Hockey Arena Society Greg Kelley, and Hants West MLA Chuck Porter share a laugh during Rich Sutter's opening remarks during the ceremony.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

Long-Pond-Heritage-Classic-2016-20

Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Rich Sutter, a retired NHL player, said being at Long Pond was a bit like being in hockey heaven.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

Long-Pond-Heritage-Classic-2016-21

Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Greg Kelley, the chair of the Long Pond Hockey Arena Society, presented Premier Stephen McNeil with a commemorative jersey.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

Long-Pond-Heritage-Classic-2016-22

Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley has been working on getting a new arena for the area for some time. He's part of the Long Pond Hockey Arena Society committee that has secured $6 million in funding for the new centre.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

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Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil and Danny Dill were excited to announce the partnership between the province, two municipalities, the Windsor Hockey Heritage Society and the Dill family farm.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

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Published on 30 January 2016

<p>Premier Stephen McNeil jokes around with a Long Pond Heritage Classic participant.</p>

Photos by Carole Morris-Underhill – Hants Journal

WINDSOR – The Birthplace of Hockey is one step closer to constructing a state-of-the-art arena – one that will draw visitors from around the world.

Premier Stephen McNeil announced funding to the tune of $3 million on Jan. 30 during the official opening ceremonies of the Long Pond Hockey Heritage Classic.

“I am pleased on behalf of all of you as citizens of our province, and citizens across our region, to commit on your behalf, and on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia, an additional $3 million... to work with your partners to not only build that shrine to hockey but to build a destination for hockey fans globally to come to Windsor, Nova Scotia,” said McNeil, adding that fans would get the chance to step on this ice and understand what it's like to be where hockey began.

The Town of Windsor and the Municipality of West Hants, plus King's-Edgehill School, each pledged $1 million for the new arena.

Greg Kelley, the chair of the Long Pond Hockey Arena Society, could hardly contain his excitement when telling the community about the project.

“We knew we had something special, something unique and we had something that we needed to share with the world to be celebrated both near and far,” said Kelley.

“We recognized that this was our now or never moment to capture all the passion that the game of hockey that started right here on Long Pond 200 years ago brings to our community and to our nation.”

They're proposing an arena complex that will become a destination for more than just hockey enthusiasts.

“This is more than just a building. This is a project that is a catalyst for economic growth and regional pride for our province,” said Kelley.

“Just as Cooperstown has capitalized on its reputation of the birthplace of baseball, we think that we can have a similar impact here in Windsor, West Hants, Nova Scotia to bring people here to celebrate the game.”

The proposed Hockey Heritage Centre will feature a 2,800 square foot hockey heritage museum, two NHL-sized rinks, two indoor practice soccer pitches, a high performance training centre and a 300-metre walking track that would provide views of Long Pond, Martock and the surrounding countryside.

McNeil said the province's commitment is just one stepping stone on the community's journey to having a world class facility. He said they need the community to buy into the vision and help the committee earn an additional $6 million.

Hants West MLA Chuck Porter, who sits on the arena committee, said he was excited that the project is moving forward.

“It's been a long time coming. We've been working at this for quite a while, (with) this particular project since November 2013.”

Unlike committees that were formed in the past to try to create a new arena, this project now has half of its funding in place.

They will be seeking federal funds as well, Porter said, as well as looking for the community to support their fundraising endeavours.

“This is not just an arena; this is a lot more. This has the potential to create such economic spinoffs in Windsor, West Hants and Nova Scotia that it could be phenomenal,” said Porter. “Remember, this is Cooperstown North and it is that for a reason. This is a big event. This is our game. This is where it began. We've got a lot to promote and we want to see people come from all over the world.”

 

To view a video of the announcement, visit: http://video.hantsjournal.ca/4729971891001/Hockey-Heritage-Centre-funding-announced.