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Rink grant funding impacts Outlook and local area

Grants help communities offer the activities people love at the rink.
Photo: Derek Ruttle

Media Release

With files from Derek Ruttle

OUTLOOK - It was another successful year for the Community Rink Affordability Grant program with 585 skating and curling ice surfaces across the province receiving funding in 2023-24.

"The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to support our province’s community rinks by investing $1.6 million annually to the program,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Laura Ross said. “These facilities play such an important role as hubs for gathering and physical activity. These rinks receive tremendous community support at every level and are well-used by families, youth and seniors and contribute to our quality of life here in Saskatchewan.”

The program, administered by the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA), awarded grants of $2,500 to 585 ice surfaces in 2023-24. This included 382 skating surfaces and 203 curling surfaces. Since 2021-22, over $5.8 million has been provided through the program.

“I am pleased to see the impact of the Community Rink Affordability Grant reflected in the sincere responses from communities,” SPRA President Darcy McLeod said. “From ensuring operational hours to fostering vibrant hubs of community social activity, the grant is more than just financial support; it can be a lifeline for our small-town arenas.”

The Community Rink Affordability Grant provides funding to help offset the costs of operating indoor skating and curling rinks in Saskatchewan. Communities, First Nations, schools and non-profits are eligible and encouraged to register for an annual grant per indoor ice surface.

This is what communities are saying about the program.

“Our small village curling rink would not be in operation without the assistance of the CRAG funding," Village of Dinsmore Administrator Jodie Beattie-Flath said. "A small group of volunteers puts in the ice and engaged youth teaching them about the process involved. School curling teams and physical education classes have been able to practice; the annual high-school bonspiel was held; community members have volunteered to engage with youth in a learn to curl program; and young and old have come together to enjoy evenings of activity and socialization.”

With funds given to rinks with a skating surface, a curling surface, or both, local communities have benefitted from such funding recently, including Outlook ($5000), Beechy ($5000), Central Butte ($5000), Conquest ($2500), Dinsmore ($5000), Kenaston ($2500), Loreburn ($2500), Lucky Lake ($2500), Macrorie ($5000), and Milden ($2500).