Tom Harwood has recently joined the City of Estevan as the leisure services manager, filling a position that had been vacant for nearly a year.
Harwood, who came to Estevan from Prince George, B.C. via a head hunting service, has worked in several other arenas and centres, including most recently the CN Centre in Prince George, a 6,000 seat arena that hosts a WHL team, concerts and events.
As part of his job with the centre, Harwood was responsible for anything that happened in the building, including all staffing and events.
In Estevan, his responsibilities are much the same, and extend beyond Spectra Place.
"I have a vision of recreation. Spectra is one part of the position. We have an aquatic centre, we have a seniors' centre attached, we have a library, we have a whole lot of parks, we have trail systems, sports parks, baseball diamonds, soccer fields."
Harwood explained that community is key when dealing with events centres. He said that it is important to draw all sorts of people and organizations into an events centre like Spectra Place.
"We try to ensure that we bring a nice mix in. It's got to be something bigger than just an ice rink."
Harwood said that spreading the word about all that Spectra Place has to offer will be important in getting performers and events to visit the facility.
"When you open up a new facility, people don't know what you have, people don't know your name, people don't know how they're going to travel to your facility. What we need to do is get the word out. We need to also sit down and identify what the people want to see, whether that's voting on a website or on Facebook or some social media, or whether it's going out and talking to the radio station, saying 'What music are people requesting?'"
He said that Spectra Place already has staging and flooring, making it the ideal location for acts willing to play in facilities that seat 2,000-2,200 people.
Though he has only been in Estevan for a few weeks, Harwood said he is finding that the city council "seems to get through things quickly," and that the City staff is "quite professional and they're passionate." He said that he decided to move his family from Prince George to the Energy City after visiting Estevan, checking out the schools and seeing what was available for his wife and children.
"It seems like a good fit for us as a family. We decided it would work well for us."