LAMPMAN - The RM of Browning No. 34 and Town of Lampman Recreation Board began their quest for a new ice plant in 2020 and they celebrated the achievement at the Lampman 100-year Centennial Bonspiel Friday night.
The old plant needed major maintenance and parts for the old equipment were difficult to locate. The cost was high for these parts, and the plant was over 40 years old.
They began their research for a more cost-efficient ice plant, which would use less power and be environmentally friendly.
Board member Dustin Ferguson said the recreation director applied for an Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) grant in the fall of 2020, and in the spring of 2021, they were awarded the funding.
Due to high inflation and material cost increases, the expense for the plant would be far above what the grants would cover.
Under ICIP, the government of Canada invested $205,882 toward the project and the Government of Saskatchewan contributed $171,552.
The added cost did not discourage the members. They dug in their heels and began campaigning to get the job done.
In October 2022, an After Harvest Party was held in Lampman. At this event, over $80,000 in items were donated for an auction. Also sold was naming rights for the complex for five years.
Over the next several months, they would raise money to overcome their shortfall, and along with grants, would complete the $770,000 project.
On March 31, at the 100-year Centennial bonspiel, a ceremony was held to commemorate the new ice plant.
Cannington MLA Daryl Harrison spoke on behalf of Premier Scott Moe, Government Relations Minister Don McMorris, and the Government of Saskatchewan.
“Tonight is special for two very important reasons,” said Harrison. “The first is to celebrate the centennial anniversary.”
He went on to say, this is a fantastic way to mark this celebration with a 64-rink bonspiel.
Harrison went on to say: “The second is to mark the official completion of all the work, to make this rink an even better place for days like this one.”
Harrison also said that in the hours, days and years ahead, more curling rocks will be thrown, pucks will be dropped, and neighbours will come to watch their favorite teams. This is not just a building; it is a memory maker, and this bonspiel will create even more fond memories.
“Thank you and congratulations to all involved in this important project to renew this facility and organize this wonderful curling event,” said Harrison.
“This community and Saskatchewan are stronger thanks to your efforts.”
“Lampman has a population of 700 people and through dedication, commitment and drive from the community, the ice plant project was possible,” said Ferguson.
Fergusson remembers last October when recreation board members, along with guest speakers Rod Pedersen and Stu Grimson, said, “We did it” at the fundraiser.
“We did not win the Stanley Cup, but that night it felt like it, “said Ferguson.
Recreation Board chairman Blake Fornwald said: “The Lampman community is thankful for the donations and contributions from the community, Government of Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan, and are grateful that these upgrades will keep our rink secure for years to come.”
Ferguson added: “We have a new heart in our complex that will serve our community for years to come.”