WEYBURN – Residents of Weyburn and area came out to celebrate a brand new recreation and culture facility, the Credit Union Spark Centre, along with Culture Days, as the ribbon was cut to officially open Weyburn’s new “crown jewel” on Saturday morning.
Gathering on Mainil Field and using the centre’s sound system, the dignitaries who brought greetings to the opening ceremonies included Weyburn-Big Muddy MLA Dustin Duncan, Mayor Marcel Roy, Southeast Cornerstone board chair Audrey Trombley, and Jeff Richards, chair of the Weyburn Credit Union board of directors, with Andrew Crowe, director of leisure services, acting as emcee.
The entire city council gathered for the ribbon cutting, which was done by Mayor Roy, before the activities and events around the centre began and continued throughout the day.
“It really is a crown jewel for the City of Weyburn,” said Duncan, noting the province was happy to provide partnership with the City for funding, along with the Southeast Cornerstone School Division, which opened the new Legacy Park Elementary School next door.
Mayor Roy noted discussions began five years ago about the possibility of such a facility, and then-leisure services director (now city manager) Mathew Warren took them to various fieldhouse facilities in the province to see what has been built.
“This is a big deal,” declared Trombley, who noted this facility will be a great benefit to the students of Legacy Park as well as to all city residents.
Speaking for the board of the Credit Union, Richards told the gathered crowd why they are investing $1 million for the naming rights for the Spark Centre, by pointing out, “We are owned by the people who bank with us. What an amazing opportunity for the city. It’s no small feat, this is huge for the arts, for sports, and is good for the community and for their health and wellness. We’re proud of what this community has achieved by working together.”
Throughout the day, various groups had activities and demos on Mainil Field, including Weyburn Soccer and Weyburn Lacrosse, along with Sask. Rugby, while Culture Days activities were held in the art gallery, with the community mural painting, ethnic foods, activities like wood carving, Ukrainian egg decorating, and displays by the Weyburn Rotary Club and Crocus Quilters.
The day ended with a concert by singer Karissa Hoffart on Mainil Field, with residents bringing blankets to sit on the turf, along with some seating for seniors up on the second level.