Kingston gets its Hockeyville prize

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Representatives from Kraft Canada and the National Hockey League Players Association came to Kingston July 12 bearing a $100,000 gift.

Wayne Folwer, left, accepts a $100,000 cheque from representatives of Kraft Canada and the National Hockey League Players Association July 12 in Kingston. The cheque was for the Kingston arena’s winnings during the Kraft Hockeyville competition earlier this year.

Kingston’s Credit Union Centre was the eastern Canada finalist and runner up in the 2014 Kraft Hockeyville contest, winning the monetary prize for arena upgrades. A similar prize and the pre-season NHL game went to the community of Sylvan Lake, Alberta, the western Canada finalist.

“Thanks to all of you for the hours and hours and hours of voting,” said arena group president Wayne Fowler as he accepted the cheque during the opening ceremony of the Kingston Steer Barbecue and Village fair.

“Some people say we lost, but we won because we all came together as a community.”

Fowler reported work in the arena is well underway. The new cement pad has been laid, the coolant system piping has been replaced and the new boards are standing. He alluded to some “secret renovations and surprises” that will be revealed at the facility’s grand opening, tentatively planned for late September.

“We will have a later start this year, but when we open, we will give you the best facility we can. I can guarantee your jaws will drop when you see the interior of the building.”

Fowler estimates all the work to the arena is valued at between $750,000 and $800,000. Besides the Hockeyville money, the arena also received financial support from all three levels of government. A public fundraising campaign also contributed to the upgrades and some project work has been donated in kind.

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