December 22, 2018
The Burnaby Winter Club has announced new plans to facilitate future upgrades to its facilities.
The Club, which has produced top minor hockey teams – and professional players – for several decades, was originally conceived as the Burnaby Curling Club, founded on May 29, 1956. Over the years it grew to include hockey and figure skating, and most recently, in 2013 added a hockey academy program.
Today, hockey is the dominant program at the Club, the original curling rinks having been converted to hockey training rinks many years ago. But essentially the facilities haven’t changed much since they were first put in place.
The board of directors have recognized this and the importance of upgrading their facilities to continue to attract top talent and provide high quality programming.
To this end, the Club has announced its first Gala, a funding raising event that will provide resources for an ambitious program of upgrades to the main arena, and other facilities.
The event will attract up to 500 people, and will be held at the Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby, on Friday, February 8.
Hosting the event is Vancouver comedian, Patrick Maliha, who holds the world record for most impressions in one minute. Many BWC NHL and European pro-hockey alumni will also be involved with the event.
Rebecca Ashton, the event chair, says the Gala is as much about building a sense of community as it is about establishing a capital fund.
“Our comprehensive capital plan foresees a $2.5 million spend over the next 10 years. The Gala will help us achieve that financial goal, but it’s also provides an opportunity to reunite alumni, meet new members, and build a stronger membership community.”
Funds will be directed towards providing new cladding, signage, and entrance way, increasing parking lot capacity, and expanding the NHL arena, including larger dressing rooms, and new rink boards.
“We recognize we need to be competitive in the marketplace – this program will help us continue to attract families looking for great programming,” she explains.
Steve Fabbro, a second generation club member and board director, says the capital plan improvements will not only enhance the BWC brand, but also the City of Burnaby brand.
“We have a lot of members who are involved in the development industry, so we’re fortunate in having a tremendous amount of in-house expertise to help guide us through the process.
“We already made some substantial investments, a new $700,000 chiller, and new roof, but these are things people don’t see – our ice is great – now we need take the next steps, with the exterior improvements, and keep the legacy going.”
“Our intent is to continue to provide top notch minor hockey programming, to transition through to Bantam Zone teams perhaps, and to continue to provide top quality Academy programming, and also to keep the Junior B Grandview Steelers going. The Steelers provide our club with a great way for us to extend our minor hockey program to 18 to 2o year kids.”
Fabbro acknowledges the Club has faced financial challenges over the years, and says there will be no commitment to new expenditures until the dollars have been secured.
Rob Ward, current President of the club, says the Gala presents an opportunity for club members to focus on the past, present and future, and also overcome some of the reticence that exists between the minor hockey members and Academy non-members.
“We think this event will help get everyone going in the right direction – we want everyone to know we’re putting a big focus on getting the Club back in to top shape. We’ve already made some big investments in improvements, but they’re not the kind that are obvious – chiller, roof, parking lot. Our next immediate objectives are getting new professional dressing rooms in place, new windows, new siding, and signage.
“There are a lot of people putting in a lot of hours for this to be a great event. We’re really excited about it.”
Tickets for the Gala start at $90. Tables of 10 are available for $800. In addition, a number of sponsorship packages are available.
For more information contact: [email protected]