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Canal Flats celebrates arena’s 50th anniversary

The Canal Flats Arena passed its 50th anniversary, with a celebration held to honour its place as a focal point of the community.

The occasion was marked with the grand reopening of the Upper Deck Concession stand.

“The next time you are sitting here watching a game, just take a second to look at all the nuts and bolts in these walls and roof, every single one of them was put in by hand by local volunteers. There must be at least a million of them,” said Art Yonkman in a speech during the celebration.

Mayor Mark Doherty said the arena plays an important role in the community.

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“A lot of people go to the arena to gather for hockey, skating and it’s a great gathering point for Canal Flats,” said Doherty.

The building also draws in visitors from other communities.

“Every weekend, we have tournaments from all over Alberta and B.C. It’s a cheaper and easier way to get away with your family and have some fun,” said Doherty.

The hockey tournaments have been beneficial to the community.

“The arena is a bug driver of the local economy,” said Doherty. “It does a lot for restaurants, gas stations and hotels in the area.”

Doherty said the celebration to mark the building’s 50th anniversary was well attended.

“I’d like to thank everyone who attended and participated. It was great seeing all of the old faces and some new ones,” said Doherty.

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