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A grand community celebration for new Wellington Community Centre

Federal, provincial and municipal partners gathered on Sunday, Dec. 12 in Wellington to celebrate the opening of the new, fully-accessible Wellington and District Community Centre. Work on the $12 million project included the installation of an NHL regulation size ice rink with expanded seating, an indoor walking track, a multi-purpose exercise room, and an accessible community hall. The facility now also has office space for major sports groups to help them expand service and athleticism in the community.

Daryl Kramp, Member of Parliament for Prince Edward – Hastings; the Honourable Leona Dombrowsky, Member of Provincial Parliament for Prince Edward – Hastings; and Peter Mertens, Mayor of Prince Edward County, were present at the completion ceremony.

“The replacement of this facility will provide the area with an accessible, multi-use community centre enabling increased recreational and sporting opportunities,” said MP Kramp. “Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, we are creating jobs and providing families with recreation facilities they will enjoy for future generations.”
“By investing in infrastructure projects across the province, we’re creating jobs for families and making our communities stronger,” said MPP Leona Dombrowsky. “The completion of the new Wellington and District Community Centre is another example of how the McGuinty government’s five year Open Ontario plan is helping rural Ontario with targeted investments that make a difference in people’s everyday lives.”

“Physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle. This investment to make sports more accessible in Wellington will help residents become more physically active,” said Mayor Mertens. “The new facility will serve the residents well, not only as an improvement to the existing facility, but also as a catalyst for an endless number of new recreational activities.”

The governments of Canada and Ontario have each committed up to $3,949,000 toward the project. Prince Edward County contributed the balance of the total eligible costs of up to $11,847,000. Community fundraising of $1.5 million and the resources and capabilities of the 13 County based companies and 14 Quinte based companies, which participated in this project, contributed significantly to its success.

The Government of Canada’s contribution comes from Canada’s Economic Action Plan, which provides approximately $16 billion over two years to modernize a broad range of infrastructure. These investments are helping to create and maintain jobs across Canada for the benefit of all Canadians, and will ensure the country emerges from the economic downturn with a more modern and greener infrastructure.
The contribution from the Province of Ontario comes from its 2009 provincial budget that is supporting more than 300,000 jobs and strengthening Ontario’s economy.

Since 2007, the governments of Canada and Ontario have committed more than $13 billion in funding to more than 6,400 infrastructure projects across the province to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

Wellington and District Community Centre steering, fundraising, site and design and capital project committee members thanked generous sponsors and contributors for their efforts Wednesday night during a VIP celebration evening. Guests took tours of the new centre, enjoyed a light buffet in the new Highline Hall and received recognition plaques from fundraising chairman Jim Dunlop and Parks and Culture’s Barry Braun. Above, guests look at the newly unveiled Donor Recognition Wall.

The doors of the new Wellington & District Community Centre opened for a VIP celebration and recognition award ceremony Dec. 8.

Sheila and Calvin Thomas present  Jim Dunlop, centre, with $5,000 for the new community centre

Years of planning, building and fundraising culminated in a grand opening of the Wellington and District Community Centre, Sunday.
“This is a prime example of what can be achieved through collaboration, team-work and commitment, and a building we can all be proud of for years to come,” said former Mayor Leo Finnegan.

The new centre is on Belleville Street, across from the Field of Dreams in Wellington. It is a fully accessible facility featuring a an indoor walking track, a community hall capable of hosting weddings, banquets and the like for 300-plus people, an activity room, an NHL size arena with individual seating for 900 – 1000 people and incorporates up-to-date energy efficient components.

Members of the Prince Edward County Minor Hockey will usher in the guests. A colour party will follow with the Wellington Legion Colour Guard, the Picton Legion Pipes and Drums, MP Daryl Kramp, MPP Leona Dombrowsky, past mayor Leo Finnegan, Mayor Peter Mertens, figure skaters, Dukes, Pirates, men’s hockey, women’s hockey, the Picton Legionettes, highland dancers, Prince Edward Child Care Services, members of the steering committee, council members, Joey Lavender and Vicki Lavender, minor hockey and walking and running representatives.

Jeanette Arsenault will perform O’Canada, followed by a show by Future Generation Little Skaters. Jack Miller will emcee the event. McGreevy and Hardman, with David Simmonds will perform the original songs “The Spirit Never Left” and “Home of the Wellington Dukes”. Competitive skater Sydney Vanderveen will perform, followed by the synchronized skating team Ice Wines and a novice hockey demonstration.
Following a zamboni demonstration at intermission, the Shout Sister Choir will perform, followed by national competitive skater Peter O’Brien and a hockey skills competition featuring the Picton Legionettes, Women’s Hockey, Men’s Hockey, Picton Pirates and the Wellington Dukes.

The PEC Skating Club and the Prince Edward Highland Dancers will perform routines. Following banner recognition will be the grand finale torch and opening ceremony. There will be public skating starting right after the opening ceremonies, starting at approximately 4  until 5:20 p.m.At this time the official opening of the Community Hall and Multi-purpose room will be taking place. Prince Edward Child Care services will be doing a kids program in the Multi-purpose room. Everything free of charge to the public.

The first Wellington arena was built in 1931 and rebuilt extensively by the community after a fire in 1973. In 2007, a facility review identified numerous deficiencies with the facility and as a result, council initiated a process to replace the aging arena.

Bob Boyce (left) presented Jim Dunlop with $1,200 on behalf of the Wednesday night golf league.

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  1. Rastas says:

    Congratulation from the west coast to Wellington from a late 60’s former bantam Duke.
    Wow that arena looks absolutely fabulous and well deserved! No more freezing toes from the snow blowing into the dressing rooms. Truth is no one minded, but this new arena will be appreciated.

  2. Richard Parks says:

    Congratulations to everyone involved,especialy the design
    committee chaired by Hugh Parliament. When you see this facility you will, I am sure, agree that it has been well
    designed and appointed. Thanks to Hugh and his group and Jim Dunlop and his fundraisers,The County has a first class, multi purpose facility, we all can enjoy. All at fraction of the cost it would have taken to upgrade/repair the old arena. Well done.
    Don’t miss The Grand Opening on Sun. Dec. 12 at 1pm. There is a special program of entertainment-music, skating, hockey and tours. Arrive early!

  3. Karen Selick says:

    Can anyone tell me what is happening to the old Wellington Arena? Will there still be public skating there this weekend? Or any time in the future?

  4. Nancy Parks, Rekindle the Spirit Committee says:

    Yes there will be public skating starting right after the opening ceremonies, starting at approximately 4:00 until 5:20 p.m.At this time the official opening of the Community Hall and Multi-purpose room will be taking place. Prince Edward Child Care services will be doing a kids program in the Multi-purpose room. Everything free of charge to the public.

  5. Don Wakefield says:

    Excellent pictures!
    I believe that there will be public skating at some point on Sunday during the Opening Ceremonies, so bring your skates.

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