Mayor Craig Copeland giving an opening speech for the ceremony.Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The renaming represents an enhancement to the community’s recreational facilities. 

The event was highlighted by an elder blessing from Linda Manuse, Language and Culture Director for Cold Lake First Nations, who said, “As we gather here today, we acknowledge the land on which we stand and seek blessings for this new venture that will bring our community together.”  

The presentation continued with drummers from Cold Lake First Nations offering music, honouring their ancestors with a traditional drumming song. 

City of Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland expressed appreciation for Cold Lake First Nations involvement, noting, “Kicking it off with the Cold Lake First Nations, they’re part of our community fabric, and it’s great to have them lead today’s celebration.”  

He also spoke about the collaborative efforts that led to the Energy Centre’s development, emphasizing City council’s commitment to providing top-notch recreational facilities in the community. 

“When we started all of this here on this site, there was a couple of people that came to council back, I think around 2004 or 2005, and had a vision of recreation, school, and college here at this area that we’re located,” said Copeland. 

“The reason was, Cold Lake was so spread out from north to south. And so, the vision eventually took place around 2007-2008, we started groundbreaking, and we started out with the first phase of Portage College, the high school, and then the field house and the wellness center upstairs, which is sponsored by Cenovus.” 

Copeland emphasized the importance of partnerships in achieving development milestones. 

“It was a partnership between the City, the MD of Bonnyville, the province, and the energy companies helping us build what we did in the first phase. And we also had a major family in Cold Lake donating a tremendous amount of money to make it happen. And so, we all came together, and the first phase led to the second phase, which is the arena next door. And then the third phase is this arena that was called Arena Number Two, or the Arena with No Name.” 

Copeland concluded his speech by expressing gratitude to Cenovus for their partnership, stating, “Cenovus stepped forward and got involved with administration and council on being part of the arena… It’s so important to have partners when you’re building these huge recreation facilities in our city, and we’re really proud of the energy sector, and we’re glad that they’re taking part today, getting involved in this arena.” 

Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul MLA Scott Cyr commended Cenovus as a valuable partner, stating, “They provide us jobs, they provide us security, they provide us money for our recreation, and for all of our charities in the area.”  

He also pledged to continue advocating for similar projects across the constituency to benefit residents and future generations. 

Keith Chiasson, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Cenovus Energy, unveiled the Cenovus Energy Arena, highlighting its features and potential impact on the community.  

“I can see this facility having an impact in this community for years to come, serving as a gathering place for all area residents,” Chiasson said, adding, “This brings me to today’s official unveiling of the facility – and what an amazing facility it is.  

“I’m so impressed with this complex, which includes an NHL-sized arena, hundreds of seats, dressing rooms, a referee room, a stick ball court that we’re looking forward to trying out a little later on, and even a climbing room. And with ice that will be here all year round, it truly offers something for everyone in our community.” 

By Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 25, 2024 at 15:27

This item reprinted with permission from   Lakeland This Week   Bonnyville, Alberta

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