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View Poll Results: Should the Skating Oval be made permnament?
Yes 25 78.13%
No 6 18.75%
Don't Know and/or Care 1 3.13%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2011, 6:18 AM
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North Commons (Canada Games) Skating Oval

Oval attracts corporate, community sponsors
By IAN FAIRCLOUGH Staff Reporter
Thu, Jan 20 - 3:56 PM

Quote:
People are lining up to put money into keeping the Canada Games Oval on the Halifax Commons as fast as they are lining up to take to the ice.

GoodLife Fitness Clubs has offered Halifax regional council $200,000 for the naming rights to the popular facility.

Mayor Peter Kelly and some councillors have said they want the oval to become permanent after the games are over next month.

And a community group is set to announce on Tuesday a $100,000 investment in the oval. John Gillis of the group Save the Oval said Thursday it has raised more than $3,000 online, and will announce a five-year, $100,000 commitment Tuesday.

GoodLife founder and CEO David Patchell-Evans said Thursday that he was in Halifax earlier this month and saw the hype around the facility.

He said he called the mayor and offered the money for the naming rights.

“Everything in the paper was all about the oval," he said in an interview.

"I thought, what a neat thing … and here’s a way for us to be part of the community."

He said Kelly was receptive to the idea.

“He was really positive. I called him on a Sunday, and he was super positive. He said he had to get the approval of council, and he really loved the idea that people in the community would step up and help out.”

GoodLife or Patchell-Evans has been the named sponsor of the Toronto and Victoria marathons and of various medical and other fitness programs across the country.

“I have to admit this one was a bit more spontaneous,” he said.

“There’s a huge community spirit around the rink. What I like about naming it is that we become part of that community spirit … So many people felt strongly about this, that’s why we wanted to be involved.”

And while potential corporate sponsors are coming forward, citizens are anteing up as well.

Gillis's group will reveal on Tuesday who's behind the five-year, $100,000 commitment. Save the Oval will also present an 8,000-name petition to regional council asking that it keep the oval on the Commons once the games are done.

Gillis said he can’t reveal who is committing the $100,000, “but we wanted to let people know it was coming, on the heels of a big offer from GoodLife.”

He said there are no strings attached to that amount, other than that the project goes forward.

He said the funding deals with what the city says will be a need for ongoing operational funding.

“It shows a commitment to keep this thing going,” he said.

“I don’t want to see neon signs and massive billboards either at the rink or on the Common,” he said. "I think there’s a way to do it in a balanced fashion.”

Meanwhile, work has started on the installation of a warming hut at the oval. The five-metre, tent-like hut has been designed by an architectural textiles research laboratory made up of professionals, and faculty and staff from both NSCAD and Dalhousie.

The 12-person hut, which will open this weekend, has arching wall panels made of custom-designed woven fabric and translucent shingles.

( ifairclough@herald.ca )
Since this topic is really becoming a hot topic here in Halifax I thought it's time for a well-thought out and voiced debate on the subject.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2011, 7:14 AM
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This is great news and great to see people moving forward.
Personally - while I like the idea of the oval, I think the current location isn't quite where I'd like to see it. I like the idea of moving it just slightly over to the section of the commons over by the CBC building and adapting the existing tot lots - so that the facility could be a wading pool in the summer and then a skating rink in the winter. We have that here in Calgary at Olympic Plaza and it's pretty popular in the winter. Plus if I did the estimates correctly, you'd end up with about the same area once you put the pools and empty area together. That's just me.

Plus the added benefit is the baseball diamond could be restored - so everyone comes out a winner and it looks like there is room nearby to even put a vending stall for winter skating. So I see it as a win for everyone, but that's just me.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2011, 5:21 AM
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There were three (?) petitions presented to Regional Council regarding this tonight. A 400 signature one from local school children, letters and support from local businesses and a 8'300 signature one from HRM residents.
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Old Posted Jan 26, 2011, 1:43 PM
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Saving the Oval Saving the Oval

9,000 have signed petitions, some are offering up cold, hard cash to keep Games rink.

T HOUSANDS


OF HALIGONIANS are calling for the city to keep the skating oval on the Commons after the Canada Games are over, and some of them are put­ting their money where their mouth is.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, two petitions totalling about 9,000 signatures were pre­sented to Coun. Dawn Sloane (Ha­lifax Downtown), and there was a promise of significant private fund­ing.

The latest cash pledge toward keeping the Canada Games Oval comes from the legacy fund from the 1990 world figure skating championships in Halifax. That event earned a profit of $1 million, and “we were allowed to keep 25 per cent of that," said Jane MacLellan, chairwoman of the 1990 event.

Over the years, as the legacy fund has grown through invest­ments, the group administering it has committed $500,000 to figure skating but still has money left ove r.

“We waited 21 years for the right community project," MacLellan said.

So the group is promising to provide $100,000 over several years to the oval.

The outdoor rink, on which Canada Games speedskating events will be held next month, opened to the public on Dec. 20 for general skating. The original plan was for it to be torn down after the Games, but almost from the day it opened, people began clamouring for it to be made a permanent fixture.

Even in Tuesday’s bitter –16 temperatures, more than 30 skaters could be seen gliding over the ice on the North Common during the lunch hour.

“What you are seeing here is a real coalition of individuals, or­ganizations, businesses all coming together for the right reasons to do something that is right for the community," John Gillis, the fund­raising director for the Save the Oval Association, said at the news conference.

In addition to the money from the legacy fund, GoodLife Fitness has offered $200,000 for naming rights to the oval, the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association has promised $25,000 over five years and citizens have committed $ 3,000.

“There’ll be more announce­ments as we get more groups on board with us," said Andrew Feen­stra, head of the Save the Oval Association and founder of the online petition savetheoval.ca.

About 8,500 people signed that petition, and it and a second pet­ition with the signatures of about 400 elementary school students were presented Tuesday to Sloane.

Sloane said she’s overwhelmed by the public enthusiasm for the oval, and she expected to present the petitions to her colleagues on Halifax regional council later Tues­day.

Support for retaining the oval is mixed among councillors, Sloane said.

“Some are very much for this and some are very much against it," she said.

City staff are working on a report to determine how much it would cost to keep the oval permanently. Sloane said the report will take about another month.

She believes council’s decision will come down to cost.

“It’s going to be expensive, but we’re here to help you," Gillis said.

MacLellan added: “This is a very good thing for Halifax and the politicians need to under­stand that." Also supporting the oval Tues­day was Halifax native John-Paul Cody-Cox, CEO of Speed Skating Canada.

“For us, Olympians don’t start at high-performance centres.

They don’t start in Calgary ovals. They start on ponds. They start on community ovals like this with their families," Cody-Cox said.

About 200 young Nova Scotia athletes are involved in speed­skating and there are about 15,000 across the country, he said.

“There is a waiting list in Nova Scotia for kids who want to try the sport," Cody-Cox said.

A permanent oval would give more youngsters a chance to try speedskating, and it could also serve as a host site for competi­tions, he said.

(djeffrey@herald.ca)
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2011, 2:46 AM
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2011, 4:48 AM
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That's a pretty awesome webcam find!
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2011, 5:44 PM
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I definitely support it.
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 3, 2011, 3:38 PM
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Old Posted Feb 3, 2011, 10:47 PM
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Hey! I can't see the water in the first shot. Who allowed this city to build that huge hill right in the middle of downtown?!
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Old Posted Feb 3, 2011, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jstaleness View Post
Hey! I can't see the water in the first shot. Who allowed this city to build that huge hill right in the middle of downtown?!


We may have to relocate Citadel Hill to burnside.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2011, 6:21 AM
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Its too tall, think of the children!
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Old Posted Feb 4, 2011, 8:53 PM
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The shadows from Citadel hill cover my house in Sackville! It's to tall!
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Old Posted Mar 10, 2011, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Beer giant donates $225K to save skating oval



CBC News Posted: Mar 9, 2011 7:29 PM AT Last Updated: Mar 9, 2011 7:35 PM AT

Molson Coors Canada had made a substantial donation to the Save the Oval campaign, CBC News has learned.

The news comes only 24 hours after one day after Halifax Regional Municipality shut it down for the season due to spring-like weather.

The oval has been a hit since it opened in December. It was supposed to be a temporary facility for the Canada Games and be removed afterward. However, more than 100,000 skaters from across the region, province and Atlantic Canada used the oval during 44½ days of recreational public skating.

The Save the Oval campaign has council reconsidering the closure, but it could cost $250,000 a year to operate.

Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly said he's had a number of conversations with company officials about corporate sponsorships. GoodLife Fitness has already offered $200,000 in exchange for naming rights.

Now the beer company has stepped forward with a donation that is part of a national anniversary program to make contributions to community projects.

"Nothing better than a cold beer after a skate, so I think it goes very well together," said Brian Harriman, vice-president for Molson Coors, said with a smile on Wednesday.

"I believe the number is 16 donations across Canada of varying sizes. The one in Halifax worked out to $225,000 today, which coincides with our 225th anniversary," Harriman said.

The brewing company will donate more money in the future, he said.

"Our goal is actually to raise $400,000. So today we're hoping to donate $225,000 to the Save the Oval Committee and work to raise another $175,000 as well," Harriman said.

Molson Coors is also interested in naming rights for the oval, but hasn't yet had any discussions with the city.

Halifax Regional Council will not only have to decide whether it should keep the oval open, but which company gets to put its name its name it.

A third major sponsorship announcement could be made in the near future.
Wow all this money from corporate investors!

Who would have thought that kind of private money would come so easy for a skating oval.

Kinda makes you wonder how much corporate money is out there lurking waiting to be announced for a stadium....



Notice Halifax's lack of snow.
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Old Posted Mar 26, 2011, 3:14 PM
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Quote:
Emera offers $500,000 to help keep skating oval

By JOHN McPHEE Staff Reporter
Sat, Mar 26 - 11:52 AM

Emera Inc., the parent company of Nova Scotia Power, has offered $500,000 toward maintaining a skating oval on the Halifax Common.
Rob Bennett, the CEO of Nova Scotia Power, made the announcement this morning at the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in Halifax. The offer brings the pledge total to more than $1 million for the Save the Oval project.
Molson Coors Canada already offered $400,000 and another $100,000 has been pledged by the 1990 World Figure Skating Championships Legacy Fund.

Halifax regional council will decide the oval's future on Tuesday.

"We wanted to make sure councillors knew of this before making their deliberations," Bennett said.
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/9020356.html

I think the headline should read Emera "i.e. Nova Scotia Power customers" offers $500,000 to help keep skating oval. As one of those customers your welcome HRM glad I could help.
/rant

Anyways with over a 1 million dollars in donations I think we can call this officially "saved".
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Old Posted Mar 28, 2011, 6:26 PM
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Committee of the Whole will be discussing the future of the oval.
Here is the report. A little sad that the location near the CBC didn't score as high as the current location - but I'm happy either way.

Looks like your hope is getting a step closer q12!
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Old Posted Mar 29, 2011, 9:54 PM
halifaxboyns halifaxboyns is offline
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CBC is reporting that the oval has been saved and has a permanent home.
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  #17  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2011, 10:44 PM
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Great news!
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Old Posted Mar 29, 2011, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by q12 View Post

Great news!
Not for the taxpayer.

This has ballooned, as only HRM can balloon a project, from a $1 million capital project to one of over $5 million, and with operating costs approaching $500,000 annually.

Total ad-hoc-ery. I don't oppose the idea, but the way this is going it will either add more tax burden or really detract from other more urgent priorities.
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Old Posted Mar 29, 2011, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Not for the taxpayer.

This has ballooned, as only HRM can balloon a project, from a $1 million capital project to one of over $5 million, and with operating costs approaching $500,000 annually.

Total ad-hoc-ery. I don't oppose the idea, but the way this is going it will either add more tax burden or really detract from other more urgent priorities.
Benefits are worth it. I'll pay extra taxes when it's going to something worthwhile and enhances the HRM quality of life.
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Old Posted Mar 29, 2011, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by halifaxboyns View Post
CBC is reporting that the oval has been saved and has a permanent home.
Saw your comments on CBC's website which were great. But I gotta post this comment from someone there that replyed to your comment that shows how people complain about things they don't know anything about.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s...al-future.html

Quote:
halifaxboyns

The oval is about getting people out to enjoy being in the city and is about improving people's health. It's things like this that make the downtown a great place to live and cause people to want to move there. I'm hopeful that with retaining the oval, we'll see even more demand for residential in the core - which will have spin off effects of helping business to grow.

-------------
Reply from KevinDW

Good try, the oval is 5 miles from the core, far from the downtown, in an over-populated residental area surrounded by 100+ unit appartment building, oversized homes, and the big box stores of Bayers Lake. So no, I don't think this will be encouraging more demand for residential housing in the core

He also posted this:

How about spending the 4.5 mil and annual 400k on recreational facilities for at risk kids instead of a fad skating rink catering to the "upper" middle class of clayton park

Last edited by q12; Mar 30, 2011 at 12:22 AM.
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