Nelson Civic Arena - Nelson, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 29.662 W 117° 17.450
11U E 478939 N 5482455
Quick Description: Nelson is a city of history and heritage buildings, with over 350 heritage buildings in a city of just over 10,000.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 3/15/2015 1:33:00 PM
Waymark Code: WMNGZV
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Infra-Blue
Views: 1

Long Description:
It follows naturally, then, that Nelson should not only be possessed of a heritage arena, but that it should have seen fit to retain its eighty year old Art Deco building, instead of razing it when their newer facility was constructed alongside in 2005.

Built in 1935 at a cost of $350,000, Nelson's Civic Arena opened on the November 29 and 30 weekend to become the envy of communities from Vancouver to Winnipeg. It was a bold move, as the world was in the middle of the Great Depression and it was to be a costly building, but it provided both much needed jobs and a much needed facility for the city. Not only did it contain a hockey arena, but included in the design were the ice rink, curling sheets, performing arts theatre, badminton hall, gymnasium, outdoor track and field, baseball diamonds and a smaller gym (later a library).

See excerpts from the centre's story below.

Photo goes Here

Nelson Civic Centre

Built to Last

In the midst of the depression Nelson’s forefathers had a vision few communities across Canada had the courage to undertake. Described by Vancouver newspapers as “B.C.’s major building project of 1935,” Nelson’s Civic Centre was hailed as the best facility of it’s kind from the Lower Mainland to Winnipeg. With a spectator ice rink, curling sheets, performing arts theatre, badminton hall, gymnasium, outdoor track and field, baseball diamonds and a smaller gym (later library), once built the Queen City became the envy of small cities across western Canada.

The roots of what would become the Civic Centre sprouted in the late 1920s when it started to become obvious that the natural ice spectator arena on Hall Mines Road and Kootenay Street was getting harder to keep frozen during the winter months. With a thriving senior mens’ hockey team, great interest in minor hockey and figure skating, and public skating demands, city leaders began rumblings which would fully take hold by 1934.

The first men to take the lead on building Nelson a new facility were Roy Sharp and Tom Waterss. Though they had trouble mustering the momentum in the early 1930s, by early 1935 the pair had the support of Mayor J.P. Morgan and the city council.

On January 26, 1935 Morgan took a firm stand for what he called “the auditorium”. By-laws were drafted and the Vancouver firm McCarter and Nairn were contracted to head up the project. The City embarked on a “sell job” to inform residents what would be included in the facility and when three by-laws passed a city-wide vote, construction began that spring.

The entire facility cost an estimated $350,000 to build and through federal government relief programs, put many local men to work on the construction during one of the darkest eras in Canada’s history.

When the ice rink opened on the Nov. 29 and 30 weekend, the community came together in celebration. There was a parade down Baker Street, a carnival, figure skating show, ice races with school kids, and of course a senior mens’ hockey game featuring the Nelson Maple Leafs and their dreaded rivals — the Trail Smoke Eaters.

By spring of 1936 the badminton hall, theatre and gym were opened, further adding to the facility’s role as the focal point of the community.

In the 70 years since the Civic Centre opened, thousands of local young people have taken their first strides on skates, hit their first badminton birdie, saw their first movie, connected with their first baseball or saw their first hockey game at the Vernon Street facility.
From Nelson Minor Hockey

Public or Private Access?: Public

Physical Address:
719 Vernon Street
Nelson, BC Canada
V1L 5P9

Hours of Operation: From: 8:00 AM To: 10:00 PM

Rink Website: [Web Link]

Price: Not Listed

Rent available ?: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
There are no specific visit requirements, however telling about your visit is strongly encouraged. Additional photos of the building or rink to add to the gallery are also nice, but not required. Pictures with a GPS or you in them is highly discouraged.
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