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Fairview Arena roof collapse allows for bigger future plans

Click to play video: 'Fairview Arena roof collapse allows for bigger future plans for arts group'
Fairview Arena roof collapse allows for bigger future plans for arts group
WATCH: It’s been four months since a devastating roof collapse at a southeast Calgary arena. The Fairview Arena has been demolished but one tenant is moving back in with a renewed vision for the future. Jill Croteau reports – Jun 27, 2018

It’s been four months since a devastating roof collapse at a southeast Calgary community arena. The Fairview Arena has been torn down and now there’s a plan for the future.

READ MORE: Emergency crews respond to roof collapse at Calgary arena

One of the tenants is three weeks away from moving back in.

On July 16, the Indefinite Arts Centre can return to its space. CEO Jung-Suk Ryu is anxious to be back.

“It’s been such a long time since the roof collapse and we’ve almost just settled into our temporary home and now we will be picking up the pieces and coming back. It’s surreal, but for me, it gives a sense we are back home,” Ryu said.

Artist Rendering of proposed new facility. Courtesy Indefinite Arts Centre

Since February, the centre has been operating out of a temporary home at the YMCA in Rocky Ridge but has been given the all clear to return to its permanent space.

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READ MORE: City demolishes part of Fairview Arena after February roof collapse

It’s also given the group an opportunity to imagine a bigger and better facility for the future to include more studio space which would include a gallery, a cafe and a theatre.

Artist rendering. Courtesy Indefinite Arts Centre

“This building is 30, 40 years old and we need to look at ways to re-energize this space and re-energize the community. Our vision is to build a centre based on art spaces for outside artists to collaborate,” Ryu said.

Artist rendering. Courtesy Indefinite Arts Centre

Artists who take programming at Indefinite Arts are excited to return.

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The facility helps artists with developmental and physical differences. Leonka Kaluha has been going there for over a year.

“It helped spread your creative side and learn new skills and meet new friends and you don’t get judged.

“I used to walk with my head down and it slowly got higher since I’ve got into the arts, it’s gotten higher and higher,” said Kaluha.

Leonka Kaluha with her art creation
Leonka Kaluha with her art creation. Family supplied

As for the arena itself, very little was salvageable. A total rebuild is required which could take a few years.

READ MORE: City of Calgary to inspect all arenas following arena roof collapse

Director with the arena, Leslie Ann Kalman, said it’s been a loss and difficult for the Southern Alberta Women’s Hockey Association. It was their home ice.

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“The last 10 years working on something, to see it pulled away with equipment and off to the dump,” Kalman said. “But it was an old building and we have an opportunity to build something new.”

City officials say they still haven’t been able to determine a cause of the roof collapse.

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