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Penticton’s new outdoor skating rink gets funding boost from Valley First

The rink will be smaller than a standard NHL rink and will operate on a portion of a city-owned parking lot on Main Street, adjacent to city hall. Courtesy: Activate Penticton

A non-profit organization desperately trying to raise enough cash to build Penticton, B.C.‘s first outdoor skating rink got a funding boost from a local financial services company on Tuesday.

Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, said in a statement that it plans to donate $63,000 over three years to the Activate Penticton Society (APS).

Drew Barnes, president of the APS, told Global News earlier this month that it broke ground on Sept. 10, but the group had run into some unexpected cost pressures.

Read more: Penticton outdoor ice rink proponent asks public for more cash

The society issued a public plea to raise an additional $400,000 in community donations to complete the project by the end of 2021.

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Barnes said the group is “extremely grateful” to Valley First for the funding boost.

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“It’s a significant injection of capital that has brought the vision for a new skating rink in downtown Penticton much closer to reality. I also really appreciate how their support will remove barriers to accessing the new facility,” Barnes said.

“Not only will the rink be free for the public to use, but thanks to Valley First, those that do not have their own equipment will have free access to adults’ and kids’ helmets, skates and frames. It’s an extremely thoughtful and generous addition to our project.”

Read more: Penticton, B.C., council backs outdoor public skating rink; mayor calls it a great idea

Valley First’s donation includes a $25,000 immediate donation followed by donations of $25,000 in 2022 and $12,000 in 2023.

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“As a member-owned financial cooperative, we love to support grassroots initiatives that have a direct, positive and lasting impact on our members and the communities they call home,” says Paulo Araujo, president of Valley First.

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The city’s first outdoor skating rink is privately financed by local donors and the group will operate under a license to use the city-owned land.

The rink will be smaller than a standard NHL rink and will operate on a portion of a city-owned parking lot on Main Street, adjacent to city hall.

Read more: Penticton’s outdoor public skating rink plans put on ice

The rink will be 37 metres by 15 metres (120 feet by 49 feet). A standard NHL rink is 61 by 26 (200 by 85). For comparison, the rink will be similar to the outdoor waterfront rink at Stuart Park in Kelowna.

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The society said it still requires another $140,000 in donations.

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Donations can be made at activatepenticton.com or by cheque to Activate Penticton Society, 210 Hastings Ave., Penticton.

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