TORONTO, Ont. – Lowe’s Home Improvement, in partnership with Hockey Canada, announced today its commitment to refurbishing ice rinks that are in dire need of repair. The new initiative benefits the many minor hockey teams in Lowe’s store communities and encourages participation from municipalities, Lowe’s employees and partners alike.
Over the next five years, Lowe’s will invest more than $500,000 in grant money to refurbish two rinks in need per year. In order to maximize funding dollars and provide employees with the opportunity to get involved in the projects, the grants will be allocated towards rinks in communities where Lowe’s stores are present.
“Lowe’s is committed to helping rebuild the infrastructure of hockey in Canada one rink at a time,” says Alan Huggins, president of Lowe’s Canada. “Hockey is an integral part of Canadian culture and many of our customers spend a significant amount of time in community arenas that are rundown and have not seen renovations in decades. With our extensive product offering, variety of vendor partners and dedicated employees, Lowe’s is in a unique position to help update these rinks.”
In addition to the grant money, donations from vendor partners, along with volunteer hours from members of the community and Lowe’s employees, will significantly increase the initial financial investment. Hockey Canada, with its deep connection to grassroots hockey and dedication to growing Canada’s game, will work with Lowe’s to help identify the arenas that need refurbishments the most.
“Hockey Canada is very excited to be launching this program and partnership with Lowe’s,” said Bob Nicholson, Hockey Canada president and CEO. “Over the past couple years, we identified the lack of good hockey facilities as a very big obstacle to hockey participation. With Lowe’s leadership, this program will ensure that more young Canadians get to play the great game of hockey in quality rinks.”
For the 2010-2011 hockey season, the grants will be directed towards the Vaughan Maple Lions Arena, built in 1974 and last updated in 1988, and Frank McCool Arena in Calgary, which has not been upgraded in 44 years. While the repairs will vary by arena, the type of work funded will include refurbishments to the dressing rooms and spectator benches, upgrades to lighting in dimly lit facilities and siding on the exterior of the buildings.
Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world, serving approximately 15 million customers a week in its more than 1,700 stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Lowe’s Companies Canada, ULC first opened Canadian stores in December 2007 and now operates 20 stores in Ontario and Alberta with more than 3,000 employees company-wide. In 2005, Lowe’s announced plans to open its first stores in the Greater Toronto Area, with as many as 100 stores across Canada over time.