The Ottawa Senators, in partnership with the Sens Foundation, the City of Ottawa and the Hockey Canada Foundation, officially broke ground on the Rink of Dreams project – recognized as the city’s newest downtown attraction – Wednesday at Marion Dewar Plaza at Ottawa City Hall.
Senators president Cyril Leeder joined Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, councillor Diane Holmes, Hockey Canada gala committee chair Jim Durrell, Sens Foundation president Danielle Robinson and Todd Jackson, senior manager of member services for Hockey Canada, at this morning’s event.
“The Rink of Dreams will serve as a hub and attraction for residents and tourists alike, breathing new life into Marion Dewar Plaza and our downtown core,” said Mayor Watson. “It also creates new opportunities for us to collaborate with the community and host exciting events that complement the many festivals and attractions held in our city.”
The 12,500-square-foot refrigerated ice surface, which is expected to be completed before the Senators’ hosting of the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend in late January, will be open for skating until March and serve as a community space during the spring and summer months. The refrigerated rink will be open again for skating in November 2012.
“We are extremely pleased that in less than a year, we have completed the fundraising, finalized design, rallied support across the community and are commencing construction,” said Leeder. “Every organization and individual that we approached to be involved with this project said yes and each one of them asked ‘what else can we do?’ – all evidence that the Rink of Dreams is an important project for our community.”
“The goal of the Hockey Canada Foundation’s gala and golf tournament held this past June was to raise funds to make the Rink of Dreams a reality,” said Durrell. “As a result of those events, more than $400,000 in funds will be directed to this very significant project.”
The City of Ottawa will operate the rink and is contributing $250,000 towards construction costs. The Sens Foundation, along with local partners and construction companies, will contribute the remainder of the approximately $2 million design and construction budget for the Rink of Dreams project.
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