Thursday, January 26, 2012

The City Of Ottawa Unveils Their Rink Of Dreams

A dream came true yesterday...
Ottawa's New Rink of Dreams
(Photo TVOS)

With the sun slowly fading from view and an abundance of television camera lights casting their glow onto the scene, the city of Ottawa, the Sens Foundation, the Ottawa Senators and Hockey Canada proudly opened the new Rink of Dreams at Ottawa City Hall.

Skaters of all ages arrived at the Rink of Dreams for the unveiling, as Mayor Jim Watson, members of Ottawa’s city council and their guests, which included two of the Ottawa Senators’ All-Stars, Erik Karlsson and Milan Michalek, as well as Bryan Murray, Paul MacLean and Laurie Boschman, proclaimed the beautifully designed refrigerated ice surface officially “open”.
Two of Ottawa's All-Stars - Erik Karlsson and Milan Michalek
(Photo TVOS)

“Back in October, we gathered to dig the first shovel of soil and today the Rink of Dreams becomes a reality as it officially opens to the public,” Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said in his opening remarks. “It will be a city-wide asset that will help revitalize our downtown core and it will offer predictable and reliable skating for children and adults from November until March - completely free!”

“I also want to sincerely thank the Ottawa Senators and the Sens Foundation,” he continued. “They are wonderful contributors to our community. They give back so much and this is but one example.”
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson with Majic 100's Stuntman Stu
(Photo TVOS)

The Rink of Dreams is the first of many ice surfaces the Sens Foundation plans to open throughout the city as a way to give back to the Ottawa community and their fans. Danielle Robinson, the President of the Sens Foundation, also addressed those in attendance at the official opening.

“Today is a really proud day for the Ottawa Senators, the Sens Foundation and our Board of Directors,” Robinson explained. “Behind Roger’s House, this Rink of Dreams is the second largest project that we have initiated and delivered to the community. Giving back to this region, investing, creating new resources and programs for children, youth and their families is something that we care very much about at our organization.”

“In our twenty year history, the Ottawa Senators and the Sens Foundation has invested more than $65 million to various community programs and initiatives. We are only able to do this with success because of the kinds of partnerships that we enjoy with corporate and municipal partners, community organizations and most importantly, with our fans.”

The final speaker of the evening, Cyril Leeder, the President of the Ottawa Senators, thanked the many people that helped to raise the funding for the project and those that worked on the design and construction of the Rink of Dreams - with a special thank you for the project manager from the Senators, Aaron Robinson. In his speech, Leeder discussed the lasting legacy of the Rink of Dreams project.

“The Rink of Dreams will be a fantastic legacy project that truly was built by the community, for the community,” he said. “I look forward to skating on this rink, my children will skate on this rink and hopefully, my grandchildren will have an opportunity to skate on this rink one day.”

This looks familiar...
Stuntman Stu on Twitter before the official unveiling
(Photo TVOS)
With the official proclamation to open the rink delivered and the ribbon cutting ceremony concluded, the eager skaters took to the clean, crisp ice surface. Not much of a skater myself, I stood to the side chatting with NHL Alumni member Laurie Boschman. As the first captain in the modern era of the Ottawa Senators franchise, Laurie holds a special place of honour in the history of the franchise as it celebrates its 20th anniversary this season. We spoke about the upcoming All-Star festivities and the lasting impact that it will have on the city. While skaters of all ages glided past us, their smiling faces proof that the Rink of Dreams was already a success.

Congratulations to everyone involved with the Rink of Dreams project. Your vision for the future - your “Rink of Dreams” has become a reality.

No comments: