I can’t believe I spoke to the city council in 2015.... I remember walking out after that meeting and feeling so defeated after speaking to them. It was evident at the time, there was no appetite for discussion around recreational facilities.
There is no question that justifying facilities for recreation is a hard sell when we all know that Yorkton has many needs – a new hospital, water main improvements, better roads, just to name a few. I am sure that if you were to run a survey, every age bracket would prioritize the city’s needs differently.
However, for me personally, I am still a firm believer that a community that builds, promotes, and supports good recreational facilities has beneficial spinoffs that far outreach the cost of building such facilities. How can we as a community build a facility that supports several sporting activities – ice rinks (yup! A twinned ice rink), indoor soccer, lacrosse field, indoor practice field for football or baseball, gymnastics, cheer, pickleball, etc. I believe this multiuse facility should have awesome change rooms (for men and women), it should probably have a restaurant space and the potential for a couple kiosks for 3rd party food vendors, there should be a place for a store and I think it should have viewing areas so that ALL persons (young and old) can watch the sporting event of choice. To quote a friend “we live in winter 6-8 months of the year here… why wouldn’t we want the best possible facilities for our community to use during that time?”
When I spoke in 2015, I specifically spoke about ice surfaces and I still believe Yorkton needs a proper, new, twinned ice facility to replace the Kinsmen. As the years have ticked by and I have become more aware of the shortcomings of our aging FAA, sometimes I wonder if we did a twinned ice facility right (perhaps one ice rink for 2500-3000 and one ice rink with only bench seating for 250-300 – and indoor viewing for both!) … maybe in 5 or 10 years one could even stop using the FAA for ice events, and transform it into an awesome indoor space for concerts, rodeos, tradeshows, and other similar events? (hmmmmm??)
I look forward to listening what other clubs are looking for and I commend Councilor Darcy Zaharia for taking the time to host a meeting. Hopefully great minds can come together to do something great for a community that claims it is “where good things happen”.
Carla Lammers, Yorkton, SK.