Koen Hale demonstrates some speek skating techniques during the events at the Fort Forum to mark the grand opening of the new dressing room additions to the facility on October 14

Expansion opened grandly

It was a bit late, but the arena dressing rooms at the Fort Forum were officially opened on Friday, October 14.

It was a bit late, but the arena dressing rooms at the Fort Forum were officially opened on Friday, October 14.

Officials were on hand to say a few words, with Councillor Brenda Gouglas giving a short speech, and both Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad and Tom Greenaway for the Bulkley-Nechako Regional District saying a few words as well.

There were free bowls of hot chili, some demonstrations from the speed skating club and minor hockey, as well as a ribbon cutting and a free public skate afterwards.

Some hopeful candidates in the upcoming local elections also came out, with Ann McCormick, a mayoral candidate, and her husband Cam enjoying some chili before the speeches.

The dressing room expansion at the arena cost $2.2 million, and was completed towards the end of last hockey season.

The costs were shared by the District of Fort St. James, the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, the provincial and federal governments.

Specifically, $1 million came from the local community forest, $120,000 from the gas tax fund via the regional district, $400,000 was contributed by the provincial government via the Towns for Tomorrow Program and $680,000 came from the federal government through the Western Economic Diversification, Recreational Infrastructure Canada  Program.