By Carlie Connolly, with files from the Medicine Hat News
After eight years in the making, the new event centre in Medicine Hat is finally making waves with cheques for its fundraising campaign from Cypress County and Redcliff.
“It’s been a long process but were almost on the home stretch,” said Karen Charlton, commissioner of public services for the City of Medicine Hat.
At last week’s city council meeting in Medicine Hat, Mayor, Ted Clugston received the funds, which totaled $710,000. Among the officials making the presentations, Cypress County Reeve, Richard Oster posed with the cheque from Cypress County of $700,000.
“I think it’s going to be something that will be well-used. To me, its time to have a new events centre and arena for our hockey games and any other events that come along that need a large place to hold them,” he said.
He hasn’t seen the building yet, but is impressed with how it has all come together.
“You have to supply recreational facilities for the ratepayers. Its important to do that because that’s part of what we’re promoting is activities.”
Redcliff town council also donated towards the centre with their commitment of $100,000 spread evenly over 10 years.
In the next month, the city will launch the sale of bricks and seats and citizens will be asked to put tax-deductible gifts toward purchasing personalized bricks at $100 and seats anywhere from $250 to $1,000.
A public launch later this spring will also ask citizens and companies to consider higher levels of sponsorship ranging from less than $10,000 to more than $500,000.
The City hopes to raise $10 million toward the construction of the $74-million project, with the other balance being paid for out of reserve funds.
“We have a lot of positive support for the project in the community,” said Charlton.
The new event centre is hoping to be up and running Aug. 1.