Cape Breton University (CBU) is pleased to announce the formation of a community-led task force to help guide a community conversation on the repurposing of the Canada Games Complex. Co-Chaired by Anita DeLazzer, Publisher, Cape Breton Post and Kirk MacRae, President, RKM Investments Ltd., and with support of Carl (Bucky) Buchanan, the group will reach out to communities across Cape Breton Island for input on what this new space could become.
CBU President, David Wheeler sees this as a great opportunity for Cape Breton Island, led by a group of engaged community members who have been connected to the Complex for quite some time. “I am delighted that Anita, Kirk and Bucky have agreed to lead this project. They’ve all had a role in its history, making them the right group of people to help carry its legacy forward. I anticipate that many creative ideas will be explored, generated by innovative thinking from Island-wide discussions. I am eager to find out what Cape Breton Islanders want for this space and from CBU,” says Wheeler.
The Task Force will examine other potential uses for the facility that may involve community organizations and student groups in a range of fitness and wellness activities. The possibilities for this space are broad and can only fully be explored with input from the community. In the coming months, the Task Force will gather information by hosting a series of Town Hall discussions all over the Island, among other outreach initiatives.
DeLazzer, a staff member with the host organization of 1987 Jeux Canada Games, is proud to be a part of the Task Force that will lead the Complex into a new era. “I am honoured to be working with community leaders such as Kirk and Bucky. Stakeholder engagement in this initiative is vitally important to the success of the project and I applaud the university for its approach. We are
looking forward to reaching out to the community for their suggestions and advice,” says DeLazzer, a CBU alumna.
MacRae, a long-time community supporter, expects the community discussions will be rich with creative ideas. “In the end, we will have a thorough understanding of what the community wants and how this space can address some of the needs. By listening to community members, we will be able to make recommendations that represent all of Cape Breton Island,” says MacRae.
The decision to decommission the ice surface at the Canada Games Complex was made as part of the 2015-16 CBU budget setting process. The Canada Games Complex ice surface will remain open until the opening of the new Membertou Sports Complex, which is expected for early next year. The Membertou Complex will be a popular new rink for hockey players both young and old. The University is currently working through the impact of the change with affected stakeholders to ensure a smooth handover of relationships to our partners at Membertou.