The Upper Skeena Recreation Centre in Hazelton, B.C. officially opened on September 14, 2019. The new recreation centre, also known as the Heart of the Hazeltons, features a new professional-sized indoor ice rink with heated seating for 500 spectators, plus a multi-purpose gym, fitness centre and meeting and social areas, including kitchen space, a seniors-oriented walking area, and an art area featuring Gitxsan art.
Designed by Hemsworth Architecture, the new state-of-the-art recreation centre showcases locally sourced wood and other custom touches. The 54,000 square foot facility will serve as the region’s centre for sport and cultural activities, offering programs and services for all ages and abilities to support the educational, health and social needs of the surrounding communities.
The new centre replaces the old Hazelton ice rink, which was deemed unsafe in 2015, leaving a serious gap in the recreational sports community in the Upper Skeena district.
The $20.1-million project was made possible through government and First Nations investments and donations by local businesses, philanthropic agencies and individual donors.
The Province of B.C. invested $4.5 million, including $500,000 through the BC Rural Dividend program.
“We are deeply grateful to the donors and supporters who have seen and responded to the needs and challenges in our community. Staying true to our vision, the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre will provide healthy activity, education, career and economic opportunities, and has the potential to be transformative for the people in our region,” said Peter Newbery, chair, Heart of the Hazeltons Fundraising Campaign.