Mayor Ted Clugston cut the ribbon for the Canalta Centre at the August 22 2015, grand opening event in front of a crowd of around 2,500 people.
Even more residents flocked to the building throughout the afternoon to get a glimpse of their new concert and event centre, and of course the new home of the WHL Tigers.
“We’ve been working at this a really (long) time, we’re so proud to open these doors and show it to the citizens of Medicine Hat; let them walk around and explore what they bought and built in this town and finally really take ownership of it.” said General Manager Peter Jelinski
The project has taken 10 years from when it was proposed to it’s completion and opening.
Mayor Clugston says he’s happy to hear that so far everyone is impressed with the state of the art building.
“It’s a beautiful facility. It’s three times the size of the old arena. We’re excited; you can see the smiles on people’s faces and probably relief you’re sensing from me as well.”
From the open concept main floor, to the increased number of washrooms and even the improved ceiling height, people seemed to have fallen in love with the new arena.
Councillor Julie Friesen says she did a lot of people watching and saw many smiles and excited faces.
“I’m really hearing a lot of positive feedback especially about the potential of what it could mean for them in a number of different ways. I mean whether it’s hockey, a concert or a special event.”
General manager Peter Jelinski says they heard nothing but great reviews. He noted they do have a few finishing details to complete though.
“Major construction is all done but you know little things like the stairs being properly labelled and our concessions getting the TV’s up and running little things that after this event we’ve got about a month to deal with.”
The first event for the Canalta Centre will be the Police Dog Trials September 16-20. The Tenors then play the first concert on the 23rd followed by the Tragically Hip on the 24th. The Medicine Hat Tigers will hit the ice for the first time in front of a home crowd on September 26th for their home opener against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
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