The federal government is providing $3.79 million towards helping to renovate and upgrade the arena through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GIBC) program. 

MLA Dennis Smook is pleased that St. Malo is receiving this funding.

“In the last few years, we have been taught that we cannot undervalue the importance of sports and recreation.” 

He says the St. Malo arena is a very important hub for the community. 

“It has been part of the fabric of your life in your community since 1974, almost 50 years. I'm sure that with these investments, it will continue to be a community hub for another 50 years.” 

Reeve of De Salaberry Darrel Curé says the facility is almost half a century old and is in dire need of upgrades and repair.  

“It is important for the community and the RM to be able to continue offering sports and recreation to residents and surrounding communities for many years to come.” 

He says the RM of De Salaberry staff and council worked hard to obtain funding for this project. 

“We see the importance in having accessibility, quality programming, art, culture, and amateur sports available in the recreation facility and to reduce the energy footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.” 

They completed phase one earlier this year, which was the ice plant replacement and adding dehumidifiers, and they are now eager and ready to start phase two of the project.  

“We are proud to be working with the federal and provincial governments that help fund this project, alongside municipal contributions and donations. We look forward to working together and having a sustainable recreational hub for everyone to enjoy.” 

List of contributions

Curé talks about what phase two will look like moving forward.

“It's probably going to be moving some of the dressing rooms, cleaning up the entrance of the arena, it'll be the outside exterior. I know they had talked about potential ice surface,” he says. “So phase two, probably going to be more about the structure itself now that we've done some of the mechanical work.” 

He says it is amazing being able to get this funding for the arena. 

“This is phenomenal. This will really give us the wind in our sails to take this project to its next level without burdening all the constituents for the upgrades that we're going to be doing here.” 

St. Malo Arena

Curé estimates that phase two will take a few years to complete. 

“I'm anticipating this year we'll be able to secure consultants, probably project management. I estimate maybe construction 2024, probably be complete 2025-2026,” he says. “That's probably going to be through some hockey seasons, so I'm sure they're going to try to work around that schedule.” 

He says the upgrade is much-needed.

“This was a must. This was really the last standing facility in the community here to be renovated and made sure that it was good for the next 50 years. This was the last standing building that we needed to put some extensive work in.” 

Ralph Collette, head coach and general manager of the St. Malo Jr. B Warriors, says this will be great for the team.  

“We're very happy because improvements to our arena also help our fan base and makes everybody more comfortable.” 

He says having the addition to the arena will help entice more players to come out. 

“And last year with the new ice plant that they installed and the dehumidifiers, it made things way more comfortable in our arena for our fans and for the players themselves.” 

Collette has been with the St. Malo Warriors for 30 years, and he is excited to start phase two to make the arena more of a complex for the community. 

“We want multi-use of our arena. We could have markets, like we have the St. Malo farmers market, we might have floor hockey in here, we have off-ice training, the school kids use it for gym stuff, and so it's a multi-use facility.”