The action at the Smithers Civic Centre is about to get hotter.
Prior to Christmas, council authorized spending about $30,000 to install radiant heaters on the concession side of the arena.
The matter was brought to council’s attention after Hockey Mom Dana Demoline and Dayle Creyke spent a weekend collecting signatures on a petition to have more adequate heating installed inside the Smithers Civic Centre. In the end, 425 signatures were gathered.
“I can spend between five to seven days a week at the rink and as much as 60-70 hours a month at the arena,” Demoline said.
“Some may say I am a bit too extreme. But I feel it’s important to show an interest in my children’s activities, so I choose to watch them with my toque and mitts and a couple of blankets. I know some grandparents who would love to watch their grandchildren but they find the arena too cold.”
Demoline has three children, playing in four different divisions and her two sons are also referees.
“I have attended many tournaments throughout British Columbia and I think it is safe to say Smithers is probably the coldest indoor rink,” she said.
Also part of the motion was to encourage the petition writers to fundraise for the installation of radiant heaters on the opposite side of the civic centre.
Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach said just because council has committed to building a second sheet of ice, it doesn’t mean they are going to let the existing rink fall into a state of disrepair.
“Obviously, there’s a part of our community that cares really deeply about getting some new heaters,” Bachrach said. “It can get pretty cold in there.”
The radiant heaters will be operational for the next skating season, Bachrach said.