A Community That Came Together
A "Catastrophic Failure"
Maintenance is a constant challenge in a 40+ year old arena. We work hard to continually upgrade our facility, but sometimes unexpected challenges arise.
In October 2018 we were faced with our biggest challenge yet when the chiller in our ice plant broke down.
Over the following weeks, we searched for solutions and turned to our community for help.
Despite our best efforts, we were unable to repair or replace it and were forced to cancel our 2018/19 season.
The loss of our ice surface was a huge blow to our community, and teams from surrounding areas that make use of our facility.
Without ice, the arena was in danger of closing completely so we began fundraising to "GET OUR ICE BACK".
March 16, 2019
In Mid-March of 2019 our fundraising efforts were given a huge boost when we learned Rich Valley had been selected as one of the 4 finalists for Kraft Hockeyville!
It was amazing to see how quickly our community rallied together to campaign for our cause and plan a celebration of our community, our arena, and the Hockeyville spirit!
Rich Valley should be the next Kraft Hockeyville as it would truly make an enormous impact on this little community that would last not only this generation but also the next. It would secure our arenas future for our children, as well as our grandchildren. It would guarantee that our little arena will reopen next year. It would not only reopen but reopen stronger with so many more options and possibilities for our little community.
The Rich Valley Arena is nestled in the small hamlet of Rich Valley, AB. It is the home of hockey players of all ages, a place where we come together for a good old hockey game. Kids, parents, family and friends all gather in the stands to cheer on the Rich Valley all stars. This fall as we were gearing up for another outstanding season of Canada's favorite sport, we were hit with a devastating break down. Our ice plant of 30 years failed. We were left without ice and without the funds to make the costly repair. Our dedicated hockey players had to make a decision to go else where or to sit out the seasons entirely. I ask that this arena be considered for this opportunity because it would hold a community with the same love of the game together. Keep our kids on the ice and their biggest fans in the stands. With this $250,000 we would be able to get our ice plant replaced and do additional upgrades needed to keep our facility open.
I grew up learning to play hockey in this arena. When I was a kid Iit was amazing to see the community come together to fund raise and volunteer to help build the building all us kids called home every winter. It so amazing now to see so many kids that come to play and socialize each week in the rink our community has built and volunteered so many hours to keep running. Hats off to all the volunteers.
Our community is a rural community that revolves greatly around our arena facility. Without the arena there is no other place for our community to meet and congregate as it has in the past. This arena also leads the community in family gatherings and other summer activities as well such as softball and other agricultural activities. Ice rentals and the arena activities is a large portion of the arena revenue to keep the facility alive. We rent ice to many other communityies also and act as a hub for overflow ice rentals to teams who otherwise could not play hockey due to over crowded arenas in larger communities.
This community, although small, is close knit. Everyone knows everyone and hockey is a big part of this. Whether it is the young kids playing or the older people, everyone is always out there giving it their all. The stands are full of parents, family, and friends cheering each other on. I remember sitting in the stands with one of the famous scones from the concession watching my dad play hockey on the ice. It was a Friday night tradition and the stands were usually full of people of all ages watching after public skating. This arena is where I learned how to skate and play fun hockey and there was always so much encouragement from everyone. The community always comes together to watch games and tournaments and socialize while enjoying a great sport.
The Rich Valley Arena is not only an important staple to Rich Valley but also to many other surrounding communities. The facility is where we come together as a community and where our children learn to skate, play baseball and kick a soccer ball. We are fortunate to be able to teach them in the same building, and on the same grounds, that generations before them learned, and grew to enjoy sports. This is where our children begin to learn to socialize and co-operate with others and to become community minded individuals who know the value of volunteering. These services provided cannot be measured in dollars and cents as they are truly priceless. If asked to quantify the value of this facility it could easily be measured by the number of community members it provides for. We serve families from Barrhead, Busby, Dunstable, Ross Haven, Gunn, Alberta Beach, Glenevis, Alexis Nakota Sioux First Nation, Cherhill, Onoway and more.
Please help us get our ice rink back so my son has a place to play hockey. So I myself can start back up playing ladies hockey. But most of all so Santa has an ice rink he can skate on with us.
The community is so helpful to one another. If only person needs help someone is sure to help that person out. Even it if it is just taking someone’s kid to the arena to make sure they get there on time for practice. Even if they don’t know a person that well there is always some one there to help.
The RichValley arena offers a unique Fun Hockey program. A program where everyone feels like they can play hockey, first timers, girls, little ones., we are all on the same team. Skill doesn’t matter, it’s about the love and fun of the game. These fun hockey teams need a home base, a place we can call our home. This program and others are important to the community, we miss our arena!
Please pick the Rich Valley Arena as a winner so we can continue to enhance the lives within our community physically, emotionally and socially. As this arena is located in the county many surrounding areas use our facility. This money will not only help our community but also the many other communities who use it. Please help us get our community arena back up and running so we can keep this rural community spending time together.
~Betti Jo D.
Although we are a very small community, what has been achieved here is remarkable, from an outdoor rink in the hamlet that boasted community hockey teams with homemade sweaters, to the dedication and grit involved in building our arena and then adding artificial ice. What many community members thought of as a pipe dream became a reality. Friday night public skating has been a community get together for many years and I for one (now that my children are grown) love participating to watch all of the neighborhood children grow along with my grandchildren and of course get in a great visit. We have had hockey teams from surrounding communities use our facility when their own arenas were booked solid and they are always welcome with open arms.
Our arena in Rich Valley is more then just an arena, it’s a place that really brings our small farming community together... I myself have met more people and really close friends there then anywhere else in the area... I unfortunately as a kid never played hockey , because the funds where not there in our family, but this arena got me into playing shinny hockey and now playing on our local men rec team, both of my kids also have learned how to skate there as well as figure skating now.
Rich Valley arena has been the hub of our community for years . It brings family community, and beyond together. There is hockey, figure skating,Horse clubs, baseball, soccer , family reunions, dances, weddings, and many more functions. It has meant a lot to my family over the years with my daughter in figure skating and my boys in hockey. My husband as well as the boys played hockey there. I work at the Rich Valley School and many students have taken part in phys Ed there learning to skate. I believe our community would really benefit from being the next Kraft Hockeyville.
Our arena is used by not only our community but many others as well. We have a multi-purpose room that hosts a wide variety of events, such as moms n tots, weddings, dances, socials, funerals, fairs and many more. Our local school also uses the arena for different events.
Our community should be the next Kraft Hockeyville because we are a great community that loves our hockey and since our ice plant broke this year we have to travel farther to have our children in hockey, which for some doesn’t work out so kids have had to miss out this year. If we were the next Kraft Hockeyville everyone would be able to play and be together again like the family that our community is
Our rural community does not get money from the municipality it is run on money raised within the community functions. This is an active community and has been for generations. Would be a shame for a beautiful Hockey arena to not be able to function especially for all the hockey and skating kids and families.
March 29 - 30, 2019
Rally for Rich Valley!
Through the efforts of our board members and community volunteers, we planned a 2 day "Rally for Rich Valley".
Despite setbacks from poor internet and cell connections, from Friday through to Saturday people were busy voting, with some staying up through the night to keep the votes rolling in!
It all culminated with hundreds of people joining us at the arena for the televised Hockeyville celebration on Saturday afternoon.
- All Star Signs
- Barrhead Freson Bros
- Barrhead Home Hardware
- Barrhead Library
- Barrhead Minor Hockey
- Barrhead Scotiabank
- Barrhead Tim Hortons
- Blue Sky Excavating Ltd. - David & Jamie Carlin
- Check Mark Construction - Mark Mclean
- Connie Bablitz Graphic Design
- Country Automotive Specialists Ltd.
- Derek Brade – City TV
- Jack’s Auto Body
- Lac Ste Anne county
- Oneil Carlier
- Onoway and District Agricultural Society
- Onoway Jr Sr High School
- Onoway Minor Hockey
- Onoway Public Library
- Pembina West Co-op
- Pollack Bro’s Competition Chevrolet
- Rental Bus Lines
- Rich Valley 50+ hockey team
- Rich Valley Agricultural Society Board of Directors families.
- Rich Valley Fire Department
- Rich Valley Fun Hockey
- Rich Valley Public Library
- Rich Valley Relics and all their families
- Rich Valley School
- Shane Getson
- Slough Sharks
- Sobeys and Safeway - Tyler Hove
- Solo Equipment Products - Scott Petrie
- Spruce Grove Tri Leisure Center
- Spruce Gove Harvey’s
- St. Albert Tim Hortons
- Summit Industries
- Supreme Structures
- Traxx bus lines
- Tyler Koll
- Western GMC/Buick Edmonton West
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins presents RVAS members with our Hockeyville finalist prize
spring & Summer 2019
Although we ultimately didn't win the top Hockeyville Prize, the event was a huge catalyst in our fundraising efforts. Throughout the spring and summer, we held many successful fundraisers including a Dueling Pianos show, our annual Steak Supper, and a Show and Shine, and also received many donations from the community.
Rich Valley Ag Society recipient of $25,000 grant from ATB Financial
A huge Thank You to ATB financial for their generous contribution.
The Ice returns
Thanks to the extensive fundraising efforts, numerous donations, and many volunteer hours, we were able to install a new chiller and get our ice surface up and running for the 2019/20 season.
Our volunteers worked tirelessly to install updated boards and get the ice in place, and despite some delays we were able to bring back our free public skating in November.
November 15, 2019
In November, we held a grand re-opening celebration where the community once again came together to celebrate our success.
Pictured to the right, MLA Shane Getson, surrounded by RVAS Board Members, speaks about the support provided through the Community Facility Enhancement Program Grant.