Clavet, Saskatchewan –- A rural town in Canada isn’t complete without a place to play hockey year-round. In 1987, volunteers and contractors got together with a vision to build what would become the Clavet Arena.
“I’ve been involved since day one and played hockey there for 20 years,” says Bill Epp. “To get the funds for the arena, a group of us from the community got together so the bank would loan us money to build it.”
Epp knows from his early involvement that the arena needs money to sustain itself, so in 2020 he nominated the arena for the Canada’s Farmers Grow Communities Program, sponsored by the Bayer Fund. Steven Wright, a current board member, says the $2,500 grant went toward a series of improvements they needed to make to keep things running for another 20 years.
“It very humbling to know that someone outside the direct circle of the board nominated our organization to be able to keep helping the community as we have been,” says Wright. “Farm families participate and volunteer to keep our programs running. Without their contributions, our community would be a shell of what it is today.”
The facility recently reached its 30th operational anniversary, and Wright says they recently upgraded most of the equipment, but the last and biggest item they need to replace is the condenser. The arena is the community’s foremost event center in the winter, and once the condenser replacement project is complete, they will be able to continue serving over 300 people a year.
“We have all enjoyed using the arena through our years of playing and having our kids participate as well,” says Wright. “These improvements ensure that the tradition continues so the next generation can enjoy the facility.”
Epp would agree, and he says he now “let’s the younger people play hockey” and sticks to farming.