We are a volunteer-led group of community leaders, parents and coaches whose purpose is to fundraise for a multipurpose recreation facility for the benefit of the young and growing community of Martensville and surrounding area.
In the early 2000s, the city of Martensville experienced significant growth that spilled into the hockey community. The Martensville Minor Hockey Association (MMHA) saw a quick rise in membership and the need for a second ice surface became indisputable. The single sheet of ice at the Martensville Sports Centre simply could not accommodate the volume of athletes and hockey teams who were requesting ice. The only way to meet the demand of Martensville’s hockey community was to cut programming and suspend weekend tournaments on home ice. To make up for this loss, Matensville’s hockey teams sought out ice time in other communities to schedule their practices and tournaments; some families travelling up to 150kms away to skate.
Hearing the frustration from hockey families, Mayor Kent Muench spoke at MMHA’s 2014 Spring AGM. His message was clear: “The City supports a new rink, but this needs to be driven by the community.” Walking out of the AGM, a group of hockey parents informally gathered and the dream of a new arena was born. Little did they know at the time, this dream would bring the larger community of Martensville and area together!
Within the next couple weeks, the Martensville Community Recreation Project (MCRP) was formed and the members set out to raise funds for a second ice surface. The MCRP began hosting community events and brought together their teams, friends and neighbours to help volunteer. The fundraising started with a Casino Night and each year annual events such as the 3 on 3 Hockey Tournament and the Martensville Hockey Draft were added to the calendar. Through word of mouth, local and regional newspapers, and social media, the group began to see the community rally behind their events and show their support for the fundraising efforts the MCRP was leading.
The profits from the MCRP’s community fundraisers began to grow and so did their board. What started out as a group of hockey parents soon grew into a coalition of community leaders, coaches and parents from many sporting backgrounds. By 2017, the MCRP’s volunteer-led board grew to 14 members. As members of the MCRP continued to share their vision with friends and teammates in the community, word started to spread about the exciting possibility of another rink. On April 17, 2018 the MCRP proudly presented the City of Martensville with the first of many cheques in the amount of $150,000 to be held on reserve for the future arena.
In partnership with the City of Martensville, the MCRP began consulting with engineers to draft a concept plan of what the new arena might look like. Members of the MCRP visited arenas across the country to gain insight and ideas they could apply to their own vision. As the research progressed and more feedback was received from the community, it became clear that the MCRP’s vision wasn’t big enough. The demand wasn’t just solely for ice; the need expanded across many recreational programs and the community voiced a need for more space for all sports – soccer, lacrosse, football, baseball, softball, and more. To maximize the use of space and bring in the largest return for the community, the vision grew from one sheet of ice into a full multi-purpose facility equipped with 3 sheets of ice and an indoor turf.
As the MCRP’s dreams expanded, so did their fundraising efforts. Between 2018 and 2020, the group hosted 11 community events including the 3 on 3 Hockey Tournament, Martensville Hockey Draft, Buster Days Street Hockey, TUFF Run, 80’s Cabaret, and Party on the Pond. In 2021, the MCRP led its first ever Community House Build that brought together local suppliers and builders in the surrounding area to construct a 1806 square foot home in their very own community of Martensville.
On November 14, 2022, the MCRP’s dedication and hard work was rewarded with a $32.6 million investment through the Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). The MCRP’s campaigning efforts were catapulted to new heights and shovels started hitting the ground. The dream of a new multipurpose recreation facility was on its way to becoming a reality.
But that’s not where our story ends. There is still much work to be done and we are passionate about seeing this project cross the finish line. Our team remains committed to the capital campaign, Lace ‘Em Up that will provide the financial support the project needs for success. We are excited to bring our community together as we continue to build our dream and leave a legacy for generations to come.