An open letter to Central Manitoulin council

Dear Central Manitoulin council:

Sometimes when you have too many young, inexperienced councillors on board the result can be damaging for a municipality. It’s wonderful to have them accepting this responsibility, but they need to slow down and contemplate what has happened in the past for a particular building or item that affects the people of those towns. In this case, Providence Bay and Spring Bay.

For these twin cities, going back as far as 1948, gathering enough money to fund building an arena was an enormous task. They canvassed each family in town and at farms all over the area. In 1950, after selling debentures, putting on fall suppers, euchre parties and fun days with $10 donations from all families, they got it built. A number of years ago both Prov and Mindemoya arenas were condemned. Moe Keller held a meeting in the Mindemoya Hall and said, “they are of no use the way they are, so we are going to put steel framing in,” and it happened. They were again opened.

Since then, with the artificial ice in the Prov arena it has had a new roof, new boards and glass professionally done, new hydro-saving lights, a new ceiling barrier to stop ice bumps and keep the cold in, the refrigeration unit has been revamped with a lot of new equipment and now we have a new ice resurfacer. And now you’re thinking to close this beautiful structure? It was built in memory of our veterans, it houses a very large agricultural fair, it’s open for the Bluegrass in the Country, it’s open for weddings, it’s open for the Ride Manitoulin motorcycle rally, it’s open for hockey and skating, it’s open for the summer program for children and it’s open for two large hockey tournaments. These two towns of Prov and Spring Bay don’t have much to offer our residents, but we do have a beautiful arena.

You want a sports complex? Better check the extreme cost of these buildings. It’s enormous. And after 20 years of use, rejuvenating them is out of reach in terms of cost.


Lyle Dewar

Providence Bay