Brad DeMille gets started once again on turning a Salmon Arm pumpkin field into an outdoor skating rink. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Old-fashioned fun: Brad DeMille plans outdoor rink again for Salmon Arm

So far the weather forecast looks good, costs mean there may be a $2 charge

With a little cooperation from the weather, Rodger’s Arena could be ready to go by mid-December.

Rodger’s Arena is the name Brad DeMille dubbed the outdoor rink created at DeMille’s in 2016. He named it after his father, with some similarity to the name of that other arena in Vancouver.

After smoothing out the soil and getting rid of some of the lumps, bumps, plants and pumpkins on the field, the whole area will be covered in plastic.

The perimeter will be raised as a berm, ready for flooding.

At 150 feet by 80 feet long, DeMille says it will be “one blue line away from being an NHL-sized rink.”

It’s getting more expensive to make and maintain, however, particularly because of insurance, so rather than charging $1 per person or by donation, he thinks he’ll have to charge $2 or by donation.

He says the insurance will be about $1,000, the plastic is about $1,000 and the additional labour to maintain the ice through the winter will be approximately $2,000.

Winkler Disposal Systems has volunteered to donate the first fill of water, and the light has been donated by Woodsman Equipment.

“I think it’s pretty fair,” he says of the price, mentioning that if anyone wants to chip in a $2,000 donation, he could make it a free skate. The idea is not to make money on it, he emphasizes, but to cover costs.

Read more: 2016 – Outdoor ice rink takes shape

Read more: 2017 – Video – Ice rink at DeMille’s to be bigger and better than last winter

A lot of people love skating outdoors, he points out, recounting how romantic it seems to be.

“An older couple, they said they just fell in love… It’s like a damn Disney film,” he laughs. “One of those pure moments… That’s pretty cool.”

DeMille says it’s great for families with kids because it’s not a pond so no one has to worry about crashing through the ice, plus there are no boards on the sides so people can skate right into the snow.

“It’s a real good place to learn to skate.”

Which reminds him of when he was eight and his family moved to Salmon Arm from California.

He started playing hockey with Bernie and Gary Hucul as his coaches.

“My mom said I was the worst hockey player.”

Read more: Vandals on ATV damage outdoor skating rink in Silver Creek

Read more: Outdoor rink opens in the North Shuswap

But he did have a moment of glory, scoring his only goal. It happened when he fell into the goalie and the puck ended up in the net.

“I didn’t ever extend my hockey career – that was the pinnacle,” he grins. “There was no going back after that one.”

However, you might see him skating on the rink, as he says he has improved.

“I can do a jump, a single axle. It’s quite good, I’m quite the little ballerina,” he contends, but adds quickly: “I’m no Karen Magnussen (who won a silver for Canada in the 1972 Olympics).”

So far the forecast appears to be cooperating with plans for the outdoor rink. From Wednesday on, temperatures are forecast around -6C.

If they stay that way, DeMille is aiming for an opening date of Dec. 15.

“I’ve got a little tractor with a snow blower. I’m ready…”


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kelowna sets up precautionary sand, sandbag stations

Sand and sandbags are now in usual lakefront locations

‘We’re working to help every Canadian’: Minister of Middle Class Prosperity

Minister Mona Fortier explains she is working with all levels of government amid COVID-19

BREAKING: Inmate at Okanagan Correctional Centre tests positive for COVID-19

This is B.C.’s first community outbreak at a corrections facility

Kelowna has high compliance when it comes to physical distancing in public

The city received an average of 15 calls a day complaining people don’t distance

Kelowna restaurants support community during COVID-19 pandemic

Many Kelowna restaurants have created initiatives to both drive business and give back to community

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Autism Awareness Day highlights challenges amid COVID-19

AutismBC regional coordinator in Kelowna discusses living with autism amid a pandemic

Most Read