The Fort-Coulonge arena will be closed for the winter
Article published on 29 October 2020
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The board of directors of the Coopérative du Center de loisirs des Draveurs has decided to close the arena for the 2020-2021 season. The president of the Coopérative du Center de loisirs des Draveurs, Brian Boisvert, explained to CHIP 101.9 that the financial risks associated with the opening of the arena could jeopardize the future of the arena. “Initially, we were ready to assume a deficit for the arena of up to $ 40,000 for the next year. However, the second wave came to complicate the situation and we find ourselves without the possibility of doing sports activities. The anticipated deficit would undoubtedly have exceeded $ 55,000. It tears my heart out but we have no choice, we cannot afford it,”explains Mr. Boisvert.

In addition to activities such as the 3vs3 Tournament, snowmobile races or the Carnival, which become complicated to organize, the arena was unable to open the canteen, thus depriving the cooperative of significant income. In addition, minor hockey significantly reduced their activity hours with about 8 hours of use per week. The amounts from the rental of the ice would therefore have decreased considerably for the next year. “The new regulations to ensure health safety and the second wave have significant negative impacts on our activities. Not only do we have a limited number of players and parents who can access the arena, but in addition, we have new rules to be observed We have really tried everything but without additional government assistance, we cannot open” insists Brian Boisvert. The arena will therefore, in the coming days, reduce all expenses related to its operation.

The decision taken by the corporation was voted unanimously by the members of the council. “We cannot ask taxpayers to pay for that, not knowing the size of the deficit,” says Brian Boisvert. Aware of the impact of this decision on young hockey players, Brian Boisvert remained optimistic. He believes that the Center de loisirs des Draveurs will be able to welcome skaters again next year. “Certainly, I guarantee everyone that the arena will be open again next year,” said Brian Boisvert.

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