2012- The Village of Fraser Lake embarked on a major rehabilitation project at the Fraser Lake Ice Arena in 2006. Having been built in the early 1970's, the facility was in need of substantial upgrades. The arena project involved replacement of the chiller, sandbeds and piping for the arena ice; hard surfacing the arena ice bed; replacement of the floors in the complex entrance, stairs and upstairs, and; updating the arena lighting to become energy efficient.
The community of Fraser Lake expects many groups to take advantage of the arena's new hard surfacing by planning summer indoor activities and that the facility will remain as the centre of local winter recreation activities for many years. This arena is the core provider of winter recreation opportunities for over 2,000 local residents. Sport tourism expenditures from Vanderhoof, Burns Lake and other regional communities, is estimated to contribute over $100,000 each year to the local economy.
Under this project, a key piece of Fraser Lake's recreational infrastructure has undergone a necessary improvement, providing the residents of the community with the benefit of a modern arena facility.
"These improvements open the door to year round usage and help bring the community together at additional events. The summer rec program uses the hard surface for roller blading, ball hockey, drop in family fun days, chalk drawing contests, fitness classes, bike rodeo for over a hundred children run in conjunction with the RCMP, indoor soccer, etc."
Amber Carter, Recreation Director, Village of Fraser Lake
This project was identified as a key component in the Village of Fraser Lake's strategy for maintaining a great, active, small town lifestyle, increasing sport visitor days, and being able to host events year-round at the arena. Without these improvements, such as the replacement of integral ice making components, the building would have had to be closed permanently. In addition, community events have been held at the revamped arena, including a 2009 trade fair, with thirty eight exhibitors. The additional recreation opportunities enhances life in the north by assisting in enticing and keeping employees in the local industry and thereby increasing participation in the local recreation and service clubs. Events such as the trade fair and summer picnics have increased community interaction and have allowed for children, parents, grandparents, and all others to enjoy the enhanced facility.