In 2006, District of Stewart received a $249,375 grant and a $625 loan from Northern Development through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program towards this $520,000 project. This has been a funding partnership of District of Stewart, Northern Development, and Olympic/Paralympic Live Sites
2012- The District of Stewart undertook a major community infrastructure project in 2006, establishing an events centre in the Al Lawrence Arena. This project, which received funding support from Northern Development, has added a modern events space and small conference facility with flat screen HDTVs and views of the ice surface to the existing sports complex which is now available to members of the community.
This $520,000 project resulted in major facility upgrades including the replacement of the arena roof, an extension for the new Events Centre, the erection of steel framework for the events space, and the installation of electrical service and lighting. With seating for 200, this events space is an important hub for social interaction for residents of Stewart.
"The upgrades to the arena have had a big impact on our community as we now have an ideal space to hold weddings, galas, and celebrations. During the Olympics many people gathered at the arena to watch the events as a group on the new flat screen televisions. Without Northern Development's support we would not have been able to complete the much needed upgrades to the arena that have resulted in such a positive reaction from our community members."Angela Brand Danuser, former Mayor, District of Stewart
Since the upgrades have taken place, there have been significant positive impacts for the community. In 2008, the new upgrades helped to generate $4,500 in revenue from sales. Also, the new additions have created additional employment at the complex, providing an increase in full-time employment in the community. These benefits are made possible by the increase in functions being held at the Events Centre, where in 2008, hundreds of people participated in events such as weddings, galas, and olympic celebrations. In addition, the events centre is now equiped with a wheelchair elevator, making it accessible to everyone.
In 2011, Stewart hosted the Minerals North Conference, hosting the trade show and industry meetings at the modernized Al Lawrence Arena events centre.