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EPCOR rink grants offer families, kids a safe place to skate

December 09, 2021
Published In: Safety

​As outdoor rinks in neighbourhoods across Edmonton begin to take shape, dozens of community leagues are receiving funding support through EPCOR's Community League Safe Rink grant program. The financial incentive, which provides $800 grants to eligible community leagues, helps support the construction of safe, local ice surfaces for Edmontonians. 

As a new incentive this year, all community leagues will also have the opportunity to win a cash prize for helping share lifesaving messaging on the importance of choosing safe skating facilities for outdoor recreation. Community leagues that share a monthly message from December 2021 to April 2022 will be eligible to submit an entry into a draw for one of two $5,000 prizes.

The rink grant program is an integral part of EPCOR's Annual Winter Stormwater Safety campaign, which educates Edmontonians on the dangers of stormwater management facilities.

“While stormwater management facilities may look like ponds, they are not," says Darren Gwozdz, Senior Manager for Health and Safety at EPCOR “These facilities are there to enhance flood protection and are not safe for any recreational activities. With water continuously flowing underneath the ice surface, any ice that does form on top is very unstable," he explains. “We're inspired by the interest we've already seen this season in EPCOR's rink grant program and are grateful for the dedicated neighbourhood volunteers working to create a safe place for people to enjoy a game of shinny hockey or a weekend skate."

With the pandemic generating more interest in outdoor activities, the grant program has seen a surge in interest since it was first introduced in 2018. Last year, EPCOR provided $64,000 in financial assistance to 80 community leagues for their projects. So far this season, nearly 100 community leagues have received funding and applications are still being processed. Interested community leagues that have not yet applied are encouraged to submit their applications before December 15, 2021.

Big Lake Community League was one of the first to access the financial support and construction on its neighbourhood rink is already complete.

“Our community league is very appreciative of the Ice Rink grant received by EPCOR. Providing these amenities in our community is not an easy task and this grant helps us provide our community with a safe place to have some fun through the winter," says Teresa Marshall, Membership Director, Big Lake Community League. ​

EPCOR launches new THINK TWICE campaign to warn of risks

Stormwater facilities play an important role in helping to move snow melt and storm runoff from the street, as they are directly connected to the catch basin on your street and other points in the drainage system. As a result, contaminants are washed into the facilities, which results in an increase in water temperature, compromising ice quality by melting the ice from below. In addition, water is continuously flowing through the facility, which also makes any ice that forms on the surface very unstable and highly dangerous.

With the aim of highlighting the risks, new public safety messages are being displayed around Edmonton, through social media channels and on radio stations. With the image of cracked and broken ice, the THINK TWICE campaign warns people of the unpredictable nature of stormwater facilities that make them treacherously unsafe for all winter activities, even walking.

For more information about stormwater facilities, as well as a link to a list of safe recreational skating rinks, visit​/wintersafety.​​

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations
Phone: (780) 721-9001

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