Assiniboia’s Southland Co-op Centre was recognized as the Top Urban Municipal Initiative earlier this month at the Saskatchewan Municipal Awards. 

The Southland Co-op Centre opened its doors in September of 2022 after 10 years of fundraising by the Assiniboia Civic Improvement Association to replace the old rink. 

The facility includes a walking track, NHL-sized ice surface, multi-purpose gym, climbing wall, simulator room and more. 

“To be recognized for all of the volunteer efforts and all of the hard work by the Civic Improvement Association, the town, our RMs, and everybody who contributed to this building. Yes, it’s great to be recognized,” said Town of Assiniboia Recreation and Community Wellness Manager Stephanie VanDeSype. 

It cost $15.7 million to build the Southland Co-op Centre with $11.5 million coming from provincial and federal funding, while $4.2 million was raised by the Civic Improvement Association through efforts like the Spring Fever Lottery. 

VanDeSype said it was truly a community effort to make the facility come to fruition. 

“I would say every single person in this community has contributed in some way, whether it’s buying concert tickets, attending events, donating, volunteering, etcetera, etcetera. It’s definitely been a whole community effort,” she said. 

The Southland Co-oop Centre has also proven to be an economic boon for the Town of Assiniboia when it comes to hosting tournaments and events. The Senior Rebels held Game 5 of their Notekeu Hockey League playoff series on Sunday with the building filled with 1,200 fans with a 50/50 of over $21,000. 

“This year, we hosted 11 tournaments. Every one of those weekends, the hotel was full, the restaurants were full, the stores, the movie theatre (were full). It just brought a lot of people to our community who may have never been here before,” said VanDeSype. 

The facility has also helped the community attract some major events. 

Assiniboia hosted a WHL preseason game between the Moose Jaw Warriors and the Swift Current Broncos last September. They will host a concert with Streetheart on April 20 and will welcome Australia’s Thunder From Down Under on July 25. 

“We know that in a small town it’s hard to keep things going, but this building has just brought new life into our community, and we’ve seen such tremendous benefits,” VanDeSype said. 

You can learn more about what’s happening at the Southland Co-op Centre on the Town of Assiniboia Recreation and Community Wellness website.