Speed Skating Canada applauds the decision from three levels of government to move forward with the “Centre de glace” in Quebec City

Quebec City, July 7, 2016 – Speed Skating Canada wishes to congratulate and applaud the Government of Canada, the Government of Québec and the City of Quebec for today’s announcement of their formal commitment to move forward with the construction of a new covered ice oval facility in Quebec City.

The 68.7 M$ project of the “Centre de glace”, slated to open in 2019-2020, will include a 400m indoor ice rink that can be used by the public year-round and meets international standards for long track speed skating. The facility will also contain two additional rinks to be used for various ice sports, for a total of four, and include training facilities and office space. It will be built on the grounds of the current Gaétan Boucher Oval.

“This is a major announcement for the sport of speed skating given the importance of Quebec to our overall sport development and, of course, because of the long history of support that our sport has enjoyed in Quebec City,” said Speed Skating Canada President, Susan Auch. “The design provides for multiuse opportunities will be a major facility for national and international speed skating competition hosting. It will become an iconic symbol for the city and will contribute to Quebec City’s image as a world class winter city. On behalf of all of our members of Speed Skating Canada, I would like to send my heartfelt thanking to the Government of Canada, the Government of Québec and the City of Quebec for their vision and commitment to this project.”

“I would also like to acknowledge the excellent work done by our speed skating colleagues in Quebec, most notably the leadership shown by Robert Dubreuil and the Fédération de patinage de vitesse du Québec and by the President of the Gaétan Boucher National Centre, Benoît Lamarche. We know how much time, effort and passion they have put into this project over many years.”

“This is an historical day for our organisation which just celebrated its 45th anniversary”, said the president of the Fédération de patinage de vitesse du Québec, Ron Weiser. “The “Centre de glace” fits with our vision of making speed skating one of the greatest sports in Quebec and in Canada. Thank you to the City of Quebec and to the governements of Canada and Quebec for contributing to the success of so many sports, ours in particular!”

With the completion of this project, Canada will count one more indoor covered long track oval available for training and competition purposes on its list, which already includes the Calgary Olympic Oval built for the 1988 Olympic Games, and the indoor oval in Fort St. John (B.C.). With this new facility, Canadian speed skating will now be better able to serve the needs of elite athletes in all parts of the country.

“The province of Québec has always had a tradition of excellence in speed skating, in both short and long track,” said Speed Skating Canada’s High Performance Director, Brian Rahill. “We can see since last season that Canada is back on top in long track, due to the great performances of several athletes from the province of Quebec such as Laurent Dubreuil, Alex Boisvert-Lacroix, and Alexandre St-Jean, and skaters from Eastern Canada such as Ivanie Blondin.”

“A project like the “Centre de glace” in Quebec City will only accentuate that trend by being a complement in Eastern Canada to our other training centres. Such an attractive site for training and excellence like this one, which will ensure maximum-quality training conditions year-round, will only further improve our high performance program, which will shine even brighter long term on a world-wide scale, and widen our base of up-and-coming stars.”

“Also, the “Centre de glace”, because of its primary role but also because of its other functions, will promote a more active way of life for people of all ages in the greater Quebec City area.”

The president of Gaétan Boucher National Centre, Benoît Lamarche, agreed with Brian Rahill.

“One of the strengths of the Centre de glace will be its ability to allow simultaneous use for participants in three or four different sports, and at all levels. While the general public can take advantage of an exceptional environment for recreative skating on a 400m oval, short track skaters will train on one of the centre rinks while runners and walkers will be able to do their favorite physical activity in a warm environment during winter. In short, the general public will be closer to great athletes from different sports at the Centre de glace, which will benefit everyone!”
 
About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 14,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey.

SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsors Intact Insurance and Samsung, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, and WinSport Canada.

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For information:
Patrick Godbout
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
Phone: 514 213-9897
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC