Organized hockey first started on Grand Manan in the 1930’s when a group of Island men constructed an outdoor rink. Over the last 50 years there have been various attempts to continue the outdoor rink, however, with climate change keeping ice has been difficult.
In 2001 the latest outdoor rink was constructed. Serious attempts were made to have an organized league for the youth. Again, due to the location of Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy where the temperature swings bringing ice, sleet and snow, which ruin the ice conditions, a consistent schedule is impossible.
In 2009 the outdoor rink was moved into the arena portion of the new Community Centre. The arena is 210ft long x115ft wide. The roof and walls are insulated and the floor is gravel. A vinyl liner holds the water. Intake louvers and exhaust fans draws cold air into the building until Mother Nature turns it into ice. While grossly inefficient, we will make due one last time.
Next season will be different. The finishing of the arena will mean we will not have to wait for Mother Nature as refrigeration units which suspend from the ceiling will not only mean having skating before setting day but the thaws of winter will not affect the schedule that will be in place. The insulated concrete floor will allow a variety of activities to function during the remainder of the year.