Reception celebrates ground breaking of Dalhousie's new event centre

- September 28, 2023

(L to R) Gabby Noordjik, Tim Maloney, Dr. Kim Brooks, Dr. Bill Stanish and Ian Oulton at the ceremonial puck drop to celebrate the groundbreaking of the event centre (Nick Pearce photos)
(L to R) Gabby Noordjik, Tim Maloney, Dr. Kim Brooks, Dr. Bill Stanish and Ian Oulton at the ceremonial puck drop to celebrate the groundbreaking of the event centre (Nick Pearce photos)

Dalhousie alumni, donors, and friends came together on September 26 for a reception celebrating the groundbreaking of the university’s highly anticipated new event centre. The 60,000-square-foot facility will feature an NHL-sized ice surface and serve as an on-campus health and wellness hub for both the Dalhousie and the greater Halifax communities.

“We are very excited that construction is underway on the event centre,” says Kim Brooks, Dalhousie president and vice chancellor. “Not only will this space have a pivotal role to play in promoting the mental and physical well-being of our students, but it will also provide an inclusive space for Dalhousie and the greater Halifax community. Most importantly, though, it will provide a much needed on-campus home for our varsity, club, and intramural teams.”

A place for Tigers of all stripes

Located on the site of the previous Memorial Arena, the event centre has been made possible in part thanks to generous gifts from Ian Oulton (BA’66) and his wife, Dr. Margaret Oulton (PhD’75), and from Dr. William (Bill) Stanish (MD’70). “I believe very strongly that Dal should have an arena on campus, and this will be a great facility for the entire community,” says Oulton. “I'm excited that this is getting underway.”

Dr. Bill Stanish (MD’70) and Ian Oulton (BA’66) with student-athlete Gabby Noordjik (centre)

Dr. Stanish shares Oulton’s enthusiasm for this project, adding, “I see the centre as a central hub on campus, whether it’s watching the Tigers, gathering for festivals and special events, or rekindling alumni hockey leagues—the appeal for our local community can’t be overemphasized. This will truly be a community centre.”

The new facility will have two levels. The first level will house the ice rink, with an alternate floor surface, making the centre a premier venue for both Dalhousie and community sports and social events. The second level will house the new and improved Dalhousie Physiotherapy Clinic, which will provide the Dalhousie and greater communities with convenient access to more health services and care, while offering students more hands-on learning opportunities. Additionally, the centre will welcome the return of hockey camps and provide space for community sports organizations, giving young athletes space to explore and grow.

Grateful for support

Dalhousie Tigers hockey player Gabby Noordijk is grateful that alumni like Oulton and Stanish are championing this project. “As a varsity athlete, it is meaningful to see those who came before us care about our success and play such a big role in improving the future hockey experience for student-athletes,” she says. “It’ll be great to have our own rink and dressing rooms, and even better to have a true home ice advantage, with our fans in the stands cheering on their Tigers.”

Tim Maloney, executive director, Athletics and Recreation, is equally delighted that progress is being made on the centre. He thanked the university for its commitment to the project. “Health and wellness is a vital priority for Dalhousie,” he says. “This centre provides a tremendous opportunity to not only promote and enhance student well-being, but also do the same for members of our broader community. This really has the potential to create a powerful, lasting legacy and I am thrilled to be part of it.”


Construction on the new event centre is scheduled to be completed in 2025. Dalhousie has raised more than half of its $10 million fundraising goal thanks to philanthropic support


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