Grand openings Thursday for new facilities

The Waskesiu Foundation and Waskesiu Recreation celebrate new sites.

WASKESIU LAKE – The Waskesiu Foundation and the Waskesiu Recreation Association are hosting the grand openings of the Johnny Bower Sport Court, Reel Rave International Film Festival Picnic Shelter and Stanley Thompson Lawn Bowling Green on Thursday, June 30 at Waskesiu Recreation Grounds.

The Johnny Bower Sports Field will be dedicated to recognizing Bower’s athletic abilities, contributions to sports and the community of Waskesiu.

From humble beginnings in Prince Albert, Bower has become a star goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Famous for his poke check, he has won four Stanley Cups, numerous awards and is one of the NHL’s 100 Greatest Players.

During the 1950s, Bower enjoyed being a professional golf assistant at the Waskesiu golf course, a chalet owner, a restaurant and hotel partner, but he was best known in Waskesiu as the owner of what he called his “burger restaurant”. – the Johnny Bower Coffee Shop – located in the building that now houses LA Outfitters.

Members of the Bower family will be present and a free floor hockey activity will take place on the sports field after the event, where the public is invited to try to score a goal on a member of the Johnny Bower family.

The Picnic Shelter, sponsored by the Reel Rave International Film Festival – an annual event in Waskesiu on the second weekend of September – will also celebrate its grand opening that day. A community barbecue hosted by a local business, The Shack at Waskesiu, will be held at the picnic shelter on the recreation grounds. Included in the sale will be the Bower “Big Boy” burger he featured at his burger joint in the 1950s, which included two patties, cheese, pickles, lettuce and onions.

The Johnny Bower Sport Court offers a wide range of activities including floor hockey, basketball, volleyball, futsal/soccer and dodgeball.

“Recreation is such an important part of the Waskesiu experience. We are thrilled to offer these and so many other recreational activities that families, friends and visitors can participate in,” says Gary Bender, President of the Waskesiu Recreation Association. “It’s an incredible chance for residents and visitors of all ages to connect, be active and enjoy the great outdoors. Waskesiu is such a special place and we are thrilled to continue to provide these kinds of amenities for all to enjoy.

Following the Community BBQ, there will be a grand opening celebration for the Stanley Thompson Lawn Bowling Green, also located on the recreation grounds. The lawn bowling green will be dedicated in honor of the famous designer of the Waskesiu golf course, Stanley Thompson, whose mastery of turf management was called upon in 1948 when the lawn bowling green was first built in Waskesiu .

A lawn bowling demonstration and the possibility for the public to participate free of charge will take place after the dedication.

The Johnny Bower Sports Field, Picnic Shelter and Stanley Thompson Bowling Green have received significant support from donors, individuals, businesses, volunteers, project partners and the community local.

“None of this would be possible without the incredible support of donors,” says Derwin Arnstead, President of the Waskesiu Foundation.

Richard F. Gandhi