District of Port Hardy municipal signage. (North Island Gazette file photo)

District of Port Hardy municipal signage. (North Island Gazette file photo)

Minor Hockey sends request to Port Hardy council to change colour of netting at arena

The black netting at the arena makes it tough for people to watch the games and take photos

A letter from Tri-Port Minor Hockey requesting a change in the colour of netting at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena was included in Port Hardy council’s Nov. 22 agenda.

“The 2022-23 hockey season has taken off and [Tri-Port MHA] is excited to have players back on the ice developing and growing as hockey players and teammates,” wrote Tanya Spafford and Sonya Strang. “The clubs have been collaborating on initiatives to grow hockey on the North Island and we are happy to have some of our tournaments already full!”

Spafford and Strang noted how the North Island Eagles were able to host the U18 Championships at the Port Hardy arena last March, and the only complaint they heard from the tournament was that the black netting made it hard to watch the games and take pictures.

“We were fortunate enough to be able to have a live stream area set up and a photographer that had set areas to work in, but this isn’t possible on a weekly basis,” their letter states. “Live streaming games has become a way to share hockey with friends and family that can’t come to the arena and trying to record through the black net and glass do not work well.”

As such, Spafford and Strang noted the Eagles would like to give back to the community by using some of the funds that were raised from hosting the championships.

“We would like to request changing the netting in front of the stands to a white net. We understand that the cost may not be able to be covered by the district, so we are offering to help cover the costs to make this change. The quote for the re-netting by the same company that installed the black is $6,704.09.”

During the meeting, Coun. Brian Texmo agreed that white netting is better for photography than black netting. “It would make a difference in that respect,” he said.

Mayor Pat Corbett-Labatt asked if it cost $25,000 for the netting to be installed at the arena, which Chief Administrative Officer Heather Nelson-Smith confirmed was accurate.

Coun. John Tidbury and Corbett-Labatt then moved to request a report from staff on what the total cost to change the net’s colour would be.

Council approved it and staff will report back at their Dec. 13 meeting.


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