Plaque Unveiled to Recognize Facility Upgrade on 50th Birthday of Archie Browning Sports Centre

June 29, 2011

A commemorative plaque was today unveiled at Archie Browning Sports Centre on its 50th birthday to mark the recent completion of a significant facility upgrade. Esquimalt’s Mayor Barbara Desjardins was on hand at the ceremony, along with Council members, staff and several dignitaries.

“Our Government is proud to have created jobs and economic activity here in Esquimalt,” said the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “Residents of all ages will be able to take full advantage of this upgraded and modernized sports centre.”

“Today is fifty years to the day since our Sports Centre was opened and we have much to celebrate,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins. “We celebrate not only this historic milestone and all of the fond reflections that go with it, but also a facility renewal. With funding from the Canada-British Columbia Building Canada Fund, Archie Browning Sports Centre is a safer, more energy efficient facility, with updated equipment and improved access.”

Over the last 50 years the Archie Browning Sports Centre has been the venue for a number of notable events, including a performance by legendary Danish comedian, conductor and pianist Victor Borge in 1962, an autograph signing by “Mr. Hockey,” Gordie Howe in 1965, and the 1994 Commonwealth Games boxing events. More recently, the facility has also been the Skate Canada training facility for renowned athletes including Elvis Stojko, Josee Chouinard, Kris Wirtz and Sherry Ball, as well as the practice facility for the Olympic Chinese Curling team in 2010.

The centre was originally opened on June 29th, 1961, by Grace Patrick, widow of legendary hockey icon Lester Patrick. The centre is named in honour of Archie Browning, an excellent all-around athlete and an outstanding lacrosse player who was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1971.

The Canada-British Columbia Building Canada Fund – Communities Component is a federal-provincial program that addresses the unique infrastructure needs of both rural and urban communities with populations of less than 100,000. Program funding is contingent on the successful completion of a federal Environmental Assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

Through this unprecedented Building Canada infrastructure plan, the Federal Government is providing long-term, stable and predictable funding to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada. Building Canada supports a stronger, safer and better country.

Since October 2008, over $5.6 billion has been committed by the province to over 900 infrastructure projects in British Columbia, which are estimated to create more than 36,000 jobs over the life of the projects.

The Township plans to hold a community birthday party for the facility on September 10, 2011.   The public is invited to attend this event and more details will be available shortly.

For more information, please contact:

Jaime Burke
Regional Communications Manager
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia
Telephone: (604) 666-1318

Craig Heinz
Communications Officer
Government Caucus of British Columbia
Telephone: (250) 356‐5352

Scott Hartman
Director of Parks and Recreation
Township of Esquimalt
Telephone: (250) 412-8509