The Fortune Recreation Commission was set up on 01 May 1966. Members of that first Commission were Alec Noseworthy, Cecil H. Lake, Eli P. Crews, Albert Boomer, Basil Collier, Carlson Emberley and Jacon Mullins. The Commission has been very active since its inception, organizing sports for the youth and adults of the town. One of their biggest accomplishments was the Fortune Arena, which was officially opened in 1979.
The first discussions regarding the construction of an arena, or stadium, took place on 09 April 1973 in a joint meeting of the Fortune and Grand Bank Town Councils. In 1976 the Fortune Town Council made a commitment of $50,000.00, over a five-year-period, to the Fortune Recreation Commission Arena Fund. The joint venture between the two towns did not materialize. Fortune went ahead with its Arena and Grand Bank constructed an indoor swimming pool, but residents of the two towns share both facilities.
With government approval, tenders were called for the erection of an arena in April 1978. A staff was hired in October of that same year and the Arena was ready for business. Many hours of general skating, hockey practice and hockey games, figure skating and, most recently, curling, have been enjoyed since the arena first opened its doors. The facility can also be booked for kids' skating parties.
The ice area is flooded and frozen on the first Saturday on November each year and removed following the Easter Hockey Tournament. This annual tournament generally takes place during Easter break from school, with participating teams coming from all across the province. The Recreation Commission hosts its Summer Festival at the arena and segments of the Winter Carnival as well.
Arena Operator: Lorne Piercey
In the summer months, the arena has been used for other things such as floor hockey, indoor soccer and the Sea Cadets' Annual Review. A fully equipped canteen is operated during most activities. The Arena has also hosted such events as wrestling, the 'Superfoot' Monster Truck Show, an 'NHL Old-Timers' hockey game, circus performances, automobile shows and several very successful 'Come Home Year Celebrations'. There have been musical shows by the likes of The Wonderful Grand Band and Canadian country music star Ronnie Prophet.
On 04 April 2000 the Arena Advisory Board was formed to oversee all activities and general operation. Probably their most successful venture has been the Annual Fall Exhibition, which includes the tremendously popular Miss Teen Pageant. It was the Advisory Board which first introduced curling at the arena.
Photos of Arena Activities:
Assorted Activities - General Skating - Hockey - Figure Skating