West Fraser Centre grand opening festivities take shape

The highly anticipated opening of the West Fraser Centre will include a rock concert, a tailgate party, and a hockey game featuring Vancouver Canucks alumni.

The grand opening festivities kick off with a Saturday night concert (Sept. 16) headlined by Vancouver rock legends 54-40.

54-40 recorded three Canadian platinum albums and one gold album in the 1990s, with hit songs like Ocean Pearl, Lies to Me, and I Go Blind.

The celebration continues Sunday Sept. 17 from 2 – 5 p.m. with a ribbon cutting and community tailgate party that includes live music and food vendors in the plaza around the new arena. The community will have the opportunity to tour the state-of-the-art facility and strap on their skates and take to the ice for an afternoon of public skating.

There will also be face painting, games and activities for the whole family, and a chance to meet and get autographs from Canucks alumni.

The grand opening weekend winds up with the official opening and a hockey game between local players and the Vancouver Canucks alumni.

The West Fraser Centre is equipped with a regulation-size ice surface, fixed seating for more than 1,300 people plus standing room, multi-purpose rooms, and a concession.

Construction on the West Fraser Centre started in the spring of 2017 and is expected to be completed on schedule and on budget for $20.6 million. More than $6 million has been spent to date on local contractors and suppliers for this project.

The West Fraser Centre is funded jointly by the City of Quesnel and Cariboo Regional District (CRD) under the CRD’s North Cariboo Recreation and Parks function.

Grand opening event schedule

Sept.16: 54-40 concert. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the Quesnel &District Arts and Recreation Centre: $10 each, maximum eight tickets per person.

Sept. 17, from 2 – 5 p.m: Tailgate party, public skate and arena tours.

Entertainment, public skating, activities and food vendors Free.

6 p.m.: Inaugural Hockey Game and Opening Ceremonies.

West Fraser Centre Team versus the Vancouver Canucks alumni. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are on sale at the Arts and Recreation Centre: $5, maximum eight tickets per person.

Tickets for both events are available at the Quesnel &District Arts and Recreation Centre starting Wednesday, Aug. 9.