By Marianne Curtis
On February 8, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) announced twelve Sustainable Communities Awards that recognize municipal projects across the country that demonstrate excellence in environmental responsibility.
The Ile Des Chenes Community Centre was named a co-winner in the category of energy making it the only project in Manitoba to be recognized. The awards were announced during a ceremony at the FCM’s Sustainable Communities Conference and Trade Show in Ottawa.
Berry Vrbanovic, President of FCM had a chance to tour the facility personally.
“I have had a chance to travel to communities all across Canada and I can say that this year’s award winners are in great company,” stated Vrbanoivic. “The impressive range of examples of environmental leadership I have seen on the ground shows that municipalities are playing a key role in driving the emerging green economy.”
A year ago, the RM of Ritchot became the first municipality in Manitoba to go green by connecting three community structures to one geothermal system. The system interconnects the Ile Des Chenes arena, fire hall and the new community centre. Now complete, the project is expected to save the municipality and taxpayers thousands of dollars a year through energy efficiency.
The entire project consisted of installing a geothermal system that connects the arena, the fire-hall and the new community centre.
Roger Perron Economic Development Officer of Ritchot Community Development Corporation was confident in the project which made the RM of Ritchot one of the greenest municipalities in Manitoba.
“We are the first to have a district geothermal system capable of heating three or more buildings,” stated Perron. “The arena now operates in an environmentally friendly manner.”
The Ile Des Chenes arena project cost $1.3 million, with the province kicking in $430,000 through the Building Manitoba Fund. The project also received funding from the Green Municipal Fund.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities recently named the Ile Des Chenes Community Centre project as one of the top dozen green projects across Canada.