Oliver Paris leads the train of Vernon Vipers – Jagger Williamson (from left), Michael Young, Carver Watson, Ben Helgeson and Brendan Kim – during the free skate held as part of the Kal Tire North opening celebrations on Sunday.(Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Vernon’s newest arena gets warm welcoming

Multiple events help open Kal Tire Place North Arena

Vernon’s newest facility got quite the welcoming.

Kal Tire Place North arena officially opened with a raft of events billed as Community Working For The Weekend, a tribute to Canadian rock icons Loverboy, who helped christen the facility by sharing the billing with Platinum Blond at a sold-out concert in the original Kal Tire Place arena Saturday.

“It was excellent, very good, the vibe was electric,” said Dean Francks of concert hosts CFI Productions, about the event with the 80s super groups. “It was an awesome show, very well received.”

RELATED: Loverboy ignites Vernon stage

The weekend kicked off Friday with the Vernon Vipers’ B.C. Hockey League regular season home opener at Kal Tire Place, and the new facility was front-and-centre in the spotlight Sunday.

An outdoor market drew about 50 vendors, complete with kids’ play area, while inside, shinny hockey and public skating were held in the morning, and user groups ringette, speed skating and figure skating held free demonstrations of their events.

People could also tour the new arena.

RELATED: Community weekend to open Vernon’s Kal Tire Place North

“The new facility is incredible,” said Francks, whose company hosted a shinny hockey game featuring some former NHLers playing with members of Loverboy’s road crew. “The weather held off, the market was good, and the user groups were in throughout the day.”

Over at Kal Tire Place, the stage and sound system from Saturday’s concert was left behind so six local bands could provide free live music Sunday.



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Local dignitaries Bob Fleming (from left), Akbal Mund, Juliette Cunningham, Robert Foord and Jim Garlick help cut – with a hockey skate – the ribbon to officially open Vernon’s newest athletic facility, Kal Tire Place North Arena. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Aaron Volpatti and son Finn take advantage of the free public skate held during official opening weekend activities at Vernon’s new Kal Tire Place North Arena. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

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