With the Trail Memorial Centre mural behind him

With the Trail Memorial Centre mural behind him

Trail Smokies spearheading big arena changes

The city needs to clear some space in the lower deck of the arena to make way for a new Smoke Eaters change room and training space.

The new owner of the Trail Smoke Eaters plans to undertake a major improvement in the memorial centre, but first the city needs to clear out of the way.

Council agreed to invest $145,000 toward a re-design that will oust odds and ends as well as the spare Zamboni from historic lower level storage and into another location on the far (river) side of the building.

Like anything, the primary concern is where the money will come from with other high priority projects on the radar, like a new dehumidifier in the Kids Rink and other fixes to the small ice. Notably the wooden boards are over 60 years old and an average of $1,000 is spent annually to repair an eight-foot section of board due to rot, or wear and tear.

However, with so much verve going into the Smoke Eaters this winter, council agreed to invest in a new storage place for items like chairs, tables and the backup ice resurfacer, so club owner Rich Murphy can proceed to take over the space to construct a new dressing room and training area.

After looking at various funding avenues, council chose to back the project directly with a 1 per cent increase in the 2017 tax levy which means the average taxpayer will pay about $15 for the project.

“I think we have to move forward based on commitments that have been made by a major private investor,” said Mayor Mike Martin. “While it’s unfortunate we have to relocate some storage, (we) are looking at it in the longer term.”

New Smoke Eater owners Rich and Annie Murphy

After discussing the Kids Rink usage and upcoming repairs, the topic turned back to the main ice and another proposal from the hockey club the addition of a media system with a very large video screen on the arena’s east end.

“The Smoke Eaters Hockey Club has a new owner who is keen to develop interactive game day experiences for fans which will undoubtedly result in increased attendance, revenue, and community pride,” Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff noted.

“The Smoke Eaters envision a large single‐side screen at the river‐end of the Cominco Arena, with cameras at strategic locations, and video processing equipment in the broadcast booth that knit together behind‐the‐scenes footage, instant replays, player statistics and interviews, sponsorship banners, music, and interactive graphics that prompt spectators to cheer on their team.”

Council agreed to offer $7,500 annually for use of the video screen, to market non-hockey events such as Silver City Days or the May 6 wellness expo that will feature a visit from gardening guru Mark Cullen.

“If Friday night is any indication of what could happen, it’s exciting,” said committee chair Coun. Sandy Santori. “There were people that came down for dinner and (some) of the same places were absolutely packed after,” he added.

“I made a point of asking if it’s usually like this after a game, and they said, “No.” I’ve said a million times I don’t know what other venue you would have that would bring in 700 to 1200 people, or hopefully more, into the city 28 times a year.”


In September, Trail council directed city staff to work with the Smoke Eaters Club to accommodate the sale of the team to a private investor, including their request for additional space within the TMC, Perehudoff summarized in his governance memo.

A month later, preliminary drawings of the affected spaces were drafted and formed part of a Facilities Use Contract which was signed by the Smoke Eaters hockey club and the city. The contract with the new team owner came into effect Oct. 31.

A final design of the 2000-square foot space is expected to be completed soon, but prior to construction contracts being awarded by the hockey club, recreation staff will review the scope of work to ensure there are not conflicts with mechanical, electrical, and structural design.

Currently, the hockey club is renovating the former Trail Museum and once done, will move the Smoke Eaters head office from upstairs into the room, which directly feeds into the arena.

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

Cropped photo: Silver Screen Drive-in will be in the upper parking lot of Waneta Plaza.
Summer drive-in returns to Trail unveiling blockbuster movies

PHOTOS: Scroll to bottom for a trip down memory lane to the Auto Vue Drive-In

Gentle draft horses are bred and raised in feedlots in Canada to be exported for slaughter. Since 2013, more than 40,000 horses have been exported out of Canada. Photo: Canadian Horse Defense Coalition
Ban the shipping of Canadian horses overseas for slaughter

Since 2013, over 40,000 horses have been exported out of Canada.

How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Most Read