Kitimat’s Skating Facilities
Meeting Kitimat’s strong interest in skating has produced three ice rinks over the years. Kitimat’s first ice rink – a municipal project and pilot scheme – was outdoors. It opened on the site of Super Valu (present day No-Frills), January 1962. Its popularity was evident, captured by a newspaper headline that read, “Thousands flock weekly to Kitimat’s new rink.” Unfortunately, the wet climate made for some interesting skating techniques and the municipality discontinued the project, deeming it impractical. Natural rinks outdoors do not provide a long skating season and present a problem in Kitimat’s heavy rain (Kitimat Northern Sentinel, February 11, 1960). A short season also proved a problem with Kitimat’s large minor hockey program planned for three hundred boys.
Kitimat Ice Rink (KIR), the town’s first enclosed artificial ice rink with its distinctive curved roof, officially opened January 23, 1965. The building cost $225,000 with an ice sheet 85 x 185 feet wide, the NHL minimum size at the time. Kitimat’s most recent ice rink, Tamitik Jubilee Sports Complex, opened in 1980. Many skaters including the Kitimat Men’s All Star team and members of the Snow Valley Figure Skating Club took part in the opening ceremony.