$23 million in investments in local infrastructure by the governments of Canada and Manitoba have been awarded to 15 projects related to culture and recreation - 4 of them located are in the City of Brandon totalling $10.5M.

Mayor, Rick Chrest, says the $11.5 million outdoor sports complex has been a project long in the making and will accommodate all sorts of sports activities including soccer, ultimate frisbee and cricket.  The previous soccer field we had was successively flooded out and wasn’t going to be sustainable anymore.  So, for quite some time we’ve been trying to find the right location and cobble together an exciting new design.”

The new outdoor sports complex (yet to be officially named) will be constructed at the corner of 1st Street and Veterans Way on the east edge of the city.

“We’re quite excited,” adds Chrest.  “Brandon tends to be a regional support community for all of western Manitoba.  We know there will be people from more than just Brandon who will be able to take advantage of these facilities. So, I think its going to be great for the whole area!”

The next step is to create the detailed drawing of the project and then the project will be tendered out next year for the project to be complete by 2024.

Chrest reminds us a new soccer field takes time to mature before teams are allowed to kick that first ball.

“Unlike building buildings where you just finish it and turn the key and walk in, with landscaping and particularly field operations they need a bit of time to mature before you can play on them, so there will be a little bit of a delay while the fields get up to their level of maturity where they can withstand the rigors of sports played.”

The outdoor sports project is being jointly funded from 3 levels of government:  Federal funding of $3,961,384, the Province of Manitoba $4,170,103 and the City of Brandon $3,401,974.

Three other Brandon projects are benefiting from this culture and recreation infrastructure:  the Dood Cristall Family YMCA Expansion project, the Brandon Centennial Auditorium sound system, and the Brandon Riverbank’s canoe/kayak launch site.

 “If COVID has taught us nothing else, its that people really enjoyed utilizing outdoor facilities and outdoor activities, because sometimes that’s all we had available,” adds Mayor Chrest.  “So, its kind of refocused a lot of attention on outdoor activities, so the timing for this is perfect.”