Residents are being invited to submit their best and most creative names for the new skating rink next to Harrison Lake.
In council Tuesday (Oct. 1), council members were asked to choose a name for the synthetic outdoor rink, which will be installed in Harrison’s boat launch parking lot for this winter.
The official opening of the rink is set for Nov. 23 — also the opening night of this year’s Lights by the Lake display — and staff wanted to have a name to use on marketing and promotional materials in advance of the opening.
Staff had suggested the names Canoe Cove Skating Rink, Lakeside Leisure Skating Rink and South Shore Skating Rink, but none of these were particularly enjoyed by council.
Councillor Samantha Piper suggested a name that would incorporate the area’s Sasquatch theme, particularly because the rink will be open in conjunction with Lights by the Lake.
However, both councillors Michie Vidal and Gerry Palmer felt that the public might be better placed to think of a creative name for what the village hopes will be a winter tourist destination.
“People in government are usually not the most creative people. That’s why you don’t often see a lot of good novels written by politicians,” Palmer said.
“If somebody’s got an idea, you don’t need six months to ruminate on a name. You wake up and go, there’s the name. Creativity is fast.”
Council agreed to hold a contest to determine the future name of the outdoor rink, and staff were directed to begin that process as soon as possible.
Although mayor Leo Facio and councillor Samantha Piper were concerned that a contest would take too long, and there would be no name for the official rink opening, CAO Madeline McDonald said this wouldn’t necessarily be an issue.
“I think we accept the fact that we would probably be opening the facility without a name if we go forward with this public competition, which would be an event unto itself,” she said.
“There’s no real prohibition against that. Tourism Harrison can market our synthetic ice rink.”
The contest will be open until Oct. 16, for Harrison residents only, with a $200 prize for the winning name.
(The first runner up will receive $50, and the second will receive $25.)
Ideas must be submitted with your name, address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. Only one submission will be accepted per person.
The winning name will be chosen by council.