The Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex is an indoor arena in downtown Bowmanville, Ontario. It is the home of the Clarington Eagles of the Central Ontario Junior C Hockey League. It used to be home to the Bowmanville Eagles of the Ontario Junior Hockey League until it merged with the Cobourg Cougars in 2010.
The arena opened in 1988 and was named after Garnet B. Rickard, who served Bowmanville as an alderman, mayor and councillor in various roles for 20 years.
On August 20, 2007, during a AAA Clarington Minor Hockey match between the Bowmanville Bears and Peterborough Lakers at Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex, the roof collapsed injuring eight players. The collapse was caused by strong winds whipping through the open bay doors at the front of the building. No one was killed or critically injured; all injuries were minor.
The Minor Hockey League cancelled the remainder of the remaining season for both teams immediately following the collapse and by August 24 confirmed it would not be resuming operations until they had a facility that met league standards.
Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex is one of the best recreation centres for playing hockey, public skating, and other winter sports.
It has an Olympic size ice sheet, a figure skating rink and a curling rink. The complex has rooms available for rent for parties, meetings or other social events. It also offers youth programs in hockey, figure skating and ringette.
It has two NHL size dressing rooms, two large party rooms and one small party room. There are three offices for rent by anyone like clubs or community organizations. It also has equipment rentals for hockey, ringette, figure skating and curling so people can use them for practice or games.
A curling club, which is affiliated with the Broom and Brush Curling Club in Whitby-Oshawa, was created in Bowmanville because the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex has a full-size curling rink.
The arena has hosted many events including the Skills Canada Ontario competition in 2002 and 2003. The 2004 Canadian Ringette Championships were held there as well. The venue hosted the 2009 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Canada’s national women’s curling championship. On September 13, 2009, it hosted an NHL preseason game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and their AHL affiliate the Toronto Marlies.
In April 2010, it hosted a charity game featuring retired NHL players including Theoren Fleury and Eric Lindros. The event was held to raise money for the son of Bowmanville Eagles co-owner Jamie Bennet who had been diagnosed with autism.
No other Ontario rec centre has hosted more Canadian national curling championships nor is as well equipped as Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex. In 2021, Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex has been designated as the venue for the COVID vaccination centre.
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