The Williams Lake Trail Riders Association is sporting new roofs over its arena and roughly 60 stable stalls thanks to provincial funding.
In March 2021, the association learned it was receiving a $109,803 Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program grant to cover the cost of the project.
“Everyone is very excited about it,” said WLTRA treasurer Barb Stuart. “The arena is 68 years old — it was a big job.”
Stuart was quick to thank the city’s economic development officer Beth Veenkamp for telling the association about the grant opportunity.
“She also directed us to Brent Dafoe who is a grant writer and he was amazing to work with,” Stuart said.
Mainline Roofing, a local company, was contracted to do the job, much of it in the hotter days in the last month, and was almost finished by Tuesday, July 20.
“I felt badly during the heat wave. The workers tried to beat the heat and started earlier in the day.”
With the new roofs over the arena and stalls, the association shouldn’t have to worry about leaking for many years to come.
“Every time it rained, water came through the arena roof’s nail holes which had worn over the years. They’d soak through into the arena and in winter it would freeze. It’s really nice because the underside of the tin is white, so it helps brighten it up too.”
Stuart has lived in Williams Lake for 29 years and used the facility off and on through that time.
“It has been a long time coming, but being a non-profit there is only so much you can do,” she said of the roof replacement. “It really is a gem right in the city.”
Stuart was president of the association before becoming treasurer and said it will be easier to rent out the stable stalls now that they can assure they will be dry.
“We are a non-profit association and rely on the rental of the stalls,” she added.
Aside from being involved with the WLTRA, Stuart is also secretary for the B.C. Cutting Horse Association and is the only NCHA-certified person in B.C.