“It’s a good year,” said Kris Olsen, who helped make two rinks in Confederation Park in early November, the earliest the community rinks have been created in recent memory.
Many communities in Calgary have a strong contingent of committed “rink rats” — men and women who spend hours flooding their community rinks, often in the middle of the night in extremely cold conditions, said Leslie Evans, executive director of the Federation of Calgary Communities.
“It’s a job that takes an incredible amount of passion and belief in the value of ice rinks, and it’s important work,” said Evans.
Since 1966, volunteers have maintained the two rinks in Confederation Park and since 2008 about 10 volunteers, dubbed the Rosemont Ice Guys, have been recording their adventures in a blog that tracks tips and tricks, and counts how many coats of ice each rink has.
“There is a very strong ice culture in Calgary of guys and girls that make outdoor ice. As soon as you find them, everyone is as passionate as we are about it,” said Olsen, who is one of the Rosemont Ice Guys.