Fairview Arena history

The Fairview Arena was built in 1972 and in 1976, a large hall and two level hall addition were added to become the complex we know. For many years following this upgrading, the Fairview community was bustling, busy and volunteer run.

In 2007 the Fairview Community felt their small community could no longer run and support the arena and adjacent hall, forcing them to turn over the facility to the City of Calgary.

The facility needed major renovations, roughly $1.5 million, in order to stay operational and so the city put the arena up for public tender. Doing so would allow different organizations to submit bids to the city in an attempt to be granted a License of Operation to operate the arena and complete the needed upgrades.
The hall was an easy sell; it went to the In-Definite Art Society but the arena was in more dire shape. The City of Calgary upgraded the ice plant and the roof and once again re-tendered the operation of the arena.  Even then, the rink was small, had poor lighting, old plumbing, electrical, heating, ventilation and small rooms. It also didn’t come with a Zamboni, nets, or a score clock.

The SAWHA Board though saw opportunity and submitted a tender with a plan to operate the arena for the next 15 years. After the City of Calgary met meet with all those that had bid on the arena, they decided to award the License of Occupation to SAWHA, but all future capital improvements were for SAWHA to fund.
"The renovations weren’t as overwhelming as the first 18 months of trying to operate an arena where just about everything that could break, did,” says the General Manager of the Fairview Arena, Rob Curts. “Fortunately the Fairview Community Association donated almost $100,000 for renovations and we were able to leverage that money into $700,000 in grants from the Parks Foundation, the City, Province, and Federal government.”

SAWHA decided it would be best to set up a separate entity to run the arena, so a couple weeks after being awarded the operations; the Fairview Women’s Hockey Arena Society was incorporated. The Board (President – Patti Newfield, Treasurer - Leslie Ann Kalman, and Directors - Juli McManus, Laura Lee Goetjen, Kim Arndt, Patrick Foster and in later years;  Marnie Mitchell,  Sue Demchuk,  Anne Kromm, Marg Holman, Judy Szepesi, Sherry Gardin) developed a strategic plan that focused on:
-          Providing prime ice time for minors, SAWHA, adult men and women hockey and ringette teams with a long-term view to supporting female hockey.
-          Upgrading the arena.
-          Applying for grants for funding.
-          Hiring an Arena Management Team.
-          Operating the Fairview Arena strategically, efficiently, and economically.
-          Working with the community of Fairview to develop a strong community presence.

Ever since then, the Fairview Arena is thriving; over $1 million in upgrades have been completed and over 100,000 users walk through the front doors of the arena enjoying the new lighting, lobby, boards, and larger dressing rooms.

“Users are pleasantly surprised when they walk into the arena and see the transformation,” says Kalman. “We’re now open all year round so we can offer ice to all kinds of leagues as well as ice times for tournaments and skill development camps.  We have developed great working relationships with our users to ensure that the Fairview Arena will never close its doors again!”

Fairview Women's Hockey Arena Society (FWHAS)

The Fairview Women's Hockey Arena Society will efficiently and effectively operate the Fairview Arena in such a way that it will provide a cornerstone for the long term growth and development of Women's hockey.
To improve the operations of the Fairview Arena so that we can maximize its usage for all ice user groups and the Citizens of Calgary, by ensuring that short and long term repairs and operational changes are planned, started and completed in a timely manner.
FWHAS values the contributions made by all volunteers who offer so much of their time and expertise to make the Fairview Arena successful and the volunteers within our user groups who support their organizations. FWHAS also values the positive life lessons learned, by all participants, in team sports, at all ages. FWHAS values the support and interaction with the residents of the Fairview Community.

Southern Alberta Women's Hockey Association (SAWHA)

The Southern Alberta Women's Hockey Association (SAWHA) is a non-profit organization incorporated under the Alberta Societies Act. SAWHA is the principal organizer of senior female hockey in Southern Alberta. SAWHA has 39 teams which play in four distinct tiers, allowing senior females at all levels the opportunity to play at their skill level. SAWHA teams play out of 6 arenas in Calgary and 6 arenas within 150 kilometres of Calgary. The league focus is to schedule over 500 regular season games, 30 provincial playdown games and over 60 league playoff games. SAWHA also is the host of a Senior Female Provincial Championship on an annual basis. SAWHA is committed to providing quality governance to its members through well thought out Bylaws and Objectives and Operating Rules utilizing proactive thinking and actions; fiscal responsibility; and the promotion of excellence. In addition, the league enforces policies, resolves disputes, organizes fund raisers and charity events, promotional activities and advances the female game of hockey at all levels of play. Hockey is a lifelong sport which SAWHA strives to support

The objectives of SAWHA are:


To enjoy the game of hockey and to keep the game at a fun yet competitive level


To ensure all interested females, 18 years of age and older, have an equal opportunity


To participate and wherever possible, provide competition at the individual players' level of skill.


To promote, encourage and increase the growth and awareness in female hockey in Alberta.


To encourage and foster personal development and leadership qualities of individuals through their participation in female amateur hockey.

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