The Cranbrook Rec Plex is no more. Instead, Cranbrook is now home to Western Financial Place.
The facility's new sponsor, Western Financial Group, won naming rights for 10 years with a $750,000 bid.
Western is an insurance and financial services company based in Alberta, and its regional partner is Falkins Insurance Group.
The complex, which opened October 13, 2000, has a lap and wave pool, racquet ball/squash courts, an ice rink that's home to the Kootenay Ice Western Hockey League team, and hosts world class events, such as the August 12 Bob Dylan concert.
The 10-year partnership agreement, including naming rights and other sponsorship and usage commitments, totals $750,000, including an advance of $500,000.
Western Financial Place signage will be unveiled on the building and ice later this summer, and the Falkins Group will participate in sponsorship and branding opportunities throughout the building.
"We're thrilled to have the support of Western and Falkins in this venture and in our community," said Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski. "They're only going to enhance what we can do with the building and bring to the people throughout our city and region."
Mayor Stetski said, "Planning first started for a community recreation centre back in 1993. Seven years and 5,000 signatures later, that dream became a reality. Today, we take another bold step forward by solidifying Western Financial Place as a premier destination for the people of Cranbrook and everyone throughout the Kootenays."
Director of Leisure Services, Chris New added, "Securing a naming rights holder is an important step in ensuring long term success for our operations. Not only does the agreement provide financial support, but the relationship with Western Financial Group will open up more opportunities to promote the facility, develop community activities, and secure additional special events for our region."
Falkins Insurance Group began selling insurance in the Gold Rush town of Fort Steele in 1897 and relocated to Cranbrook in the early 1900s, where it continued to expand and meet the needs of the region for the following 100 years. Falkins Insurance is the largest general insurance brokerage in the Kootenays, with 11 offices and more than 100 professionals.
As part of its succession plan, Falkins has begun the process of joining Western Financial Group.
"For nine years, we've been planning for the next phase of our 115-year-old business, and we're excited to be partnering with Western because they share our values and culture and know what's important to people here in the west," said Bob McGill, CEO, Falkins.
"We're delighted to make a commitment of this magnitude to the people of Cranbrook and the Kootenays," said Western Financial Group CEO Scott Tannas. "Our company is rooted in the values that westerners cherish, and we intend to be a part of this terrific city and region for a long time to come."
Western Financial Group is a western Canada based, diversified, financial services company serving more than 600,000 customers. Founded in 1996 and headquartered in High River, Alberta, Western provides insurance, banking and investment products and services through more than 120 office locations, the Internet (www.westernfinancialgroup.ca) and other distribution channels. With a skilled team of approximately 1,500 employees, and backed by the strong resources of its owners, Western is committed to building the strongest financial services company in western Canada.
Western Financial Group is a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada.