The NationsWest Field House will be closed the public for the period Oct. 29 to Nov. 13, as it has been booked for what the City of North Battleford terms a “private function.”
The function happens to be revival meetings. Harvest Ministries will be using the field house for “Battle for Canada,” beginning with its first session Nov. 1 and continuing until Nov. 10. The sessions are also being live-streamed daily.
According to the organizers’ website, North Battleford was chosen for the event as it was the location of a revival 70 years ago.
Mayor Ryan Bater said at the city’s planning committee meeting in October that organizers had originally sought the Civic Centre for their event. However, the Civic Centre schedule was already full, due to the Pinty’s Grand Slam curling event occupying the arena in January.
There were concerns expressed at the time by Coun. Len Taylor about the impact to user groups who would lose the use of the Field House for the walking track and other features for two weeks.
Others have been more vocal. Local lawyer and former NDP candidate Rob Feist went on social media and denounced the decision to close the facility to accommodate the revival event.
He said on Facebook that while the groups behind the event have a right to free speech, “that right can be exercised in a Church they pay for themselves, and not in a taxpayer subsidized community recreation venue.”
The Field House will be open again to the public Nov. 14.