It’s official—the Sturgeon Falls arena will now be known as the Marcel and Jane Labbé Arena.
West Nipissing council made the decision last night at their regular meeting. Last month, they decided to honour the Labbe family with the designation, however, at that time, they were unsure as to whether they would name the arena solely after Marcel or add Jane’s name to the sign as well.
They decided to include both, as the couple has done so much to support the community throughout the years, especially within the sports and recreation fields.
Fundraising and advocating for improved recreation within the region was just a fraction of the couple’s accomplishments, and without their work and commitment, the West Nipissing sports scene would look a lot different today.
“These two lovely people,” said councillor Yvon Duhaime, “have taken their time and helped build the recreation facilities as they are today, and they were very strong supporters,” of sports in the community.
“It’s an honour to see this happen,” he said, happy to “put their name on something that will be there forever and recognize them for what they have done for this community.”
Councillor Lise Sénécal recently spoke with Jane Labbé’s daughter, Dianne, about the council’s naming options, “and she was very, very pleased with that.”
It was Dianne who suggested the arena be renamed for her father, a request that came to council via letter in February of this year.
At that time, the municipality did not have any policy or guidelines regarding renaming municipal buildings, so they had some work to do before they could consider her idea.
Fast forward to August 30, council voted to approve a policy with such guidelines, and come September 14, decided the Labbé family name would be the perfect fit for the arena.
“Mrs. and Mr. Labbé typified volunteerism,” said councillor Dan Roveda, “and volunteerism is the backbone of the community.”
The couple helped raise a lot of funds to build the arena, he explained, and “a community is the sum of its parts and volunteerism is a big part of our community.”
“Hat’s off to them, they’re fantastic.”
“I’m ecstatic” council voted unanimously to honour the Marcel and Jane Labbé, Mayor Joanne Savage said.
The two made such “valuable contributions to the town of Sturgeon Falls,” she added.
“They played a major role and contributed a lot of their time and their energy for the betterment of the facilities that people are able to enjoy today.”
Mayor Savage looks forward to unveiling the new name once the sign is installed and taking part in an official unveiling at the arena, which may occur before Christmas if all goes well.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca