Federal government invests in solar-powered sports facility in Cape Breton

News release

Sydney, Nova Scotia, March 4, 2024 — Tomorrow’s Legends, a non-profit organization based in Sydney, will convert a former hockey arena to a solar-powered, multisport facility after an investment of over $2.1 million from the federal government.

Announced by Parliamentary Secretary Jaime Battiste and Tomorrow’s Legends Founder Bill Kachafanas, this project will provide a state-of-the-art, indoor sports facility for community members and athletes in Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM).

The former Centennial Arena will be retrofitted with rooftop solar panels and a new exterior, creating a sustainable, energy-efficient, net-zero carbon facility. These improvements are expected to reduce the facility’s fuel consumption by an estimated 104% and greenhouse gas emissions by 620 tonnes. The upgraded facility will include indoor playing surfaces for basketball, volleyball, pickleball and other indoor activities, as well as a community meeting space, and cultural and hall of fame exhibits.


“The federal government is proud to support the Legends Arena, providing a space for thousands of young people here in Cape Breton to participate in organized sports. The upgraded facility will not only provide top-tier basketball and volleyball courts, but will do so in an energy efficient and environmentally friendly way.”

Jaime Battiste, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

“The federal government’s contribution will have a monumental impact on the lives of so many kids and families in Cape Breton. Our sports organizations will now be able to deliver consistent and quality programming and the community at large will be able to visit our new modernized facility to enjoy some new and exciting activities.”

Bill Kachafanas, Founder, Tomorrow’s Legends

Quick facts

  • The federal government is investing $2,173,097 in this project through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program.

  • The GICB Program is providing $1.5 billion over five years towards green and accessible retrofits, repairs or upgrades. It aims to improve the places Canadians work, learn, play, live and come together by cutting pollution, reducing costs, and supporting thousands of good jobs. Through green and other upgrades to existing public community buildings and new builds in underserved communities, the GICB program helps ensure community facilities are inclusive, accessible, and have a long service life, while also helping Canada move towards its net-zero objectives by 2050.

  • At least 10% of funding is allocated to projects serving First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, including Indigenous populations in urban centres.

  • The GICB program was created in support of Canada’s Strengthened Climate Plan: A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy. It is supporting the Plan’s first pillar through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the increase of energy efficiency, and helping develop higher resilience to climate change. 

  • The funding announced today builds on the federal government's work through the Atlantic Growth Strategy to create well-paying middle-class jobs, strengthen local economies, and build inclusive communities.

  • The GICB program is now closed.

  • Federal funding is conditional on the signing of funding/contribution agreements.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Micaal Ahmed
Communications Manager
Office of the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Email: media-medias@infc.gc.ca
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Web: Infrastructure Canada

Bill Kachafanas
Tomorrow’s Legends

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