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PHOTO: Owen Egan
Okay, so the line might be a little lofty to describe a hockey arena, yet it's somehow appropriate given the complete facelift the McConnell sports facility has just received.
Virtually untouched since its 1956 opening, the stadium has undergone some $3.9-million worth of renovations since last March. Officially reopened to the public on October 21, the building is not only more attractive, it's also much more functional. Improvements include a complete redesign of the lobby entrance and the addition of new seating, meeting room, concession stand and changing facilities.
Anthropology student Ariel Burns, who attended the stadium reopening match featuring the McGill Redmen against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, says the before and after appearance of the building is striking. "Especially the entrance," she says. "It's great to see the stingy-looking brick was replaced by airy glass."
The majority of renovations to the indoor stadium were financed by a $3.4-million gift from the McConnell Family Foundation, the philanthropic organization established by J.W. McConnell, who financed the building's original erection.
The remaining $500,000 was raised through alumni contributions, which helped pay for the set-up of a sports medicine clinic, a new public address system, an alumni lounge, a weight-training room and the retooling of the changing rooms.
"Without the generous support of the McConnell Family Foundation, and of hundreds of McGill alumni," says Principal Bernard Shapiro, "this reborn arena would simply not have seen the light of day. We are very grateful to all our supporters."
Adds Athletics director Robert Dubeau, "Our renovated stadium will provide McGill with a major recruiting tool to attract talented student athletes from across Canada."
The McConnell Winter Stadium is at 3883 University Street.
Skis on sale
The air is getting crisper, the days are getting shorter and the TV Christmas specials are creeping closer (and has there really been a decent one since the heydays of Charlie Brown, the Grinch and Rudolph? But I digress ... ).
While some shudder at the thought of the weather that's awaiting us, others are smirking. They're called skiers.
If you're the sort of person whose pulse rises at the thought of zooming down a mountain, and if you need some equipment, the annual McGill Ski Sale might offer what you're after.
The sale, sponsored by Oberson and organized by the McGill Ski Team, will feature new and used equipment, clothes and accessories for both downhill and cross-country at bargain prices.
The sale takes place November 8 to 11 from 10 am to 9 pm and November 12 from 10 am to 5 pm on the third floor of the University Centre at 3480 McTavish.
If you have some used equipment you want to sell, swing by the same spot on November 4 and 5 from 10 am to 4 pm and November 6 from 4 to 9 pm to drop it off, and the Ski Team will include it in the sale.
This is a cynical age where dark wit is a precious commodity. In other words, these are perfect times for the works of Samuel Beckett.
"I'll buy his goods hook, line and sinker, because he leaves no stone unturned and no maggot lonely," said Harold Pinter of his fellow playwright.
McGill's drama and theatre program will soon be presenting More Than Godot: The Shorter Plays of Samuel Beckett, a production featuring 11 short works by the man behind Waiting for Godot and Endgame.
To shepherd the production, the theatre and drama program has enlisted Bryden MacDonald as director. MacDonald is a talent to watch in his own right -- his first published play, Whale Riding Weather, was short-listed for the Governor General's Award for Drama and received a Jessie award for the best production in Vancouver.
More Than Godot begins its run at Moyse Hall on November 8. It runs until November 11 and then again from November 15 to November 18. All performances are at 8 pm and ticket information is available at 398-6070.