Kuharski steps down as Yellowhead Centre manager


By Eoin Devereux
The Neepawa Banner

A new scoreclock and arena boards aren’t the only recent changes at the Yellowhead Centre (YHC) in Neepawa, as building manager and director of operations Ann Kuharski has tendered her resignation.

The letter indicating Kuharski’s decision was handed to representatives of the Yellowhead board on Sept. 1, with Friday, Sept. 15 being her final day on the job. Kuharski, who has served in that position since 1999, cited the reason for the decision was that it was simply time for a “change of pace”. Official comment from representatives with the Yellowhead board could not be attained before the Neepawa Banner’s publication deadline.

In an interview with the Neepawa Banner on Wednesday, Sept. 6, Kuharski reflected upon her time in the position and the number of changes she’s witnessed first hand. She noted that a facility like the Yellowhead is something special

“The amount that the Yellowhead has changed and the way the job has changed has been really quite dramatic. When I first started, [for example], there was a board that looked after just the Redline Grill. The hall, itself was really, just, [we] rented it and then cleaned it up after they left.  You didn’t worry about bartenders, people had their own. But the regulations have changed so much with the liquor laws that that’’s been huge. We’d have to start looking after hiring all the bartenders for every event, security. Those kinds of things,” noted Kuharski. “Now, a lot of people look at the Yellowhead as simply ‘the rink’, but they don’t see how busy the hall has become throughout the entire calendar year. We’re so lucky to have a place like this.”

Kuharski added while there have been many major changes that have taken place over the past two years; the little, sometimes unnoticed improvements that were made year in, year out, are just as important for the long term viability of a facility like this. She said for an old building like this [The Yellowhead was adapted from the old salt well in 1972], the facility has been able to keep up with the times.

“Things are changing, but so has [The Yellowhead Centre] and it’s been great seeing how it has improved over the years. And on top of that, I don’t think, there isn’t a person in the community or in the region really, that hasn’t had some use for the Yellowhead or enjoyed it in some way. Maybe you don’t like hockey, but you went to a social, or your kid has celebrated a grad here. In my 18 years, I’ve also seen a lot of kids grow up here. Those are great memories.  I’ll miss a lot of the faces, that’s for sure.”

The search for a new director of operations has begun. A time line for the position to be filled has not be released publicly at the time of this paper’s publication.