Cochrane Home Treasures has announced yet more activities for families to enjoy free of cost.

The nonprofit second-hand thrift store is offering a series of free public skates and swims in partnership with the SLS Centre until the end of the year.

Coming up immediately are two public skating sessions this Saturday, Apr. 15 on Totem One. The first runs from 2:30 to 3:30 and the second one immediately follows from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.

The rink can accommodate 80 to 100 people in each of the sessions, explains Brooke Sabourin, SLS Centre programs manager, thus the creation of two sessions allows more people to enjoy the free ice time.

The first free public swim is on May 20 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. These sessions can accommodate up to 350 people.

People are asked to pre-book online here to secure their spot. The last thing the SLS Centre wants to see is people standing in line, only to be disappointed when they find the event is sold out.

"We expect it to be busy and at capacity for all the events," explains Sabourin, "so with these, just like all our other drop-ins, we release the bookings seven days prior at 8 a.m.

Much like the free first-run movies recently announced, the town's nonprofit second-hand store wanted to provide something 'nice' that families can enjoy in these trying financial times. It falls in line with its mission statement "Everybody deserves the nice and the necessary."

Home Treasures and SLS Centre officials brainstormed a schedule that benefits as many Cochrane families as possible. 

“We are extremely grateful to Cochrane Home Treasures and their generosity in sponsoring a series of free public swim and skate opportunities for our community," says SLS Centre CAO Erin Wagner. "We were thrilled to learn that they had selected SLS Centre as one of their partner organizations this year.

"We recognize the importance of affordability when it comes to recreation, and with SLS Centre as one of the most affordable recreation centres in the province, adding these sponsored recreation opportunities is a wonderful addition to reach even more of our community.”

Home Treasures chair Barb Primeau credits store manager Cayley Breeze for suggesting events like this to the board.

The store relies on the donation of household items and furniture from the public to support valued community events and activities.

Breeze says they receive plenty of positive feedback on their initiatives from both their shoppers and donors.

"It's very symbiotic with the community," she says. "We rely on their donations to us, so that we can continue to support great local initiatives like this." 

Home Treasures is located at #2, 208 5th Ave,

Other free sessions you may want to mark on your calendar are:

  • Saturday, May 20 (May Long Weekend), pool, 9:30-11:30 a.m.          
  • Saturday, June 24, pool, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, July 15, ice, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., Totem 3
  • Saturday, Aug. 5, ice, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Totem 2
  • Saturday, Sept. 2, pool, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 7, pool, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • TBD November, ice
  • Saturday, Dec 23, pool, 9:30-11:30 a.m.