• Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

New Events Centre GM eager to bring fresh events and activities to venue

‘I love working in this building. I really do. I look at this building as the opportunity to provide our community (with) recreation, fun, (and) activities and things to come and do’

The Events Centre’s new general manager should be familiar to anyone who works or plays there, as Shaunna Fritzler, the former curling manager and current finance director, has been given the leadership reigns.

Oak View Group (OVG) 360, which manages the building, recently announced that it had promoted Fritzler after former GM Ryan MacIvor resigned in July and returned to Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to work for that municipality. 

“I’ve been part of this facility since year 2 — (after) it opened (in 2011) — so to be given the opportunity to stay and work with this great team, I’m really honoured (and) I’m really excited,” Fritzler said. 

Fritzler joined the Events Centre in August 2012 as the business manager for the curling centre before becoming finance co-ordinator in 2025. She was later promoted to finance manager from 2018 through 2019 before stepping away. She returned in 2020 as the finance manager, and in 2022, was promoted to finance director.

The new GM said she is looking forward to bringing new events to the venue to give local and area residents something different to attend and enjoy. Furthermore, she wants to help grow curling and host events that may not have considered Moose Jaw before.

The Events Centre can support the community economically because if it can attract new events and conventions, that financial spinoff will affect restaurants, hotels, gas stations and shops, she said. 

With a chuckle, Fritzler said she never expected to become general manager. She recalled starting as the curling business manager before transitioning to finance and working her way up to finance director. She thought she would remain in that role, but when the opportunity arose to become the general manager, she expressed interest and OVG360 eventually promoted her.

“I love working in this building. I really do. I look at this building as the opportunity to provide our community (with) recreation, fun, (and) activities and things to come and do,” Fritzler said. “That makes me happy to be part of that.”

The new GM was thankful to work with and learn from MacIvor, whom she praised for his leadership abilities, support for staff and likeability. 

What Fritzler enjoys most are the event days — from concerts to curling to hockey to tournaments — and seeing everything come together, sometimes after months of planning. This is a “feel-good feeling,” which she attributes to having a great team of employees. That team is composed of 18 people who perform setup, tear-down and everything in between. 

“I’m proud to be part of that,” she stated.

Fritzler will act as general manager and finance director for a while but will train a new person to fill the latter position as she segues into her new role over the next few months. However, she still expects to have a hand in all financial matters, such as the budget. 

Fritzler noted that the Events Centre has come a long way since it opened as just a hockey- and curling-focused building, as its founders likely never envisioned it to be the event venue it has become. 

She also noted that 2023 was a great year for the Events Centre since it was the first full year of activities post-pandemic and since OVG360 began managing the building in September 2019. 

“I don’t consider the building having a bunch of issues. I just think of it as moving forward and growing what we already have,” she said, including regular weekly activities such as adult recreation hockey leagues and curling bonspiels. 

She thought it was important to pour plenty of effort into those activities to give residents something to do and not just focus on big events that attract out-of-town visitors. 

The new GM’s “happy place” in the venue is the curling rink because that’s her sport. Moreover, she has helped — either as a volunteer or employee — with every curling event that’s been held there since she moved to Moose Jaw in 1988. 

“I just have a passion for this building; I always have. I’ve always been a supporter of this building and I really consider it a privilege to work here,” Fritzler added. “And I just can’t say enough about the team that works here. They’re so dedicated … .”

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