Courtesy of Herron family collection
History April 23, 1973 a meeting was held at Indus School to discuss the creation of an Agricultural Society for Indus and area. The name of the new society would be the Bow Valley Agricultural Society. The B.V.A.S. main responsibility would be to operate the soon to be relocated arena.The first meeting of the Board of Directors of the newly formed Bow Valley Agricultural Society was held April 24, 1974.
The arena structure to be relocated in Indus was built by Bill Herron in the early 1960's. It was originally built as a riding arena at his farm in South-West Calgary. When the encroaching growth of Calgary came some years later, Bill was forced to dismantle the building.
In 1973 he responded to a suggestion of friends from Indus that the old riding arena could have new life as a much needed sports arena in the active community of Indus. He agreed and in appreciation of his generosity the Bow Valley Agricultural Society (BVAS) gave it the name of "Bill Herron Arena".
The old building was used until the early 1990's when it was deemed no longer viable to repair. Over several years, volunteers spent countless hours to raise significant money for a new facility. Then present structure was opened in 1994 for all to use.
As of January 1, 2000, this facility was appraised at $5,000,000.00.
The Bill Herron Arena ice surface measures 85 x 200 feet with seating capacity of 200. The Banquet Hall measures 64 x 89 feet and has a maximum standing capacity of 540 people and the maximum seating capacity for 430 people (with tables and chairs). The Meeting Rooms has the capacity of 58 people including tables and chairs.
Indus Recreation is operated by the Bow Valley Agricultural Society, a non profit group and many of its volunteers. Over the years, the members have proven to be successful by constructing and maintaining the facility and by participating in fund raising to keep the operating costs of the facility very reasonable. The use of the volunteers thus benefits the entire community. The registration fee for a particular program does not cover the actual cost of that program. It is through hard work, fund raising and volunteers that we are able to offer these programs at reasonable rates.
The strength of this volunteer organization lies in the commitment of its members to honour and support each other in their individual and collective endeavours and their common goal to provide a "sacred place" for our community to gather be it for recreational or social needs. Every member of this team who does anything from fund raising to filing is valued and appreciated part of the team that keeps us moving forward. There is nothing else like this place. Many of us have personal history with this building, the artefacts the building contains and the history they represent. A long tradition of giving special recognition to one volunteer out of many is a challenging task indeed!