About the Pat Burns Arena
Built in 2011 and named after one of the hockey world’s most influential coaches, the Pat Burns Arena aims to support and promote active and healthy lifestyles among both young and old alike. With its recent construction, state-of-the-art amenities and its proximity to Stanstead’s Quebec-U.S. border, this new facility offers surrounding communities the ultimate hockey experience.
The arena is the result of a partnership between the Town of Stanstead and Stanstead College. Thanks to this partnership, the arena project was able to qualify and receive both federal and provincial grants, without which the project would have never been possible.
Pat Burns: life & career
Pat Burns was born in Montreal in 1952. He began his coaching career with the Hull Olympiques of the QMJHL from 1984 to 1987. In 1987, he left Hull to become head coach of the Sherbrooke Canadiens of the American Hockey League. It was at this point that he discovered and consequently fell in love with the Eastern Townships. Although his career quickly took him beyond Sherbrooke, landing jobs with the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and the Stanley Cup winning New Jersey Devils, he always felt at home in the Eastern Townships.
The naming of Stanstead’s new arena came very naturally. As an active member in Stanstead and the surrounding communities, Pat Burns was an obvious choice. His involvement in fundraising activities, such as Stanstead’s softball tournament benefiting muscular dystrophy, meant that he was well liked and well respected within the community.
Pat was also involved with other fundraising activities in the Eastern Townships, including being the spokesman and honorary president of the Maison Aube-Lumière, a hospice for cancer patients in Sherbrooke.
Sadly, Pat would experience cancer first hand, as he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2004, liver cancer in 2005 and, in early 2009, inoperable lung cancer.
In March 2010, Pat traveled to Stanstead to join Prime Minister Stephen Harper to announce that the federal and provincial governments had approved funding for the arena that was to bear his name. Pat’s last visit to Stanstead was in October of 2010 for the arena’s breaking ground ceremony. Unfortunately, Pat passed away on the 19th of November 2010.