Plans announced for Humboldt Broncos tribute centre and crash site memorial

On Monday, the City of Humboldt and the Humboldt Broncos Memorials Committee announced plans for a Broncos tribute centre and a roadside memorial at the site of the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

The roadside memorial would be built near the site of the crash on Highway 35, the tribute centre would be built in Humboldt.

"A tribute to those affected by the crash is going to help our community move one step further down the road," said Deputy Mayor Rob Muench. "Our obligation as a community to proceed with this is very important."

Logan Boulet was one of 16 people who died in the crash. He had signed up to be an organ donor on his birthday five weeks before the crash. Six people across Canada benefited from Boulet's organs and the Logan Boulet Effect soon followed.

Nearly 147,000 Canadians registered to be donors in the two months after learning the player had signed his donor card

His mother loves the idea of the permanent memorial at the crash site.

"As time goes on the story won’t be as etched into people’s mind, it will be there but this will tell more," said Logan’s mother Bernadine Boulet.

The tribute centre will be adjacent to the Elgar Peterson Arena with a dedicated exhibit gallery. The gallery will feature images, videos and other items drawn from the thousands sent to the community after the April 6, 2018 bus crash.

"They’re really working for it to be a place of inspiration, that inspires you to do your best, to be a team player, to make sure that you play for the crest on your front and not your name on your back," Boulet said. 

An ice surface for the city and a fitness centre are also part of the planned centre. The ice surface will support local hockey within the community, the Humboldt Broncos and other skating sports.

"The fact that in the City of Humboldt, there is only one arena, and Logan would have to travel with lots of the boys. They would jump in their vehicles and drive to small towns for practice. Another rink is needed in Humboldt," said Logan’s father Toby Boulet. 

The committee is in the preliminary planning phase.

"It will probably be a good two years out before we have developed a final concept plan," said Humboldt City Manager Joe Day.

During a virtual news conference Monday, Day said the roadside memorial would likely be built sooner than the tribute centre.

The city and the memorials committee announced plans for a national capital fundraising campaign to help cover the projects' costs.

Day estimates the cost of the projects could be close to $25 million.