New community arena to be named in honour of fallen police officer

February 8, 2024
Photo provided.
Photo provided.

A new community arena, currently under construction in Spruce Grove as part of the Civic Centre project, will be named in honour of fallen Edmonton Police Service constable and Spruce Grove resident Brett Ryan, ensuring his legacy and sacrifice is recognized and remembered for generations to come.

A hockey fan, participant, volunteer, and well-respected referee in the community, Brett spent many hours at local facilities giving back to the sport and community he loved.

“Brett was passionate about helping and serving others, both in his professional and personal life, and it was a heartbreaking loss for our community and his family, friends and colleagues,” said Mayor Jeff Acker. “We wanted to find a meaningful way to honour Brett’s memory and the lasting impact he’s had on our community, and in working with Brett’s family, have decided this is the most appropriate direction based on his connections to Spruce Grove. His unwavering dedication to helping others will continue to inspire our residents and all those who visit the arena from outside the community.”

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from people here in Spruce Grove and right across Canada,” said Ashley Ryan, Brett’s wife. “Brett loved Spruce Grove and he loved being at the rink, whether it was playing, officiating, or mentoring younger referees. It’s comforting to know that our young son will be able to grow up playing hockey in a facility dedicated to his dad and that Brett’s spirit will live on in one of his favourite places. I want to thank the City of Spruce Grove for making this happen.”

“Brett first stepped onto the ice when he was three years old and never looked back,” remembers his parents, Bob and Laurie Ryan. “Growing up, the hockey community became his second family and the rink his second home. Over the years, countless individuals helped shape Brett into the man that he was, both on and off the ice, and he was so proud and thankful to be able to give back to the community that gave so much to him. Having Brett’s name attached to this new community gathering place is a fitting tribute to his legacy, and we thank the community and the City of Spruce Grove for honouring our son in this meaningful way.”

Brett and fellow Edmonton Police Service constable Travis Jordan lost their lives in the line of duty on March 16, 2023, while responding to a call for assistance. 

Construction on the Civic Centre, which is located north of Westwind Drive in the Westwind development, started in late 2023. The facility is expected to open to the public in 2025. In addition to a community arena, the Civic Centre will include a spectator arena, a satellite location for the Spruce Grove Public Library, a black box theatre, an art gallery and dedicated program room, a community walking track, and the co-located Spruce Grove Transit Centre.