Welcome to the Centre of the Brampton Universe
CAA South Central Ontario is an official resident of the GTA’s most multicultural city: Brampton. This past Sunday’s Zabardast (Hindi expression meaning grand and unique) Grand Opening was a classic double-double both to celebrate the renamed CAA Centre and an open-armed welcome for the entire community. As proud new title-owners of the 5000-seat multi-purpose complex, big plans are in motion to revive the Centre as a beacon for the City of Brampton.
The sounds of children’s laughter, lively music, and the aroma of food good enough to make taste buds stand at attention coaxed visitors into a celebration in full swing. A series of Zones had something fun for everyone from the kids to Daada. If the flurry of activity was any indication, the polished fire truck from Brampton Fire were a big hit. A CAA tow truck and Zamboni rounded out the hands-on car-lover experience. Hockey hopefuls tested the accuracy of their slap shot while others played nostalgic games of ring toss in the Game Zone. Raucous cheers rang out at the CAA booth as folks signed up for the chance to win event tickets, gift cards, instant giveaways, and the chance to secure a VIP private box Brampton Beast experience. Freshly minted henna tattoos adorned the skin of fashionistas and caricature artists were on hand to memorialize the day with good-natured humour.
The event also served as the Brampton Beast pre-season kick-off, with fans treated to a puck drop and free game against the rival Laurier Golden Hawks. Afterwards, it was something to watch as fans young and young at heart joined an open skate with the players. It’s a reminder that when you love Canada’s game in its purest form, a local arena is pivotal to nurturing burgeoning sports-lovers.
Stepping through the doors of the CAA Centre, there’s a palpable sense of the shift. The most pleasing sight was the diverse array of people at Zabardast–an accurate representation of the surrounding community and precisely what CAA hoped to recreate within.
“On behalf of the City and my colleagues on the Council, we welcome CAA’s investment in Brampton. We look forward to many years of working together to bring Bramptonians exciting sporting and cultural experiences,” said Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey. “This arena has been a visible landmark to the Brampton community and surrounding area. It has hosted and supported local sports teams and significant cultural events that showcase the wonderful diversity of our vibrant city.”
“Sports and entertainment venues are the epicentre of a community, so it was important for us to find a partner understanding of the fabric of such a diverse and lively city as Brampton,” said Jonas Prince, Chairman, Realstar Group. “With CAA we have found a dedicated and collaborative partner interested in building a synergistic relationship with our many stakeholders.”
Why Brampton and why now? The renaming is part of a strategy to offer CAA members across the country with more than just reliable roadside help and insurance for its members, “Making bad days good, and good days better.”
“As a member-based organization, we’re always looking for ways to really surprise, delight and give back to our members and the community,” said Rhonda English, chief marketing officer for CAA South Central Ontario. “The grand opening at the new CAA Centre was a fantastic opportunity to connect with Brampton’s growing and diverse families.”
“Sunday’s event is just the beginning and we are looking forward to creating many meaningful experiences for families living in the Brampton area,” continued English.
For the South Central branch, the aim is to create that experience for those who call Brampton home. By offering more culturally diverse events, access to exclusive offers, and unique chances for engagement with their neighbours, the vision is to make the CAA Centre a hub and gathering place for the community. For the long-standing safety brand, it’s about being a good neighbour by supporting growth, creativity, and our unique blend of diversity.
Patrons can continue to expect excellent hometown hockey and use of the ice for a variety of sports and activities. It’ll continue to be a place to bring the whole family to experience major sporting events and concerts. Trade shows and industry events will support the economic development of local small business, entrepreneurs, and entice large corporations to Brampton as a viable alternative to downtown Toronto.
A key difference is what visitors can expect to see in the months and years to come. An increase in the array and frequency of international sports and entertainment such as cricket and Kabaddi, South Asian music performances and Festivals, and cultural activities to celebrate the diverse heritage of the region and those who live within its borders. CAA members will have advance access to tickets to select events, skip-the-line privileges, as well as concession discounts.
“CAA is a trusted partner, cares about family safety and wants to give good service to all of their customers. We’re looking forward to another decade of performances, social events, hockey, sports… and all kinds of fun events,” added Mayor of Brampton Linda Jeffrey. “I think this is going to be a place where you want to bring your friends and family in the future.”
In short, the CAA Centre plans to become a piece of the fabric of Bramptonite’s everyday lives and experience. If Zabardast is a sign, the transformation has already begun.