What started out as an initiative to establish organized sports programs at his school turned into a lifelong commitment to the people of the Acadian Peninsula and, in particular, the community of Shippagan. Originally from Caraquet, Rhéal Cormier was a true builder of sports. He organized, coached, promoted, raised funds, supervised and more, all in the interest of others. In 1959, he led a campaign to build the first covered arena in the Acadian Peninsula. In 1974, that building was named in his honour. In 1980, a second ice complex was constructed which also bears the name of Shippagan’s first citizen. His earliest initiative and the many others that followed have helped to improve the quality of life of thousands of people, who have gone on to uphold Rhéal Cormier’s commitment to “sports for everyone” in New Brunswick and beyond. Inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame on June 4, 1994.
Initiated construction of the first indoor arena on the Acadian Penninsula in Shippagan (1959)
Organized community sports programs from 1953-61 and served as volunteer arena manager from 1960-67
Coached local hockey teams to appearances in 7 provincial championships (1960-72)
Considered the "godfather" of young athletes in the region by providing opportunities for them to develop hockey skills
Awarded the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association's Certificate of Merit in 1965
Shippagan arena named in his honour in 1974 (Le Centre Rhéal Cormier)
Named Honorary Citizen of Shippagan in 1980