Melfort Curling Club going through major renovations

Over the next one to three years, the Melfort curling rink will undergo a $1.1 million multi-phase revitalization plan.

The revitalization project is a multi-year, multi-phase infrastructure plan to upgrade key components at the Melfort curling rink. Many of these renovations involve things that aren’t visible to the public but are very important to the operation of a rink, such as ice plant and roof upgrades. Work has already begun on Phase 1 and is expected to wrap up by spring. A new chiller, compressor and roof over the lounge/bathrooms/kitchen are all being upgraded. Subsequent phases involve improving accessibility into the building, interior updates, upgrades to the rest of the flat roof over the ice surface. Work on the next phases will begin as fundraising targets are met.

Melfort Curling Club volunteer board member Kerrie DeGooijer has been on the board for six years and the chair of the revitalization project for the last year.

In 12 months, the Melfort curling club has successfully raised $640,000 thanks to grants and their community. Degooijer said she is extremely grateful for all the businesses and families that have donated to our capital plan so far, and for the volunteers and our staff for making things happen.

The funding breakdown so far:

- Just over $310,000 from an Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program grant (ICIP).

- Nearly $275,000 from the local business community, including: $100,000 from Bourgault Industries for 10 year naming rights of the rink. The facility is now called the Bourgault Curling Centre; $50,000 from Brandt for naming rights of the lounge. It’s now called Brandt’s Last Rock Lounge; $25,000 from Viterra for naming rights of the changing room; and All capital project donors are listed on a sponsor board located in the curling rink. There are 39 businesses, families and individuals so far that have contributed.

- Just over $36,000 was raised at the club’s 50th Anniversary celebration held on Sept. 10.

- The club also received a $10,000 grant to upgrade its sound system

The Melfort Curling rink is unique in that it is completely independent from the City of Melfort. Most curling rinks are owned by the municipality and operated by a board. DeGooijer said that their non-profit organization has been self-sustainable all these years, and these capital upgrades will ensure the club’s continued self-sustainability by improving its efficiency, functionality and safety.

DeGooijer said if the public wants to donate to contact the Curling Club to find out the various options you or your business may want to do. There is still $400,000 left to raise. Tax receipts can be provided over certain amounts.

DeGooijer said the curling rink is such an important recreation and social hub for the Northeast.

We give people, of all ages and abilities, something to do in the winter months, she said. We also bring significant economic benefits to the city. We partner with local groups and schools for various events and fundraisers. The sport’s popularity is growing in Melfort recently.

DeGooijer encourages anyone interested in the sport of curling for fun or to play competitively to come on down.

Nicole Goldsworthy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal