Vote coming next week on future of Charlottetown Curling Club

·2 min read
'We're looking forward to Thursday night,' says Tyler Harris, president of the Charlottetown Curling Club. Members will vote on the future of the club next Thursday, March 18.  (Nicola MacLeod/CBC - image credit)
'We're looking forward to Thursday night,' says Tyler Harris, president of the Charlottetown Curling Club. Members will vote on the future of the club next Thursday, March 18. (Nicola MacLeod/CBC - image credit)

Members of the Charlottetown Curling Club will meet next week to vote on the future of the club, which has struggled over the last year because of problems with its ice-making equipment.

Last October, curling at the club was delayed and eventually cancelled because of the breakdown. Some Charlottetown curlers went to play in Cornwall or Montague.

"The whole ice plant needs to be replaced," club president Tyler Harris told Island Morning's Mitch Cormier Thursday.

Replacing the broken part for the ice plant could cost up to $80,000, while replacing the entire ice-making plant would be about $250,000 — and that's on top of other expenses at the club. Harris said the whole plant is old, and other parts could fail at any time.

The club has formed two working groups, one looked at investing in the current facility and the other to look at moving to a new location.

"When you're making such an investment, we feel we have to be looking 20 years out into the future, so that's kind of what these working groups did is do some long-term vision and planning to see if we can't come up with the best solution to keep curling in Charlottetown or surrounding area," Harris said.

Memberships still available to vote

The special meeting on the club's future will happen next Thursday, March 18 at 7 p.m. It will be a combined virtual and in-person meeting if health restrictions allow it.

'We're doing the best we can,' says Tyler Harris of efforts to keep the Charlottetown Curling Club going. 'Lots of people care that we keep curling in Charlottetown.'
'We're doing the best we can,' says Tyler Harris of efforts to keep the Charlottetown Curling Club going. 'Lots of people care that we keep curling in Charlottetown.'(Nicola MacLeod/CBC)

Club members will hear both presentations, then discuss and vote on how they'd like to proceed, Harris said. He is hoping more than 100 members will have their say.

The club is still taking memberships until the end of the day March 14. People have been renewing their memberships, priced at $20 this year, to participate in the decision-making process. Past and present members are welcome to renew, Harris said.

Meanwhile, the city has called for proposals to replace the pool and arena at Simmons Sport Centre. A new centre could potentially also include curling. Harris said it is a "consideration" for the club but there have been no advances from anyone yet.

"There's all kinds of different proposals being talked about right now," Harris said. "The trend going across the country are the multiplexes, for sure, the multiple ice surfaces in one facility sharing the facility."

One of the obstacles the curling club has had was that it would often sit idle in summer, he said, noting the building's upkeep is expensive.

"We're optimistic about the future," he said.

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