Curling club gets much-needed funding for upgrade

Mathew Klie-Cribb, Centretown News

Mathew Klie-Cribb, Centretown News

Curlers at the Rideau Curling Club enjoy brand new curling rocks. The club recently received $435,000 in grants for repairs and equipment.

The funding could not have come at a better time for one of Centretown’s oldest sports clubs.

The Rideau Curling Club (RCC) recently received two grants from the Recreational Infrastructure Canada Program and the Trillium Foundation, totalling $435,000.

“Certainly from our standpoint it was really a godsend,” says Layne Noble, president of the RCC. “The plant equipment is many years old, and it was badly in need of replacement.”

Last season, the RCC began to worry about losing membership. With equipment failures causing a late start to its season, the club was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

“This just allows us to move things forward with more of a timely basis and not risk losing the operation of our members,” says Noble.

The curling club has approximately 650 members.

The RCC filed grant proposals at the end of May for a new evaporator, an ammonia brine chiller and a new de-humidification system, which will improve the conditions and the lifespan of the ice.

Along with new equipment, the club is expecting to use the grants to upgrade its electrical distribution system and insulation of the rink’s walls. Also, the club plans to repair its external brick walls to extend the building’s life.

 “These implementations will essentially put our plant back as a new operation,” says Noble.

The club is now striving to enhance the curling experience for its members, already adding a new condenser to its maintenance equipment to cool the water into ice.

The club recently spent $50,000 on state-of-the-art rocks to improve the curling experience for members.

 “With the new equipment, it will allow for a better curl and improves the game,” says member Ed Charette.

Known for being one of the more competitive clubs in Ottawa, the RCC can continue to bring a long line of history and success to its community, says Noble.

“To us it is more about amateur and recreational sports which create more vibrant communities in Ontario,” says Bob Wilson, a Trillium representative. “The more people we get involved, the more people who will help make that community a better thing.”

But the highly anticipated repairs have been postponed, so they won't disrupt the upcoming season.

“The curling season ends in April. We have a four month widow of opportunity to get the vast majority of this work done,” says Noble.

Once the repairs are complete, the RCC will be able to extend its season into the summer months. This means more curling and more revenue for the club.

“I would play at it in the summer,” says Charette. “Absolutely.”