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Tag: Pincher Creek Curling Club

Three men sweep as a curling rock moves down the ice

Big step toward new Pincher Creek curling rink

For curlers in Pincher Creek and surrounding area, it was the best possible news — an early Christmas present, if you will.

After months, maybe years, of uncertainty, it now appears a new curling facility is one step closer to reality after the Pincher Creek Curling Club received approval of a $1-million grant application through the province’s Community Facility Enhancement Program.

The new structure, to be built on the existing golf course parking lot, has a current estimated cost of about $3.6 million, which is expected to be shared evenly between the club, the town and the MD.

“We’ve always had money set aside for a curling rink,” explained Mayor Don Anderberg following a curling event Jan. 20.

“So, where it’s at right now … there has to be discussion about how this is going to look going forward.”

Construction of the proposed four-sheet facility will include connecting the club, in some form, to the golf course clubhouse and utilizing the restaurant, now closed over the winter months.

 

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“Our intent is to make the clubhouse a year-round facility,” Anderberg added.

Because of height restrictions with Crestview Lodge next door, the new rink won’t have the advantage of a second-floor viewing area, as it enjoys now.

It will, however, be able to generate revenue during the five or so months the ice is out with weddings, dances or other community events. Unlike the Main Street location, which has a dirt-based foundation, the new facility will have a solid concrete floor.

Although a large portion of its $1.3-million share comes from the Alberta government, curling club president Hayley Smith said there’s still some fundraising to be done — about $200,000.

“We will be looking for corporate sponsorships to help cover some of the remaining cost,” she said. “Our [ice] plant, which was installed in 2018, will also be moved over to the new site as part of our contribution to the project.”

Asked if there’s any indication when construction might start, the mayor said possibly later this year with a potential 2025 opening, once everything that needs to be done is in place.

 

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Related articles:

Pincher Creek to build new curling rink pending borrowing bylaw

Borrowing bylaw for curling rink passes first hurdle

Borrowing bylaw for curling rink petitioned

 

Five women pose with curling brooms and rocks

Shootin’ the Breeze Pincher Creek – Jan. 24, 2024

Clean sweep to victory

Sixteen teams and six days of competition, and it was an all-ladies rink that took the title at this year’s Town and Country Mixed Bonspiel at the Pincher Creek Curling Club.

Creekview Dental, led by co-skips Hayley Smith and Jessie Kilkenny, doubled Justin Zoratti’s foursome 4-2, stealing one in the sixth end to take the championship in Saturday’s A-event final. From left are Shelby Speight (spare), Jocelyn Metzler (lead), Jessie Kilkenny (skip),  Jessica Brauer (third) and Hayley Smith (second).

Liz Dolman, a middle-aged woman with long, straight, blonde hair, sits at a table collecting petition signatures

Borrowing bylaw for curling rink petitioned

A petition circulating in Pincher Creek could upset council’s plan to build a new curling rink, according to an administration report in council’s March 27 agenda. 

The petition, launched by town resident Elizabeth Dolman on March 17, aims to block the passage of a borrowing bylaw for a multi-million-dollar construction loan, pending a referendum on the loan, Dolman told Shootin’ the Breeze

“We don’t have enough information [about the curling rink project],” Dolman said, questioning the potential tax implications and calling for more attention to other civic priorities, namely housing

“Curling is a wonderful thing, … but people can’t move here for jobs because there’s no place to live. The town’s known this for at least 20 years, and they’ve made plans here and there. But they haven’t done anything yet,” she continued. 

 

Aerial view of the Cowley Lions Campground on the Castle River in southwestern Alberta

The petition is the latest development in a long-running and hotly contentious debate about whether or not to build a new rink and where to build it. 

Whatever might be said of the project, the town’s existing curling rink at 837 Main St. is at the end of its working life, according to structural studies dating back at least to 2008. The rink is run by the Pincher Creek Curling Club, at the club’s expense. The club has around 150 members, roughly evenly split between the town and MD of Pincher Creek, according to outgoing president Glenda Kettles.   

Council on Feb. 13 narrowly passed a resolution to build a new rink at the Community Recreation Centre at 942 Hyde St., to be renamed the CRC and Events Centre if the build goes ahead. The borrowing bylaw, still before council, was given the first of three readings at chambers on Feb. 27. 

Second and third readings are not listed on council’s March 27 agenda. 

 

Pincher Creek holds approximately $3.5 million in debt as of the new year — roughly $1.85 million for the town’s early learning centres and around $1.65 million for Pincher Creek RCMP’s current headquarters at 1369 Hunter St., according to finance director Wendy Catonio

That burden represents just under one quarter of the town’s approximately $15 million allowable debt limit, which the Municipal Government Act caps at 150 per cent of a municipality’s most recent annual revenue. For context, Catonio said the town’s current debt load is unremarkable compared to regional municipalities. 

If passed, the borrowing bylaw would authorize council to take out a loan for up to $4 million in estimated construction costs for the curling rink build. The town would then be obligated to pay down whatever amount it draws on the loan. 

The town has meanwhile applied for a federal grant that could cover up to 60 per cent of the build. Tristan Walker, the town and neighbouring MD’s energy project lead, said he hoped for a decision by the grant funder sometime this summer. 

 

Town council in 2017 committed $1.25 million to match the curling club’s hoped-for grant through the province’s Community Facility Enhancement Program. The CFEP grant didn’t come through, and council has included the $1.25 million commitment in subsequent budgets. 

The $1.25 million was always intended to be financed through a loan rather than the town’s capital reserves, Catonio explained.

Coun. Mark Barber, a longtime supporter of the build, told council last month that the curling club would contribute $200,000 through fundraising efforts, adding that the club would donate its ice plant, which Barber said was worth $500,000. 

Barber also said the MD would probably kick in some money. Reeve Rick Lemire later told the Breeze that MD council discussed that possibility in a joint session with town council, but the MD hasn’t made any financial commitments. 

 

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In order to be successful, Dolman’s petition would have to satisfy a number of conditions listed in the MGA.

Petitions to council need signatures from 10 per cent of municipal residents, which amounts to roughly 360 people in Pincher Creek, according to the 2021 census. 

The petition would have to come to Angie Lucas, the town’s new chief administrative officer, no later than March 30. Lucas would then have 45 days to decide if the petition satisfies the Act’s requirements. 

If the petition holds up, council would have to either scrap the curling rink build or put the borrowing bylaw to a town referendum. If the petition fails, council could pass the borrowing bylaw and move ahead with the project, according to Lucas’s latest report to council.  

 

Lucas has recommended that council receive for information an explainer at chambers Monday evening about the petition process.

Few of the project’s vital details have been made public as of Friday afternoon, including a detailed cost estimate, according to an FAQ page on the town’s website.

The curling club owns the existing rink, while the town owns the land on which it sits. There is no plan for what happens at the old curling rink after the building comes down,  nor information about the financial implications for the town and tax implications for residents, the FAQ page explains. 

The curling club did not respond to a request for an interview before Shootin’ the Breeze published this story online on Friday afternoon. 

 

Roughly 170 people had signed Dolman’s petition to that point. Dolman has said she will continue to collect signatures at Ranchland Mall over the weekend. 

Kettles said Friday that the curling club has so far raised around $100,000 toward the new rink.

Kids trick or treating in lion costumes – one roaring and one smiling on the front page of Shootin' the Breeze. Alberta news from Pincher Creek area and Crowsnest Pass.

Nov. 2, 2022

Lion’s share of fun

Ames and Miles were spotted enjoying Spooky Town and the great weather Saturday at Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village in Pincher Creek.

Curling rock with red handle is pushed with a stick in a game of sturling

Pincher Creek celebrated as Alberta’s sturling hotbed

It’s official — Pincher Creek is the sturling capital of Alberta.

“What is sturling?” you may ask. Invented in Didsbury, Alta., in 1998, the sport is much like the game of curling.

The biggest difference between the sports is that, in sturling, rocks are delivered with sticks or sliding, rather than exclusively sliding when curling. Other differences include sturling teams made up of two players instead of four, and games taking only one hour to complete compared to curling’s three.

Garry Cleland, Pincher Creek’s director of sturling, helped introduce the sport to the community in 2017. What began as a group of four members — Garry and his wife, Ruth, his cousins Dennis and Mel Cleland — has now turned into 58, with more on the way.

“It’s opened the game to a whole new group of people,” Garry says, adding that individuals of all abilities can play.

Garry recently reached out to Curling Alberta to inquire about how many sturling members other communities had. He was informed that Curling Alberta does not keep track of sturling statistics, but that the sport’s inventor, Carson Schultz, had all of the numbers available.

After contacting Carson, Garry found out that only one community had more members than Pincher Creek — Red Deer, with 60. However, with Red Deer’s population at just above 100,000 and Pincher Creek’s sitting below 7,000 with town and MD combined, our community has far and away the most sturlers per capita, making it the sturling capital of Alberta.

“It’s been getting very, very popular,” Garry says of the sport.