The Drumheller Curling Club made an appearance at Town Council on Monday. The reason? They need a commitment from the Town to go ahead with their studies and fundraising plans for a new curling rink.
"We have to build what we can afford, and therein lies the rub," explained Curling Club President Larry Needham. "We have to raise money from a variety of sources. Hopefully, most of it will come from Federal or Provincial government grants."
Unfortunately, the club can't apply for grants before they have a firm plan in place and that requires commitment from the Town.
"The grants that we're hoping to get here are on a four-year cycle," said Needham. "We have to have our submissions in to the levels of government for them to respond this year. In order to go after those grants, we have to have the commitment from the Town to a) build a curling rink and b) give us the location."
There are two proposals for the new curling rink, both of which would be situated just north of the existing rink. One would be built in the east-west direction and the other would be north-south. Needham said the club is lobbying for a north-south rink to allow for a new parking lot.
Either way, the curling club hopes to have six sheets in the new rink which would allow them to hold larger tournaments and events.
In addition, Needham hopes to partner with the Badlands Hellraisers. He explained that the Hellraisers need a new arena for roller derby and, by modifying the existing new curling rink plans to accommodate the roller derby team, the curling rink could serve double-duty. Being a multi-purpose facility would allow it to be used year-round and would help contribute to the fundraising and promotional efforts.
"We run our own show financially, with curling fees, with casinos and the raffles," said Needham. "We are self-sufficient entirely, even to the extent that we pay our own utilities, we pay the Town a considerable amount of rent on the ice plant. And, we run it primarily with volunteers. We have one paid employee, that being our ice-maker."