The Yarmouth Curling Club says it’s not going to let $35,000 stand in the way of the 2017-2018 curling season and the three municipal units in Yarmouth County have indicated they won’t let that happen either.
A request for emergency funding from the curling club was presented at an Oct. 24 joint meeting of the councils of the town of Yarmouth and municipalities of Yarmouth and Argyle.
Curling director Nick Hilton explained the curling club has had to replace a main component of its ice plant, this being the compressor. Replacement comes at a cost of $35,000, which is a huge expense for the club. But Hilton said they had no choice.
“We’re not going to kill curling for $35,000,” he told the councils. “Although as a club we have decided to push forward with this replacement, we have also taken on a loan to do so, while we conduct a fundraising effort.”
Hilton appealed to the three councils for financial help. Each municipal unit said they would bring the request back to their respective council tables for a decision, but from the tone of the discussion all seemed willing to help.
Yarmouth Deputy Mayor Phil Mooney indicated he would be bringing forth a motion at council’s Oct. 26 committee of the whole meeting to provide funding. No specific amount was requested but Mooney said he’d be prepared to make a motion for $20,000, if needed.
Yarmouth’s curling club is located at the Yarmouth Golf and Country Club, although the non-profit curling association hopes to eventually be part of an expansion at the Mariners Centre and relocate there.
With the curling facility having surpassed its expected life cycle, the Yarmouth Curling Association has had to replace equipment as needed. Three major pieces of equipment have already been replaced and after the compressor this leaves two more critical pieces of equipment in need of replacement, although the costs for those will be lower.
Not having a compressor would have meant the curling club would have had to cease its operations.
The curling association expects its membership to be in the area of 120 members this season. The club has a large stick curling membership and also runs school and junior programming for youth. The club generally hosts two provincial events a year, with an estimated economic impact of between $40,000 and $90,000, depending on the event. This brings in business to local accommodations and restaurants during the winter months, said Hilton.
“Last year we also were the host club for a national curling event, something we want to be able to do again in the near future,” he said.