File photo

File photo

Fernie curlers return to the ice after two-year hiatus

Registration hits all-time high

Members of the Fernie Curling Club drew their first rocks on Monday, October 28, after a two-year hiatus from the rink.

Registration hit approximately 140 members this year, a record high for the club.

Ice in the Fernie Curling Club has been created with the help of a new Freon ice plant, which both the curling club and Memorial Arena now share. In the curling club, new roll-out PVC piping has been installed along the floor where the sheets are located. Water is then flooded over top of the piping, a system designed to give ice makers better control over the temperature of the ice.

The new modular ice mats required an investment of $124k by the City of Fernie, $10k of which was donated by the club. The proposition for the new mats was the result of a leaking flooring system, which cost the club their season last year. The year before this, the club was shut due to the ammonia leak.

Club president Annie McFarlane said the new method of making ice brought with it a slew of unexpected challenges, mostly out of their control; new equipment not arriving in time, equipment not operating as it should, challenges configuring the new chiller, and more.

At times, McFarlane said the prospect of curling again seemed almost out of reach.

After countless hours and months of work, it came down to a matter of minutes on what was anticipated to be their first night of curling. When crews went to place the hacks on October 28, just hours before curlers were set to arrive, they found they did not fit.

A group of three volunteers got to work and finished modifying the hacks less than one hour before the first stones were thrown.

“(There were) a lot of nail-biting moments through the last two years, knowing, not knowing, being okay and not being okay,” said McFarlane.

“So… then to watch people on the ice curling on Monday was pretty cool, to say the least. Honestly, I didn’t think we were going to see that.”

After the issues last season, McFarlane thought that the club would be shut for a long time. She said she is thankful to the City of Fernie for purchasing the new refrigeration mats, which has allowed them to return to the sport they love.

The City explained in an email that these new mats were purchased because they can be moved to another location, should there be a need in the future. They further explained that as this is a new product in City of Fernie facilities, staff worked with the curling club on an implementation schedule which took into consideration potential unforeseen circumstances. As a result of this, the target date for starting the ice plant was schedule one week earlier than usual.

During the system start up, the contractor encountered air blockages which resulted in some delays, however the ice plant is now fully operation and the facility has been transferred to the curling club for their season.

Approximately 50 participated in the first night of curling, followed by the seniors league the night after which also saw the use of all four sheets.

McFarlane said they wouldn’t be curling had it not been for their dedicated group of volunteers.

“These people, they were there because they wanted to curl, and we were all curling last week, and it was pretty cool to see after two years,” said McFarlane.

“Yes, we all worked really hard, yes, I played my role, the board played their role, everybody played their roles, and we had record registration, but none of this would have happened without our volunteers, which were spectacular.”

McFarlane said the club is looking forward to not only hosting senior and mixed teams, but also the youth in the area from both The Fernie Academy and Fernie Secondary School.

In addition to sheet rentals, the club currently hosts three leagues, the juniors, and drop-ins on Thursday nights starting in the new year.

She thanked the Sparwood Curling Club for opening their arms to them, and hosting members of the Fernie Curling Club during their two-year hiatus.

If interested in joining in on the fun, call the Fernie Curling Club at (250) 423-6553 and ask for Annie McFarlane.



editor@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

The plans for the the FFHS's latest project. (Image contributed)
Construction well underway on FFHS’s latest project

Contributed by Gayle Vallance President, FFHS Since 2000 the Fernie Family Housing… Continue reading

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
MSA Update: Elk Valley fortunate in recruiting

President of the MSA Dr Chalmers-Nixon said new hires were closing gaps in the valley’s medical services

The Holy Family Catholic Church. (Photo Contributed)
Italian bake sale fundraises for the Holy Family Church

The Fernie Catholic Women’s League is running the tasty sale from Dec. 2 until Dec. 19

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Most Read