. . .while BLC matches grant for operations

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The High Prairie Curling Association is receiving a $20,000 operating grant from Big Lakes County.
At its regular meeting April 13, council passed a motion to match funding High Prairie town council approved April 12. The Town grant is for a capital project while the County’s is for operating.
North Gilwood – Triangle Councillor Jim Zabolotniuk suggested council contribute an equal amount.
“We can show that we’re in partnership and match with the Town,” Zabolotniuk says.
Joussard Councillor Richard Mifflin added the funding will help sustain the club.
“I think we need to make it active and viable,” Mifflin said.
Administration presented a recommendation to deny a $50,000 operating grant from the curling club.
Club president Darla Driscoll and treasurer John Chapman appeared before council March 23 asking for a one-time $50,000 operating grant.
Brett Hawken, director of community and protective services, told council the one-time grant would cover insurance service fees and maintenance of the curling rink.
Administration recommended the issue be directed to the joint recreation committee with High Prairie for a future recommendation on how to support the curling club.
After further discussing the issue, the curling club representatives said the club does not plan to apply for annual funding.
“However, the club may request funding at a later date depending on how its finances are looking while recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hawken said.
The club also requested a grant for repairs to the curling rink.
“Their fundraising ability has been diminished due to COVID and with the lack of incoming funds, they have not been able to fix parts of the building that need repairs,” Hawken says.
The club wants to repair the stairs, eavestroughs and walkways. The club would also like to install a camera at the “house” end of the rink and have a few viewing screens in different parts of the rink to create a “more appealing viewing experience” for spectators.
During the season, the club had six mixed teams and six men’s and women’s teams.
But many members play on two teams.
“So it has an estimated 32-40 members as of March 31,” Hawken told council.
The membership fees are $300 to play in one league and $500 to play in two.

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