The Grande Prairie Curling Centre in Grande Prairie, Alta. on Friday, June 17, 2022. The curling centre is looking to expand its facilities into a year round facility. The City of Grande Prairie says it will be hiring a services to evaluate the feasibility of of converting the curling centre. (Photo by Jesse Boily)Jesse Boily

Original Published on Jun 23, 2022 at 10:16

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Grande Prairie Curling Centre has been named the Alberta Club of the Year for 2022, and the centre continues to look at improving its facilities.

The annual award is given to a club which displays outstanding impact in and on the community, says Curling Alberta.

The club was busy hosting the women’s provincial championship last year. This year, they will be hosting the U15 provincial junior boys and girls, said Colin Griffith, Grande Prairie Curling Centre executive director.

“We’re working with the city on hosting the top 60 teams in the world here in October in the Pinty’s Hearing Life challenge event at the Coca-Cola Centre.”

The club has recently engaged with the city to assess the capability of the building to host summer activities.

Griffith noted the building’s lounge area is used in the summer for social events such as weddings, funerals, and business meetings.

He hopes the building can eventually be used in the summer for activities such as pickleball, bean bag toss, and other games that possess family social attributes.

“We’re going to take a broad look with the city departments and the other sporting organizations to determine what can be done, but it is a facility that exists, and it sits there vacant for five months, and there are a lot of opportunities for us to put it to into some productive use for the for the benefit of the community and people of all ages and physical capacities,” said Griffith.

City council committee of the whole recommended to council to direct administration to submit a mid-year capital budget request to hire professional services of up to $20,000 to evaluate the feasibility of converting the curling centre into a year-round facility.

The city says the $20,000 will go toward assessing the area where the ice typically would be, which doesn’t have air-conditioning and would make that portion of the building difficult to use in the summer.

The assessments would also look at any requirement changes in the fire code that could be needed if the building was used for other activities.

Coun. Chris Thiessen noted the club has shined a light on Grande Prairie, bringing national and international curling coverage to the city.

“It (curling club) is important to our community for all ages from seniors to youth,” he said.  

The club has been operating out of the city-owned building since 1977, said Griffith.

This item reprinted with permission from Town & Country News, Beaverlodge, Alberta