Another successful season has passed at the Virden Curling Club (VCC). Memberships for all leagues, bonspiels entries, and (most importantly) junior memberships have increased and remained strong over the past 10 years, thanks to a strong volunteer base, great staff, well maintained facility and extremely supportive local businesses.
I would venture a guess that we are one of the busiest and most financially viable small town curling clubs in Manitoba.
Meanwhile, the trends often show decline. Urban clubs are shutting down or amalgamating. Small town clubs are shortening seasons, while experiencing lower league and bonspiel entries.
Curling continues to be a fantastic recreational activity for all ages, and skill levels. Clubs like Carberry, Pilot Mound, and Whitewood run very successful bonspiels, relative to the population of their communities. Winnipeg still hosts the largest bonspiel in the world, the Manitoba Bonspiel.
The VCC needs to stay on top of the changing times to maintain a viable community curling club.
Curling in Virden has momentum. Coming off of a wildly successful Scottie’s Tournament of Hearts ladies’ provincial playdowns in 2014, VCC is Proudly hosting the Viterra Championship men’s provincial playdowns, in February of 2019. These events raise money, bringing curlers and fans from across the province into town for the week.
We are looking forward to a packed house in February - stay tuned for volunteer recruitment nights. We are already feeling the excitement and support of the community!
The board of the VCC has some decisions to make as we get closer to the next season. Many will recall that back in 2014, the Scotties committee earmarked funds for Phase 2 of Tundra Oil & Gas Place: the new curling club. That money remains earmarked, and we continue to raise and save funds for this project, which is the ultimate plan for the future.
Until that time, we (the board) feel it important to continue to provide a safe, user friendly, and top caliber curling facility. Over the past few years, using operating revenues, we have: upgraded 30-year-old carpet, freshened up the interior and exterior paint, tinned the leaking roof, and upgraded ice maintenance equipment.
With a grant presented by MP Larry Maguire, we have installed two defibrillators. With a donation from Virden & Area Foundation we will also have an “on ice camera system” for fan enjoyment in the 2018/2019 curling season. With relatively minor investments, we can continue to maintain this facility for the foreseeable future until major funds can be raised to move Phase 2 along.
We are looking for feedback from our members and community supporters regarding fund allocation from our savings. The following proposals are in discussions:
- Kitchen: We have been forced to make less than ideal changes to meet the strict health and safety regulations. To improve food service, maintain a pleasing atmosphere, and meet health/safety regulations, we are proposing a kitchen renovation worth approximately $5,000 to $15,000.
- Electrical Upgrades: Due to changes to our power supply since construction of TOGP, our staff deal with ongoing maintenance issues requiring us to check systems on a daily basis to ensure our ice plant and other systems are still up and running. This limits our power supply for off-season users of the building, (weddings, dances, and socials). Based on professional recommendations we have proposals to improve our power supply ranging from $5,000 to $35,000.
- Energy Efficiency: We have a proposal to take advantage of the MB Hydro Rebate program to replace existing lighting with high efficiency lights.
- Washrooms: Minor renovations.
- Wheel chair accessibility: Major construction to adapt VCC’s main floor for accessibility.
To our members, this is your club. Please provide written feedback to the following addresses: email: email@example.com; OR Virden Curling Club, PO Box 941 Virden, MB R0M2C0.
(PresidentVCC Board of Directors)