Early spring is usually when curling season wraps up for Curl Sudbury, but that won’t be the case this year.
In February, Curl Sudbury purchased new stones. Now, thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), Curl Sudbury will be able to renovate the under-ice systems at the curling facility.
Combined with a portion of Curl Sudbury’s own savings, OTF’s grant will be used to install a new concrete floor in the curling rink, replacing the current sand flooring. This change is expected to increase the facility’s energy efficiency and allow further use outside of the winter months. The renovation project is expected to cost approximately $220,000.
"We want to make this facility more energy efficient in order to reduce costs and we want to generate additional revenue in the off season, and this grant will help us accomplish these two goals,” said Jason Bissonnette, president of Curl Sudbury’s board of directors.
"We currently operate a sand floor and this poses a number of challenges for us. For starters, we are unable to make use of our more than 15,000-square-foot facility in the off season. The building sits idle for more than six months of the year, and a concrete floor will allow us to make use of the facility year round."
The new flooring would allow Curl Sudbury to greatly increase the facility’s summer occupancy, allowing the organization to further promote health and wellness activities with summer sports such as pickle ball or having available floor space for trade shows or even film production.
“It’s obviously very exciting for us to be in this position,” said Tom Leonard, facility manager and chief ice technician at Curl Sudbury. “Curling facilities all over the country are seeing similar issues, and it’s so important for us to be mindful of our efficiencies. The concrete floor will help us keep the club colder in winter with less strain on our plant. Curl Sudbury just got a lot greener thanks to OTF.”
Curl Sudbury said it would not have received this grant without the hard work of Leonard and several members of the board of directors, but especially grants and allocations chair Brad Peacock, who led the charge in approaching OTF as well as filling out the application and ensuring Curl Sudbury met all of their conditions.
Curl Sudbury will be hosting a recognition event to thank OTF once the renovations are underway this summer.