Curlers cap off season with spring meeting

by Phil Ambroziak

Whether or not membership fees will increase is something the Meadow Lake Curling Club executive will have to decide come its next meeting this fall.

During the club’s spring meeting held April 9, the issue of membership fees was put on hold pending the outcome of a forthcoming decision by the Saskatchewan Curling Association that could affect clubs throughout the province.

“The SCAs AGM is scheduled for April 26 during which there will be some membership proposals coming forward,” explained club member Vince Huffman. “The first two are more or less housekeeping issues while the third could hit some clubs pretty hard if carried.”

Huffman said each club in the province pays an annual affiliation fee to SCA based on the number of sheets of ice in use and on the population of the community to which the club belongs. The proposed change would result in this formula being eliminated in favour of a new fee based on $10 per club member.

“It wouldn’t mean a big change for us,” Huffman continued. “Our affiliation fees right now are about $1,250, but the proposed change would see that amount increase to about $1,500.”

While some initial discussion took place concerning the Meadow Lake club’s ability to have a delegate attend the SCA meeting to vote against the proposal, it was felt a fee increase of only about $250 annually would likely be manageable if it meant local curlers could still benefit from such SCA services as grant options, access to various curling clinics and more.

If possible, a local member will attend the SCA AGM.

Renovations and upkeep
Along with routine business including an update on this past season’s bonspiels, fundraising efforts and financial figures, those in attendance for the meeting also discussed potential upgrades to the curling club building.

“I want to see the front of the building get painted this year for sure,” Kevin Valliere said. “With extra money we’re likely to generate from the trade fair (April 25-27), I think we can afford it. We’ll need volunteers and hopefully it won’t rain cats and dogs on whatever day we choose to do it.”

Huffman said the club should take a lesson from the Meadow Lake Aquatic Centre and have the building sandblasted before repainting it.

“They left their building its natural colour,” he said. “I’d rather that than, somewhere down the road, finding us back with what we’ve got now.”

Huffman also suggested the club consider some sort of building fund.

“I’ve been here for 25 years and a lot of this place looks the same as it did 25 years ago,” he added.
Club president Derek Demmans agreed.

“A lot of stuff here could be updated or changed,” he said.

Just as PineRidge Ford Place’s name was recently attached to the club as a form of sponsorship following the local dealership’s decision to loan the club money for a new roof, Valliere suggested something similar could be done inside the club to help with further upgrades.

“Let’s get a sponsor, put their name across the bar up here and get some money for new furnaces,” he said. “That’s the next thing that’s going to need to be done.”

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