Three Hills Curling Club to receive $100,000 CFEP Grant

Curling Rink Ice Plant

The Three Hills Curling Club has been awarded a $100,000 grant to help with its ice-plant upgrades and other related improvements.

The announcement of the Community Facility Enhancement Program Grant came in a mid-January letter, according to Curling Club president Mark Ferguson.

“We are really happy with the announcement and are meeting this week to discuss how best to apply the funds,” Ferguson said.

The old system relied on a refrigerant which had been outlawed and had also exceeded its expected life by about 10 years, Ferguson noted.

“A plant failure was imminent and the cost to replace the system on our own would have been outside of our means,”

It was decided to get involved in a joint project with the town of Three Hills, which was dealing with a similar situation at the adjoining Centennial Arena Ice plant, and combine the two ice making systems into one.

This offered benefits to both facilities: The arena will have access to the greater cooling capacity for summer ice making and the curling club was able to get access to a new ice-plant for a much lower price than by purchasing an entire stand-alone system.

“Even with the reduced cost, the curling club was stretched quite thin to cover the upgrade so the grant will go a long way to making sure the club can continue to provide a place for people of all ages in the Kneehill area to come and enjoy the game of curling,” Ferguson said.

The curling club has a growing Junior curling program which is helping to get the next generation of curlers into the sport and the club has recently made strides to make curling more affordable for senior members as well.

Seniors curling has evolved into drop-in curling each Tuesday and Friday morning where any and all curlers can enjoy the game. Membership is a modest $25 a year although men’s and mixed curling leagues are an additional $100 each per participant.

More people are needed to fill the sheets at drop-in. Come at 9 a.m. and teams are picked for curling at 9:30 a.m.

“It is so important to have this rink because looking down the road we will be needing homegrown facilities as our travel becomes more and more restricted and we will have to participate locally,” curling club seniors’ director Phil Johnson said.

“The Curling Club would like to thank the Town for working with us to make this upgrade a reality,” president Ferguson added.