Curling club gets green light to search for funding

The club wants to build a concrete floor that would open up hosting opportunities during curling's off-season.

The Nelson Curling Club will get a chance to seek funding for a concrete floor.

The Nelson Curling Club will get a chance to seek funding for a concrete floor.

The Nelson Curling Club’s fate is in its own hands.

The recreation commission voted Tuesday to support the club’s applications for grants and donations that will allow it to build a concrete floor.

The city-owned club still requires a vote from the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) as well as city council. Since the rec commission is made up of members of the city and RDCK, the support is a foregone conclusion.

Councillor Val Warmington, who chairs the rec commission, said she was pleased the vote went in the club’s favour.

“I think it makes sense that this resolution was passed and that we support them,” said Warmington. “I think it’s important now to have a conversation with them so that they understand some of the challenges the commission is facing is terms of financing this vast array of facilities-related improvements that we need to have done. So I’m very happy with the decision that was made today. I think it’s a good one.”

There was debate at the rec commission meeting over whether or not the club’s applications would end up competing with the city’s own funding search for facilities such as the Civic Centre.

Concerns were also raised about the possibility of competition between the club and the adjacent Nelson and District Community Complex, which already has a concrete floor. A sand floor in the club currently means the building, which began operating in 1973, is empty for five months of the year. It’s hoped a concrete floor will open up hosting opportunities during the summer months for events such as concerts and markets.

Club president Gordon Wiess first appeared before city council in April to make his pitch for the project, which he estimated will cost $250,000.

Nelson hosted the provincial men’s curling championship in February, but the club has struggled financially since the annual Midsummer Bonspiel was cancelled in 2008.