The president of the Juan de Fuca Curling Association says she was shocked and baffled to find out the rink, which the club has used since 1975, will soon be replaced by dry floor. (Facebook/Juan de Fuca Curling Centre)

West Shore Parks and Recreation confirms closure of JDF curling rink

High operating costs cited as reason for closure, dry floor space to replace it

After a months-long battle fought by the Juan de Fuca Curling Association to keep its rink open, West Shore Parks and Recreation has confirmed its closure.

On Thursday, directors of the curling association met with the West Shore Parks and Recreation Board and staff and were told the rink will be closed and converted into dry floor space.

“We obviously have some very upset members and the executive is still wrapping our head around everything,” said Stephanie Cambrey, a director with the curling association. “This decision was made without public consultation, we don’t even have the report that led to them making this decision.”

READ ALSO:Replacing Juan de Fuca curling rink with dry floor a good move for taxpayers, says West Shore Parks & Recreation

In March, the West Shore Parks and Recreation board announced its decision to close the curling rink that has been in use since 1975. Jonathan Huggett, a project consultant for West Shore Parks and Recreation said dry floor space will be a better value for taxpayer money.

“These decisions are extremely difficult,” said Sandy Clarke, acting administrator for West Shore Parks and Recreation. “West Shore Parks and Recreation hopes that by moving to a dry floor space we would be able to serve a broader range of sports programs and users.”

Clarke said the board looked at revenue generated by each space at West Shore Parks and Recreation as well as the expenses attached to each one and usage. She said the curling rink was creating a “high financial cost for an underused space.”

READ ALSO: JDF curling association hopes to explore ways to keep curling rink open

The lounge area in the rink is also being converted into child care space through a grant from the Province. Clarke said with a growing population in the West Shore, the demand for child care has increased making this a better use of space for the community.

The Juan de Fuca Curling Association says the costs calculated by West Shore Parks and Recreation are inaccurate. West Shore Parks and Recreation says they pay a subsidy of $11.24 per use of the rink which is high, compared to about a $2 subsidy per use of the pool and about $4 per use of the soccer field or hockey arena.

The curling association’s finance team did their own review and found the rink actually makes a 63 cent profit per use of the curling rink.

Kirk Wenzel, a director of the curling association who was one of the people who did the financial review said the discrepancy comes from the board not calculating the cost and number of users correctly.

“They admitted they had a problem with allocating these costs,” Wenzel said. “It was an estimate and wasn’t accurate.”

READ ALSO: West Shore Parks & Recreation reviewing curling association proposal to keep rink open

The curling association had the opportunity to present their numbers to the board and also offered to take over operation of the curling club — renting the space and looking after ice maintenance, installation and removal at the end of the season — but in the end, West Shore Parks and Recreation decided to stand by its original decision.

Clarke said West Shore Parks and Recreation was not in complete agreement with the numbers provided by the curling association.

“None of this is a perfect science, we do our very best with it but there was a discrepancy,” Clarke said.

Cambrey said the curling association members do not believe their fight is over yet. According to Cambrey, letters patent from 1974 show that it is a responsibility for West Shore municipalities to provide a curling rink to the community. The curling association has hired a lawyer to help them find a new home and has asked the municipalities to have their lawyers contact the association lawyer.

“Curling is a social game, you make friends for life and learn communication and team building skills,” Cambrey said. “They’re taking that away from the kids who can’t play other sports like football or soccer and from the seniors who have been playing this game since they were young kids.”

Clarke said reservations for the dry floor space will be accepted starting in the fall.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pool deck turns patio as Saanich restaurant cooks up creative outdoor seating options

District supports local businesses such as The Lakes Restaurant in creating seating

No architect for Langford building ruled ‘unreasonable’ by B.C. Supreme Court

Legal action brought against City in 2019 for permit issued on Hoffman Avenue building

Pauquachin First Nation calls on North Saanich to help restore shellfish in Coles Bay

The nation identifies ‘residential onsite septic systems’ as one of sources of contamination

Victoria police make arrest in connection to string of James Bay fires

50-year-old man faces recommended arson charges for May 14 fires

Victoria police searching for suspect after baseball bat assault

Man assaulted in the 900-block of Pandora Avenue

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Most Read