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

Premier-elect John Horgan, during a visit in Sidney, broadly promised improvements to transit among other issues in the riding of Saanich North and the Islands, even after voters re-elected BC Green Adam Olsen as Member of the Legislative Assembly. (Black Press Media file photo)
Premier-elect John Horgan promises to work with all MLAs

Horgan says his government will pay attention to Saanich North and the Islands

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

A new roundabout has been completed at the intersection of Peatt Road, Brock Avenue and Larkhall Road in Langford. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
New roundabout along Peatt Road completed in Langford

Allows for better turning movements for Langford’s fire trucks, improved safety

The British Columbia flag flies at dusk in front of the B.C. legislature on election day 2020. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
NDP claims six out of seven Greater Victoria ridings after preliminary results

Mail-in ballots yet to be counted in provincial election

View Royal Coun. John Rogers stands next to an unearthed home heating oil tank. As a way to prevent environmental disasters, he is lobbying for a provincial registration system and mandatory inspection for all above-ground tanks, as well as a requirement to remove any underground tanks not used for a prescribed period of time. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Efforts to regulate Greater Victoria home heating oil tanks continues

View Royal councillor part of movement to identify old tanks, prevent catastrophic leaks

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Most Read