Penticton Curling Club secures $100K loan from city for much-needed facility upgrades

$100K for curling club

The City of Penticton will be giving the Penticton Curling Club an interest-free $100,000 loan and a ten-year lease at their current building, citing the importance of the sport to the community.

At Tuesday's meeting, council voted unanimously to grant the funds, which will go towards much-needed upgrades to electrical, washroom and carpeting infrastructure at the facility in the South Okanagan Events Centre complex.

In total, work that needs to be done will cost around $200,000, but half of that will hopefully come from a matching grant.

“We have to show that we have a 10 year commitment with the city for a capital grant to be applied for, in order for them to put funds into our building. It only makes sense that if they're gonna give us the money they want to know that that building is going to be around,” said Cathy Jones, board director and treasurer with the organization.

They plan to pay back the loan at a rate of $1,500 per month.

Jones pointed to the importance of the club to Penticton and the sport of curling in general. Coming up this fall is the sixth year of the Nufloors Classic, at which 30 top teams from all around B.C., Canada and the world will compete.

And the curling club's youth programming has led to ongoing engagement with the sport.

Jones told council they had 420 members for the 2020/21 season, which included some growth in certain age groups and holding steady in others.

The big hurdle is simply the infrastructure.

“As a club, we are trying to be proactive, recognizing problems now and trying to get ahead of them prior to becoming a bigger problem and having to fix it tomorrow, or yesterday,” Jones said.

Council was on board with helping the club continue into the future.

“I think this truly is a piece of why we [Penticton] are a destination for so many things, not only in arts and culture but for sports,” Coun. Judy Sentes said.

“For a time people feared it was a dying sport. Boy, have you proved them wrong.”

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