Gore Bay arena, curling club facilities closed for season

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GORE BAY – Both the arena in Gore Bay and the Gore Bay Curling Club have been closed for the season due to the current provincial lockdown with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are closing the arena for the year,” said Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne after a town general government committee meeting last week. “We had delayed the decision and looked at all options. Two weeks ago, council decided to wait two weeks to see what would happen in relation to the provincial lockdown,” said Mayor Osborne.

Mayor Osborne pointed out, “the decision (to close the arena for this season) was a unanimous decision among the committee members; everyone had the same opinion that it should be done. The writing was on the wall and the committee felt there was no use pouring money into something that is not being used.”

The committee weighed all the factors, including the closure of other Island facilities and the state of COVID-19 for the province and the district currently, and projections for the near future.

Nick Lane, president of the Western Manitoulin Minor Hockey Association said, “it’s disappointing, but we kind of expected it. We held out hope that the (provincial) stay-at-home order would end, but it was extended until mid-February, so we would only have had about another month of ice.” 

“We’re grateful that the arena was open at all this year, and we were able to provide some recreation for the local kids,” said Mr. Lane. 

This past Sunday, Dan Marois, president of Gore Bay Curling Club, told the Recorder that the curling rink will not be open this season. “The last (provincial) lockdown pretty much did it for this year.”