MANITOULIN – While the Mindemoya Curling Club has decided it will not open this year, the Gore Bay Curling Club is still looking to open in the new year.
“We’re not opening this year,” stated Mark Love, president of the Mindemoya Curling Club, this past Sunday. “We looked at all of it and our executive had our meeting and decided not to open. The problem is that in Ontario and Canada as a whole, and in our district, we are in worse shape as far as the (COVID-19) pandemic than we were back in September, with the second wave of the pandemic.”
Mr. Love noted if the curling club did open for the season, “put the ice in, turned the electricity on, and painted the ice—putting in a lot of man hours—and we had an outbreak like they had the past few days in Sudbury and no public gatherings were allowed it would mean all that work and cost would be gone.” He noted the Mindemoya Curling Club, like all curling clubs on Manitoulin, has the vast majority of its members as seniors, the most vulnerable with the pandemic. “Hopefully Gore Bay and Little Current may open this year—they both have three sheets of ice so it is a little easier for them to physical distance than clubs like ours (with two sheets),” said Mr. Love.
“And there are specific rules that have to be followed by curling clubs (due to the pandemic) and extra costs involved, for instance in putting in the ice with COVID-19, with designated spots where people are to stand during games,” said Mr. Love.
The Gore Bay Curling Club held its annual general meeting this past Tuesday and members are looking to be have the rink open and curling start on January 4. (See next week’s Recorder for more coverage on the meeting.)
The Assiginack Curling Club will not be opening up this season, while the Little Current Curling Club is hoping to launch a season in January in line with its normal opening date. Margot Bickell was recently quoted as saying that the club would be putting out an email in late October early November to members and advertising for members. If they can attract 80 members to join by November 16, that’s when they will decide if they are going to go forward.
Bev McDermid, a member of the Providence Bay Curling Club, said they are hoping to open in the new year, far behind their usual November 1 start date.