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Curling Club shows off major upgrades

The timing of the Napanee District Curling Club’s major makeover couldn’t have been better.

Finishing touches of the $72,000 renovation project was completed over the summer, just months before the club hosts the 2012 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships.

The spiffy updates were on display this weekend during the NDCC’s open house and again Monday during a Juniors press conference.

“We were going to get the juniors I think anyway,” said NDCC’s Bill Ryan, who was in charge of the renovation project. “But that was a bit of a boost to go ahead and get this done.”

Funding for the renovations and improvements came from money raised at the 2010 Tankard that they helped to host, as well as a Trillium grant from the Ontario government. The result is a more spacious, brighter and updated curling club. A new bar and expanded kitchen was also completed during the five-month project. They now have a venue they can be proud of when 26 rinks and hundreds of curling fans flock to Napanee during the Juniors, Feb. 4-12.

“We wanted to dress the club itself up because it was very dark,” said Ryan. “We didn’t have a large capacity so we increased our occupancy rate by doing this.”

With three sheets in use, the club plans to place bleachers at ice level, making room for about 900 spectators.

Through the help of 35 club volunteers, Ryan estimates about $1,600 was shaved off the total cost of the renovations. The jazzed up club also provided a perfect backdrop for tournament organizers to announce tickets are now on sale. Week passes are $100 and weekend passes (Feb. 9-12) are $50. They are available by calling 613-354-4423 or by visiting www.curling.ca/championships/juniors.

Plans are also starting to take shape for some of the events that will surround the curling draws. An opening banquet will take place the Friday before the tournament at the Strathcona Paper Centre. A closing ceremony on Feb. 10 will be held at Napanee and District Secondary School.

On the ice 26 rinks, 13 male and 13 female, from 10 provinces and two territories will face off for the chance to represent Canada and the World Championships in Sweden. Draws will be held at both the SPC and the NDCC, making it the largest curling event the town has ever hosted. The event is hosted by the NDCC, Town of Greater Napanee and the Napanee Sports Association.

By Adam Prudhomme (The Napanee Beaver – October 27, 2011)