The announcement came less than two weeks before Prince George held its first ever world-level competition, the 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships. This is only the fourth time that a world women’s curling championship will be won in B.C., with previous championships being held in Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops.
“We’re thankful once again that the World Curling Federation has given us the opportunity to welcome the world to Canada, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly” said Maureen Miller, chair of Curling Canada’s Board of Governors. “I know the host committee in Prince George is eager to prove to the world that it can stage world-class events. I have every confidence that the 2020 World Women’s Curling Championship will be successful in every sense of the word.”
Curling is a sport that brings people together during the long months of winter and is an activity that can be enjoyed by people of varying ages and abilities. Northern Development has been supporting curling throughout its region for 13 years. Over that time, $688,750 has been provided to 15 curling clubs and recreation societies and nine local governments for projects directly related to curling. Projects have varied from facility restorations and ice plant replacements, to accessibility upgrades and curling stone replacements.
Announcing $140,750 in funding for the Village of Granisle in 2006.
In January 2006, the Trust’s first curling-related project was approved. A grant of $140,750 was given to the Village of Granisle for upgrades to the curling rink and ice arena. This $281,500 project invigorated a community facility that had been closed for more than five years because the Village of Granisle could not afford to upgrade the facility. Re-opening the Granisle Curling Rink and Ice Arena was equally funded through the Trust and Olympic Live Sites, with each organization contributing 50 per cent of the project’s $281,500 budget. Every year since the upgrades, residents of Granisle have had a place to throw their rocks and sweep away their neighbours in competition.
“The curlers we have are very avid, most of them are seniors and some of them use aids, but they’re not giving it up anytime soon,” said Brenda Andersson, finance officer at the Village of Granisle. “The building is well used, it’s all good, and people make good use of it.”
In B.C.’s northeast, Rose Prairie Community Curling Centre completed the most recent curling-related project that the Trust supported. Northern Development gave $14,350 to the recently rejuvenated society to allow them to apply spray-insulation to the main area of the building. This improvement is necessary to reduce operating costs and to make the space more attractive and safer for future rental groups.
Throughout its region, Northern Development is committed to supporting the well-being of communities in unique ways that suit the diversity of the area. The curling arenas in both Granisle and Rose Prairie are community hubs that host numerous other events and businesses. In Granisle, the post office and restaurant rent space from the building. In Rose Prairie, the centre successfully brings the community together for family movie nights, open mic nights, nerf gun nights, a haunted house and the annual spring critter and craft sale.
Funding for most of the curling-related projects has come through the Trust’s Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program. Northern Development is passionate about growing the economy of Northern B.C. Communities, First Nations, non-profit organizations and businesses of the north are leaders in creating jobs, new revenues and improving the quality of life in the region, and the Trust is dedicated to supporting their growth. By combining funding with smart thinking, Northern Development as found more than 3,250 ways to say “yes” to projects that help the region thrive.