Sandy Ritchie, centre, helps his team sweep as fellow skip Norm Gamble looks on during Westman masters curling Wednesday afternoon at the Brandon Curling Club. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
The Brandon Curling Club won’t be going anywhere in the foreseeable future.
The club signed a five-year lease extension with the Keystone Centre last week, which will keep the club in it’s current location through the 2016-17 season. The deal was something club president Shawn Taylor wanted to get done as quickly as possible, and he’s happy with the result. He said the rent increases year-over-year are pretty much inflationary, and the deal allows the club to make a long-term financial plan.
"The Keystone is wanting to work with us, which is nice to see," he said. "We want to work back and forth with them during the time that we’re in here and they’re willing to look at things and try new things, like stuff that they’re doing with the concessions at the bar. … They’re really trying at it."
Keystone Centre general manager Neil Thomson was also happy to get a deal done to keep the club in the facility. Now that the two are partnered for the next five years, Thomson wants them to work together to bring a big curling event to Westman Place.
The last major curling event held in Brandon was the 2008 Safeway Championship, but the club didn’t make much of a profit then. Because of that, the curling club, which also wants to host another provincial or national event, and the Keystone Centre are working to find a financial arrangement that would allow both organizations to profit.
"We want to create a win-win situation," Thomson said. "There may be some different things we can take a look at. There may be some more revenue opportunities the parties could share in. Those type of things. Everyone realizes that it has to be a win-win for everybody. In any of our contract negotiations, if our tenants aren’t doing well then obviously the facility is going to be affected. We want to make sure we create an environment that they do well in and we can do well in as well."
The club has talked to CurlManitoba about hosting events, but all talks are still in the preliminary stage.
BERTH BONSPIELS: Neil Cowie, Janelle Schwindt and Austin Mustard’s teams will compete for spots at provincials at junior berth bonspiels at Petersfield, which run from Friday through Sunday. There are two berths available in each of the junior men’s and junior women’s events.
Meanwhile, seven Westman teams are entered in a senior men’s berth bonspiel in Winnipeg from Friday through Monday. Among the 34 teams competing for one berth are Brandon’s Al Fitzmaurice, Brian Fowler, Jim Renwick and Shawn Taylor as well Dauphin’s Rae Kujanpaa, Deloraine’s Dean Laval and Hamiota’s Brent Strachan.
MCT:Brandon’s Steve Irwin and Virden’s Cory Zdan are skipping teams at the Ken Kurbis Memorial Galaxy Bonspiel in Winnipeg from today through Sunday. Kim Link’s women’s team, which features Brandonite Maureen Bonar at third, is also in the field.
SPORTSNET SIGNS ON: CurlManitoba and Sportsnet have reached a 10-year agreement that will have the national sports broadcaster air the 1-2 Page playoff game, the semifinal and final from both the provincial women’s and men’s curling championships live on one of Sportsnet’s channels. The deal starts this season, so games from the 2013 Safeway Championship at Neepawa and the 2013 Scotties at Stonewall will be aired.
EXTRA ENDS: The Brandon Curling Club will host a reception/send off in the upstairs lounge on Tuesday for the Steve Irwin team that will go to the Dominion club national championship in Scarborough, Ont. The event starts at 8 p.m. There will also be a reception/send off for Terry McNamee’s team that will go to the mixed nationals. That event will be in the upstairs lounge on Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. Both receptions will feature a rainbow auction, food and a cash bar. … The Brandon Curling Club will host a steak/chicken dinner Nov. 9 at the Great Western Roadhouse to raise funds to host the provincial junior men’s and junior women’s provincial championships in January. Tickets are $20 and are available at the curling club or by contacting Sharon Shannon at 204-729-9009 or Barry Rabe at 204-725-8830 … The Riverview Curling Club is taking registrations for its fall bonspiel, which will run from Nov. 16-18. The first 32 paid entries will be accepted. Contact Chris Church at 204-728-5927 or Colleen Gillie at 204-728-1181 … Shoal Lake will host a masters cash bonspiel from Nov. 22-25. Entry fee is $160. Contact Ron Anderson at 204-759-2385 or 204-759-2559.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition November 1, 2012