Smithers Secondary School’s Evan Doyle (centre) sends a rock down the ice with Oliver Kildaw (left) and Matthew Steventon (right) ready to sweep. (File photo)

Smithers Secondary School’s Evan Doyle (centre) sends a rock down the ice with Oliver Kildaw (left) and Matthew Steventon (right) ready to sweep. (File photo)

Smithers curling season cancelled

Club executive hopes people will understand they are acting in the best interests of its members

The Smithers Curling Club (SCC) executive has finally made the tough decision to cancel the 2020/2021 season.

In October, the club had originally decided to delay putting in the ice and see how the second wave of COVID-19 played out.

“In light of what’s been going on, it’s for the protection of the members and hopefully over the next few months we can minor upgrades to the rink and go forward with trying to recruit new members and hopefully have a good season next year,” said Klaus Kraft, club president.

“Hopefully our members are understanding that we’ve got their best interests at heart and we wish everbody a Merry Christmas and we get through all this and start up with renewed vigour next year.

While not putting in the ice and not running curling events will mean cost savings, there are still fixed operating costs, such as hydro, that the club will incur.

In the meantime, the club has applied to the town for relief from those costs. At its regular meeting Nov. 24, council directed staff to draft a report. Council also voted to enter into a charitable partnership with the SCC.

Kraft said he is not aware of a curling season having ever been cancelled before in the 93 year-history of the club, even during the Second World War.

Last month, the SCC sent a letter to sign sponsors announcing it would not be sending out invoices for advertising on the back wall of the rink this year in anticipation of the season being cancelled.

“We want to express our gratitude for your past support and we look forward to your continued patronage when we return to curling in the fall of 2021,” the letter stated.

It added the club would still be available for rentals for such activities as meetings, training and small gatherings within the restrictions imposed by provincial health authorities to help pay for ongoing operating expenses.