Assiniboia Curling Club Early History

The first curling rink in Assiniboia was built in 1915 and contained two sheets of curling ice. It was located on the north of the second block on 3rd Ave. West. This curling rink burned to the ground in the early 1920's.

A new four sheet curling rink was built on the south side in the second block of 3rd Ave. West. The demand for curling exceeded the capacity of this rink, so in 1949 the curling rink was extended to including six sheets of curling ice. In 1957 the curling rink company was changed into a non-profit corporation under the new title of Assiniboia Co-operative Memorial Curling Centre. In 1960 an artificial ice plant was purchased and installed. This plant was powered by a natural gas engine which was replaced by an electric powered unit in 1977. In 1971-73 the curling club replaced the old wood frame curling rink with a new concrete block, four sheet curling rink.

The curling stones used in curling from 1915 to 1952 were all privately owned. In 1952 the curling club purchased new matched curling stones. These stones are still in use in the year 2000.
In 1970 the Curling Club began the project of putting a plan in place to renovate the curling rink. By the spring of 1971, the Curling Club demolished the old wooden waiting room and replaced it with a new one of concrete block construction. In 1973, the same was done with the old uninsulated ice area building. This was an improvement, but it was not long before the Curling Club found out that a concrete block wall with a built up asphalt roof was not very energy efficient. Then the technology of installing Styrofoam insulation under the concrete floor in the curling ice area to prevent the frost from penetrating into the ground contributed to thinner ice and better and more energy efficient curling ice.

During the 1980's the Board of Directors of the Curling Club investigated the possibility of expanding the waiting room by building an addition on the east side to increase the dining and viewing area and also to include dressing rooms. The east wall of the curling rink was a load bearing wall supporting the second storey floor as well as the roof. This expansioin proved not to be practical and it did not provide any improvement to the existing under-insulated building. Then the suggestion that an insulated wall be constructed around the curling rink to improve the cost of the heating proved to be very expensive and neither of these projects would provide any more room on the ice area, not to mention that they did not address the need for Styrofoam insulation under the ice area floor or the need for more insulation in the roof of the curling rink.

In 1989, the Board of Directors of the Curling Club were approached by the Assiniboia Civic Improvement Association as to whether they would be interested in building a new curling arena in conjunction with a community complex. A meeting open to all curlers in the community was called on April 29, 1989 to discuss this possibility. There were 34 curlers present. The proposal was presented to the meeting and after a lengthy discussion, voted on and the Board of Directors were given a definite mandate to proceed with a new curling arena.

The result of this meeting was the beginning of the Curling Clubs's involvement in the Assiniboia Community Complex. The new curling arena is much more efficient to heat and maintain. The ice is thinner which means less water, less wear on the artificial ice equipment and less cost to the Curling Club. The Curling Arena includes locker rooms for ladies as well as for men. The waiting room and the lounge are a little more than double the previous capacity with viewing on both levels. With this new curling arena, the Curling Club will find it much easier to host curling playdowns.

The Assiniboia Co-operative Memorial Curling Club wanted a new facility with more seating space, locker rooms and lunch area. The old curling rink was demolished on Wednesday, April 18th, 2001, to make room for the new curling arena, and complex. Demolition of the outer structure, not counting the roof, was completed in one and one half hours! Construction on the new Prince of Wales Cultural and Recreation Centre began on April 27, 2001.

The Assiniboia Memorial Curling Club have donated $200,000.00, plus the land the rink was located on, plus have committed an additional $100,000.00, being $20,000.00 per year for 5 years, to the CIA for the cost of the Prince of Wales Cultural and Recreation Centre, as the complex includes a new curling arena.


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