(by Tom Steepe)
Those who had hoped to hear the familiar shouts of “hurry hard!” in Crapaud this winter have been out of luck — the curling season ended last fall just as it was about to begin.
‘We need more people, new blood.’— Jonathan Ramsay
A key part of the club’s ice plant — called a chiller barrel — broke, forcing the cancellation of the entire curling season.
“It was very disappointing because we had worked so hard last year leading up to this season,” said board member Jonathan Ramsay.
“Everyone was excited and we were going to do really well. We had more people signed up, and it was just very disheartening for all of us, and it was a big blow to both the club and the community.”
‘A lot of income is lost’
The club’s current ice plant has lived a long life — installed in the early 1950s, it was well-worn and frequently required fixing over the years.
A new chiller comes with a hefty price tag of more than $120,000.
Insurance will cover about half the cost, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is expected to match those funds.
But it was too late to save this season.
“A lot of income is lost because of it,” explained Ramsay. “The spiels and the sponsors bring in a lot of money during the winter for this place and without that we’re struggling.”
“It was very disappointing and very frustrating because we worked very hard last year to keep it open,” added board member Bobbi-Jo Crossman.