Hosting the 2019 B.C. Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships provided a significant economic impact to the community, members of the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee (NCJPC) heard earlier this month.
The City of Quesnel’s director of community services, Jeff Norburn, provided a report to committee regarding the 2019 B.C. Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships, which were held Jan. 29-Feb. 3 at the West Fraser Centre during the May 13 NCJPC meeting in Quesnel.
Norburn says the event presented an opportunity to showcase the community of Quesnel, the West Fraser Centre and the city’s developing hosting precinct as an ideal location and venue to host major events.
“By all accounts, it was a tremendous success,” said Norburn, noting the event attracted people from across the province. “I’m sure you’ve all heard very positive things from the community regarding the event. Curl BC and the curling teams were extremely satisfied with the quality of the venue, the response from the community and the support from elected officials, staff and all of the volunteers.”
Norburn’s report notes the estimated cost impact to the North Cariboo Recreation and Parks Service was $18,042, while the estimated cost impact to the City of Quesnel was $5,449. The estimated economic benefit to the community was $182,000.
“The event had a significant economic benefit to local businesses, in particular local hotels, restaurants and gas stations, generating an estimated $182,000 to the local economy,” Norburn noted in his report.
Quesnel city manager Byron Johnson told the committee the $5,449 was the City’s incremental costs, with almost $4,300 going to marketing initiatives, and the balance going towards extra security patrol so that there was security every evening from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
“We did have more bylaw officers as well; we just rearranged their schedules to make sure we had coverage,” said Johnson.
Johnson noted it was interesting that even in the rest of the city, the number of incidents being reported to RCMP was “way lower than normal on a weekend.”
The Quesnel RCMP Detachment noted that incidents during the event were “minimal,” and the detachment did pre-event planning and also provided patrols of the venue and parking areas during the event. No additional RCMP resources were deployed specifically for the event.
The City of Quesnel hired a security firm to monitor the parking areas overnight, and the City’s bylaw department provided regular patrols of the area. Fifty-six volunteer hours were used for security patrols by community policing volunteers.
During the curling provincials, 111 players and coaches from across the province came to Quesnel to compete, and there were also 18 Curl BC executive members, staff and sponsors at the event.
Seven hundred and thirteen full event passes were sold, along with 52 weekend passes and 1,099 single-draw passes. As well, 208 event passes were given away as promotion, and 495 students from local schools attended morning draws.
One hundred and seventy volunteers were involved in the event, under the leadership of 14 volunteer committee heads, and 60 of the volunteers were trained for Level 1 and Level 2 officiating.
Thirty-four local sponsors contributed to the event.
This was the first time the men’s and women’s provincials were held at the same time, and Curl BC has announced that next year’s provincial championships in Cranbrook will feature the same format.