Quesnel will be in the provincial spotlight next year and our local curling club would love a small army of volunteers to help the city look great.
It will be the first time both the men’s and women’s provincial curling championships are being held in the same city at the same time, so it will be an enormous undertaking. The championships are set to take place Jan. 29 to Feb. 3, 2019.
We are up to the task though, says Dave Plant, Quesnel Curling Centre’s manager.
“(Cities in) Alberta and Manitoba have done it, so we have a bit of a template to work with, but this is the first time in B.C. so we’ll be drawing on some resources to make sure it goes smoothly.”
Originally, the West Fraser Centre was only supposed to play host to the men’s championships and the organizers planned accordingly, amassing around 70 volunteers from the local curling club and their network.
At the beginning of the summer, however, Curl BC contacted the Quesnel Curling Club and asked them if they would be willing to play host to the women’s event as well.
It was too good an opportunity to pass up. The city has been making improvements in leaps and bounds and wanted to show off local hospitality and amenities to the rest of the province.
There is also a considerable economic benefit attached too.
Twenty curling teams with four to five players each will be coming to town for a week with their coaching staff and families in tow.
They will be eating in our restaurants, staying in our hotels and shopping in our stores for seven days.
Spectators are expected to flock in from up to hundreds of miles away as well.
Organizers are planning on filling West Fraser Centre to the brim on championship weekend.
The city will be bumping.
But Plant says the Quesnel Curling Club is going to need double the volunteers to make it work.
A variety of roles like manning the 50/50 draw and concessions, supplying transportation for the athletes to and from the arena, as well as the all-important officiating and time keeping positions need to be filled.
For each draw, or series of games, they put on, 30 to 40 people will be needed to help with monitoring.
With four draws a day scheduled, this can be very taxing in a sport that requires a certain degree of precision in its officiating.
Thirty people took the curling officiating level one and two courses at the end of this year’s curling season, and Plant says another session will be offered in late October or early November.
Volunteering would be a terrific way to get close to some elite-level curlers and be involved with the championship at ice level.
Anyone interested in doing their part can find forms at the Observer, Billy Barker Day Casino front desk, EBS (Essential Business Systems) or online at www.quesnelcurlingclub.com.
Week-long passes to the games themselves will also be available on the website starting October 1.