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About Our Club

HISTORY OF THE OLIVER CURLING CLUB

On October 29, 1970 the Oliver Curling Club was officially opened. Curling had begun several weeks earlier, but “just for the record” they cut a ribbon and invited dignitaries from neighbouring curling clubs to formally mark the opening of the four sheet ice surface. And a bonspiel in progress, complete with visitors from all over the Okanagan, gave it a kind of “crowning glory” moment.

The new $85,000 building didn’t just “happen”. Many people put in much volunteer time and money under the persistent and confident leadership of the first president, Eric Bastian, and his entire curling board. They were relentless in moving ahead and getting the job done. Almost $22,000 was raised through the sale of memberships and another $55,000 in debentures sold to local residents. Not a dollar of public tax money was involved in the building or maintenance. Only $7,000 was borrowed from the bank and was repaid within 2 years.

The rink was officially “born” at a meeting in the summer of 1968 when a committee of about 10 ardent curlers decided to go ahead and sell debentures. Volunteers spent hundreds of hours doing the labour, and businesses provided free service or materials. Bill Seidler was the building contractor and made sure the job was properly done. Eric Bastian deserved much of the credit for the new building and will go down in history as “the guy who built the curling rink because he didn’t know it couldn’t be done”. The first officers and directors were Eric Bastian, president; Fred Fritz, vice-president; Mel Skaros, secretary; Dave Francis, treasurer; and directors John Loudon, Dick Goodall, Alex Bauder, Roy Henderson, Ewart Bowering and Blaine Francis.

In 1993, the club went high tech into a geothermal thermal system which drastically cut power bills saving the members much money.

In 2005, a large grant was received from the federal and provincial governments to help install Olympic-sized ice. A major renovation took place within the building restructuring much of the downstairs and upstairs.

In 2014, the rocks had inserts put in them to enhance our curling skills. As well, a new gas-fired heater was installed to provide warmer conditions on the ice.

In 2020, it was the the club's 50th Annniversary. The ill-timed pandemic interrupted all our plans for a season full of celebrations in 2020-21, but we're still very proud of the club's achievements and we're still going strong! Club member Johanne Smith wrote of series of articles about the club's history that appeared in the Oliver Daily News in 2020, and they're collected here in 50 Years of Curling in Oliver.

Although we couldn't celebrate the past, we've been busy getting ready for the future. Between 2020 and 2022, the club obtained federal grants* to paint the ice rink interior and replace the broken dehumidifier, as well as a provincial grant** to upgrade the ice plant (including new compressors, gas heater and ice scraper) and install new LED lighting. With another federal grant,*** we're now launching an exciting Building Expansion and Accessibility Project that includes an addition, elevator and accessible washrooms upstairs so our building will be a community asset for year-round use — as well as for great curling!


* We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada (New Horizons for Seniors Program).

** We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia (Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program [CERIP]).

*** We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada (Enabling Accessibility Fund).


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Our Location

735 McKinney Road
Oliver, BC
V0H 1T3

Contact Us

Phone: 250-498-2244

Email: [email protected]

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