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Falkland Curling Club joins Curl BC family

May 24, 2024

The Falkland Curling Club is the latest member of the Curl BC family.

Falkland is a small community of approximately 900 people, nestled in the valley between Vernon and Kamloops. It is best known for having one of the largest flags in the country (which is a popular place to hike up to), and the annual Falkland Stampede, (which has been happening for the past 104 years).

The Falkland & District Curling Club (FCC) was established in 1967 from federal funds to celebrate Canada’s Centennial. The 2 sheet curling rink was officially opened in November, 1967.

The club got into full swing the following years, with a mixed league on week nights, playing two draws at 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM. The men’s league played Friday evenings, and ladies on
Saturday afternoons. Seniors played on Wednesday afternoons and the junior league finished up the week on Sundays.

In addition to all the leagues, the club hosted many week-end bonspiels. If members weren’t “bonspieling” locally, many travelled to other communities to participate.

The club quickly outgrew the original building and an addition was added to house a larger Bar/lounge area. This addition made it possible to have live music during bonspiels, allowing
members and guests to enjoy a roomier atmosphere. The kitchen, washrooms and viewing areas remained in the original Quonset portion of the building. The kitchen was also a busy spot during those early years, feeding lots of hungry curlers.

As the years went by, the junior league was the first to fall after the local coach moved away. With the advent of shift work, many men who worked in the local mills were unable to continue
evening curling. With more women entering the work force, the ladies league suffered as well.

Despite the decline in membership over the years, the Club continued to operate, thanks to the many fundraising campaigns such as bingos, casinos, raffles, auctions and 50/50 draws. Eventually the club was reduced to a mixed league and drop-in practice.

The COVID-19 pandemic was not kind and the club had to cancel the 2020-2021 season shortly after it began.

As the world slowly began to return to some sense of normalcy, the club started the 2021-2022 season with 24 members (6 teams), playing two evening a week. Word spread and for the 2022-2023 season, the membership increased by 67% to 40 Members (10 teams)!!

The club was facing an uncertain future as it was limping along the costly original ice plant from 1968 (which was used to begin with and had a few upgrades in the 1980’s). In April, 2023, the club submitted a proposal to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District for Grant monies to purchase a new chiller unit.

In May of 2023, the club received a Community Works Grant of $160,480.00 from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. A new chiller unit was purchased and installed in October of 2023.

The Community of Falkland was seeing an uptick in people moving to the area. The installation of the new chiller unit took the fear out of losing the ice mid-season, allowing the club to actively
promote membership.

A record number of community members attended the club’s Annual General Meeting in September 2023, and the result was a 45% increase in membership to 58 Members (12 Mixed League Teams) and a Saturday afternoon Sturling League with 8 Teams for the 2023 – 2024 Season!

A post season survey conducted by the curling club indicates 91% of last year’s members plan to return next season and would like to see even more leagues and events. The club is anticipating a
further increase in membership based on the feedback received from the membership.

The Club’s Board of Directors feel the sport of curling bridges and promotes interaction between youth, seniors and all ages in-between which became evident during our past season with members ranging in age between the 20’s and 80’s!! The curling rink provided valuable winter entertainment and contributed to the physical and social well being of members of the Falkland community and surrounding area.

As a result of the renewed interest and membership, the club joined Curl BC in May of 2024 and look forward to enjoying the benefits of being a part of the provincial curling family.