This will be the scene at the curling rink this year while the club upgrades its facilities to meet safety standards. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

This House will be closed for the season

A need to adpot safety regulations means there will be no curling in Prince Rupert this year

A need to upgrade their facilities means that the Prince Rupert Curling Club will not be able to offer playing services this season. The club is expected to be closed until at least next September while they get up to code.

The club currently operates an ammonia based plant, however regulations surrounding operation of this type of plant were stressed after three people died following an ammonia leak at a Fernie hockey arena in 2017.

Following the incident, WorkSafeBC and Technical Safety B.C. sent out statements reminding owners of safety standards for ammonia based plants, including the rule that an operator must be on sight to monitor any plant that runs at 50 kilowatts per hour or more.

These stones will be sitting on the sidelines for the next 12 months. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

For Curling Club president Natasha Lebedick, the mounting costs surrounded with bringing their ammonia plant up to speed simply became too much to bear.

“Our ice crew worked super hard and diligently to do those upgrades over the last two years to keep our plant going,” Lebedick said. “But we’re at a spot right now that we’re not quite done with the upgrades. I don’t think I could run it safely and legally right now.”

READ MORE: Mixed Bonspiel takes over Prince Rupert Curling Club

Lebedick thinks the plant could potentially operate under 50 kw/h, but even to start it up to test this would require a large investment. Lebedick says there is a leak in the plant’s chiller, which would need to be replaced prior to testing. Even if the plant were to operate just under the 50 kw/h mark, if it ever hit that number a limit switch would shut down the plant automatically, and require an operator to start it up again.

Curling Club president Natasha Lebedick is optimistic that the club can raise the funds necessary for a new plant in the next year. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Lebedick and the club’s board have therefore turned their attention for the next year to fundraising for a new non-ammonia based plant. The solution will likely be a Freon-based system, which will cost approximately $200,000. Terrace paid the same price to install their new Freon plant last year, following a similar need to upgrade their facilities.

READ MORE: Resolutions for curlers, new and old

“I’m sure it’s disappointing to all our members, but ultimately we have to go forward with a new plant,” Lebedick said. “We want to remain independent, and to do that we need to get a non-ammonia based plant.”

The club will be examining all their options to raise the money, and have already conducted some grant writing with the assistance of the city. The rest of the facilities at the curling rink will remain open over the next year, including the bar and restaurant and the events hall.

Alex Kurial | Sports Reporter
Alex Kurial 
Send Alex email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

ammoniacurlingPrince Rupert Curling Club

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

An earlier version of this article stated certain regulations regarding ammonia based plants were new, when in fact they were already existing.

Just Posted

Tourism Prince Rupert to benefit from grant funding

Redirect dollars for recovery and travel inside B.C.

City to request conservation officer

Predatory wildlife appear to be bolder

City auditors reports are in

“We are now playing catch-up on all major assets,” CFO said

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

Local MP Taylor Bachrach salutes 10 days sick leave

In exchange NDP will support virtual parliament

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

DFO allowing at-sea observers again if safe work procedures in place

May 15 fishery notice lays out conditions for allowing at-sea observers onboard amid COVID-19

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

COLUMN: Canada needs to remember rural communities as thoughts turn to pandemic recovery

Small towns often rely on tourism, which has been decimated by COVID-19

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

Most Read