In January 2016, a large group of curling enthusiasts gathered at the Charleswood Curling Club. This was the beginning of a year long process towards hosting the 2017 Manitoba Provincial Scotties. These volunteers, mostly Charleswood Curling Club members, formed 19 sub-committees and earnestly began preparations for the event. Recruiting the 200 plus volunteers needed for the event would be a huge undertaking but we were up for the task.
The transformation of hockey to curling ice at the Eric Coy Arena, was led by Greg Ewasko and his team. Volunteers joined in and worked around the clock to totally transform the arena into a curling masterpiece. Finally, after thousands of hours of work the championships arrived. During the 5 days of competition, almost 6400 spectators came out and enjoyed the fantastic curling. Local schools brought out signs, banners and lots of students, some of which were seeing the game live for the very first time.
While the curling was ongoing, the Charleswood Curling Club was being utilized as the “Hit & Roll Inn”, the official social hall of the Scotties. Three hot buffet meals were prepared daily for spectators and curlers alike. Live entertainment featuring “The Bivvers” and “The Arnold Street Collective” entertained large crowds between games and after the curling competition.
The competition was heated all week and incredible shots were made by all teams. The teams of Jennifer Jones, Michelle Englot, Shannon Birchard, and Darcy Robertson were the final four standing after the round robin and a series of tiebreakers. Michelle Englot walked away victorious and earned the right to represent Manitoba at the Canadian Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Ultimately, 250 volunteers committed their time and energy to make the event a success. Co-Chairs Rick Schinkel and Deb McCreanor stated “There is no way to individually recognize all of the people and sponsors that made the event a new standard of excellence, but we have all derived a great deal of satisfaction from the final result!” The goals of the event were to provide a top caliber experience for these athletes and raise money for our club. Both goals were exceeded…the competitors gave it high marks and the organizing committee was able to turn a $70,000 profit towards club improvements!