Crokicurl in Downtown Prince Albert - it was a big undertaking to make it happen and the results were amazing!
We used local businesses to create the structure, thank you to The Welding Shop and Carleton Contracting Inc for taking on a unique project.
The Prince Albert Fire Department crew created the ice playing surface. They were very dedicated to creating a safe ice surface, it was great to have a couple of hockey dad's with backyard rink experience.
The Prince Albert Golf & Curling Club donated ice paint for the rings and sent volunteers to help paint on a very cold day. Custom Security & Investigation a downtown business provided supervision on nights and weekends.
Of course none of this would have been possible if it wasn't for the financial support from the Northern Lights Community Development Corporation, the Municipal Cultural and Arts Program and the Prince Albert Winter Festival. The City of Prince Albert allowed us use of Memorial Square and provided support staff when we needed their help. This support for community events is so important and we are very thankful.
For six weeks many groups came to enjoy a game or two of Crokicurl. We had service groups, various schools and new comers to Canada brave the cold and visit us Downtown. In the evenings and weekends there were often line ups of families patiently waiting to have their turn at this new Prince Albert experience.
I had the opportunity to meet many people as they stopped by to check out Crokicurl, here are a couple of the stories:
One day as I was putting the rocks away a woman walking her dog asked me if it was okay if she just tried to throw a rock as she had never experienced that before. Of course it was no problem and in speaking with her I knew she was not from Prince Albert. I soon came to learn that she had just moved here from Germany two weeks prior. So I asked her how she was enjoying Prince Albert and she said she was enjoying it here but couldn't understand why no one walks around. She is living in the midtown area and walks throughout the day and watches everyone drive by and no one is walking. We chatted about cultural differences and environment and I said that sadly people tend to be scared. I asked her if she ever felt scared on her walks through the Downtown? She gave me a puzzled look and said, "Of what?"
I met a young couple waiting for their turn, we chatted about the weather and the rules of the game. They told me how pleased they were to see Crokicurl set up in Prince Albert. They told me about how they moved here from Saskatoon, they found that the crime, gangs and drugs had gotten so bad that they needed to move. They chose Prince Albert and have been living here a year - they both found jobs that they enjoy and are excited to start a family be a part of this community.
Isn't it interesting to have an outside perspective of what we take for granted and how we allow misguided information fuel our thoughts and opinions?
Crokicurl was designed be to disassembled and stored so that it can be used yearly. Due to the success of the experience this year our committee will be meeting with the City for a review and to discuss plans for next winter.