With the 2024 curling season well under way, this is a great time to look back at how a curling club ended up in Riverside Albert, what is going on presently and what the future holds for the only curling club in Albert County!
With some help from long standing FCC member Ivan Keirstead, let’s dive into the past. The first curling club in Canada was established in Montreal in 1807. In the early 1960’s a local group of private individuals with a passion for curling decided it was high time for curling to come to Riverside Albert. Meetings were held, details hashed out and funds were raised from various sources to work towards turning the dream into a reality. To get the club up and running, everyone who wanted to join needed to pay a yearly membership fee as well as purchase a $50.00 bond which is the equivalent to a whopping $500.00 in today’s dollars! Miraculously, the community came together and raised enough funds for the Fundy Curling Club to be established in 1962. The doors were opened soon after to welcome the first members.
The early adopters of the FCC gave us the foundation to get to where we are presently at the club today. After over 45 years of service the old ice plant was showing its age and was being held together with copious amounts of JB Weld and maybe even a bit of Duct tape. It was clear the ice plant was on its last legs and without a new one, the club would go silent and all that would be left would be the echo of those old “Rink Rats”. Fortunately, at the very same time, the CCRC approached the FCC to start the very first “Chase the Ace”. This partnership, along with the unbelievable support of our fabulous community, raised enough funds to install a brand new chiller barrel and ice plant in 2018. Since then, the proceeds have also enabled us to put a new roof on the ice shed and install a central heat pump to replace our old oil furnace.
The support provided by local businesses, tradespeople, contractors and volunteers has also been incredible in keeping our major projects affordable. We can’t thank you enough for helping us get to where we are today.
The club has doubled its membership since 2018 and we now have over 100 members ranging in age from 6 to 80. Adult curling happens every weeknight, “Chase the Ace” on Fridays and our Little Rocks and brand new U18 programs take over the ice on Sunday afternoons. Throw in a few Bonspiels and you can see that the FCC is the place to be this winter just as it was at its inception in 1962.
With a storied past paving the way to a vibrant modern day club, what does the future hold for the FCC? We will continue to develop our Little Rocks and U18 curling programs to offer a fun, safe and affordable activity for youth right here in our community. They are the future of our club and deserve all the help and support we can give them. Continuing to grow our adult membership will provide an inviting atmosphere for folks to get out and try a new sport while at the same time reconnect with old friends or make new ones. Investing in infrastructure at the club will ensure it is around for another 60 years for future generations of curlers. Whatever else the future holds for the Fundy Curling Club we know it will include the one thing that has remained consistent for over 60 years …Community!