Rainbow Rockers Curling League

Ottawa's Gay and Lesbian Friendly Curling League

Rainbow Rockers – end-of-season Update

We hope everyone is enjoying the spring weather.  Curling on ice seems like a distant memory, but hopefully the World Curling Competitions in Calgary provided a good dose of curling this spring.

I look fondly upon our shortened season – we were able to safely complete a 9-game round of curling, albeit with a shutdown mid-way, and a resumption at the Rideau Curling Club. We heard many positive comments about the season, and hope that everyone enjoyed the shortened season!

Given the shortened season, we are able to offer all current full-time members a credit of $130, towards your next season’s curling fees.  If for any reason you do not curl in the fall, we can offer a refund now or in the fall via cheque, once you decide about curling.  At this point the Ottawa Curling Club is anticipating a regular season opening in the last week of September.  Mark your calendars in pencil … we know it can change.  Also, given the circumstances, it has been decided that the Rainbow Rockers Executive Team should remain in place for the upcoming season. We are pleased that the OTRB Bonspiel Chair has been filled by Peter F.   Welcome Peter!


2021-2022 Registration: (Coming soon)
Registration for full-time members and spares will again be done online. i.e. You will fill out a form on the Rainbow Rockers website.
Stay tuned to the Rainbow Rockers website for registration details later this summer.

We hope you have a safe and fun summer, and that we will be curling at the end of September!

Your Rainbow Rockers Executive Team.
Steve/Chad/Patrick/Kevin/Brian/Jeremy/Geoff/Peter.

Rainbow Curling Season is over.

Hello Rainbow Rockers,

The Rideau Curling Club has been shut down due to Ottawa re-entering the red zone today.

Unfortunately this means our curling season is over.

We will be assessing the finances to determine partial refunds or credits for next season fees. Details will be sorted out in the spring, so please be patient as we work through this.

We look forward to planning our 20th year of operation starting this fall!

Have a great spring and summer, and stay tuned for details on our fall curling season.

 

Your Rainbow Rockers Curling Executive Team

Steve * Patrick * Kevin * Chad * Geoff * Jeremy * Brian

 

Rainbow Rockers update – URGENT

We are looking forward to seeing the Rainbow Rockers back on the ice at the Rideau Curling Club this weekend! (715 Cooper St)

PLEASE read all of this to ensure you are able to curl when you arrive at the club.

You must do the following BEFORE you arrive for curling.  You received an email with forms attached.

1. PRINT and sign/initial/date the form: “Declaration of Compliance”

2. PRINT and sign/date the form: “Liability Waiver”

(Note: Those who already curl at the RCC do not need to sign the forms)

3. SCAN the 2 signed documents and email them to: [email protected]
===> If you cannot scan the signed documents, simply bring them with you to the club and we will collect them at the door.
===> If you cannnot print the documents, send an email to [email protected] so we can have a paper form waiting for you at the door.

4. Bring your mask, as masks are 100% mandatory during play, and wear your curling attire to the club (except for shoes).

5. Review the “RCC Return to Play Guidelines” to ensure you follow proper Covid protocols.
They are much the same as you had been used to at the Ottawa Curling Club

You can find the schedule posted on the Rainbow Rockers website.

See you at the club this weekend.
Good Curling !

RRCL Executive.

Upcoming Games

There has been a few teams not comfortable with continuing the RRCL season.  This has caused us to modify the teams/schedule somewhat.

However, below are the dates/days the divisions are playing. Details on match-ups will be available on the schedule drop-down tab soon.

 

Saturday Feb 27th – noon – Division A

Saturday Feb 27th – 3pm – Division B

Sunday Feb 28th – 1pm – Division C

 

Saturday Mar 6th – noon – Division B

Saturday Mar 6th – 3pm – Division C

Sunday Mar 7th – 1pm – Division A

 

Saturday Mar 13th – noon – Division C

Saturday Mar 13th – 3pm – Division A

Sunday Mar 14th – 1pm – Division B

 

Rainbow Curling resumes Feb 27th

Hello Rainbow Rockers !

We have some great news to share.  After some discussions with the Rideau Curling Club, we are pleased to announce that the Rainbow Rockers curling season will resume this coming weekend, February 27th/28th !

… at the Rideau Curling Club  (https://rideaucurlingclub.com/)

We have made a temporary arrangement with the Rideau Curling Club to continue our season much in the same fashion as before the lockdown.

Draws will be Saturdays 12pm and 3pm, and Sundays at 1pm.

Your existing CurlON QR code will allow you entry into the club – you must present this barcode upon arrival. Also remember to bring your mask and be dressed for your game (other than your shoes). Rideau’s mask policy is to wear masks at all times during play. Games will be 2 hours, with 45 minutes after the game to allow for a beverage in the lounge.

Some may not be comfortable returning, and we understand that.  If your team has any questions or concerns, please speak with Steve ([email protected]) in the next 24 hours, so that we can make any adjustments as required. Skips, please reach out to your team just in case someone misses this news. We expect to have a shortened 2nd round of curling in March/April, with details to be finalized soon.

We look forward to seeing you back on the ice at the Rideau Curling Club!

Rainbow Rockers Curling League Executive Team.

UPCOMING GAMES:

Saturday February 27th –

noon:  Douglas vs Dunville / Horwood vs McCambly / Crance vs Taylor
3pm:  Johnson vs Joyce / Laforge vs Verberne / Fortier vs Reichelt / Cheff vs McAlear / Chow vs Peloquin

Sunday February 28th –

1pm:  Cornelius vs Michelmore / Moncur vs Robbins / Symington vs Skanes / Bujold vs Pageau

 

 

 

OCC – Closed for the Season

Hello Rainbow Rockers,

The Ottawa Curling Club has decided to close for the remainder of this curling season. A very unfortunate development but given all of the factors, it was a unanimous decision taken by the OCC Board.  (see the OCC Communique below)

*****  NOTE ******

We have just been informed of the possibility to play some games at the Rideau Curling Club on Saturdays … stay tuned for any positive developments.

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Given the recent news of the closure of the OCC we will be assessing what we can do regarding the financial and our ability to easily accommodate the change to this season. . Details have yet to be sorted out, so please be patient as we work this out.

The Rainbow Rockers Curling League was formed in the summer of 2002, following a successful “In the Pink” bonspiel in March 2002. The start of the 2021-2022 season will mark our 20th year of operation! The league began with 8 teams and with tremendous growth, we had 40 teams playing in the Rainbow Rockers Curling League in early 2020 … then Covid hit!

It’s unfortunate that we cannot resume our season, but we look forward (fingers crossed) to planning for our 20th year of operation starting this fall!  You can still keep your curling skills honed by watching the Scotties Tournament of Hearts starting this Friday, the Tim Horton’s Brier in early March, and the Men’s World Curling Competition in Calgary in early April.

Have a great spring and summer, and stay tuned for details on the fall season, or the potential ice at the Rideau Curling Club.

 

Your Rainbow Rockers Curling Executive Team

Steve * Patrick * Kevin * Chad * Geoff * Jeremy * Brian

 

 

 

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The Ottawa Curling Club will remain CLOSED for the balance of the 2020-2021 curling season

Context

We think that it is important context to go back to the summer of 2020 when we were planning for the uncertainties of the upcoming curling season.  We had 4 main priorities:
1. The health and safety of everyone who came into the Club.
2. The long-term financial viability of the Club.
3. Providing membership with as many curling days as possible.
4. Not allowing #3 to jeopardize #1 or #2.

Survey

We are so grateful to the membership of our Club. On Tuesday we sent out an “Urgent” survey and as at Saturday’s deadline, the response rate was an overwhelming 86% (298/345).

While 69.5% of you said that you would come back to curl if the Club reopened, only 40.6% of you believed that the club should re-open. The latter figure is a particularly critical part of our decision making.

We would like to say a special thanks to the many of you who took the additional time to send us emails to complement your survey responses. The overwhelming majority of these notes urged us not to open again this season. Some cited COVID risks and the concern of yet another closure while virtually all pointed to the financial risks to the Club and its long-term viability as the key factors for consideration.

We would like to speak to each of those items – you deserve to know how we came to this decision, particularly as we see some other clubs in the city and in the province re-opening this week.

COVID Risk

We are so grateful to Dalal, her staff and several Board Members for their diligent work at the start of the season when they established and implemented the COVID protocols and procedures which allowed us to safely curl with confidence.

While we are permitted to return under those same protocols (including potential  enhancements), we admit to being somewhat less confident than we were at the beginning of the season with the emergence of more highly contagious variants.

Members’ and the staff’s health remain our first priority.

COVID Related Scheduling Risk

Given how close we are to the natural end of the curling season, in order to re-open, the Board needed to be confident that we could curl until at least mid-April. You will recall our decision to reduce expenses and remove the ice on January 15 (when the Ontario lockdown was announced). Reinstallation would require two weeks and we felt that we needed to see at least 6 weeks of curling in order to complete an entire round of games in each league. Curling beyond that for possible bonspiels would have been a welcome bonus.

While the Ottawa region transitions to Orange status on Tuesday, February 16, it comes with some notable concern from many in the medical community and warnings related to hospital capacity, front line worker exhaustion and potential variant related third waves. The provincial government points to an “emergency brake” which they will not hesitate to engage if data warrants a further shutdown. While we appreciate the merits of that approach, it is exactly that possibility that most concerns the Board as it relates to a possible re-opening.

Incurring the expenses related to re-opening and to then only curl for a week or two would be a terrible outcome.

Financial

We are fortunate that the Club’s financial position is as strong as it is. Curling is a tough business and while no club’s financials are investment grade, we are fortunate on a number of financial fronts.

Under Dalal’s leadership, we participated in every government COVID financial program including:
– Wage subsidy (Dalal is an employee of the Club, rather than on contract which is the case for most other curling clubs)
– Canadian Emergency Business Accounts (CEBA) loan: Interest free loans totaling $60,000, which is partially forgivable (up to $20,000) if the balance is repaid prior to December 31, 2022. The Club intends to repay in full prior to December 31, 2022.
– Utility subsidy of approximately $7,500.

The reality of the current situation is that given Orange level restrictions, bar and food services would, at best, only break-even if we re-opened. In normal operations, these services typically generate nearly 55% of our revenues, with a gross margin of over 55% (revenue less cost of sales as a percentage of sales).

With no additional revenues generated by a re-opening, the additional expenses related to our ice-maker contract, utilities, cleaning, PPE, etc. would have resulted in an additional loss of over $50,000 for this season.

While that is a material amount, we do not believe that the Club’s long-term viability would have been risked by these expenses. That said, our financial position is certainly much stronger if we do not re-open this season. Further, we do not yet know whether restrictions will continue into next curling season, or whether there will be any long-term impacts from the pandemic on our operations. Maintaining some cash reserves will provide us with some security in weathering any financial challenges we may be presented with over the next curling season and beyond.

There remains an uncertainty to the number of returning members for next season. This is a significant consideration as the Board assesses the financial position of the club.

Consideration for refunds / discounts

You will recall that in September, we gave everyone the option to opt out of the season prior to September 30, 2020 in order to receive a full refund. We were clear that refunds would not be offered after that.

Many clubs across the country chose not to open at all this season because of the financial risks involved. Our decision to open the Club was dependent on those membership funds. Looking back, we believe that we made the right decision based on the information available at the time and the wishes of our members.

That said, we were only able to curl for approximately ¼ of our season and we are now in a position where the government is allowing us to re-open. Yet we are choosing not to. That was not a scenario we had considered in the Fall.

We wanted you to be aware of our decision not to re-open as soon as possible but please be assured that we are analyzing various options for refunds, discounts etc. We cannot commit to anything at this point but please know that we take this extremely seriously and we will share an update as soon as we can.

Many of you have proactively told us that you will not avail yourselves of a possible refund or discount of any kind in order to support the club and we are extremely grateful for your kindness and generosity.

If you have any views related to this, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

Charitable Tax Receipts

We have applied through CurlON to have the opportunity to solicit donations through the National Sport Trust Fund – Ontario. This program allows the issuance of charitable tax receipts for 2021 on donations received this season. Further details will be provided as the application develops.

The Last Rock

We are disappointed that we cannot offer you any more curling this year. The Board is unanimous in our belief that this is the right decision. We respect the fact that some of you will be supportive while some will disagree with this decision and we welcome your feedback.

We cannot wait to see all of you next fall when things will hopefully be back to some semblance of “normal”.

We look forward to hosting you all on a Saturday night late in the year when, the curling gods willing, we will all be together again with vaccines in our arms, drinks in our hands, music blasting (at an age appropriate level) while we celebrate life and curling and friends.

Until then, please take care and stay safe.

OCC Board of Directors  

Ontario Lockdown – Curling pause – JAN 2021 Update

******* UPDATE 14 Jan 2021 *********

Ontario is extending the lockdown and implementing a ‘stay-at-home’ order starting January 14th at 12:01 a.m. until at least February 11th.  As a result of these measures, the Ottawa Curling Club will be closed until February 11th.

Please follow the news for updates and we will communicate with you as developments warrant.  For reference, you can find the Ontario Government’s shutdown details here.

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Hello Rainbow Rockers,

I think everyone is aware that Ontario is entering another Covid-19 lockdown as of December 26th, 2020.  As a result of this measure, the Ottawa Curling Club will be closed until January 23, 2021 inclusive.

Please follow the news for updates and we will communicate with you as developments warrant. Fingers are crossed for Rainbow curling to resume on Sunday January 24th, BUT that is still uncertain as you can imagine. 

For reference, you can find the Ontario Government’s shutdown details here

Happy Holidays and stay safe!

Your Rainbow Rockers Curling League Executive.