A few local curling houses are getting a new look this fall.
Don't worry -- the rings on the ice aren't changing. It's the buildings they're in that are getting makeovers of various kinds.
At the Rideau Curling Club, the federal and provincial governments each chipped in $183,756 toward renovations valued at more than $700,000. The building, which opened in 1949, now has a state-of-the- art ice plant and infrastructure.
The folks at the Russell Curling Club, meanwhile, received $362,000 from both the feds and the province. That influx of cash, combined with fundraising efforts, allowed the club to add two sheets and make other ice plant and building modifications valued at more than $1 million.
The RCMP Curling Club is also in the midst of an ice plant renewal, which the club is financing itself. The work has delayed the start of the club's season until after Thanksgiving.
Early-season winners abound from Ottawa. On Aug. 28 in Gananoque, the rink of Frank Van Ryckeghem, Ron Baker, Dale Campbell and Bob Bartlett defeated an Alberta team to clinch the national title at the 2010 Canada 55-plus Games ... Mat Camm's rink won the season's first junior 'spiel Sept. 5 in Ottawa (with Scott Howard, David Mathers and Alexander Hamilton). He then travelled to Oakville the following weekend, where his rink captured the Ontario Curling Tour men's title worth $5,000. With him were Mathers, Fraser Reid and Hamilton ... Katie Morrissey led her team to a $1,200 victory in the Carleton Heights Women's Cashspiel Sept. 12. Curling with Morrissey were Kiri Campbell, Lorelle Weiss and Cassandra de Groot.
The RCMP Fall Classic Cashspiel begins Wednesday with draws at 3, 6 and 9 p.m. The 18-team men's draw is led by Bryan Cochrane, with plenty of other veteran rinks in the chase. The younger teams are headed by Chris Gardner, who made it to the qualifying round of the Shorty Jenkins Classic in Brockville last weekend.
The women's field is smaller at 12 rinks. Morrissey will be there, and two other young skips -- Jamie Sinclair and Jaimee Gardner -- are also looking for early-season wins. Tracy Samaan played Morrissey in the Carleton Heights final and could be a threat.
The draw is available at capitalcurling.com.Due to the renovations at the RCMP club, the event is being played at the Ottawa Curling Club.
The Wheelchair Curling Club has its first session this Saturday from 2-5 p.m. at the RA Centre. The club is happy to welcome new members. Call Bruce Cameron (613-247-7290) or Donny Stintson (613- 258-3126) for more information.
The Pembroke Open Cashspiel (Nov. 18-21) is looking for teams. The event includes four divisions and guarantees three games, with $3,800 in prize money. Contact Jeff Faught at firstname.lastname@example.org ... Much-travelled Ottawa skip Christian Tolusso is now the fifth man for perennial P.E.I. Brier skip Peter Gallant. Tolusso is attending school in Charlottetown.