It was supposed to be a gathering where radical changes to several provincial championships were to be approved.
Instead, Curl Manitoba’s annual general meeting was overshadowed by some scary financial figures.
The association announced a deficit of $62,338 — $43,228 over what it had budgeted. It was the fifth consecutive year it announced a loss.
“At this rate, we will be in an accumulated deficit position within three years,” said finance chair Sharon Thiessen-Woods. “I’m a accountant and that terrifies me. We have some real challenges ahead of us.”
The deficit was blamed on lack of sponsorships, a reduction in Sports Manitoba grants (almost $20,000) and a decrease in entry fee revenue for various events. The Safeway Championship alone brought in $10,000 less than expected because an outside agency hired to sell sponsorships failed to reach its goal of $25,000.
Curl Manitoba, a non-profit association, has budgeted for a rather modest surplus of $611 next season.
Some changes were approved, including a reduction in teams for the senior women’s provincial championship to 12. The defending champion will now get one of those berths, which means that Brandon’s Linda Van Daele has already qualified.
The juniors and senior women will now qualify through regional playdowns with the Masters women’s champ to be determined through an open bonspiel.
There were no changes made to the Safeway Championship, the Scotties Tournament of Hearts or the senior men’s or Masters men’s provincials. One intriguing rule change will allow teams competing in bonspiels with a berth — such as the MCA men’s annual spiel — to purchase competitor cards after they earn a provincial spot. But those competing in berth bonspiels still have to buy their cards first.
A number of other rule changes were adopted, including the allowance of a fifth man at all provincial competitions. Spares not named the fifth will no longer be allowed in provincial qualifiers.
Morden’s Cindy Maddock took over from Hamiota’s Jim Strath as president. Minnedosa’s Jean Garbolinsky, Assiniboine Memorial’s Lorne Gregorash, Charleswood’s Dave Petursson and Valour Road’s Rose Neufeld (the past president) were also introduced as Honourary Life Members.