Curling groups battle it out over Caledonia Cup money

JOE PAVIA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:54 AM ET

OTTAWA - History in the making — The Caledonia Cup.

That’s how the Aug. 11, 2011 Ottawa Valley Curling Association press release was headlined when it trumpeted the birth of the event. Well, the Caledonia Cup may indeed now be history as the OVCA and Curling Quebec engage in a war of words over the ownership of the event.

In a nutshell the Caledonia Cup was designed to appeal to club curlers — culminating in a one-day, five-event tournament in Montreal. Fifteen rinks from each province competed in the Cup. There were playdowns earlier in the season to determine the squads advancing.

The OVCA wrote a cheque to Curl Quebec for $10,000 to cover its share of the event cost, including the $160 entry fee per team that all rinks paid.

On Sept. 3, a bilingual email from OVCA president John DiLabio was sent to Jean Lamare, president of Curling Quebec. It read, “In the many e-mails between Marco Ferraro (Curling Quebec’s executive director) and OVCA, your position on the Caledonia Cup has been clear. It is really unfortunate that Curling Quebec’s position is about money and control and not the curlers.”

DiLabio told the Sun “We were supposed to be a 50/50 partnership and share costs. What did we get for $10,000?” The OVCA says it lost $4,011 on the event. A post event OVCA report outlined outstanding issues about the event. Two stand out. 1. Provision of financial reports, including proposed budget, interim budget and final budget. 2. The lack of equal partnership was evident; CQ made the majority of decisions and advised the OVCA after the fact.

These are fighting words to Curling Quebec.

Ferraro took the unusual step of sending an e-mail directly to all OVCA member clubs. The missive spelled out the so-called concessions his organization made to the OVCA to facilitate the event. He estimates CQ’s concessions gave the Ontario folks about $6,500 in income and reduced fees.

He told the Sun “We just don’t understand their position. We are flabbergasted. There never was supposed to be cost sharing.” He maintains that the Caledonia Cup is a Curling Quebec event so CQ doesn’t have to account for costs to anyone. “If I go to a bonspiel I don’t ask the organizers to let me see their costs. They (the OVCA) wanted a cost breakdown for everything — even the tomatoes in the entree.”

Now it gets nasty. “For the OVCA, it’s all about money and control,” Ferraro continued. “If we were all about money and control we wouldn’t have put $6,000 back in the kitty when they didn’t ask us to.”

Imagine everyone’s surprise when Ferraro showed up at the OVCA annual meeting Monday evening. After interjecting a few comments during the Caledonia Cup report, he was asked to leave.

He left, but this saga may not be over.

WINNER’S CIRCLE: The AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic saw a repeat winner when Toronto’s John Epping defended his title against Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton, winning 5-2 in Brockville last weekend. Epping collected $10,000 while Stoughton earned $7,000. Reigning Ontario champ Tracy Horgan of Sudbury beat Scotland’s Eve Muirhead 5-1 in the women’s final. Horgan received $6,000 while Muirhead left with $4,000.

CURLING THIS WEEK: The Moosehead Fall Open at the RCMP, the area’s first bonspiel of the season, runs Wednesday through Sunday. The men’s event features former Brier champ Jean-Michel Menard as well as the region’s keen competitive players. The female side features Ottawa’s Rachel Homan, who leads a field where the competition may be keener than the male side. For information, visit www.capitalcurling.com.

joe@hoglinecurling.com


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