The greatly anticipated 2018 Sasktel Tankard is less than two weeks away from it's kicking off in the Energy City.

However, some controversy has arisen in regards to the Tankard, and to the demise of the beloved Civic Auditorium, with comments circulating that the provincial curling event is biting into ice time, and Estevan Curling Club President and Tankard committee member Devon Fornwald wanted to clear the air.

"It's two different things. The Curling Club has been in the process of doing this (the Tankard) since the fall of 2015. It (the planning) has been going on for a year and a half now. We've worked with the Bruins and we've worked with the City to make sure that there was no conflicts in scheduling, and everybody was great. It's just unfortunate timing with the Civic going down, it's a domino effect for everybody in the community."

It's just unfortunate timing with the Civic going down, it's a domino effect for everybody in the community - Devon Fornwald

"Estevan will get through the Civic closure. Things look bad, but Estevan will pull together and if we need a third ice surface, it will happen in this community, we'll pull together to get it done," he said, pointing to the flooding on the golf courses in past years that saw cooperation from the southeast to get things back up and running.

That said, the Curling Club's home, the Power Dodge Curling Center, is directly connected to the Civic, and Fornwald observed that their own facility could soon see the same result.

Estevan will get through the Civic closure. Things look bad, but Estevan will pull together - Devon Fornwald

"I believe it was built in the early '70's, so the building is starting to show it's age too. It's built on the same land as the Civic, so whatever is affecting the Civic can possibly affect the Curling Club. If there's ever a future for something bigger in this community, I would hope they'd look at maybe including the club in it, but right now the City's been very good with us, we have a good relationship with them. We're making the building work, and the City's providing us with equipment and funds to help us out and keep it going. It is a City property, and they do a good job of keeping maintenance up on it."

He added that the Club is reaching their own crossroads of renovations or replacements, but he expects that hockey will be the priority when it comes to repairs, which all take money.

"Once you lose a curling facility, or any facility, it's really hard for a community to replace that. I know that when a lot of the smaller communities lose their curling club or their hockey ice, it really kills the town. You never want to see that."

In the two years that the Tankard process has been underway, Fornwald noted that folks from every facet of the community, and the wide variety of sporting groups, have all pitched in their part to see it happen.


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