Royal Kingston Curling Club kicks off season with free open house

Photo by Tom Gaulton.

On Saturday, Sep. 23, 2023, the Royal Kingston Curling Club (RKCC), located at 130 Days Road in Kingston’s west end, will kick off the 2023-24 curling season in style with an open house from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event, which features live music, bouncy castles, and face painting, will also give members of the public an opportunity to try the ‘roaring game’ for themselves, with learn-to-curl sessions offered throughout the day.

According to RKCC’s Samantha Tomsett, the club will offer a wide range of different on-ice sessions during the eight-hour open house. “We are providing free one-hour blocks for either a ‘learn-to-curl mini session,’ to learn the basics and test throwing rocks, or you can book an hour of free play, for those who’ve played before and just want to try again. So people can bring friends and get a mini game going. We also have a sheet dedicated to junior curling for kids who would love to try it,” she said.

While the on-ice sessions will be available for casual drop-ins, Tomsett said members of the public can also book a time slot by emailing [email protected], to guarantee a specific time on the ice. “Just let them know if you would like to book in the morning or afternoon, and they will send you some availability,” she noted.

For anyone who attends the open house and catches the curling bug, members of the club will be on hand to explain the membership process and facilitate registration. “There will be lots of people available to answer any questions about memberships at the event,” Tomsett said. “And registration is open for the curling season, so anyone who is interested can sign up. There are loads of leagues to choose from to fit your skill or commitment level.”

Throughout the year, RKCC offers a variety of different weekly leagues, catering to a wide range of skill levels and abilities, across men’s, women’s, and open categories. To sign up for a league, a membership to RKCC is also required, and the club offers a wide range of membership types.

An “Active Member,” for those 21 and older, allows for participation in any leagues and costs $721.05. The club offers a discount for new members, with the “Active New Membership” coming in at $596.75. The new membership level offers the same features as the active membership, as well as a $50 pro shop voucher and a 10 per cent reduction on the cost of the following year’s active member fee. Aside from the active memberships, RKCC also offers discounts for people wishing to participate in just a single league. There are also U30 memberships (for ages 21 to 29), student memberships, social memberships (with or without ice privileges), and more. Further information about memberships and fees is available on the club’s website.

Even if curling isn’t really your thing, Saturday’s open house will feature a variety of different activities for people young and old. Children can check out bouncy castles, face painting, and cotton candy, while adult attendees can enjoy live acoustic music from 1 p.m. onward and $5 beer specials at the bar. “Whether you are interested in curling or not, there are lots of fun activities and entertainment, so come on by and check out the club,” said Tomsett.

The Royal Kingston Curling Club (RKCC) will offer a free open house on Saturday, Sep. 23, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Image via RKCC.

While the open house runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., later that evening the club will offer a free concert by cover party band The Limestone Cowboys, for anyone 19 or over. Doors open at 8 p.m. with $5 beer specials on tap.

For those who cannot make the open house event on Saturday, the club will also host drop-in sessions on Sunday, Sept. 24 from 1 to 4 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, from 4 to 8 p.m. Anyone trying the game for the first time is encouraged to bring comfortable pants and clean sneakers.

RKCC celebrates Trillium Foundation funding

One day prior to the open house, on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, the RKCC will host a special welcome back barbecue for members, during which the club will acknowledge a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation which allowed it to purchase a new HVAC system. “The system will allow the facility to expand indoor fitness opportunities and enable expanded year-round use by the Kingston community,” noted a media advisory issued in advance of Friday’s event.

During Friday’s barbecue, a volunteer from the foundation’s grant review team will be on hand, alongside RKCC president Murray Matheson, to present the club with a plaque to commemorate the work made possible through the grant.

Friday’s event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at RKCC, 130 Days Road.

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