The RA Investing to Grow Curling in Ottawa as CurlON joins the House of Sport
(Ottawa, ON) June 22, 2021 – The RA is excited to announce the development of a Curling Centre of Excellence at the RA Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. For over 60 years the RA has delivered quality curling programs to the community. The Curling Centre of Excellence will evolve through a multi-year plan, expanding programming and training opportunities, partnering with provincial and national organizations and events to leverage the creation of a stadium ice experience. Further, the Curling Centre of Excellence will include accessibility improvements to the arena to encourage the increased participation of curlers of all abilities. To assist with the development of the Curling Centre of Excellence, the RA has secured support from CurlON and the Ottawa Valley Curling Association (OVCA).
Additionally, the RA is pleased to welcome CurlON, the provincial body representing curling in Southern Ontario, to the vibrant House of Sport community. The inclusion of CurlON in the House of Sport marks the first provincial level sport organization to join this unique made in Canada sports hub. The House of Sport is an innovative and collaborative office space located within the RA Centre that supports over 40 sport organizations. CurlON, a 145-year-old provincial sport organization, works to promote a safe environment, working collaboratively with members to develop and grow the sport in Ontario.
Covid-19 has forced the RA to reassess and re-think every part of their operations. During the past fifteen months it was clear the RA could better serve the community by expanding curling services through the expansion of youth, para and stick-curling programs, complementing what is currently being offered and creating a dynamic curling environment in the National Capital Area. The need for mid-market, stadium quality ice in Ottawa, every year, was highlighted through collaborative conversations with partners in the curling community. With this in mind, the RA has strategically committed space to evolve and promote curling regionally, provincially and nationally putting curling in Ottawa on the map.
The initial focus in this multi-year project will be to prepare the ice surface and plan the on-ice experience to be ready for play this Fall. Future phases will include the creation of vibrant social spaces and lounges, as well as modern and accessible dressing rooms. In addition, by partnering with key stakeholders including CurlON and the Ottawa Valley Curling Association, the RA will target national and provincial level events that would otherwise not be coming to Ottawa. Stay tuned for announcement of future events.
As a result of this innovative project, the RA will be no longer offer hockey ice rental services and will be ending certain hockey league sports at our main campus at 2451 Riverside Drive.
Tosha Rhodenizer, Chief Executive Officer, RA – For over 60 years the RA has supported the sport of curling in Ottawa. With this multi-year project, we will create a facility that will develop the sport in a more comprehensive manner. Curling has a strong following across the country and is growing in Ottawa and the RA is thrilled to support this growth in every aspect of the sport through the expansion of youth, para and stick-curling programs and the integration of Long-term Development in Sport principles.
Steve Chenier, Executive Director, CurlON – We are looking forward to participating in the House of Sport eco-system and learning from and contributing to the knowledge within the sport industry. We are also excited of the potential to work closely with the RA to offer training and development initiatives to grow the sport in Ottawa and across Ontario.
John Tobias, President, Ottawa Valley Curling Association – The OVCA is pleased to support the RA in their creation of the Curling Centre of Excellence. We have provided financial assistance to the RA and will be holding several events at the new facility. The Centre will give OVCA curlers the opportunity to play on arena ice which is much different than curling club ice. This is important to prepare for provincial, national and world championships.
For more information contact:
Recreation Association of the Public Service of Canada (RA):
Bryan R. Merrett, Director, Partnership and Engagement
Click here to download the Press Release in PDF.
About the RA
A member supported not-for-profit organization; the Recreation Association of the Public Service of Canada (best known as the RA or RA Centre) operates a multi-sport, recreation and leisure facility conveniently located in the heart of Ottawa. With a deep and quality laden line-up of fitness programs, sports leagues designed for adults, summer camps for children and youth and clubs for all ages, the RA is an environment that values fun, respect and excellence. RA members celebrate in a social atmosphere with a new story created each day. Supporting these stories is the ability for members and the public to access services from the RA’s Events and Conference team offering quality food and beverages. For more information on RA programs, please visit www.racentre.com.
With a proud legacy of community engagement that embodies a clear passion for excellence in sport, the RA has much to offer the sport community. For additional information on the House of Sport please visit our project page at www.houseofsport.ca.
CurlON (formerly the Ontario Curling Association) is the governing body of curling in Southern Ontario. CurlON sends a team to represent Team Ontario at all major Canadian Championships. CurlON was founded in 1875. It was renamed from the Ontario Curling Association in 2016. For more information, please visit www.curl-on.ca.
About the Ottawa Valley Curling Association
The OVCA, established in 1959, has a membership of 46 curling clubs in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. The OVCA is run by a dedicated board composed of volunteers from the Ottawa Valley curling community. Working with the members the OVCA promotes, grows and celebrates the sport or curling within the Ottawa Valley. For more information, please visit www.ovca.com.