Organizers putting on finishing touches ahead of Canadian Juniors

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald 2019 New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championship event chair Bryan Rindal receives a cheque from Jill Dumanski of Lake Country Co-op at the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club Friday.

It’s been a whirlwind of activity over the last couple of weeks for those involved with the 2019 New Holland Canadian Juniors, as they prepared to welcome the top young curlers in Canada to Prince Albert ahead of Saturday’s opening draws.

“It’s really felt like a blur at times,” event chair Bryan Rindal said during a pre-tournament press conference at the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club Friday. “Everything’s coming together and I’m so proud of the work that our staff and our volunteers have done to take this event on.

“We know there’s some last minute things that we will need to take care of over the next few days, but we’re all looking forward to everything starting Saturday and getting a chance to enjoy the event.”

The committee chairs and directors have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes over the last few months, along with a group of 300 volunteers that held their orientation kick-off event at the Art Hauser Centre Sunday.

“There’s been a lot of hours that have put in just to get to where we are now,” Rindal said.

“With more of the volunteers getting involved now, I think you’ll start to see more of the excitement building here in Prince Albert. Hopefully we see that spill over into people filling the stands, especially as we have some of the curling starts of tomorrow coming here.”

Friday’s press conference also served as way to pay thanks to some of the event’s sponsors.

Lake Country Co-op presented a $35,000 cheque to the organizing committee and Farm World announced that a brand new New Holland Workmaster 25S sub-compact tractor will be won by a fan during the men’s final on Sunday, Jan. 27.

“It’s a general rule of thumb that the sponsorships should help to cover almost any expenses that you may have, with the 50/50 and tickets sales being an added bonus,” Rindal said.

“We’ve designated any profits to go towards the new flooring and renovations here at the Golf and Curling Club. We celebrated our 50th anniversary last year, and as anyone who owns a house knows, you need to freshen things up as time goes along.”

The preparations to turn the Art Hauser Centre into a curling facility are already in full swing as work crews began to take out the glass along the board following Saturday’s home game for the Prince Albert Raiders.

“To see it being changed over is pretty amazing,” Rindal said. “We see what it looks like on TV, but to be able to watch the doing it really fascinating.

“We’re inviting people to come check it out as it goes along, in addition to the practices at both facilities on Friday. That’s free of charge and hopefully it will get people excited about the event.”

There won’t be as much of a turnover needed to get things ready at the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club, though they will conclude their regular league play Tuesday.

Tickets packages for the entire tournament, which runs from Jan. 19-27, cost $135 and can be purchased at BTR Financial Planning, Perry’s Automotive and the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club.

Day passes, which are good for both venues, cost $20 and individual draw tickets cost $10.