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The transformation from hockey rink to curling rink

This Friday Memorial Gardens will say good-bye to hockey as it becomes a high profile curling venue for the Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling.
2022 09 24 gardens
Ice level seating removed as the first step in getting the rink ready for curling. Photo by Chris Dawson/BayToday.

It is nothing new for Rick Miller. 

The co-chair of the Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling event coming to North Bay next week is in charge of the major transformation North Bay's Memorial Gardens will make as it goes from a quality Ontario Hockey League calibre ice surface to a world-class curling rink for some of the world's best curlers.  

Miller was involved in the same capacity at the World Women's Curling event in 2018 and the Pinty's Grand Slam event in 2019.  

He says the transition will begin this Friday for the curling event which goes from October 4 to 9 at North Bay's Memorial Gardens.  

"We start by taking all the glass down from the rink and we scrape the ice surface down to the top of the logos for the hockey rink then we flood over them - we flood over them with water that has been treated. We take all the impurities out of it. It is not city water so it makes a much better surface for curling," explained Miller.  

"Once we seal it, then it is painted so nothing can leach up through, several layers of flooding, then all the logos everything else. All the carpeting, the dividers, and the Pinty's Pub go in on the end of the ice." 

Miller says they have to have the ice ready to throw on by late Monday afternoon. 

Oh, and with the event airing on national television, Miller says everything has to look great.  

"There is a huge part to aesthetics, there's the drapery, all the signage, we have a whole transport load of that stuff coming in and our volunteer group will put the arena together and put it all up. It is important, it has to look right on television," said Miller.  

Having good ice for the event is obviously very important too. 

"One thing we have never had a problem with since the renovations at the arena is we have a great surface and a great plant in the building and air ventilation system," he said.

"We have had outstanding ice, we have never had complaints from the players. They bring in the two ice makers that are coming in for the event are two of the top ice makers in the world."

For more information or tickets for the event, click HERE 

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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