Dauphin Curler Becomes CurlManitoba President
7 Dec, 2020
Dauphin curler and curling volunteer Ray Baker has been elected President of CurlManitoba, the provincial governing body for the sport of curling. Baker owns and manages Baker Computers in Dauphin. He joins Dauphin’s Marg Ritchie, who was the 1982-83 President of the former Manitoba Ladies Curling Association, as the only Dauphin curlers to lead the volunteer directed organization in its 133 year history.
Baker was first elected to the CurlManitoba Board of Directors in 2016 and was Vice-President for the 2019-20 season. Keith Johnston, a member of the Fort Rouge Curling Club, has been elected Vice-President for the 2020-21 season.
He will lead a Board of Directors which includes eight Winnipeg club representatives and four representing clubs from outside Winnipeg. Of particular note, for the first time in many years, there are representatives on the CurlManitoba Board from two clubs in Manitoba’s north.
Continuing members of the Board of Directors are Scott Barenz (Charleswood), Grant Brown (Thompson-Burntwood), Lynn Fallis-Kurz (East St. Paul), Ian Fordyce (Fort Garry), George Hacking (Selkirk), Jason Kreiser (Fort Rouge), Jill Proctor (Granite), and Bradley Zander (Fort Rouge),
Ken Stevens (St. Vital) and Jill Wilkinson (The Pas) begin three year terms on the Board, replacing Debbie Schween and Darren Oryniak whose terms have ended. Both Schween and Oryniak were recognized with Honorary Life Memberships in tribute to their service as President of CurlManitoba.
CurlManitoba also announced an Honorary Life Membership for veteran Umpire Wayne Griffin of Brandon who was unable to attend the annual meeting.
Recapping the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 curling season, out-going President Darren Oryniak highlighted a very successful season on the ice with World gold medals earned by the Colin Kurz Mixed team and the Jacques Gauthier Junior Men’s team both from Assiniboine Memorial and Mackenzie Zacharias’s Altona Junior Women’s team. The Scotties Canadian champion Kerri Einarson Gimli team missed the chance to win Manitoba an unprecedented four world titles in the same year when the women’s worlds were cancelled due to the pandemic.
Off the ice, Oryniak reported the successful development and implementation of a new strategic plan which stresses building club capacity and improved communication with the approximately 100 member cubs.
Oryniak also reported the accomplishment of one of CurlManitoba’s long-term financial goals when the CurlManitoba Foundation topped a million dollars in total funds. In perpetuity, the fund will exist with annual interest flowing to CurlManitoba to fund scholarships and development programs.
Looking ahead to the 2020-21 curling season, Oryniak stressed the cooperative effort of the provincial and national Associations and the clubs to implement strong Covid-19 return-to-play protocols. He suggested “Manitoba curling is in good shape to return to club play this fall and competitive play early in 2021.”