By Matt Harris – News Express

Government kicks in funds to help with festivities

The Fergus Curling Club is getting a big shot in the arm as it prepares to welcome the public in joining the celebrations of the club’s 175th anniversary on Sept. 26.
The Government of Canada has provided $7,900 to the FCC via the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program, an offshoot of the Department of Canadian Heritage. Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong called the grant phenomenal and hopes that the celebrations will help people take more of an interest in their own history.
“I don’t think we celebrate our past enough, and it’s phenomenal that we’ve got a club in Fergus that is almost twice the age as some of provinces in Canada,” he said. “Fergus is well known for its curling club, and I think this is a great way to celebrate their anniversary.”
The club applied for the money back in February of this year, and Bill Rowe, chair of the club’s 175th committee, said it will be used to help stage all the events they have planned for Sept. 26.
“We’ve got a fun spiel with 16 teams participating, and there are at least 100 people committed to coming to the banquet,” he said. “We only just found out that we were getting this money a few weeks ago, so needless to say it’s a big shot in the arm for us.”
The Fergus Curling Club was established in 1834 and is the oldest continuous curling club in Ontario. With a variety of events planned to celebrate, Rowe said lots of people are looking forward to the party. Part of the money will also go towards the gala event the club has planned for January 2010.
In a prepared statement that accompanied the announcement of the funding, James Moore, the minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, said: “Our government is proud to support the 175th anniversary of the Fergus Curling Club. This anniversary celebration reflects Fergus’s Scottish roots through the sport of curling, while giving its residents an opportunity to enjoy this great game.”
Chong is hoping to be in attendance when the party kicks off later this month, and thinks events like this will go a long way to opening the doors to the past for a lot of people who have lost touch with their roots.
“Things like this allow us to celebrate our culture and history, not just locally but all across Canada,” he said.

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