The Yellowknife Climbing Club is getting an upgrade after the city agreed to partner with them and set aside $160,000 in the 2017 budget towards building a new climbing wall at the Fieldhouse.
Since 2012, the club has operated out of the basement of the Yellowknife Arts and Crafts Guild in Kam Lake.
At eight to 10 people the place fills up fast, and with its small size, club members have had to resort to climbing on the ceiling.
“When you think of climbing, height and going up is a big part of that,” club president Christopher Oland told Moose FM.
“It’s been a great space for us for the past couple of years as we’ve been growing as a club, but we’ve now definitely reached the capacity of that space and the limitations are more and more evident.”
At the Fieldhouse, there will be plenty of room for club members and members of the public to stretch their legs.
Oland says he was ‘ecstatic’ that the city approved their proposal.
“We’re really happy that the city has deemed this to be as much of a worthwhile project as we feel it is,” he said.
“I’m excited to see the sport grow.”
City to take over administration
Between paying rent on their basement climbing wall, the cost of maintaining equipment, along with other expenses, Oland says the non-profit club has had to start operating like a small business.
Now that the city will be taking over almost all of the wall’s administration once built, Oland says his club will be able to get back to focusing on what they love – climbing.
“It’s going to completely change how we operate,” he said.
“What we want to focus on is expanding the sport of climbing. With the city taking on construction of the climbing wall and taking on almost all of that administration, they’re running it as their own recreation facility now.
“We get to shed all that extra work on the administrative side.”
In exchange, they’re shedding potential revenue.
In a presentation to city hall, Oland suggested the drop-in fees for use of the wall be $15 for adults and $10 for children. There’s no word yet on how much to city intends to charge.
$52,000 in funding left
In total, the wall is estimated to cost $232,000 to construct.
When originally petitioning city hall, the climbing club pledged $20,000 of its own money towards the project, along with an additional $20,000 worth of equipment.
With the $160,000 from the budget, the club will need to raise an additional $52,000.
Oland says he’s confident they can get the fundraising done.