The Townley Tigers play Stretch Marks & Purple Helmets underneath the lights during the 2017 Glacier Challenge. Last week, organizers announced that the event would not return in 2018. (File)

Curtain falls on Revelstoke Glacier Challenge

Annual slo-pitch tournament had been running for 30 years

After 30 years of play, Revelstoke’s Glacier Challenge Slo-Pitch Tournament is calling it quits.

The event’s board announced the end of the August long-weekend tournament last week.

In a press release, they referenced an increasingly difficult environment to host the event as part of why they made the decision to fold the tournament.

“It’s unfortunate that after 30 years, the event is no longer welcome in the community,” said president Mark Baron. “We as a board are sad to see the Glacier Challenge come to an end.”

He said the end had been coming for a number of years.

Four or five years ago, the board felt public opinion of the event shift for the worse.

For the event to continue this year, a number of changes were required by the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch as well as Revelstoke RCMP.

In September, former board member Maggie Spizzirri said that the board and volunteers took on many jobs above and beyond organizing the event. They did the registration, cleaned the washrooms, sold ice.

“The amount of time we’re putting into the Glacier Challenge is just too much,” she said. “We took on a lot more than the board has done before. It was just too much for the volunteers we had.”

RELATED: Future of slo-pitch tournament uncertain

The event ran a profit in 2017 for the first time in recent years.

During a meeting in August, the former board was made aware of feedback received by the City and of changes that would need to be made if the event was to continue.

Among the changes were more frequent cleaning of the washroom facilities, more security and more hand-washing stations. The B.C. Liquor control and Licensing Branch also advised them that the tournament’s liquor license would not be issued for 2018 without major changes to the control of open alcohol.

If the required changes were implemented, the board didn’t see how it could continue to run a profit.

In the fall, they put a call out to the community to see if anyone was interested in taking the reigns of the event.

They invited the interested parties to come forward by the end of October.

No one did.

“Without anyone currently willing to take on the project, the tournament will now be dissolved and the remaining funds donated to charities in Revelstoke,” the news release said.

Baron encouraged community members to show their support for events they are passionate about.

“My only piece of advice going forward is to show support. If there’s an event that comes to town and you’re passionate about it, come out and support it,” he said. “Even if you’re not that passionate about it, but you think it’s good for the town, get out and support it.”



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