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Estevan: Activities for oilpatch people set for 2024

The Estevan Oilfield Technical Society (OTS) will once again have four events this year for people connected to the oilpatch.
The Estevan OTS Open Bonspiel brought lots of curling to the Power Dodge Curling Centre last year and will return on March 22 and 23. File photo

ESTEVAN — The Estevan Oilfield Technical Society (OTS) will once again have four events this year for people connected to the oilpatch.

The OTS will open this year's activities with the 64th annual open curling bonspiel at the Power Dodge Curling Centre on March 22 and 23. Estevan OTS president Tony Sernick said registrations are open and there has been a lot of interest.

"There is already a handful of teams signed up, and we're over a month away yet," said Sernick.

Interest in the bonspiel typically ramps up in the last couple of weeks before the bonspiel.

"It just shows that the oilfield out there has some interest and everything is going well, and it just brings more sponsorship and brings more people, and it allows people out there in the oilfield to come together for the events, get to know each other and make friends," said Sernick.

The bonspiel had 21 teams last year and can accommodate up to 24 entries.

The other activities will be the fourth annual Top Gun Trap Shoot on May 10 at the Estevan Wildlife Federation's shooting range; their biggest event of the year, the 67th annual Oilmen's Golf Tournament, from May 31-June 2 at the TS&M Woodlawn Golf Course, with 18 and 36-hole events offered; and the third annual two-person mixed scramble at the Hidden Valley Golf and RV Resort's Hideout Golf Course on July 6.

"This will be the third year of running four events, and in 2023 all four events turned a profit for the first time," said Sernick.

The golf tournament remains their biggest money generator of the year. They are looking to increase the prizes for the events this year, which they hope will result in more entries.

The OTS uses the funds to support various non-profit organizations in the community, with donations of $500-$2,500. They have supported the OTS Production Park near the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum, and they hope to add lights to the area, as it can be dark at night.

And they're looking at upgrades for the derrick at the west edge of the city along Highway 39. Sernick said it will be in need of fresh paint in the next few years.

The social element is a big part of their events. Sernick recalled that when he first broke into the oilpatch in the early 2000s, he used the bonspiel and the golf tournament to meet customers and service suppliers.

"Building the relationships is a key thing, and that's really what these events are about, is they're about us getting together and helping the curling rink, the trap shoot club … to keep them going," said Sernick.