The Estevan Oilfield Technical Society (OTS) is looking forward to another busy year with their annual events and other endeavours.
The 57th annual OTS Oilmen’s open bonspiel will be held from March 17 to 19 at the Power Dodge Curling Centre. It’s a three-day event this year that will end on a Saturday; in previous years, it has been a four-day competition ending on a Sunday.
“We’re hoping that makes it a little bit more of an exciting event,” said OTS president Conrad Meili, who was elected as the organization’s president in November.
“The finals will be on a Saturday night instead of a Sunday afternoon, so that will allow the final matches to be watched by more people, and have the winners announced in front of a crowd rather than quietly on a Sunday.”
The early bird rate of $280 per rink will end on Jan. 31.
Meili concedes it’s difficult to secure a lot of corporate and sponsorship donations right now due to the state of the economy, but entrants get a lot for their money with games, banquet tickets, cash prizes for the winners and more.
The OTS Lifetime Achievement Award will be handed out during the bonspiel’s Friday night banquet. The award recognizes an individual or company that has made significant contributions to the patch. Meili said they hope to receive a number of nominations this year.
Their 59th annual golf tournament will happen June 3 to 5 at the TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club. Participants for the tournament will likely be able to register shortly after the bonspiel.
The organization is always looking for volunteers to assist with planning their events, and they will also welcome new members.
The OTS has released a new logo, and launched a revamped website, www.estevanots.com, which documents their impact on the community through the local Oilwives Club, the lifetime achievement award, donations and the scholarships they present to local high school students each year.
“The website is a good resource,” said Meili. “It’s a good platform to showcase that sort of stuff. And we’re also encouraging past members, or anyone else that has put any time into the initiatives that have been done through the Estevan OTS, to come forward and send us information on things that have been done, so we can continue building on the website.”
The previous website served the OTS well for nearly a decade, but Meili believes the new site is more modern, and more friendly for mobile users.
“We’ve added a calendar to the main page, and we’re encouraging other oilfield groups around the area to submit their dates for their events, so we can add them to the calendar, and give people one spot to check in on oilfield events,” said Meili.
It will also allow visitors to have all the information about the OTS’s upcoming events, and there is a page dedicated to the criteria required to enter an OTS bonspiel or golf tournament.
“One of the parts of it that I was most proud to see come out, and it is something that is going to be continually added to, is our communities tab,” said Meili.
While their community contributions are often overshadowed by their events, Meili stressed the lifetime achievement award, the scholarships and the donations are a big part of the OTS.
Meili said he is excited to be at the helm of an organization that has been around for over 50 years, and has become an institution in the area for its events and community support.
“I believe in oil and gas in Estevan, I believe in Saskatchewan oil and gas, and I like to see our community benefit from the work the individuals do around here and the money the companies make from working in this area,” said Meili.