Around the House
For regular curlers, the season often kicks off with a club bonspiel to get everyone back on the ice and ready for action. At North Bay Granite, in North Bay, Ontario, an October funspiel brings the local community together for a whole week of curling activities and ensures anyone with an urge to start curling has a positive first exposure to the sport.
Boy grows up in a small Saskatchewan town and, of course, learns to curl at the local rink. Boy moves to big city, where he completes university, lands a job as an ice tech and, eventually, becomes a curling club general manager. Boy, all grown up now, moves back home to raise his young family. Where does he head? Straight to the local curling club, of course.
Since April, members of the Annandale Curling Club in Ajax, Ontario, have been at work preparing for the 2012-2013 season. Yes, there will be curling. But more importantly, there will also be lots of celebrating: Annandale is entering its fiftieth year. It’s time for a season-long party!
They may have moved to a variety of different addresses, and yes, they may have been forced to take a few breaks (World Wars will do that to a schedule). But curlers in Vancouver have been finding ice for one hundred years, and this season they’re planning to celebrate that milestone.
As the closing banquet for my Wednesday night league at the Guelph Curling Club wrapped up last spring, I remember looking at the pools of water covering the melting ice in the darkened ice house. The end of the season. Time for summer.
For many curling facilities across the country, April is the month of closing bonspiels, awards presentations and – for some – lacing up skates (instead of sliders) to destroy a season’s worth of pebbled ice.
Ask Leslie Glova, Manager of Program Development at Moose Jaw’s Mosaic Place, about the past curling season and then stand back: the all-out excitement and enthusiasm she shares about the city’s new 210,000 square foot entertainment/sports facility is impressive. Equally impressive is the role the community played in getting this project rolling and, after many years, completed.
Lots of curling clubs host bonspiels, right? The process is simple: advertise for teams, stock the bar, arrange the food, organize the prizes and entertainment, maybe do a bit of decorating, and you’re all set to go.
Attention may be focused on championship curling at the moment – the Scotties just finished, the Brier underway, and the Junior World Championships in progress – but clubs across the country have their own special events happening as well. Old and new, big and small, curling clubs love to commemorate their anniversaries and remember where they came from.
They’ve been mining gold in Dawson City, Yukon, since the 1890s, and they’ve been curling in Dawson for at least that long.
Maybe it was the appeal of the winter Olympics. Maybe it was the large number of Canadians living in town. Or maybe it was just time, as the spread of the curling bug around the United States finally reached the South. Whatever the reason, curling has taken off in Charlotte, North Carolina, fuelled by a dedicated partnership between local enthusiasts and their Canadian ex-pat neighbours.
Until recently, if you wanted to curl in Schomberg or Nobleton, King Township, Ontario, you could do so – one night a week in a hockey arena.
They’ve been curling in Collingwood since 1881, thanks in great part to the enthusiasm and hard work of its volunteers since those early days.
It’s the season of giving gifts, socializing with family and friends, and looking back – and forward. Yes, it’s resolution time.
Curling in Winnipeg? Winter wouldn’t be complete without it. But curling in Winnipeg, in the dead of winter – outdoors?