Watching the game live was a amazing experience

Love watching curling on TV but I have never been until I won a free tickets to a game one night; first time ever to a live game .

Watching the game live was a amazing experience. The crowd was cheering loudly and the rocks thrown were on fire .

I would love to take a friend who never experienced it live also . The joy of seeing all the fun experiences and getting to the other events would be a first for us. I never had time to get to any because of work.

I played as a kid way back, so was a experience to see the top curlers shoot end to end and hold strong over the pressure.

Amazing games with curlingdayincanada.ca

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The English are coming!

Last year, I convened our curling club’s first Adult Learn to Curl programme. We had a very successful session, so decided to follow up with a a rookie league for our new curlers and then finish off with a Rookie Bonspiel.

We advertised to other clubs in our area, put a flyer on the OCA website, then waited to see who responded. To our surprise, our little club ended up having an International Bonspiel. In addition to a good contingent of home curlers and a couple of teams from nearby clubs, I received a call from a fellow from England who wondered if he and three of his colleagues could come to our spiel and give Curling a try.

The four of them travel all over the world for business and like to try some local activity wherever they go. For example, last year they went to the camel races in Dubai. They thought hockey was a bit of a long shot, but curling might be fun. They saw our ad on the OCA website, so gave me a call. I must admit that I was a bit skeptical that they would actually show up, but out to Brighton (Ont.) they came!

They had never set foot on ice, and knew nothing about the game. We got them set up with brooms, grippers and sliders and one of our ALTC instructors gave them a crash course in curling in the half hour before the first game, and took them under her wing for the day.

They were four of the nicest, most personable guys that I have ever met, and they totally embraced the game and the event. They lost their first game, though all things considered, made quite a reasonable showing. They really held their own in their second game, and in the last end, their skip had to make a draw to the 4 foot to score two points for the win.

The whole Bonspiel was out on the ice to cheer him on. When he made his shot and won, well, you would have thought they had just won the Olympic gold medal! They didn’t win the bonspiel, but they didn’t come last and we all had a great day because of them. They came as strangers, but they left as friends, with promises that we would get together again. Curling is like that-it brings people together, and that’s why I love it!

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We Love to Curl at Lancaster Curling Club.

I was introduced to the sport of curling as a spectator at the Ottawa Brier in 2001 and was just so entertained by the interaction between fans and players. I remember thinking what other sport would you find this crazy closeness. It was just the neatest thing.

I’ve only taken up the sport six years ago at our local curling rink. The Lancaster and District Curling Club is now my home away from home. It wasn’t long after I started that I, along with another club member, were asked to take on the organization of one of our yearly bonspiels. It had always been called the Birthday Bonspiel, so being it was in January, what better birthday to celebrate than the birthday of Robbie Burns.

I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was simply amazed and amused with the participation of our tartan-clothed members. Every year since, I’ve had a different theme. Canada’s 150th celebration bonspiel was super neat and heart-warming. All of our provinces and territories were represented and they all came together to sing our national anthem at the end of the fun-filled day.

Olympic year, same outstanding response. Young and old and in between played in the spirit of the Olympics Games.

Last year we had a Birthday theme; teams were organized according to their birth month, some teams of course were weak and some strong, but I had no complaints, just enthusiasm. It was all about the birthday cakes in the end anyway.

Most recently Black and White was the theme, we had Penguins, who I have to say felt right at home on the ice, along with Panda Bears, Pirates, Jailbirds, Skunks and a few others. I have to say this time around, I had no doubt whatsoever what to expect, I knew they would come dressed in their best blacks and whites and be ready to take on their fellow members in a few great games of curling.

It’s because of this wonderful participation of our members, year after year, no matter the theme that made me want to submit my personal story. I get it now, that day in Ottawa in 2001. It’s the neatest thing. We Love to Curl at Lancaster Curling Club.

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Krista McCarville – our role model

The Bron family enjoyed Curling Day in Canada here at the Kakabeka Curling Club in Thunder Bay Ontario.

Isabella (10) who is a member of the Thunder Bay Youth Curling club had some lessons on sweeping and then skipped her way to a draw. We are also looking forward to watching Krista McCarville and the rest of team Northern Ontario in the Scotties today.

Krista is a great role model for the young girls of curling in Thunder Bay.

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Teresa Wallace

My sister Paula and I have curled together for a good 25 years.

This last season I left her team in order to encourage new curlers into the sport. I went from front end to skipping which is quite the change.

My sister also added a new player to the game. Mid season here at Kamloops Curling Centre we finally were scheduled to play each other. In honour of our 86 year old mother Elizabeth, a 3 time top lead in the Canadian Seniors Curling Championship, we played for the Baba Cup. (Baba is Ukrainian for grandma).

Though the score was lopsided we had a blast as you can tell by our happy faces in the pictures included. Look out next year Paula, we’re going to even the score!

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Lakeshore Bonspiel in Montréal!

Today we are in day 3 of our annual Lakeshore Bonspiel (www.lakeshorebonspiel.ca) that involves 6 Montreal area curling clubs and has been running since 1958.

This year’s tournament has 95 teams and about 500 people overall involved in the event.

The participants represent the complete cross section of the society. We have men and women young and old, rookies and veterans and even some celebrities (Andrew Carter from CJAD 800 AM radio station has a team still in the “A”division).

We already have a bunch of photos available on our website and more are being uploaded.

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Halifax Curling Club, rising from the rubble – literally!

The Halifax Curling Club (HCC) is the oldest continuously operating curling club in North America, founded in 1824. That record was put to the test not once but twice, and my story will describe how this happened and the importance of curling volunteers and their generosity in times of need.

Imagine if I wrote to you today asking to give money to your club to keep the doors open….in October 1998, this happened to HCC. The only way the club could find a way to survive was to ask just over 40 members to contribute money in the form of repayable bonds. Substantial contributions were made, ranging from $1,000 to $15,000, and totalling over $120,000 in all (not pocket change!). Donors were issued bonds with a repayment schedule that was uncertain due to the financial picture of the club. The good news is that the club was able to keep the doors open and continue to offer curling in the south end of Halifax because of these generous donors.

Turn the clock forward to Feb.15, 2015. Following a major snow storm, then rain and flash freezing, the roof of the club collapsed, leaving almost 300 members without a home to curl in. The board reached out to the other clubs in the area (4) to request ice time that HCC could rent in order to continue the league play for the duration of the season and were fortunate to receive support. Meanwhile, a building committee was formed to face the daunting task of rebuilding the facility in under one year. With the talents of our members and a local contractor, and countless hours of sweat equity, this feat was accomplished and the “new and improved” HCC facility re-opened in February 2016.

They say adversity builds resilience and from the threat of closure and the devastating roof collapse, the club is now stronger than ever. Membership is at an all time high, our Learning and Development programs are full and our community outreach programs are thriving. In November 2018, the club joined the WCT with an event called the Stu Sells 1824 Halifax Classic, and we will continue to run this as the premier men’s event in Atlantic Canada.

Last summer, the club introduced pickle ball as an off-season sport with great success and will likely host a Provincial championship event this year. We ran a “Rocks and Rings” program at our local elementary schools and tripled our Junior registration as a result. We even started teaching blind and hearing impaired children how to curl, and have plans to make our facility accessible for all abilities!

Realizing we are still not in a sound financial position, our board agreed in January that it was time to recognize the bondholders and share this story with our membership. We need to learn from the situations of the past, and to remind ourselves to continue on the path of financial sustainability, and never end up depending on members like we did in 1998.

So on this special day, February 22, we will be acknowledging the generosity of those bondholders who have agreed to forgive their loan to the club by honouring them in a formal evening of music, food, curling and of course, some laughs. This is what makes curling special…people who care enough to put others ahead of themselves for the better good!

Happy Curling Day in Canada!!!

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But our ice isn’t hockey ice

Our family loves curling. It’s an activity for all ages, including our youngest son Reid.

When he was 7, Reid started curling at the Crestwood Curling Club in Edmonton, in the Saturday morning Little Rocks program.

At the end of the season, the Crestwood juniors had a fun skills competition as part of their wind-up, and they invited the Little Rocks kids to join them. Reid, age 7, won the skills competition against all the other curlers! He made a draw to the button to seal the win.

He was so excited and proud of his prize, a curling broom. Reid is now 11 and he has been an enthusiastic curler since. Lots of Canadian families spend their weekends in a rink, we are no different. But our ice isn’t hockey ice, we are at the Crestwood Curling Club, participating in the junior curling program on Saturdays and open league on Sundays.

We appreciate how accessible the sport is to all ages, the decadent eats that Knosh catering makes (chocolate/nutella pancakes this morning) and the warm, welcoming smile we get from every person.

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