CBC Digital Archives

Curling west of the Rockies

Whether they play for fun in small-town clubs or for glory at the winter Olympics, one thing's for certain: Canadians love curling, and they've produced some of the world's best players. Though some have called it "shuffleboard on ice," supporters say it's a game with a grand Canadian tradition of skill, strategy, and sportsmanship.

While curling got its start in Quebec and Ontario and is a fixture of every Prairie town, it has taken a little longer to catch on in much of British Columbia. Mild temperatures mean natural ice is impossible, and artificial ice is a pretty expensive proposition. However, Totem Bonspiel organizer Reg Fry tells CBC Radio he's found an irresistible hook to bring curlers out to his club's second annual bonspiel.
. Brothers Frank and Lester Patrick brought both curling and hockey to Vancouver in 1910 when they built the Denman Arena. Curling ended during the First World War and didn't begin again until 1931 at a new arena. However, it was virtually forced out by hockey in 1936 when curling was limited to a single less-than-regulation-length sheet. In 1949, the Vancouver Curling Club opened, and was soon followed by more clubs.

. Another notable B.C. bonspiel is the Nelson Midsummer Bonspiel, which has been running for the first week in July every year since 1945. It was inspired by a similar event in St. Paul, Minn., and was intended to draw families looking for a summer vacation destination.
Medium: Radio
Program: Assignment
Broadcast Date: Nov. 30, 1956
Guest(s): Reg Fry
Reporter: Bruno Semoli
Duration: 4:06

Last updated: February 1, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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