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‘Richest bonspiel in the Dominion’

The Story

It was a rousing success the first time around, so the town of Nipawin, Sask., is hosting its second annual "carspiel." When the town's curling club dreamed up the event, its intention was simple. It wanted to raise enough money to finish construction on a new six-sheet rink to replace the old one-sheet structure. But the news media, including Bill Good of the CBC, have been unable to resist the story of the richest bonspiel in the Dominion.

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC News Roundup
Broadcast Date: Jan. 6, 1948
Host: Larry Henderson
Reporter: Lloyd Saunders
Duration: 2:32

Did You know?

• The Nipawin Bonspiel was an annual event from 1947 to 1954. Because it brought together so many high-profile teams in one tournament, it's credited with prompting curling's first widespread newspaper and radio coverage. Listeners were captivated, and would stay up late to hear reporter Bill Good's broadcasts from Nipawin.
• The word "bonspiel" is thought to derive from Low German or Dutch; spiel or spel means "game," and bon may refer to a geographical area.

• Because Nipawin had only two hotels — the population was just a few thousand — many curlers and spectators were billeted at local homes.
• Though it was incomplete, the new rink's six sheets were still usable, and the town's hockey arena was outfitted with five additional sheets to accommodate all the players.
• Due to post-war quotas on matched-granite stones, each team had to bring its own set of curling stones in the first year of the bonspiel.

• In addition to the four automobiles for the winning rink, the prizes at the Nipawin Bonspiel included refrigerators, ranges, radios, washing machines and four gold watches for the runners-up.
• The Nipawin carspiel was revived in 1984 and the bonspiel continues today as the Nipawin Evergreen Classic.



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