Crokicurl ready for its Calgary closeup

The newest winter sport arrives in Calgary on Saturday at the community centre in Acadia. It's a mashup of curling and crokinole.

Mashup of curling and crokinole launches Saturday at Acadia Recreation Complex

Watch and learn how crokicurl is played

5 years ago
Duration 1:08
Calgary's outdoor crokicurl rink opens Jan. 13 at the Acadia Community Association.

Take one curling rink, one crokinole board game, a bunch of old bleach jugs, mixed in with some old fence posts, and what have you got?


That's the name of the newest Canadian winter sport, and starting Saturday, thanks to the Acadia Recreation Complex on 90th Avenue S.E., Calgary is about to get a taste of it.

A new crokicurl rink, at the Acadia Community Centre, opens this Saturday. The sport, which combines curling and crokinole, was invented in Winnipeg last winter. (Erika Topola)

Erika Topola, the Acadia Community Association's director of membership, was inspired to construct a crokicurl rink — despite having never played curling or much crokinole — for that most modern of reasons: Facebook.

That started when Topola read an article about the popularity of crokicurl in Winnipeg, where it was introduced in early 2017.

Inspired by social media 

"Last year, when the Winnipeg [crokicurl] article came out, I had put it on our community Facebook page," Topola said, on the Calgary Eyeopener. "And the engagement on that post alone pretty much outweighs what we [usually] do in the whole entire year."

The community association applied for funding to Activate YYC and got it.

On Saturday, the crokicurl rink opens for action. It's free and everyone is welcome — and Topola feels confident there will be interest.

"The [Acadia] rec centre is actually centred around curling and ice sports," she said, "so we definitely have that knowledge base. And lots of people have crokinole boards. I've played it but I'm no good."

Crokicurl's arrival in Calgary coincides with its launch in Saskatoon, where a temporary crokicurl rink has been constructed downtown.

Topola said that crokicurl is good for small groups of people to play, but that it can accommodate large groups, too.

Erika Topola, Blair Hone and Keith Simmons are Acadia Community Association members helping to launch a crokicurl rink, which opens Jan. 13 at the Acadia Recreation Complex, 240 90th Ave. SE. (Erika Topola)

"Typically, you want four people,  because just like crokinole, you are on a team and across the board from each other," Topola said. "But really, you could have six to eight people and switch off your positions, so you could really make it work for any amount of people you bring out."

It's also all-ages and all-abilities friendly, so don't feel any social anxiety about not being a crokicurl prodigy.

"It's not hard to do," she said. "The jugs are quite light. They're just weighted down enough so that  if you get near the button in the middle, it will dump in there. Kids can play, adults can do it — anyone can do it."

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener

With files from Justin Pennell