Fundraiser introduces heritage sport to the hip

There is an effort, not only in Saskatchewan but across Canada, to reframe lawn bowling in a way that appeals to younger people.

Regina embraces lawn bowling, and raises money for cystic fibrosis

Regina held its first Lawn Summer Nights event earlier this month. There will be three more before the end of July. (Kyle Whitrow)

A desire for all things retro, fed by hipsters and millennials, is giving new life to the old pastime of bowling in Saskatchewan.

"The first thing that struck me was the passion and the energy," said Dipo Ziwa, one of the organizers of Regina's Lawn Summer Nights.

It's very exciting and rewarding.- Zach Oleynik

The event involves cocktails, cool jazz and teams dressed according to theme. 

"Once I got a little taste of the vibe in the community … I was hooked," Ziwa said.

At the Regina events, teams are encouraged to dress according to theme. (Kyle Whitrow)

Well-manicured revolution

There is an effort, not only in Saskatchewan but across Canada, to reframe lawn bowling in a way that appeals to younger people. 

In Saskatoon, the Nutana Lawn Bowling Club is leading a well-manicured revolution of sorts, attracting a big crowd of young professionals out for a mid-week recreation league. 

Frances Scott is at the centre of that effort.

"The more they get to try it, the more they enjoy it," Scott said. "It's a great way to come out and relax in the sun, and have a drink, and it has been really successful so far."

The league now has 40 teams, 96 players and a waiting list.

Bowling for dollars

In Regina, at the Leslie Lawn Bowling Greens, they've added a twist.

Lawn Summer Nights is an established national fundraising event for cystic fibrosis that has now rolled into Regina. The first gathering was earlier this month.  

"When you can invest and work on philanthropy with your young community, your young professionals, it really pays off in the long run, so it's very exciting and rewarding," said organizer Zach Oleynik.

The city will host three more lawn bowling gatherings this month.

with files from the Afternoon Edition