Curlers from Alberta, British Columbia and NWT drawn to the “best Rotary bonspiel in years.”

Curling rocks on ice

Brian Thompson (RC of Edmonton West) assessed the 57th Annual District 5360/5370 Bonspiel simply and unambiguously: “It was the best bonspiel in years!”

Brian may be a little biased. After all, he did chair the committee, made up of members from Rotary Clubs of Edmonton West and Edmonton Gateway, which hosted the three-day event that was held at Edmonton’s Thistle Curling Club February 22 to 24.

“Everyone seemed happy with the bonspiel,” Brian says. “We received lots of emails saying good things about the event.”

The organizers were pleased with the number of participants. This year, 31 rinks took part.

“This was pretty good,” Brian says. “Attendance has been falling off over the last few years. There were only 28 teams last year.”

The event drew curlers from across both districts, from Lethbridge in the south to Fort St. John and Grande Prairie in the north. There was even one curler from Yellowknife.

The makeup of the rinks varied. Some were mixed teams, but most were all-men or all- women. While most rinks were made up of four curlers from a single Rotary club, a few had curlers from two or more clubs.

The team which won the B Event included curlers from four Rotary clubs and from both districts.

Preparations for the bonspiel began a year ago, as soon as the event was awarded to Edmonton at the 2017 bonspiel in Lethbridge.

Brian says that there is “a bit of a ceremony” required to having a club’s bid to host accepted. All members of the committee must pass through a very small door. No sooner had Brian and his committee passed through the door, it disappeared.

“There is a long tradition of other clubs stealing the door,” he says. “We only had it for two minutes before the door was gone.”

The next time he saw the door was during this year’s bonspiel. By that time, a plaque commemorating the 2018 event had been added to the other plaques on the door, one for each year in which the bonspiel has been held.

After being awarded the event, the committee’s first task was to secure a venue. “The Thistle club had the right dates for us,” Brian says. “It was a great facility.”

Next, the committee looked for a hotel near the rink which could accommodate out-of-town curlers and serve as a venue for the bonspiel’s social activities. As soon as the date and venues were set, it was time to publicize the event.

“By early April, we were able to provide information to participants in previous bonspiels,” Brian says. Later, committee members visited all Edmonton-area clubs to encourage Rotarians to enter the bonspiel.

Once the bonspiel was over and all the bills had been paid, Brian and his committee were left with a surplus of $2,800, which was donated to two not-for-profit organizations.

“Three hundred and sixty dollars of that profit was due to donations from the Athabasca team, who gave back their D Event winnings, and from Eugene Wasylik of Vermilion (the 50/50 winner),” Brian says. This helped the committee decide to which organizations donations would be made.

“Since Athabasca and Vermilion are two communities who will benefit from the Stroke Ambulance—it’s not for us city folks—it has been decided to donate $1,500 to the University of Alberta Hospital Stroke Ambulance,” Brian says.

The remaining $1,300 was donated to Wellspring Edmonton.

The location for the bonspiel alternates between the two Rotary districts, so the 2019 bonspiel will be in District 5360, with RC of Lethbridge as the host club.

2018 District 5360/5370 Bonspiel Results

A EVENT:

Winners – Grande Prairie Sunrise – Duncan Fraser, Serge Martin, Vernon Boyd, Jeff Keddie

Runner-Up – Edmonton Gateway – Dave Douglas, Jamie Pallett, Lorne Parker, Lionel Usunier, Dave Dorcas

B EVENT:

Winners – Spruce Grove/Stony Plain/Yellowknife/Stettler – Tammy Svenningson, Michele Aasgard, Norma Jarvis, Nancy Georget

Runner-Up – Calgary South – Larry Kennedy, Mark Ambrose, Lynn Topp, Roselyn Jack

C EVENT:

Winners – Calgary Heritage Park – Doug Hood, Roger Sontag, Jim Fitzowich, Greg Smyth

Runner-Up – Fort St. John Sunrise – Chuck McDowell, Dean Thom, Gord Sandhu, Gus McLeod

D EVENT:

Winners – Calgary West – Dan Doherty, Darren Grierson, Bill Fitzsimmons, Marvin Pawlivsky

Runner-Up – Athabasca/Edmonton West – Ross Hunter, Greg Roszmann, Dave Liddell, Darryll White

GOOD TIME CHARLIE AWARD – Gus McLeod – Fort St. John Sunrise

HARRY JEWELL AWARDTeam Mueller – Edmonton West – Annie Mueller, Karen Gibbens, Sharon Reedyk, Sabine MacLeod

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