Nugget Column #09 – Tuesday November 15th, 2016
November 19th – 27th is the time to celebrate the great sport of curling and its heritage in communities across Northern Ontario.
One of the oddities surrounding curling in Canada is that Northern Ontario is treated as if it were its own province when it comes to competition structure and governance.
In 1927 teams representing Western Canada, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Toronto, Montreal, and Northern Ontario competed in the very first Brier held at the Granite Club in Toronto; the rest, as they say, is history.
Although Northern Ontario has come into some special treatment due mostly to historical precedent; many are prepared to argue that there is also valid reason given the large spanning geography of the region requiring teams to travel upwards of eighteen hours by car (or a couple of hours by plane) to provincial competitions; and the fact that region boasts a number of curling clubs per capita that is competitive, if not exceeding other whole provinces.
Just look around us here in North Bay. There’s a curling club in Mattawa, Powassan, Astorville, South River, and Sturgeon Falls. There was at one point three curling clubs operating simultaneously in North Bay; and the Greater Sudbury Area still does have at least five.
Curling is a staple of Northern Ontario winters and there is no shortage of success stories to back this up. Last season alone our teams qualified for playoffs at the Brier, Tournament of Hearts, Canadian Juniors, Canadian Mixed, Travelers Curling Club Championships, and the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships.
Northern Ontario is also home to the reigning Olympic gold medalists, and has won the Brier five times, placing fifth in the greatest number of victories among the fourteen provinces and territories represented.
The North Bay Granite Club has written some great pages into its own history book over the last sixty-five years and expects to add many more. It in attempt to expose the people of North Bay to this great facility, the club is celebrating with two fun nights that are open for the public to register for, and for existing members to “bring-a-friend”.
Any individual, pair, or group of 3-4 persons may register for a 4-end game, draw to the button contest (with prizes), and pizza for only $10/person.
Game times are available on Tuesday November 22nd and Thursday November 24th at 6:30pm, 7:45pm, or 9:00pm (while spaces remain).
Curling enthusiast should be mindful of these upcoming events:
We have a Ladies’ Bonspiel running this Saturday November 19th beginning at 11:30am and ending around 5pm, including lunch in between two 6-end games for $25/person.
The Assante 101 Classic Senior Open Bonspiel goes November 25th – 27th and is seeking 32 entries for one of our club’s major annual events.
On December 2nd we will be hosting “Brooms and Board Games”, a fun night that is open to the public and includes a curling game followed by pizza and an evening and board game playing.
Bobby Ray General Manager North Bay Granite Club