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Cornerstone Café Returns Curling to its Roots

Nugget Column #10 – Tuesday November 24th, 2015

Curling often prides itself on its age-old traditions and sportsmanlike spirit that sticks with its participants well after the game, and even outside of the rink.

Flashback a couple decades ago, enter the North Bay Granite Club, and you would find yourself amidst a cloud of smoke, numerous people sitting about, drinking, laughing, sharing stories, socializing…

And not on a phone or the internet either, just regular old face to face conversation where your lips move and hands gesture.

It’s difficult to say why exactly things started to change. Many accredit drinking and smoking laws which have forced many hospitable hang outs to rethink their business model, and certainly curling clubs were not immune to some of the hurt.

Then along came handheld devices such as the smart phone and all of a sudden life started passing faster than ever before. It’s easy to get lost in the World Wide Web where before you know it hours upon hours have wasted away. You didn’t get physically active, you didn’t catch up with friends, you didn’t make new contacts; all you did was watch a cat run on a treadmill and a baby fall off the merry go round.

Despite these changes, it’s still expected that teams sit for two beverages after a game, and certainly there’s no requirement for them to contain alcohol. Tradition calls for the winning team to purchase the first round and the losing team to buy the second. Even this is a chore for some who need to get home to watch American Idol.

One thing that does seem to stimulating some social off-ice activity at our local club is the introduction of food service which is provided by the Ann Story and her team who operate the Cornerstone Café on Oak and Wild.

The Cornerstone Café operates a restaurant/canteen from an before until an hour after curling is active at the club. Instead of a smoke, or a rye and coke; people can at least swap tales over a coffee, burger, or other home cooked treats which in turn support the curling club and its endeavors.

Curlers should be reminded that in order to maintain membership fees within reason, we must pursue and support alternative sources of revenue. For your next trip to the club, plan to arrive early for a meal, or stay after for a snack with the opposing team – because if not, you’re missing a large part of what curling is about.

Mixed Bonspiel Accepting Entries

Come curlers, non-curlers; members, and non-members; come one, come all to the North Bay Granite Club’s annual Mixed Bonspiel running Friday December 4th and Saturday December 5th, 2015.

Individual and team entries are now being accepted for this fun-focused event featuring teams of alternating male and female curlers. Cost is $70/person and includes a minimum of three games, a dinner, prizes, entertainment.

You couldn’t ask for a better draw with every team receiving one game Friday night, nobody playing before noon on Saturday, and no games on Sunday. This event is truly built to maximum socialization on and off the ice.

Should you be inclined to let loose on December 4th and 5th give us a call or register online at

Bobby Ray General Manager North Bay Granite Club

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