Tomorrow marks not only the start of the 49th annual Valentine Bonspiel, but also the chance to see a broom with the signatures of the 56 participants in the Canada Cup of Curling, which ran in Cranbrook from Nov. 30-Dec. 4.
The broom is one of 19 donated by Investors Group to curling clubs from Golden to Grand Forks; plans for the Creston broom, which may be raffled off, have not yet been decided.
“This is an opportunity for people to have a look at it, and a have a look at our facility,” said marketing director Trish Marshall, who also serves on the bonspiel committee.
But the main focus of this weekend is the Valentine Bonspiel, which will see 24 teams compete at the Creston Curling Centre. Among those will be two from Cranbrook, and one each from Kimberley, Calgary, Salmon Arm and Riondel. Two from Coeur d’Alene, sponsored by a medical clinic, will also attend, although they are coming from a town not known for curling.
“They contacted us, and they’ve been coming for 10 years,” Marshall said.
The bonspiel gets underway at 7 p.m. on Friday, with games starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with the finals running on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.
It’s a lot of fun — just ask anyone involved — but this year’s event will have nothing on next year’s.
“We’re doing it up big for the 50th,” said Marshall.
The Creston Curling Centre currently has 223 members, most of them middle-aged to seniors, and they hope that people coming out to watch the bonspiel will encourage others to participate in the future.
“It’s about coming out and having fun with people they know,” Marshall said. “We welcome anybody and everybody.”