LAMPMAN - The Lampman Curling Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and has a major event in the works.
The club will host a 64-rink bonspiel from March 29-April 2, with games happening at the town’s curling rink and arena, which will be converted to curling ice. Calvin Christensen, who is the chairman of the rink board, said they have 45-50 teams already signed up, and they will accept the 64 teams that register and pay.
“If they want to make sure to get in, then they have to pay,” said Christensen. “If they say they want to curl but they haven’t paid, and someone comes in … we have to take the paid entries.”
They need people to sign up as soon as possible because they need to start working on the tournament’s draw. The times for the games won’t be known until the draw is finalized.
Several special added attractions are part of the event. A western wing night will happen on March 29, followed by taco and tequila the following night and a bonspiel banquet and opening ceremonies on March 31. The banquet will boast smoked beef and chicken from the Carnivores meat shop in Lampman.
“We’re trying to keep a bunch of our stuff all from local businesses, so we’ve got some of the local businesses that are going to help with all of the fixings,” said Christensen.
An Irish and Scottish pub and Singo music game will be on April 1, and a supper on April 2 will clean out the kitchen.
People can drop by to watch the games, and tickets will be sold for the various suppers. The regular curling lounge will be open, and an additional bar will be set up at the hockey arena, Christensen said.
Due to the amount of curling that will occur and the tight schedule for the competition, the banquet on March 31 will be relatively short with a come and-go format. There won’t be a guest speaker.
The entertainment and decorating committee has been trying to find pictures from the past, and they want to have as many photos as possible.
Grimes Sales and Service (2020) is the event’s major sponsor.
“We’d love to see that if anybody has ever curled at the Lampman Curling Rink, maybe they can’t curl there [for the 64-rink bonspiel] but they can come and sit down and reminisce. Maybe they curled in the older rink.”
Lampman has not hosted a 64-rink bonspiel as far as Christensen knows, and so they thought the 100th anniversary would be a good time to host such an ambitious competition.
“For a small club like ours that is basically volunteer-run, I think it’s a pretty special thing that it’s lasted for 100 years, so we wanted to really make something memorable out of it, which is why, just over a year ago now, we started talking about a 64,” said Christensen.
The rink’s executive and a tournament committee have been working hard over the past year to get everything in place.
Alameda has hosted a 64-rink bonspiel in the past, and Christensen said they have talked to people from that community about their event.
“They’ve offered us some of their scoreboards that they use, because, of course, we have to get extra scoreboards and things like that,” said Christensen.
A shuttle will be offered for anybody who is coming from Estevan to compete and enjoy curling.
The first curling rink built in Lampman in 1923 was an open-air facility. It started with one sheet, with planks for spectators to stand on.
A rink was built in 1953, and the current one opened in 1981.