Another year, and another hugely successful Bonspiel on the Lake is on the books. Sixty four teams of 256 curlers from both Canada and the U.S. took part in the 29th iteration on Lake Windermere this year.
“The bonspiel went excellent,” Vic Briar of the Invermere Curling Centre said.
“Everybody loved it and everyone had a great time.”
The three-day event took place from January 20 to 22 this year, and when all was said and done, Marilyn Berry’s rink of Sandra Quinn-Boyes, Thor Gaul and Jim Boyes claimed victory.
“It’s so beautiful out there,” Berry said following her win.
“It’s absolutely amazing when you’re out there—Friday night is really cold, and the snow adds another whole element to it—but when you’re playing during the day, and you look down the lake and the sun is shining, it’s absolutely gorgeous.”
This year, the bonspiel fell on the same weekend as a number of other local winter festivals, including the Invermere and Panorama Snowflake festivals and the Fairmont Fire and Ice event, meaning the valley was a hotspot for great winter activities over that weekend.
The bonspiel included a dinner and dance for all the curlers involved on Saturday night, which may well have been Briar’s favourite part of the weekend.
“Favourite part had to be game four when I got knocked out,” he joked. “I got to relax and get ready for the dinner and dance.”
With the amount of interest this event garners year after year, it’s unlikely to see an end anytime soon, and with the 30 year anniversary coming next year one could expect even bigger and better things in the future.
“It would be nice to go back and defend our win — to win among 64 teams was a nice little feather in our cap because we didn’t really have any expectations going in,” Berry said. “I’m looking forward to next year, it’s such a wonderful experience and it’ll be 30 years next year, which is quite amazing.”