April 23rd, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 16
Bunny Bonspiel, a ‘hare’ raising experience
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Robert Thomas photo
Jerry Norvila, looks to draw to the button in the final Men’s C game last Sunday afternoon. The ‘Bunny Bonspiel’, is in its 67th year of good times and competitive curling. The bonspiel is held every Easter at the Coleman Sports Complex.
Pass Herald Reporter
Screams of ‘hurry hard’ could be heard echoing from the Coleman Recreation Centre this past weekend, as people from all over southern Alberta and B.C. participated in the Bunny Bonspiel. The Bunny has been going steady for 67 years in the Crowsnest Pass, it has changed locations a few times, but the excitement and competition has never changed.

Angela Mathieson, chairman of the Bunny Bonspiel, believes the ‘Bunny’ is all about the interactions of the people involved.

“It’s fun and entertaining. You want to have fun but it is a competitive sport in some respects. There are lots of different levels, so we have different team events. You play against people who are your own skill level. So, it works out really good, people have lots of fun while they are playing the game.”

The Bunny started from humble beginnings. It was originally played outdoors, from there it moved indoors in Bellevue, Blairmore, and finally ended up in the rink in Coleman.

Betty Gilbert, has been playing in the Bunny since the first women’s event in Blairmore. Her favorite thing about the ‘Bunny’ is the camaraderie.

“The companionship and good curlers is what makes the Bunny special. People coming from all over southern Alberta and B.C to the Bunny,” said Gilbert.
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Flora Griffith, former chairman, says the numbers were up this year and she hopes the numbers grow even more.

“We have 36 men’s and 24 ladies teams, so far everything is going smoothly, maybe we will grow in numbers on the ladies side next year,” said Griffith.

There was a dinner and social gathering on Saturday night. TECK, one of the main sponsors, provided a bus to make sure everyone gets home safe.

Glenn Strandquist, has been playing at the Bunny since he was 13-years-old says it is a community event.

“It’s a social event. That is the best part, it hasn’t changed much over the years, it is still a big social event.”

As the Bunny gets bigger every year so does the amount of new faces that appear. Kayla Parkins likes to see the event grow.

“It’s gotten bigger again, it is nice to see all the out of town teams come to compete.”

The Bunny Bonspiel has grown since the first Easter event was held in 1947. Many friendships and relationships have been made and relished since its early beginnings, and more are sure to be made in the future.

Mark Hellwig has been competing for 18 years in the annual event. It holds a special place in his heart, “I met my wife here 18 years ago. It’s always a good time, they put on a good bonspiel. People keep coming back and we will for a long time yet.”

For more information on entering a team for next year, you can go to http://www.members.shaw.ca/crowsnestcurlingclub.
April 23rd ~ Vol. 84 No. 16
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