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Bunny Bonspiel Returns to Crowsnest Pass

Devin Brady

Mar 27, 2024

The 75th annual bunny bonspiel returns to the Crowsnest Pass March 28-31.

Screams of “Hurry Hard” and “Sweep” are set to ring through the arena and over the ice sheets at the Crowsnest Pass Sports Complex curling arena. This weekend, March 28-31, the seventy fifth annual Easter Bunny Bonspiel is set to return. The bonspiel itself dating back to the 1940’s has been played throughout the Crowsnest Pass at its many curling sheets but now resides in Coleman. 

The first recorded curling clubs originate from Scotland in the 19th century and were then taken to various other places as the Scots settled across the world. A game originally played on sheets of ice over frozen lakes during the winter months, tossing stones made of granite has evolved over the years and become the ‘Roarin’ game’. The sport gained mainstream recognition in 1959, two years after Scotland and Canada formed the notable Scotch Cup series. The success had brought widespread notoriety to other countries who wished to join the organization and then in 1966, in Vancouver, Canada, a draft constitution for the International Curling Federation was considered by seven countries – Scotland, Canada, United States, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and France – and the federation was officially established on April 1, 1966. Two years later, the Scotch Cup was replaced by the Air Canada Silver broom and sanctioned as the World Curling Championship. With the long history behind the sport, curling was not accepted into the Olympics until 1998 in Nagano, Japan. Previously it was a demonstration sport for the 1932, 1988 and 1992 games.  In 1990, the federation changed it name to what we know it as today, the World Curling Federation.

With the Easter Bunny Bonspiel about to take place, many will be arriving to claim victory. Though, the beauty of curling is found in the lasting friendships made. Every year the sheets are filled with curlers from across Southern Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan, the bonds created between these participants make a lifelong bond that all look forward to returning to each year. In Canada, we host the most notable competitive curling tournament in the world, the Canadian Men’s Curling Championship, The Brier. For women, the Canadian Women’s Curling Championship is called the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The Bunny may not be as large as these tournaments, but it still carries the same excitement for those who compete or spectate. 

After seventy five years, the Bunny Bonspiel has become an important part of Crowsnest Pass heritage and is recognized as so. Curling is a sport that people of all ages and capabilities can play, making it a sport for all. Head over to the sports complex over the weekend to eat, learn, spectate and create connections with others. This will be a semi sesquicentennial you do not want to miss.

Opening ceremonies are on Friday, March 29 at 12:30.  Alec Chisholm from Pincher Creek, from Get Bagpipe Ready,  will be piping in our curlers around the ice surface, meanwhile, a Parade of Costumes is being assessed for best dressed Men’s and best dressed Ladies teams.  

DJ Stu from Blue Rock Music entertaining us for both Friday and Saturday evenings.  Stu enjoys providing entertainment with games for participants to win locally donated door prizes throughout the evening. There is no cover charge but the club will be checking Age of Majority for the evening.

Dinner is being catered by Chris’s Restaurant this year for all of our curlers from 54 teams.  We are hoping to be honoured by the presence of some past Bunny Bonspiel co-ordinators and participants to tell us some of their stories from the past.  

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