The Alberni Valley Curling Club hosted its annual Mixed Bonspiel last weekend, drawing 24 teams from out of town for three days of curling.
The mixed event is the last of three bonspiels that the Curling Club holds every year, capping off a succcessful season.
But, explained Steve Eng of the Alberni Valley Curling Club, the bonspiel is more than just a sporting event—it’s an opportunity for socializing.
“Everybody has a good time, and then they come back later,” he said.
The Alberni Valley Curling Club was established in 1952, and held many bonspiels during the “golden days” of curling.
“Bonspiels used to be quite the thing,” explained Eng.
Now, the curling club hosts three bonspiels a year, as well as league draws.
Some regulars visit from the Courtenay/Comox area, but the bonspiels also draw a crowd from the Victoria area.
“Pretty well the entire Island is represented,” said Eng. “We managed to pull out 40 teams. And this time they brought all their friends.”
Alberni’s curling club is predominantly run by volunteers, which is why it still sees success after so many years. “It’s a throwback to the old days,” said Eng. “Everybody volunteers, everybody does their part.”
The winner of the A Event on Sunday was the Sandwith team from Juan de Fuca, with the Alberti team from the Comox Valley coming in second.
The Eng team from Port Alberni won the B Event, and the Jones team from Juan de Fuca won the C Event.
The D Event winner was the Simpson team from Courtenay.