Alberni Valley Curling Club site for 50th bonspiel

For the 50th time, Vancouver Island women curlers will gather for the ladies bonspiel at the Alberni Valley Curling Club this weekend.

For the 50th time, women curlers from all over Vancouver Island will gather for the annual ladies bonspiel at the Alberni Valley Curling Club this weekend.

To celebrate their golden anniversary, the entire club is pitching in to make this event a big success for the 23 teams taking part.

“Our bonspiels are the best due to our membership,” says Michelle Cheetham, chair of the organizing committee for the event for 17 years.

“Everybody does a little and a lot gets done. Just this weekend takes about 80 people.”

Those people are helping out with everything from decorating to entertainment to cooking as well as coordinating the actual event.

“There are surprises and prizes during the weekend,” says Cheetham.

“A lot of extras to celebrate 50 years.”

The weekend is themed Then and Now, and a lot the extras reflect the changes in the sport since 1962.

“A lot has changed. We used to smoke and drink on the ice,” laughs Cheetham.

Memorabilia such as old-style brooms, sweaters, pins and other trends and fashions will be on display.

Historical photographs and newspaper clippings have been laminated in collages onto more than a dozen tables in the club lounge.

The bonspiel starts Friday at 6 p.m. and ends with final games about 2 p.m. Sunday. Spectators are welcome. A banquet will be held Saturday night, tickets are $15 at the club.

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