Bonspiel on the Lake

The Invermere District Curling Centre has hosted this unique curling event on the third weekend in January for almost fourty years now! There’s nothing like getting out on the lake, throwing rocks and joining in the laughter and good sportsmanship while participating in this great event. For the last 5 years, the “Lakespiel” has also been part of the Invermere Snowflake bonspiel1festival. Participants can curl outside while fireworks are on display above. What a great experience!

This 64 team bonspiel began 30 years ago as a fundraiser and it remains the premier event for our club each year. It involves hundreds of volunteer hours to stage it! Richard Brunner, our lake ice expert, has the installation process down to a science. However, because the event is outside, we never know what Mother Nature has in store for us from year to year. One year it could be snowing and almost impossible to get the rock down the ice. The next year we could have perfect conditions and the rock will glide with ease. On two occasions, the lake was not frozen enough and the bonspiel had to come indoors – causing ‘round the clock curling’ at the curling rink!bonspiel3

The lake ice is the great equalizer! A team with years of curling experience can lose a game to a group of non-curlers. The natural ice can crack and shift from one end to the next, making this curling the most memorable of one’s curling career! You will hear the phrase, “that’s the lake” many times over the course of the three day event.

Besides the guaranteed four curling games, your entry includes dinner and dance tickets for your team. The top team in each of the four divisions will receive a coveted handcrafted Bavin glass curling rock. The top 16 teams win a merchandise prize.

Participating teams come to Invermere each year from as far away as Seattle, Washington and Whitefish, Montana; and many places bonspiel4in Alberta and British Columbia. This is an extremely popular event and not many new spots are available each year. Teams interested in joining us in future years are asked to contact the Invermere District Curling Centre (250-342-3315 or to place their name on the waiting list.

Even if you’re not participating, if you are in the Invermere area on the third weekend in January, come down to Kinsmen beach, enjoy a delicious burger from the cook shack, view some spectacular scenery and watch some unique curling!