The Strathcona Cup as shown on the tour website.

The Strathcona Cup as shown on the tour website.

Scottish invasion of curlers coming to Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake will play host to five teams from Scotland, Jan. 21, as the Sylvan Lake Curling Club participates in a curling tradition that goes back over a century.

The Strathcona Cup Tour originated in 1903 when Scotland’s Royal Caledonian Curling Club sent a group of men to tour Canada and the northern part of the United States, after repeated requests from their curling counterparts in North America.

This was followed up in 1909, when the Canadians returned the tour back to Scotland. Lord Strathcona, Sir Donald Smith, happened to be president of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club at that time and he had a cup made which was presented to the winning country.

Scotland returned to Canada in 1912 and the event still continues to this day, alternating every five to six years, making it the oldest international men’s curling bonspiel in the world, explain Sylvan Lake Curling Club president Wanda Moon.

This year, Scottish teams will compete against various club teams on multiple curling rinks across Canada, playing nearly 300 games. At the end of the almost month-long tour, all games played over the entire tour are summed. The total points scored will determine which country claims victory of the Strathcona Cup for this tour. The current number of victories of the Cup show a narrow 13-10 lead held by Canada, after 120 years of competition.

The Sylvan Lake Curling Club believes strongly in the tradition of the sport of curling and are proud to host an evening for the Scottish gentleman during their leg of the Western Canada Tour, said Moon. Five Scottish teams will be on the western leg of the Canadian Tour and Moon explained Canadian representation will be from one team each from Sylvan Lake, Rimbey and Lacombe. Two remaining teams are representing the tour sponsors – ATCO and UFA.

The Sylvan Lake Curling Club was contacted by a man named Rick Rathier who curls out of the Calgary Curling Club, and also owns a home here in Sylvan Lake, explained Moon. “He approached us several years ago requesting our interest and we just said yes immediately.”

The Scots will arrive at 4 p.m. and the games will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the curling rink in the Nexsource Centre, 4823 49 Ave. Viewers will be able to attend, free of charge, on a first come first serve basis in the Viewpoint Lounge.

For more information on the event, contact or

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