Categorized | News, Sports

Curling rock stars, history highlight Fort Macleod club’s anniversary celebration

A chance to play with top Canadian curlers, a history book and a banquet will highlight the 125th anniversary celebration for the Fort Macleod Curling Club.

Club members are planning a weekend event to mark the anniversary and raise money for the Sandra Schmirler Foundation this fall at the club established in 1898.

At a time when established clubs across Canada are closing, Fort Macleod Curling Club is going strong.

“That’s something to celebrate,” anniversary committee member Sherry Zoeteman said of the milestone.

A highlight of the weekend is a chance for local curlers to play alongside some of the country’s top curlers.

Zoeteman reached out to Shannon Kleibrink of Curling Alberta, who expressed interest immediately in being involved.

“She is a big hitter,” Zoeteman said of Kleibrink, who with third Amy Nixon, second Glenys Bakker and lead Christine Keshen won bronze at the 2006 Olympics.

In 2004 Kleibrink became the first woman to win a Canadian Mixed Curling Championship as skip.

Kleibrink will play in Fort Macleod, and is reaching out to other top curlers to bring them to the anniversary.

The date for the anniversary celebration has not yet been finalized, pending availability of those top curlers, but will be held in October or November.

The chance to play alongside those curling “rock stars” will be sold through a silent auction, with the top 10 bidders chosen.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, established in the name of the curling great who won three Canadian and three World championships before her death from cancer in 2000.

The foundation has raised more than $7-million to provide life-saving equipment for premature and critically ill babies at Canadian hospitals.

Money raised at Fort Macled will go through the Foundation to Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge.

The anniversary event will begin with an open house at the curling club on the Friday.

“We want the community to come in and celebrate with us,” Zoeteman said. “We want to get people in the doors and maybe think about curling, and be part of our community.”

Cathy Park and Judy Walde are busy compiling the curling club’s history, scouring The Macleod Gazette’s archives and other sources.

Panels depicting the club’s history in 10-year intervals from 1898 to present day will be set up in the lobby and the arena warm room upstairs.

The committee is asking people to contribute what they know about the club’s history and its past members, including photographs.

The committee will also bring the club’s life members together for a conversation that will be recorded and shown during the anniversary weekend.

The silent auction will wrap up on Friday, and a 50-50 draw is planned to support fund-raising for the Sandra Schmirler Foundation.

On Saturday a mini skins bonspiel will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. involving the first 32 curlers to register.

The winners of the silent auction will hit the ice at 3 p.m. Saturday for a six-end game in the Curl With Rock Stars event.

The scene shifts to the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall for cocktails at 5 p.m. and dinner at 5:30 p.m.

There will be a guest speaker from the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, followed by a dance at 9 p.m. with music by Suite 33.

Zoeteman said Fort Macleod is responding well to the club’s requests for assistance with the anniversary.

“They have been so generous with their time,” Zoeteman said.

For more information about the anniversary celebration, to contribute as a sponsor, to volunteer or to share photographs and history, contact Sherry Zoeteman at 403-553-2687 or, or Judy Walde at 403-394-4643.

Subscribe Online Current Edition

Explore Spectacular Southwest Alberta (PDF)

2021 Explore Southwest Alberta magazine cover