Often times the essence of describing a curler both of past and present is determination. Not only does this define a curler but it also characterizes a curling club. Just like today and challenges with COVID, in the past curling clubs generally work very hard to keep a positive cash flow to not only provide a great on-ice experience but also to make constant improvements and upgrades to their club/building to ensure that it is intact for generations to come.

St. Vital Curling Club in Winnipeg Manitoba is no stranger to this. You see, in 1957 the winter months of February and March were an abnormally warm winter with soaring temperatures above zero twice in February and for the majority of March – even reaching up to 12 degrees in March. Of course, a curling club without artificial ice doesn’t stand a chance with weather like this – so the push was on for St. Vital Curling Club to get artificial ice.

A special Building Fund Committee was formed in conjunction with another group called the “Flying Curlers Committee”. This group took on the task of raising funds for the artificial ice plant by hosting a very unique raffle. They raffled off a ‘Piper Float Plane’ I think we would be safe to say that St Vital Curling Club may possibly be the only club to ever raffle off an airplane. This particular raffle generated $40,510 to secure the installation of artificial ice at St. Vital Curling Club the following year.

Having faith in a raffle of such a large scale particularly over 60 years ago was an amazing undertaking and exemplifies the resilience and efforts of previous years in order to provide for the future of curling in any facility. St. Vital Curling Club stands proud because of all of the efforts of previous members and will stand proud in the future thanks to our amazing curlers and members.