WINNIPEG — Teams from nine LGBT curling leagues across Canada are competing for the 2016 Canadian Gay Curling Championships this weekend in Winnipeg.
The 11th annual Canadian Gay Curling Championships consists of 16 teams, all vying to take the national title from the reigning champions from Vancouver. A different kind of pride is also at stake as a team from Manitoba has never won the title.
“Manitoba came second last year and we came third eight years ago,” said Joel Marcon, skip of Team Manitoba.
“We’re hoping we can finally put Manitoba and Winnipeg on the mantle this year.”
The bonspiel is being held at the Granite Curling Club and is being hosted by the Keystone Rainbow Curling League, the largest sporting organization in Manitoba.
Competitors said the city has changed and is embracing LGBT culture.
“We are taking a place in society and we’re seen as valued people, doing things like other people do,” said Erwin Maguire, lead for Team Manitoba.
While the competition is front and centre, teams said they do not want to lose the spirit of what makes this bonspiel different from the rest.
“That has that little gay element and character you wouldn’t get at a regular bonspiel.”