Canada’s 2SLGBTQ+ curling championship hits the ice in St. John’s

A lively curling rink with several teams playing matches.
The Canadian Pride Curling Championships, which brings together Canada’s best 2SLGBTQ+ curlers, is taking place in St. John’s this weekend. (Darrell Roberts/CBC)

Members of Canada’s 2SLGBTQ+ curling community are in St. John’s this weekend for a pair of events set to bring curlers from all over the country together.

The Canadian Pride Curling Championships are taking place at the ReMax Centre, where 16 of Canada’s top Pride curling teams will take to the ice with a national title on the line. This year marks the first time the event will be hosted in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Jeremy Grimes, a St. John’s skip taking part, told CBC News the event is the only one of its kind in the world.

“We’ve been preparing for just about three years.… Lots of games and lots of time on the ice,” Grimes said.

“It’s just a privilege, and we feel honoured to be a part of it. We think that it’s an amazing event.… Just the energy and the spirit of the event is, you know, what we come for.”

The event was organized in part by the Odds and Ends Curling League, a St. John’s Pride curling group. The group of about 50 people meet each Friday.

The league will also host its Pride curling bonspiel this weekend, called the Big Jib Draw. About 150 curlers will take part, according to board member David Pike, which he says helps promote the camaraderie of the sport.

2SLGBT+ curlers crowd the house for Canadian Pride Curling Championship

Every year, Pride curling leagues from across the country gather for a tournament that’s become more like a reunion. This weekend, the Canadian Pride Curling Championship is rocking the ReMax Centre in St. John’s, with curlers from as far away as Vancouver and Philadelphia in town for the fun.

Pike said having a space for members of the Pride community to connect and compete is important, adding it allows people to take off their “coat of armour” and be themselves with like-minded people.

“The curling community is actually a tight-knit community, and this is an opportunity for people to come together from afar and … see old friends, make new ones and have a good time curling,” Pike said.

Pike said he’s excited for curlers coming from out of province to experience Newfoundland and Labrador.

Jack Holmes of Vancouver said he’s looking forward to catching up with members of the Pride curling community he only gets to see once a year, and is also ready to bring his best to the ice.

“The level of curling that we see from the other teams is pretty exciting,” Holmes said.

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