The founding of the Deer Lodge Curling Club took place in December, 1919. The rink was located on the south side of Portage Avenue at Lyle and consisted of two sheets of ice surrounded by an eight foot high wooden fence. This was called the Assiniboia Club.
Enthusiastic then, as they are today, the members organized a company called the Deer Lodge Curling Association Limited and set their sights on building a new rink and clubrooms. After surveying many sites, the Board of Directors chose seven lots at Bruce and Truro streets. Curling began "in the valley" in December of 1920. See old newspaper clippings of that era.
From 1920 to 1957, its fame rested on its "tricky ice" and the fact that, in 1947, it became the home of the Dominion Curling Champions. The location on the banks of Truro Creek led to many problems caused by movement of the foundation. The 1950 flood dealt the old rink a bitter blow and changes were due to be made.
The years 1956 - 57 were the beginning of a new era for the Deer Lodge Curling Club. This was when the driving force and enthusiasm of the members led them to set their sights on the construction of the present building. The entire structure was built with volunteer labour. In October of 1957, located at 425 Woodlawn Street, the new Deer Lodge Curling Club Limited opened the doors of their new rink to the roaring game.
Sharing the vision of previous generations, in 1988 the Board of Directors instituted a program of expansion and renovation. The work included an addition to the clubrooms, providing a new ladies' locker facility and the "Welsh Room". The parking lot was resurfaced, the ice field renewed, and the clubrooms from the locker room in the basement to the lounge upstairs were completely renovated. See newspaper clippings 1988.
The only links from the past are the symbolic deer head antlers that grace the arena and the intense loyalty to and pride in the game of curling that has been engendered in the continuing membership. The Past Presidents Association of the club - the first in the Winnipeg area - has been instrumental in keeping club interest and loyalty high.
The growth and development of the Deer Lodge Curling Club has closely paralleled that of the former City of St. James. It has always been active in the community affairs and has worked vigorously with high schools to develop junior curlers. Today it caters to curlers of all ages from 6 on up. It organized the first Winnipeg Club for retired curlers called the "Well-To-Do" group, which still operates today as well as the "Antlers" group that began operating in 1985. It also at one time provided instruction to blind curlers.
Deer Lodge was one of the first city clubs to offer evening ice for ladies curling with the formation of the Deer Lodge Business Girls League in 1980. This league dominated provincial play in the 80's and early 90’s where they claimed 6 provincial titles in a 12 year span.
Off the ice, Deer Lodge has been active in the ranks of the Manitoba Curling Association with 10 of its members serving as President of the MCA in a period from 1933 to 2002.
Deer Lodge will continue to give leadership and support to the game of curling - a game unequaled in its ability to provide good fellowship and good sportsmanship.
Deer Lodge has produced a number of provincial and Canadian championship teams over the years. In addition, a number of individuals have earned special recognition from the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame, Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame as well as our provincial and national curling associations.
Please click on Past National and Provincial Champions & Hall of Fame.
Deer Lodge highlights in the last 2 decades include ,
1) Hosted several provincial championships :
- The Scott Tournament of Hearts , Jan 1998
- Target Junior Mens & Womens (co hosted with Assiniboine) , Jan 2001
- The Strathconna Senior Men's twice (Dec 1995 & Jan 2004, click here for event info )
- MNP Mixed , March 2007, click here for event info
- Junior Men's, December 2009, click here for event info
- The Strathconna Senior Men's and Senior Women's combined championships, February 2017, click here for event info
2) Honors awarded to club members :
Inducted into Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame
1992 Noel Buxton (builder)
1996 Charlie Scrymgeour (curler - builder)
1997 Jimmy Welsh, Alex Welsh, Jock Reid, Harry Monk Sr. (Team)
2001 Kelly MacKenzie, Joanne Fillion, Sasha Bergner, Carlene Muth
2004 Gord Sparkes (curler - builder)
2006 Hal Tanasichuck (curler)
2010 Rick Mutton (builder)
2011 Jerry Brown (builder)
2011 Fred Smith (veteran curler)
2012 Nancy Rummery (builder)
2014 Barry Fry, Bill Carey, Gord Sparkes, Bryan Wood (team)
2017 Braden Calvert, Kyle Kurz, Lucas Van Den Bosch, Brendan Wilson (team)
-Made Honourary Life Members of MCA
1991 Howard Fairbairn
1993 Gordon Sparkes
1995 Bob Flock
1997 Jerry Brown
1999 Nancy Rummery (MLCA)
2013 Bev Harris
-Served as President of MCA
1995-96 Jerry Brown
2002-03 Rick Mutton