As the excitement around the Oilmen’s Bonspiel waned in recent years, the organizing committee was eager to try and change things up and see if they could inject some excitement back into the annual event.
Little did they know just how successful they would be in achieving that goal at the 59th Oilmen’s Bonspiel, November 14 to 16. Gone was the Wednesday-night start, the opening ceremonies, and the Thursday-night entertainment; in was a shorter, more compact event, a poker night, and a Rock the Hole event.
“We feel we’ve bred some new life with the new things we added this year. It was very well received, people are excited, and there was a real sense of excitement this time,” said organizing committee member Vic Moskalyk.
“Guys are already anticipating next year.”
The Big League Utilities team of Blain Alexander, Doug Kimmie, Rhynn Eggers, and Mike Farqharson are the 59th Oilmen’s Bonspiel champions, winning the A event.
Thomas Kempt won the inaugural Rock the Hole event, outlasting the rest of the field and winning the $870 prize. He also split the main prize from the poker night with Joe Shuster. Darcy Turnbull was third, and Jason Atkings fourth.
Planning any event, let alone one as long-running as the Oilmen’s Bonspiel is quite the ordeal and takes a lot of work and commitment, but it’s all worth it when it comes together like this year’s bonspiel did.
“The fruits of our labour have paid it. It’s always a lot of work, but when there are people coming up to you telling you that it was excellent and that we did a great job, that’s when we can enjoy it a bit,” said Moskalyk.
The positive feedback and warm feelings doesn’t mean that the committee is going to sit back and rest on their laurels. They are already planning next year’s bonspiel and thinking of ways to make the 60th edition extra special. Nor does it mean this year’s changes ran perfectly.
“There are some ways we can fine-tune the poker night and Rock the Hole event too. We’re not done, and hopefully this is just the start of what’s to come,” said Moskalyk.
Below are the winning teams of each event.
Big League Utilities
Skip: Blain Alexander
3rd: Doug Kimmie
2nd: Rhynn Eggers
Lead: Mike Farqharson
Skip: Clint Giesbrecht
3rd: Gary Felix
2nd: Jeff Campbell
Lead: Peter Bergen
Tundra Process Solutions
Skip: Kevin Hrab
3rd: Troy Hebert
2nd: Burke Forster
Lead: Chris Spencer
Brad Brain Financial
Skip: Ian Titley
3rd: Jeff Holland
2nd: Austin Schmidt
Lead: Brad Brain
IMI Critical Engineering
Skip: Dave Nurcombe
3rd: Reid von Hollen
2nd: Chris Pelley
Lead: Traelen Ollenberger
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at email@example.com.