On October 3rd, 1929, a group of enthusiastic curlers held a meeting at Nutana Collegiate Institute and organized what is to be known as the Nutana Curling Club. “It was established in the form of a Joint Stock Company with capital at $20,000 made up of 400 shares at $50.00 each. The provisional directors of the new company were: S. E. Bushe, E. N. Argue, Roy Bowman, R. L. Miller, and Dr. H. W. Lewis; and solicitors Estey, Moxon and Smith made application for incorporation”. (Saskatchewan Curling, Saskatchewan Curling Assocation, 1991, pages 223-224).
The Nutana Curling Club of Saskatoon – a six-sheet rink – opened at Dufferin Avenue and Main Street in January 1930. The following information was obtained from an article in The Star Phoenix ( January 2nd, 1930). “The site for the building was leased to the club by the city council and the funds for erecting the new building were obtained by a canvass of the curlers in the Nutana district”. At the opening, Mayor J.W. Hair spoke and mentioned “that it was only the bulldog spirit of the Saskatoon citizens that made it possible”. President S. A. Early stated that “there was no finer way to start off the New Year than to participate in the good old curling game and it was the intention of the club to make the new building a community centre for the Nutana residents”. Dr. A. Young M. P. expressed the feeling that “with two rinks in the city, it would make competition more keen and help to boost the game”. As quoted in Saskatchewan Curling, the rink was built at an approximate cost of $10,000.00.
The president’s rink skipped by S. A. Early played the vice president’s rink skipped by Jack Hunter using the Caledonian rules. The vice president’s rink won 109 – 93. Of note, president S. A. Early threw the first rock and hogged it and as a result he forfeited a bottle of ‘light’ refreshment to the club members. Since 1942, curlers at Nutana have been throwing Red Hone Kays Excelsior rocks — all numbered and half equipped with white (at present yellow plastic) metal handles while the other half were black (now red).
On June 30th 1966, the Nutana Curling Club turned the sod at Arlington Avenue and Taylor Street for its new and present day home. The following facts were obtained from an article in The Star Phoenix (June 30th, 1966).”Perc Noble, president of Nutana in 1937, did the sod turning, assisted by Mayor Ernie Cole and 1966 president, Doug Campbell. Burd McNeice of Regina, Nutana president in 1939, threw the first rock from a solid patch of mustard, and Joe Mighton, Nutana President in 1941, was ready to sweep. ‘This is the first time we’ve curled in the weeds,’they echoed”. As described in the article “the new building would house eight sheets and have club rooms on two levels with no basement. The top floor was designed to include lockers, washroom facilities and a cocktail lounge. Picture windows would overlook the post free ice surface from this area. The ice plant would be housed in a separate compartment at the side of the main building so that noise will not be heard”. Total cost was expected to be $235,000. Curling in the new Nutana began on October 20, 1966 and the first major bonspiel being held October 20-30, 1966. The Larry McGrath (Dodsland) rink skipped by Harold Worth (Delisle) defeated Grant Bouey of Regina in the final.
The 1980s and 90s were the decades of renovations for the club. The biggest impact was in the ice area. The club went from a sand based field with exposed brine pipes to a floating concrete floor. This change allowed the club to become a year round facility . During the summer months you could find a wedding dance, an anniversary party, a flea market, an antique show, a dog show or a folk fest pavilion being held at the club. The lounge was updated in color scheme and floor covering. The main rotunda has had new theater seats installed and the front desk, board room, kitchen and managers’ office have been given a face lift.
Some of the events that the club has hosted over the years include:
The CIBC Canadian Seniors Championship in 1999
The Pointoptical Curling Classic now entering its 32nd year
The Saskatoon Ladies Curling Classic now entering its 25th year
The Dundee Seniors Classic in its 12th year
The TSN Skins game in 1993
Grandmothers Fun ‘spiel started in 1966 and still going strong
Ladies Pot of Gold – first weekend cash ‘spiel anywhere started in 1963
Teen ‘spiel in 1969