When Eileen Swanson visited Las Vegas to partake in the Sin City Curling Bonspiel, she fell in love.
After her first visit, she began encouraging more and more curling teams to go along with her until in 2014, she realized Campbell River could do the same. So with help from the co-ordinator of the Las Vegas Spiel, Nick Kitinski, a Can-Am bonspiel was organized to take place Nov. 13-15.
Kitinski was so excited about the idea of an international bonspiel taking place in Campbell River that he came here to help Swanson with the more complicated aspects of organizing an international event.
Unfortunately, Swanson would never get to see her hard work pay off, as she was diagnosed with cancer and passed away just before the bonspiel took place.
The bonspiel was, however, a great success. While only one team (Kitinski’s Las Vegas team) made the trip across borders, it was a popular event among island curlers and due to its success, the Can-Am Island Open bonspiel is scheduled to become an annual event.
Now that Swanson’s dream has become a reality, one can only hope that it will continue to blossom and grow.