Bongspiel: This Ontario Duo Are ‘Combining Curling With Cannabis’

These veteran curlers hope to bring some new life to the sport by combining it with cannabis.

Last October, Grant Nicholson and Ted Ratcliffe pitched a novel idea to their curling club's executives: the Wiarton & District Curling Club should host what may be Canada's first official 'bongspiel' - a pun on bonspiel, the official name for curling tournaments. The event, which is essentially a bring-your-own-weed curling tournament, proved far more popular than the club executives expected, selling out completely in the first 24 hours.

"There's a real appeal with it. It's very Canadian, the idea of combining curling and cannabis. After all, we are legal and we are leading the legal pack," Nicholson told The Wiarton Echo.

Nicholson says that he's been a cannabis connoisseur for some time, and that marijuana and curling go better together than a lot of people may realize.

"The reason that I like combining the two activities is because I do get a real singular focus and I really appreciate that. There's nothing more relaxing than knowing you're doing the right thing at the right time," he said.

Still, club president Gord Ironmonger says he isn't ruling out the possibility that some folks who frequent the club won't support the event.

"Up here we've got a lot more elderly people that may frown on this activity. The younger generation is maybe a little more liberal with their lifestyles than the elderly."

However, Ironmonger admits that the event could start a new trend in the Canadian curling scene.

"We kind of figure if it goes successfully, next year you'll see other clubs do it. So why not be the first?"

Aside from the gathering of like-minded people coming together smoke weed and play a game they love, there will also be food and live music. But there won't be any consumption inside. Participants will be asked to step outside to smoke.

Ratcliffe says the club's executives were initially concerned about safety, but they eventually came to the understanding that it really wasn't much different from allowing people to get on the ice after drinking.

"They were shocked when I said I think it'll be a more low-key and mellow bonspiel," Ratcliffe said.

Here's to a successful first bongspiel, hurry hard!


Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) isn't the most vocal cannabis advocate on the 2020 presidential campaign trail, but you shouldn't take that as a lack of support for marijuana legalization. Unlike many of the top contenders for the upcoming Democratic primaries, Ryan hasn't filed any of his own cannabis legalization bills.

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