The origins of curling date back to the 16th century and perhaps even earlier, in Caledonia (what we now know as Scotland). However, it was not until the 19th century that the rules became more structured. In Quebec, it was in Montreal that the first curling club, the Royal Montreal Curling Club, was founded in 1807. Scottish immigrants and descendants founded the first clubs across North America. Until the early 1900s, a large proportion of the players had Scottish origins. Their teammates were from different backgrounds, but were mostly English-speaking.
The Sherbrooke Curling and Skating Club was established in 1880 by a group of English-speaking businessmen including Andrew Paton, from Scotland. Curling is undoubtedly a means of keeping a part of Scottish culture alive for immigrants, but also a way of forging links with their host community. During the initial decades, several traditional elements were maintained, including the use of certain Gaelic words (including hog and bonspiel), the use of brooms (traditionally made of straw) as well as wearing Scottish berets (glengarry). However, the glengarry has not been part of the player’s uniform for some time.
The values of fair play and inclusion have stood the test of time, however. Each team welcomes newcomers and coaches them. It is also customary at the Sherbrooke Curling Club that members of the winning team clean the playing surface following a match while members of the losing team rest and socialize at the bar with a stiff drink or an alcohol-free beverage.
Even though the majority of curling players in Sherbrooke (around 70%) are men, women have been playing for over a century. In fact, the Sherbrooke Ladies Curling Club was founded towards the end of the 1900s.
The Sherbrooke Curling Club has been based on what is now Abénaquis Street since 1914. It is the second-oldest sports club in Sherbrooke and the oldest organization dedicated to curling in the region.
Are you interested in trying curling? Visit the Sherbrooke Curling Club’s official website and keep an eye out for their traditional open house in early fall… (October 2 to 6, 2023).