The Murals of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Murals
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300 Brazier Street    Location Map
  

Establishing shot.


Location: NW corner Brazier & Harbison; South Face

Occupant: Elmwood Curling Club

District: East Kildonan

Neighbourhood: Chalmers

Artist(s): Dorothy Streilein, Lindi Hildebrande

Year: 1997

Sponsors: Take Pride Winnipeg!, General Paint, Wyatt Rentals

 

The Elmwood Curling Club was started in the fall of 1910 when Dr. James A. McTavish, Ed Spice and Alex Brown drove around Elmwood in a horse and buggy selling $25.00 shares to build a curling rink in Elmwood. They were able to raise enough money to build their rink so in the early days of 1911 they were curling in a modest structure. The Elmwood Curling Club has been at this location all that time but in 1956 the curlers got tired of the old club and natural ice and decided to build a new facility with an artificial ice plant. The result was the present modern curling facility that is still called Elmwood today.

The Mural which graces the Elmwood Curling Club covers 2,100 square feet, and was commissioned in 1997. While each of the three panels depicts a certain aspect of curling, taken together the panels symbolize a sheet of curling ice with a house (rings) located at either end.

The first panel (photo 2) represents the sport of curling in its infancy in Winnipeg. As curling clubs were few, curlers frequented the rivers to play their game. After cleaning a space on the river, the house was etched onto the river ice surface. Brooms used to sweep the curling stones were wide straw-brooms similar to the brooms used to sweep the floor. The wide broom was typically used from the early 1900's and well into the 1950's. The curling stones used were owned by individual curlers and were delivered to the game-site by horse drawn sleigh. The curling stone illustration, which frames the river scene, was typical of the style of stones first used in Winnipeg. A tassel draped over the handle was used so that the owner could identify his own set of stones. On the right side of the river scene, straw brooms evolved into a narrower version. The trophy silhouette on the left depicts one of the earlier trophies presented to the Canadian ladies' curling champions. The MacDonald Lassie trophy was presented from 1973 to 1979. The trophy silhouette on the right depicts the first trophy presented to the Canadian men's curling champions. The MacDonald Brier trophy was presented from 1927 to 1979.

The second panel (photo 3) depicts the types of leagues present in the sport of curling: Junior Women, Women, Senior Women, Junior Men, Men, Senior Men and Mixed leagues. Curling is one of the few sports for all ages. The Elmwood crest in the centre of the panel proudly represents the curling tradition that has existed since 1911 in the Elmwood community. The Elmwood Curling Club is the third oldest curling club in Winnipeg.

The third panel (photo 4) represents the present state of curling. The house etched in river ice has become a brightly coloured set of rings. The straw broom has evolved into a push-style, which, originally made from horsehair, has now turned into a synthetic version. The centre image depicts the ice area of the Elmwood Curling Club; five sheets of artificial ice with young and old, male and female enjoying the game of curling. The curling stone framing the image represents the present-day curling stone complete with a longer coloured handle. The trophy silhouette on the left depicts the Scott Tournament of Hearts trophy presented to the Canadian ladies' curling champions. The trophy, in existence since 1982, is surrounded by four red Scott Hearts; symbolizing the effort, commitment, dedication and sportsmanship that each team member brings in order to become the Canadian ladies champion. The trophy silhouette on the right depicts the Labatt Brier trophy presented to the Canadian men's curling champions. The trophy, in existence since 1980, is surrounded by four purple hearts which symbolizes the effort, commitment, dedication and sportsmanship that each team member brings in order to become the Canadian men's champion. To date, Manitoba men and women have won over 30 Canadian curling championships. Elmwood teams winning a Canadian curling championship include the Dr. Bill McTavish rink (1973), the Norm Houck rink (1987) and the Jim Ursel rink (1990).

The Mural is a bright and colourful tip-of-the-hat to the sport of Curling in our city, and certainly beautifies the iceshed from its former drab appearance (photo 5). It became a reality due primarily to the hard work of the 1997 Elmwood Mural committee (photo 7) and the artists too, of course (photo 6). Bruce Huchko, who sat as Chair of that committee, looks back on the project with a great sense of pride and accomplishment. He chuckles when he thinks back to the unveiling ceremony and meeting Take Pride Winnipeg's new Executive Director for the first time. "When Tom Ethans first started with Take Pride in 1997, his first 'official' act as executive director was to attend our mural unveiling. As he was new, we invited him to the unveiling. He initially showed up wearing some holey sweatpants. I didn't want to embarrass him so I didn't say anything to him. I just thought that maybe he was a casual kind of guy. As I and others were dressed in jackets and ties, he did eventually say to me, 'Perhaps I should go home and get changed and even put on a tie.' So the poor guy left to change and then came back just in time to give his speech (photo 8). Later in the evening he admitted to me that he didn't know much about curling clubs and thought that the affair would be very casual."

Source: Thanks to Bruce Huchko, who chaired the 1997 Elmwood Mural committee and provided assistance with these comments.

Visit Elmwood Curling Club's website at: http://www.elmwoodcurlingclub.com/