Be still, our game-loving Canadian hearts!
A couple of Winnipeg architects have come up with a genius way to combine two of Canada's favourite pastimes, amalgamating them into a oversized outdoor game that's played on ice. It doesn't get much more Canadian than that, eh?
Crokicurl — a mashup of crokinole and curling — is making its world debut today along Winnipeg's Red River at The Forks plaza.
The one-of-a-kind game is the brainchild of Public City Architecture's Liz Wreford and Leanne Muir, two architects who came up with the idea while playing a game of crokinole in their office last summer.
"We thought, 'For sure someone's done that before,'" Wreford explains of the idea to put crokinole to on ice. "It was way too obvious."
After a lot of research, the pair found their unique — and uniquely Canadian — idea had never been put to the test.
So they got to work.
"We dropped everything and began drawing it up," said Wreford.
But it wasn't as simple as simply dropping some crokinole chips on an ice surface. The pair did a "ton of research" to design a brand new set of rules for the game.
"How we could really bring the two together to create something new — not just crokinole, not just round curling?"
The original design was for a much larger board, but they eventually decided that a smaller, octagon-shaped playing surface would be more accessible and easier to play.
Because of the smaller playing surface, junior curling rocks are used. They're made of a dense plastic, as opposed to granite, and weigh about half as much as a normal curling stone.
Free for everyone
As for the rules, two teams faceoff in groups of one or two. The team that is able to accumulate the highest points by sliding the rock into the centre button and having their surrounding rocks in high-scoring positions wins.
The game is free for everyone, and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, players are asked to limit their games to an hour, so everyone can take a turn.
A few Canadians sit down for a game of crokinole inside Public City Architecture's warming hut along the Red River in Winnipeg last winter. (Photo: Dan Harper/Public City Architecture)
"So definitely no bonspiels," laughed Wreford.
If today's launch is a success, Wreford says it's something her team would love to bring to other cities across Canada.
"It's a perfect Canadian activity. It allows people to get outside in the winter, and it's so much fun people don't even think about getting cold."
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