Host a bonspiel

Are you a curler? Have you ever been curious to try curling?

Farm Radio International is grateful for the support of thousands of people each year. We wanted to share a great success story from one of our long time donors and volunteers, Mark Elliott. For the past 5 years, Mark has run a successful bonspiel fundraiser (often called a “Funspiel”) benefitting Farm Radio International’s efforts to support African broadcasters to increase food security in their communities.

Bonspiels are great fun for people of all ages, all skill levels and they are family friendly. Holding a bonspiel or “Funspiel” can be a terrific way to have a really fun day and raise funds to support the work of Farm Radio International.

If you would like more information on running a bonspiel on behalf of Farm Radio International in your neighbourhood or town, please contact Brenda Jackson at 613-761-3646 or We would be happy to assist you!


Organizing a Fundraising Bonspiel to Benefit Farm Radio International in Your Community

Bonspiels are great for all ages, all skill levels and they are family friendly. They are not weather dependent, they can be run day or night and are nice social events since many people get to mingle over the course of a several hours. They can also be an ideal way to raise funds to help small-holder farmers and their families in sub-Saharan Africa while having a fun day.

For interested parties, Farm Radio International will provide the basic tools to run a fundraising bonspiel and will support volunteers to achieve this goal.

Basic Steps:

  1. Booking a rink and finding a caterer. Many rinks will require the use of their own caterer. This is an area where Farm Radio staff could also support the organizer by providing a list of potential rinks or helping to book the rink.
  2. Sending out invitations and registration forms. Farm Radio International staff would provide you with required forms and/or assist in an online registration process.
  3. Getting Sponsors/Prizes. Events such as bonspiels have various prizes for things such as the winning team, the team with the best spirit and door prizes. Also it may be possible to have food/coffee donated depending on the rink. Lastly, a 50/50 draw could also be considered. Often, the local businesses that the organizer frequents will be willing to support a good cause while getting some exposure and showing goodwill. Farm Radio International would provide a sponsor request letter template, if desired.
  4. Organizing teams, preparing schedules, etc. and following up. Farm Radio International could assist in creating a mock schedule.
  5. The day of the event. One suggestion would be to have 6 hours of curling, with each team playing 3 games of 1 hour in length. These are shorter ends than a regular bonspiel. It is recommended that if possible, one person on each team having some curling experience. There is typically an hour before and after the games for registration and prizes and another hour for set-up and tear down.

In general, Farm Radio can support a volunteer’s efforts by:

  • providing help/guidance to book a rink
  • providing a registration form template or assistance with an online registration process
  • assisting to create a mock schedule
  • providing a sponsor/prize solicitation letter and subsequent thank you letter template
  • providing Farm Radio International’s information materials to display at the event
  • assisting with the online processing of gifts if required