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October 10, 2012, Vancouver, BC – BC curlers are playing for a trophy that’s nearly as old as the Stanley Cup.  The Strathcona Cup pits curlers from Scotland against curlers from Canada in a series of friendly bonspiels that will begin in January of 2013.

The trophy – the coveted Strathcona Cup – was fashioned by silversmiths in Glasgow, Scotland, at the turn of the last century. The cup was given to the Royal Caledonia Club by the High Commissioner of Canada from 1896-1914, Lord Strathcona.

The trophy is just 10 years younger than Lord Stanley’s Cup; the curling trophy was fashioned in 1903 while the hockey trophy was created in 1892. But unlike the Stanley Cup, the Strathcona Cup doesn’t necessarily stay with its winners. The silver trophy engraved with Celtic symbols and curling scenes is so valuable that it doesn’t leave its Scottish home.

But that hasn’t stopped Canada from winning the cup. Canadian curlers have won 11 of the past 21 Strathcona Cup tours.

In fact, Canadians are the defending champions, with the most recent victory in 2009.

While play is scheduled every five years, alternately in Canada and Scotland, the tours have occurred somewhat irregularly, at the beginning of the 20th century because of world wars, and more recently because of scheduling difficulties.

But 2013 is primed to be a great year, with three seperate Scottish tours coming to Canada.

The Strathcona West tour kicks off on January 10, 2013, with an opening banquet at the North Shore Winter Club. Over the following days, the Scottish curlers will be whisked around Greater Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island.

Their stops will include the Royal City Curling Club, the Vancouver Curling Club, Richmond Curling Club, Tunnel Town and Hollyburn in West Vancouver. They will also be heading to Powell River Curling Club, Comox Valley Curling Club, Esquimalt Curling Club, Glen Meadows Golf and Curling Club and Victoria Curling Centre.

At the same time, a Strathcona Central and East tour will take place in Ontario and the Maritimes. Each win will be tallied up and the country – Scotland or Canada – with the most points will win the coveted cup.

Read more about the history of the cup here: