As anyone who’s ever followed curling will know, Kerry Galusha curls out of the Yellowknife Curling Centre and has done so admirably for decades.
But Galusha has become a member of another curling club and it’s one that is so exclusive, only 150 people in Canada get to be part of it at one time.
Galusha was inducted into the Governor General’s Curling Club in Edmonton on Monday night as part of the class of 2023. The induction ceremony was part of the club’s annual general meeting in the Alberta capital and wraps up on Thursday. Galusha joined such legends of the sport as Kevin Martin and Al Hackner, both of whom are past world champions, and Paralympic curler Collinda Joseph.
In order to become a member of the club, one must be nominated and Galusha said just being considered was an honour.
“Elaine (Brimicombe), the secretary, was the one who nominated me and I had never met her before now,” she said. “My nomination was based on my advocacy for women and girls in sport and for Indigenous people. She contacted NWT Curling to get all my information and it happened.”
It sometimes takes years to become a member, Galusha added, and she felt lucky to have been inducted so quickly after her nomination.
The club has been in existence since 1874 and was founded by Lord Dufferin, governor-general of Canada from 1872 to 1878, as the Vice-Regal Curling Club. As the story goes, Lord Dufferin built a covered curling rink, which was part of a big build at Rideau Hall and included a toboggan hill and skating rink, so he and his staff could play the “roarin’ game”. Lord Dufferin also instituted the Governor General’s Trophy competition, which is still played for to this day.
The cost to build it all back then was $1,624.95.
The original focus of the club was to recognize prominent curlers in the Ottawa area, but has since expanded to include Canadians from all walks of life who have made a contribution to the sport locally, provincially/territorially or nationally as a player, builder or volunteer.
“They’ve made a big push to open up the club and make it more diverse,” said Galusha. “They want to add more Northerners and Indigenous people to the club and seeing them make the effort to open it up is really nice. I’m glad that’s happening.”
While Galusha isn’t the first person from the NWT to be part of the club — that honour goes to the late Paul Delorey of Hay River, who was a member until his death in 2021 — she becomes the first woman and Indigenous person from the NWT to be inducted.
“I’m just really honoured to be a part of it,” said Galusha. “Everyone that night was so kind and great to talk to.”