Lord Stanley's name is inextricably linked to hockey in Canada. The Stanley Cup is a national icon. But Stanley, too, was an enthusiastic curler. He was patron of the Ottawa Curling Club, where his friend, Sir Sanford Fleming, curled and he donated another Stanley Cup to the curling club. Fleming also was a member of the Vice-Regal Curling Club. In its membership roster Fleming is listed simply as the President of the Rideau Curling Club. (He had left the Ottawa Curling Club and started a new club in protest over the temperance rules of the Ottawa. Curling and whiskey were also inextricably linked! ).
Lord Aberdeen sponsored a golf cup - the Aberdeen Cup was awarded to the Amateur Golf Champion of Canada and was first played at the Ottawa Golf Club in 1895 - but he was also a Scot and an avid curler. As patron and playing member of the Vice-Regal Curling Club he demonstrated "a first rate knowledge of the fine points of the game." He was actively involved in the administration of the Ontario Curling Association, helping to establish its policies and rules. He instituted a Governor-General's Trophy in 1894 "to be awarded to the winner of competitions held within the jurisdiction".
Lord Minto is most closely associated with the sport of figure skating. Lady Minto was an accomplished skater and the couple donated several prizes for both men's and ladies' figure skating. Before leaving Ottawa they also founded the Minto Club, which first started on that outdoor rink at Rideau Hall. But Lord Minto also curled. Lord Minto was not only an ardent curler, but also President of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club. Like Dufferin and Lorne before him, Minto encouraged Scottish curlers to come to Canada for a grand curling tour. John Kerr, the Scottish captain of the tour that finally took place in the winter of 1902-1903, dedicated his report and book on the History of Curling in Canada and the United States to Governor General Minto. The Canadian curlers travelled to Scotland for a return match in 1909 when the Strathcona Cup was first awarded. This friendly competition is still held every five years over a hundred years later!
Lord Grey , like Stanley, is remembered by most Canadians for his donation of a sports cup. His Challenge Cup for the amateur rugby football championship of Canada in 1909 is now known as the Grey Cup, awarded to the champions of the Canadian Football League. Grey also was active in curling and was patron of the Ontario Curling Association. In 1910, with the consent of Lord Grey, the Vice-Regal Curling Club was renamed the Governor General's Curling Club, and a number of prominent curlers in the Ottawa area were invited to become honourary members. Among them were William Lyon Mackenzie King and Robert Borden.
In 1938 the Lady Tweedsmuir Trophy was donated by the Governor-General's wife. This double-rink championship of the Ladies Curling Association of the Canadian Branch of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club is the women's counterpart of the Governor-General's Trophy competition for men. The reception and medal presentation also were traditionally held at Government House. The final match and awards dinner are now held at the same time as the finals of the Governor-General's Trophy in a curling club in the Ottawa area. For a brief time during Governor General Edward Schreyer's tenure an outdoor curling sheet was returned to Rideau Hall. Schreyer was a Manitoban and a curler. Writer E. Shirley Woods recalls curling with the Governor-General several times. (xii)