While Joe knows many renowned curlers, he’s most at home serving club curlers, rookies, children, youth and senior curlers who might not want to shop but just want to chat about the game we all love.
Joe has been involved with the curling world for decades as a player, organizer and curling commentator. He’s the weekly curling columnist for the Ottawa Sun where his Wednesday column is eagerly anticipated and is indeed available across the country.
The Alexander Keith's City of Ottawa Men's bonspiel has been saved by a woman.
The OVCA announced today that the appeal for committee volunteers has lead to the appointment of Cheryl McBain as the event's... 13 June 2013Read more...
A Sikh painter was hired by the Glover Curling Club to paint their ice rink.
In the course of painting he accidentally knocked a paint can off his ladder.
The paint spilled onto a number of rocks.
Knowing... 11 June 2013Read more...
By Joe Pavia
A few weeks ago I wrote about the concerns the Ottawa Valley Curling Association (OVCA) had about their mixed and men's bonspiels.
OVCA president Elaine Brimicombe says a number of people... 06 June 2013Read more...
By Joe Pavia
Lots of bodies are on the ice but few bodies are off the ice.
The Ottawa Valley Curling Association may be taking the unpresedented step of cancelling both the OVCA Mixed and the Alender... 13 May 2013Read more...
by Joe Pavia
He knew his chance for another shot at the Olympics was at stake but John Morris felt he had to do what he did for the good of both himself and his former team.
Morris called me this morning... 26 April 2013Read more...
Two Slovenians are here in the capital to learn more about curling. Tomas Tisler, at twenty-three, has been in Ottawa since September. His goal is to learn how to make ice and perhaps ply his trade in Europe. “I was volunteering in Innsbruck, Austria at the youth Olympic games, working with the ice crew, when I met Mark Shurek who got me a job over here.” Shurek is one of Canada’s premier ice craftsmen. He approached the Ottawa’s ice maker Jon Wall and the deal was sealed to work there. His girlfriend, twenty-five year old Nadja Pipan, came to Canada for Christmas after she earned her Master’s in pharmacy. Together they are Team Slovenia at the World Mixed Doubles which takes place in April in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
With only 200 curlers Slovenia is not expecting much. “We have a goal of winning two games. If we achieve this we and everybody back home are going to look at this championship as a success. It may sound weird to Canadians but every win for us is like a gold medal for you.”
After seeing curling on television he was hooked because “I love sports that include a lot of strategy.” He saw an ad to try curling in a local arena so off he went. “When I tried curling I just knew that was it! I wanted to stay in it, go places and work in something that has anything to do with curling.”
Pipan was introduced to curling by a friend. That’s how they met. “Once she tried it she couldn’t get away.” She has competed at two women’s and one mixed Europeans. The upcoming tournament in April is Slovenia’s first worlds.
Both of them have seen a bit of Canadian curling. They both volunteered to help with the ice at Renfrew’s provincial masters in January. He also helped out at the RCMP club during a spiel. Tisler was re-united with Shurek in November where he helped him maintain the ice for the Rogers Masters Grand Slam in Brantford. Pipan also attended the final game of the Kingston Scotties where she cheered on Team Ontario.
They love Canadian curling clubs. “There are no curling clubs in Slovenia yet. Hopefully we get one soon if not I am going to be unemployed.” The two feel every club they see looks great. “It’s amazing how much history some clubs have and to see banners with names you see on TV all the time is awesome.”
His curling hero is Wayne Middaugh. Pipan likes Scotland’s Eve Muirhead.
The young ice maker also loves billiards and NFL football. He even travelled to Boston to see his beloved Patriots. The two will remain in Ottawa until the world mixed doubles.
OCA RESULTS: The Huntley bantam team skipped by Jordie Lyon-Hatcher missed winning the provincials on Saturday after finishing the round robin tied for first place with Stroud’s Matthew Hall. Their tie-breaker game ended 6-4 for Hall. Kimberly Gannon’s Toronto based team suffered the same fate as the boys losing their tie-breaker 6-5 to Listowel’s Jestyn Murphy. The Tim Hortons Trophy and Colts region winners were: 1A – Tracy Samaan and Dennis Murphy, B – Laura Payne and Bowie Abbis-Mills. The John Shea Mixed zone victors were: 1A – Bill Woods, B – Don Bowser; 3B – Jeff Guignard. The Senior Mixed zone1A winner was Dave Stanley. In Dominion Regalia Silver Tankard zone 3, the winners were: A – Joe McCaig, B – Bill Adair.
END NOTES: Everyone is invited to the Ottawa Curling Club this Saturday evening at 7:30 for the Team Canada send off to the Worlds.
Curlers looking to follow in Rachel Homan's footsteps are coming to town.
The bantam provincial at Ottawa Navy is as important to these young players as the Scotties was to Homan -- the Tournament of Hearts champion was a four-time bantam winner. Typical is Ottawa's Kimberly Gannon.
"We are excited to have made it." she said.
The 17-year-old is third for the Kelly Hawa rink from Toronto. After Gannon's team aged out of bantams last season, she found out that Gawa's team wanted to play as competitively as she did.
The team won the TCA bantam spiel in December in Toronto
The four girls (except for Gannon, all 16 years of age) only get together at tournaments.
"We keep in contact a lot about things we are working on and it has worked well," Gannon said.
Gannon and many girls may be trying to emulate Homan this weekend after the Ottawa team's win at the Scotties Sunday in Kingston.
"Rachel and her whole team are amazing," Gannon said. "I'm so proud to know them."
Former Glenn Howard third and Sportsnet curling analyst Richard Hart will be in town coaching his two sons in the event. Sons David and Joseph play for Jeff Wanless.
The bantam provincial uses a round-robin format with no playoffs. Sixteen rinks take part -- eight of each gender. The two squads with the most wins are declared the champs.
Representing this area are Pascal Michaud, Jordie Lyon-Hatcher, Marie-Elaine Little (all three from Huntley) and Perth's Hailey Armstrong.
The first draw is at 1 p.m. on Wednesday with morning, afternoon and evening draws daily until the last draw Saturday evening at 8. If tie-breakers are necessary they will take place Sunday morning starting at 9:30. The Navy facility is located at Dow's Lake. Admission is free.
Ontario lead Lisa Weagle, who played the tick shot to perfection, was awarded the Sandra Schmirler most valuable player Award after the championship. Weagle certainly ticked off Manitoba.
In this writer's opinion, every competitive Ontario women's team is thankful that Homan's team goes directly to next year's Scotties in Montreal.
Two Ottawa rinks went almost unnoticed Sunday in Pickering at the Dominion Seniors provincial championship.
The Rideau squad of Howard Rajala, Rich Moffatt, Doug Johnston and Ken Sullivan beat the defending title holder, Brian Lewis from the Ottawa, 9-4. Lewis went undefeated in the round robin. Rajala had to defeat his fellow 4-3 round robin finisher, Ray Balachorek of Oshawa, in the semi-final game. The game was actually televised at the same time as the Scotties final.
Galt's Judy Oryniak took the women's side. The Thurso team of Catherine Derick, Sylvie Daniel, Chantal Gadoua and Cheryl Morgan will represent Quebec at the national seniors in PEI beginning March 16.
The bantam mixed zone winners were; 1A - Matt Allen, B - Camille Daly; 2A - Hayden Richmond, B - Austin Gibeau; 3A - Pascal Michaud, B - Marie-Elaine Little; 4B - Hannah Wallingford. Junior mixed zone winners were: 1A - Gannon, B - Matt Jackson; 2A - Ben Miskew, B - Spencer Richmond; 3A - Ryan McCrady, B - Lauren Horton; 4B - Katie Vance. Senior mixed zone 2A winner was Ian Bridger. John Shea Insurance mixed zone winners were: 1A - Celeste Butler-Rohland; B - Chris Gardner.
The Russell Curling Club staged its first Rick Kargus men's bonspiel last weekend. Matt Paul defeated Alexander Dyer to capture the top prize. Playing with Paul were Don Bowser, Billy Woods and Andrew Hamilton. Other event winners were Jean-Michel Menard, Frank Van Ryckeghem and Rob Kennedy.
The Tim Hortons Brier begins Saturday in Edmonton. The first televised game is at 3:30 p.m., on TSN. Like the Scotties, there will be no weekday morning draws until the Thursday.
Kingston - For an organization not known for their bilingualism, Montreal will be a test.
The Canadian Curling Association announced on Sunday at the Kingston Scotties that the 2014 women’s national championship will take place at Montreal’s Maurice Richard Arena February 1 – 9.
The public voice of CCA events has always been English. Indeed about the only French found were the word “Arbitre” on the backs of the umpire jackets and the mandatory French verse of “Oh Canada”.
Over the past few years the Association has made strides in reaching French speaking Canadians. The Moncton (New Brunswick) Worlds and the Sorel-Tracy (Quebec) junior nationals were conducted bilingually according to the CCA’s CEO Greg Stremlaw. “We had a fully bilingual presence in Moncton and it worked very, very well.”
Moving the event to the second largest French city in the world could be a huge opportunity or a bad mistake. With only 65 curling clubs in a province with 27% of the population shows that curling en francais isn’t the most popular pastime in La Belle Province. But the ground has been broken. “The new deal with RDS that previously saw CCA events get no coverage on French language television, to now getting 300 hours a year of live broadcast coverage on RDS or RDS2.” observed Stremlaw.
Two things are obvious at the Kingston Scotties – there is a large walk up crowd and plenty of casual fans who don’t curl. How will these potential French speaking curling fans interact with the Scotties? According to Stremlaw “There will certainly be far more French content as we intend to do most things in both official languages. There will be all sorts of elements in French given the location of the event, including the programs, announcements, collateral materials, and so forth.” Then there is the social venue known as the Heart Stop lounge. How will the previously English only festivities be handled? “Just like any area in the country we go to, we will include local talent and yes there will be all sorts of different entertainers, some from Montreal and popular with the francophone population.”
A Montreal press conference was held to coincide with the Kingston media conference on Sunday. The four major daily Montreal newspapers (3 French, 1English) reported on the announcement as did both sports radio stations (1 in each language) as did CTV Montreal, RDS and TVA (French) television.
“Overall, I think we will see the sport grow there and we hope Montreal is successful, as that opens up other venues and markets to stage large championships for the CCA. That certainly is a positive aspect of such a hosting should we find the business model to make it work next year.” said Stremlaw.
SCOTTIES NOTES: After Ontario’s thrilling game against BC the Homan team should be named the Heart Stoppers…Wear a jacket because the arena is cold…The free shuttle buses to the Heart Stop Lounge cease running 15 minutes after the last evening game ends…Another problem organizers are having was summarized by visiting Winnipeg skip (his wife is Dawn Askin (Manitoba lead) Mike McEwen “Kingston’s pub life is so good you don’t want to leave downtown.”
WINNERS CIRCLE: The Perth squad of Hailey Armstrong, Lindsay Bell, Audrey Wilson and Danika Thompson-Lepage won the Ontario Gore Schoolgirls on the weekend. Brett Lyon-Hatch skipped his Carleton Ravens rink to a bronze medal and earned a trip to the CIS nationals in March.
END NOTES: The Dominion Senior provincials begin today in Annandale. Representing this area are Brian Lewis, Barb Kelly, Howard Rajala and Janet LaPierre.
For a sport that used to get little coverage curling in now “blessed” with an abundance of television exposure – TSN, Sportsnet, Rogers, Cogeco all got into the act. From the Dominion Tankard to four provincial men’s championships to even blind curling, the sport seemed to be everywhere.
However curling is still relegated to an afterthought by much of the main stream media. Just try getting your bonspiel results in the newspaper. TSN televises curling because the Canadian Curling Association pays them to do it. The coverage is a television buy to satisfy their sponsors. Sponsors realize that a great many people who do not curl actually watch curling. Sportsnet got into the act because they realize this as well. Locally Rogers realizes that they have plenty of eyeballs glued to their curling telecasts.
If you want curling to compete with professional sports and up and coming sports like soccer and cricket, it is up to you to let media outlets know what the television folks know.
BRIER FIELD: The Tim Hortons Brier now has more star power. Kevin Martin’s Alberta squad will try to help the “Bear” to be the first player to skip five Brier champions. The record is now 4 which Martin shares with Randy Ferbey and Ernie Richardson. He could also be the first player to skip Brier champions in three different decades. Rumour has it that Martin’s son Karrick will be his fifth man. Karrick – watch out for shoe polish on the binoculars. By winning Ontario again, Glenn Howard eclipses his big brother Russ with his 15th appearance. Other provincial winners are Brad Jacobs (Northern Ontario), Jeff Stoughton (MB), Paul Flemming (NS), Brad Gushue (NL), Brock Virtue (SK), rookie Andrew Bilesky (BC) and Eddie MacKenzie (PE). Gatineau’s Pierre Charette is the Quebec fifth for Jean-Michel Menard. Menard’s wife, Annie Lemay, is the fifth for Team Quebec at the Scotties.
CRYSTAL HEART WINNERS: The open section was won by Katie Morrissey with Sandra Morrissey, Denise Allan and Sharon Lee. The runner-up was Sandy Mutart. Other winners were: Second event – Debbie Waller; Third event – Nathalie Blaois; Fourth event – Heather Dufault; Consolation event – Tara Holland. The Senior event winner was Betty Bush with Joanne Miller, Joanne Gizzi and Lil Rynbend. The runner-up was Hilary Casey. Second event winner – Lois Graham; Third event – Karen Moon and the Consolation event went to Catherine Burnside.
OCA RESULTS: Dominion Stick regional winners were: 1A – Ron Hutchinson, B – Bruce Merklinger. Tim Hortons Colts and Trophy zone results: 1A – Matt Dupuis; 3A – Heather Dufault. In the John Shea Insurance mixed zones winners were: 3A – Dave Cormier; 4A – Rob Dickson, B – Dave Collyer. Senior mixed zone winners were: 1B – Jim Marshall; 2B – Bob Ray; 3A – Dwayne Lowe, B – Kerry Johnson; 4A – Gary Rusconi, B – Randy Hutchinson.
WINNERS CIRCLE:Chris Lewis won the Ontario Junior Curling Tour championship on Sunday. He curled with Jack Lindsay, Matthew Haughn and Cole Lyon-Hatcher.
END NOTES: There are still a few spots left in the open, seniors and senators divisions of the Alexander Keith’s City of Ottawa Men’s Bonspiel. The deadline is February 17… Winchester’s Jordan Mark will be carrying the NWT/YK flag at the Scotties next Wednesday. The 17 year-old won an essay contest… Last week’s column highlighted the Team Nunavut girl’s squad at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors. Their goal was to score 3 points in at least 3 games. They reached their goal during their last game where they lost 11-3. Skip Sadie Pinkson and Coach Lynn Kreviazuk were awarded the Fair Play trophy in their respective positions…The Ottawa club is hosting a send off for Team Homan this evening beginning at 7:30. All fans are invited. The squad heads to Kingston on Thursday.
They lost their first game 17-3, but attained their goal.
"The goal was to score three points in a 10-end game and we are learning our lessons in order to keep this goal alive." Ottawa's Lynn Kreviazuk, the coach of the Nunavut girls' team at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors, said in a conversation from FortMcMurray, Alta.
Not only is this the 13- and 14-year-old girls' first national event, it is just the second tournament they have played in more than two years as a team. Their first tournament was the Arctic Winter Games, where the girls never scored their three.
Skip Sadie Pinksen, who turned 13 just a few weeks shy of the nationals, third Christianne West, second Katie Chislett-Manning and lead Emily-Grace Matthews "are in good spirits" despite suffering losses in the double digits. As of this writing, they have scored their three points twice -- 17-3 versus Alberta and a 10-3 defeat against Newfoundland. The Iqaluit Curling Club gals know they are in a learning mode and seem to be taking things in stride.
"We keep up a positive look on our competitions and try the best, win or lose, we win or lose as a team." Pinksen said.
Kreviazuk knows the junior scene well, having won the event in 2010 as lead for Rachel Homan. She has also worked with Nunavut's youth programs in the past.
"I have been up there twice working with the girls," Kreviazuk said.
Her coaching appointment happened early in January. The 22-year-old's coaching philosophy is to think positively.
"You need to be positive no matter the experience," Kreviazuk said. "We are taking this as a learning experience and so we are having a lot of fun, taking everything in."
The players give the coach rave reviews.
"We love Lynn. We're happy she's our coach," Chislett-Manning said.
Added Matthews: "She looks like a little kid walking while carrying our bread for sandwiches at lunch. We are so happy Lynn was chosen for us. Every day is like an odyssey."
The skip summed it all up: "We are glad we are representing Nunavut with her."
Ontario's two teams - Manotick's Jamie Sinclair and St. Thomas' Aaron Squires (with Navan's Jason Camm) should qualify for the championship round.
TSN will broadcast the men's final this Saturday at 7 p.m. and the women's final Sunday at 7.
In Gore school boy and school girl regions, the winners were: 1A - Spencer Richmond and Hailey Armstrong; B - Pascal Michaud and Morgan Steele. Senior mixed zone winners were: 3A - Dwayne Lowe and Kerry Johnson. The Zone 3 mixed winner was Dave Cormier.
SCOTTIES AND TANKARD
The last team has been determined for the Scotties. Andrea Crawford won New Brunswick ... Three more provinces have determined their Tim Hortons Brier reps -- James Grattan (New Brunswick), Jamie Koe (Yukon/Northwest Territories) and Brock Virtue (Saskatchewan). Sportsnet will broadcast the semis and finals of the Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario Tankards this weekend.
Eastern Ontario curlers won the Ontario Police provincials. The skip was Matt Dupuis of Cornwall along with Gerry Chartrand and Rick Marcil of Ottawa. Pakenham's Dwayne Lowe captured the Ontario Fire Fighters provincials.
The Crystal Heart Curling Classic begins Thursday. This is the largest women's spiel in Ontario with 80 teams in two divisions. The finals are Sunday at the RA at 1:30 p.m. ... The finals of the Vision Impaired National Curling Championships are Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Ottawa.