Joe’s Blog

There was lots to give thanks for on the weekend if you like Ottawa area curlers.

Closer to home Gatineau’s Jean-Michel Menard took on Ottawa’s Ian MacAulay at the Capital Curling Classic at the RCMP rink. Menard outplayed MacAulay to get the 8-4 win.

In Toronto Lee Merklinger from Ottawa moved up to third on her Sherry Middaugh rink (Middaugh was away). They made it to the finals of the Stu Sells Toronto Tankard. They managed a 5-4 win over a team from Montreal. The Quebec rink is actually skipped by Lauren Mann who curls in Ottawa and recently moved from Ottawa to Gatineau to abide by residency rules.

In Calgary at the Curling Corner Autumn Gold Curling Classic Rachel Homan faced Jennifer Jones in the event final that took a last end shot for the Jone’s 6-5 win.

The local team skipped by Erin Morrissey made the semi-finals at Stu Sells with her Ottawa team and Danielle Inglis  from southern Ontario has 3 Ottawa teammates who qualified in TO as well.

Team Glenn Howard lead, Ottawa’s Craig Savill, helped his team make the semi-finals in Toronto as well.

All in all Ottawa talent shone on the weekend.



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On Sunday September 26 the future of curling clubs might have taken a turn for the better.

The first ever Trainer of New Curlers seminar took place at the Ottawa Curling Club. Thirty instructors representing seventeen clubs took part. The seminar was lead by Earle Morris who years ago, at the behest and with the financial backing of the Canadian Curling Association, developed the first multi-week, multi-instructor Getting Started program.

So why is this such a seminal moment? Two reasons.

Curling facilities that offer a long term program such as Getting Started give their new recruits more of a chance for success. Their positive feeling towards both the sport and their club results in a better than average retention factor which is good for the financial sustainability of the operation.

In this day and age the people who are new to curling and want to learn the game tend to be life-long learners. They want the feedback a multi-week program can give them.

The second reason is financial. Unlike the old school curlers who devalue the sport by resisting anything that costs more than a couple of dollars or isn’t free at their club, these rookie curlers see the value in this type of program. They don’t mind paying for a value proposition where they gain a life-long skill. Hence the club benefits with an increased revenue stream and a whole new breed of curler who are used to paying a fair fee.

The old school will never understand this.

The fact that 30 people are now trained will go a long way to ensuring their clubs keep members and attract new ones. In this day of social media people with rave reviews of a program will help attract new people. Some Getting Started leagues are so full that it becomes an opportunity to populate other leagues.

The CCA’s Danny Lamoureux and the Ottawa Valley Curling Association’s Elaine Brimicombe came up with the idea of initiating the instructor course at a recent Business of Curling course. They both realized how futile it is to have a new member enter the front door of a club, get a few minutes of instruction before a game, then leave through the back door when they feel frustrated and embarrassed by how bad they curl.

With all the exposure curling gets this longer term focus on treating the customer right will bode well for a more robust curling club sustainability than the model used for years.

Clubs would be wise to get trained then getting started on the road to a better future.







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It’s about time.

With youth curling numbers dropping an enthusiastic member of the RCMP Curling Club took it upon himself to begin a new city wide under 18 league for young curlers 12 to 18.

Marc Bourguignon has been energizing the group of volunteers dedicated to giving young curlers a chance to play with out direction and just to have fun.

THE PLAYERS: Set teams of any combination can join the league. Individuals can also join and organizers will attempt to piece together teams.

FORMAT: Depending on team numbers, (16 squads is ideal) the league will be divided into 3 divisions – the Homan division, the Savill division and the Merklinger division. Teams move up and down within their divisions with a championship happening at the end of the season.

WHERE: The league schedule has all divisions playing at the same time at 3 different clubs – The RCMP, Russell and the Ottawa. Games are all at 9 on Sunday mornings at the Ottawa, 11 a.m. at the RCMP and 1 p.m. in Russell.

LOTS OF HIGH PRICED HELP: This Sunday morning October 5 from 9 to noon an ICEBREAKER is taking place at the RCMP. Teams can find new players and all league members can practice – oh an some Team Homan members will be on hand to give a clinic at 9! More famous curlers will be showing up on October 26 at the RCMP – Craig Savill and  Lee Merklinger plus some others  – will be presenting a skills clinic to the registered teams. Organizers are promising some great door prizes.

This is the first year for the Ottawa Youth Curling League sponsors by the Hogline Curlers Proshop. Let’s hope by allowing the participants to play, have fun and not be intruded upon that more kids will enroll.


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Sources indicate that the Canadian Curling Association will announce in October that Ottawa will be the site for the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier. Assuming that is true this makes it very unlikely that Ottawa will be awarded the 2017 Tim Hortons Curling Trails.

In this day and age money is important to the CCA as hosting major events is a good source of revenue for them. The CCA ran a deficit of $762,942 in 2012/13 then realized a surplus of $ 6,437 in 2013/14. Winnipeg’s winning bid for the last Trials in 2013 came in at $1 million which topped all other bids. Six cities bid for that event with Ottawa among the final three – Saskatoon joined Ottawa and Winnipeg as finalists.

Ottawa’s $750,000 bid wasn’t enough to secure that 2013 Trials. It will cost at least $1 million for the 2017 edition.

The Senators Sports and Entertainment group along with Ottawa Tourism is bidding for the Trials but the bid might be still born if Ottawa gets the Brier. Two back to back events will burn out the volunteer corps as well as tap out local sponsors.

Unless the bid money is much larger than the $1 million minimum needed there isn’t a chance the Trials will come here.

Sources also indicate that London, Ontario is going to bid. They did a stellar job in hosting the 2011 Brier. Attendance was pegged at 113,626.

The Trials might not be such a cash cow for the host city either. Of the last 3 Trials Winnipeg scored the worst attendance at 136,771. Halifax bettered it with 159,235 but Edmonton got 175,852 spectators. Is it worth committing a large sum of money for the event?

The road to Pyeongchang, South Korea could be expensive.




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The Hogline Curlers Proshop was happy to participate in this fund raiser for the club by providing door prizes and buying cruise tickets for the store staff.


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venus 1venus2  venus3venus4

Photos courtesy of Pascal Ratthe


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The Following is from  the Grand Slam website and written by lead Nolan Thiessen of Team Canada.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2014, 1:35 PM
As I sit down to write this blog, the sports headlines are littered with racist owners, videos of vile domestic abuse incidents and drug arrests. Outside of the unveiling of the stops on the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour (shout out to my hometown of Brandon, Man., which is stop No. 8) there is not much good out there.

I am here to change that. I figured with the lid lifting on the World Curling Tour for the 2014-15 season this month, I would take a few minutes and debunk a few misconceptions about curling and curlers in general. I will try to put a lighter spin on some of these to brighten your day.

The majority of the readers here on the GSOC website will already know the ridiculousness of a few of my points, but I am hoping that through social media this information will get to some non-curling aficionados and their eyes will open.

No. 1 — No we do not sweep our kitchens or garages for practice

I was often asked this at my old firm by a few managers higher up on the food chain. At the time I was fairly new so being the good employee I was — and someone who didn’t want to get kicked down the corporate ladder by calling their superior an idiot — I just smiled and provided a sarcastic “yeah all the time.”

The art of sweeping has come a long way in the last 6-8 years with actual scientific research being performed on sweeping. It has led to the advent of new brush heads (EQ, the Norway Pad and the Hardline brushes to name a few) and curlers watching video of themselves sweeping in order to change techniques to improve their ability to affect a shot.

Teams take sweeping very seriously in an effort to find any advantage they can obtain in order to win just like any other high-profile sport. It is actually an insult to think that brushing up some dirt off of your floor is all you need to do in order to improve.

Besides, like most men out there, I have a high-powered leaf blower to clean out my garage. Why would I clean my garage by manual labour when I can have air flowing at 200 mph do it for me?

No. 2 — We don’t yell “Hurry Hard” throughout our everyday lives

I know “Hurry Hard” is the expression that most everyone associates with curling. I know that many stakeholders in the game use it to draw interest in the sport through their marketing. But to answer your questions, no I don’t yell at my kids to “Hurry Hard” to do their homework. I don’t yell at my dog (aptly named “Brier”) to “Hurry Hard” to go fetch the tennis ball. And I definitely do not yell “Hurry Hard” at my wife for any reason whatsoever.

Besides, yelling “Hurry Hard” in curling means I probably threw it tight or dumped my in-turn, it’s not exactly something I am proud of out there. I prefer when I just get to say “clean” or “don’t fall on it boys” to my sweepers … it means I probably made my shot.

No. 3 — No you can’t pick up curling this fall and be in the Olympics in four years

I normally do not get too irrationally angry at sports talk radio. They are paid to have opinions (they don’t have to be my opinions … I get that) and they are paid to try to stir up interest and controversy.

But in February I remember listening to an American station on my satellite radio and being angry at a former NFL QB (he of the sparkling 63.2 lifetime QB rating in the NFL). Mr. Kanell decided to tell everyone that he felt like he could start curling this year and be good enough in four years to represent the United States in 2018 in Pyeongchang.

Sure you are athletic Danny, sure you may be able to pick up the sport to some extent if you had the time and desire to try it, but here’s an idea. Try to make 17 or your first 19 shots and then throw your 20th knowing if you miss, your team loses and it is looked at as your entire fault. Let that marinate in your brain while you sit in the hack. Then come back and tell me that you were right and curling is easy.

None of this takes into consideration learning the strategy of the game, which guys who have played at the highest level for 20 years still discuss on a regular basis. Nobody has the magic secret, it is not that easy.

That type of mentality to suggest that curling can be mastered in such short order is mind-boggling to me coming from a former professional athlete, someone who should know how hard every sport is to conquer at the highest level.

So stick to being a talking head for college and NFL football Danny, we’ll stick to trying to compete in the Olympics.

No. 4 — If the ice is bad for both teams, it should affect you the same way

Before the pitchforks come out, I am not going to say that whining and complaining about the ice conditions is a good thing. I know many fans hear the comments about the “ice being garbage” on the live microphones and they hate hearing it, so I am not saying you should give us curlers a break on that one.

I get it … we GSOC players are spoiled by playing on ice like what Mark Shurek provides us, but what I am here to say is that when a team says the ice conditions were difficult it probably just means that a facet of their game was taken away. It isn’t so much that players can’t make shots, it is more that they can’t trust what the ice is going to do so they are less willing to try the harder shots.

Also for those outsiders to say “well both teams have to play on it” I have this comparison to draw. Say you have a basketball game and one team has a 6-4 point guard and four guys between 6-9 and 7-3. They face a team with a 5-10 point guard and four guys between 6-3 and 6-9. In order for the little team to have a chance, they are probably going to have to make a bunch of threes early to get the big (probably slower) guys outside so they have some room to maneuver and get closer to the basket (where higher percentage shots are available) to win.

Now take away the three-point line. What incentive does the big team have to go outside to protect against the long (lower percentage) shots? The little team is going to get boat-raced since they do not have any avenue to attack the big team with. The behemoths will sit back and swat everything that comes their way on defence and have a steady stream of post-up baskets at the other end.

The same goes for ice conditions. Say two teams are playing and one is excellent with finesse and the other team is not great drawers but they are exceptional hitters (we can all figure out teams that fall into these categories). If the ice is straight then the finesse team can’t draw behind guards, or freeze on rocks behind guards. It is much easier for the hitting team to win right, since the finesse team has nowhere to hide? That is what teams mean when they discuss ice conditions. The best ice gives everyone a chance to play the way they would like to, to trust that every shot is available. The bad ice eliminates a large portion of the shots available.

(It does bring up the need for teams to adapt their strategy when ice conditions are not great and not just complain, but that is a topic for another day).

No. 5 — Curling is Canada’s game only

This topic is not really light-hearted or one I can make fun of. It is just the truth and something we as Canadians have to accept, even if we don’t want to give up our sacred hold atop of the curling universe.

Sure, Canada has the most curlers in the world and we probably always will but like most sports, borders are falling. Teams from across the globe are getting better and trying to dethrone Canada. Countries are sending over multiple teams to compete on the World Curling Tour in order to improve not only their current top teams, but create a pipeline of successful teams and players.

Look at last season’s Players Championship in P.E.I., which invited teams based on the year’s results. The men’s draw had 3 of 12 teams from outside of Canada and the women’s draw had 4 of 12 (not to mention that the Swiss teams that were in P.E.I. were not the men’s world bronze or women’s world gold medallists). These teams are no longer cupcakes that we get to pad our records with; they are tough competitors and here to take our championships.

The sport is growing worldwide and that is a good thing. Non-traditional curling countries can bring fresh new ideas to the sport, which will help growth.

But the true benefit to the growth of the game is the competition. It is what drives teams to get better and we have seen that in curling over the last 10 years. The World Curling Tour is truly becoming the WORLD Curling Tour and we are all better for it.


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The World Curling Federation (WCF) isn’t content with just 1 mixed world championship. It wants two.

At their recently concluded World Curling Congress the WCF announced the sanctioning of a new Mixed World Curling championship that would take the place of the European Mixed.

This would happen during the 2015/16 season.

Now why the change? The WCF already has the Mixed Doubles that they are trying to get included as a demo sport in the Korean hosted next winter games. But have the curling powers that be had a change of heart and realized that the 2 person team format is boring.

Besides electing a new board (2 Canucks are on board – one as a VP) two other interesting items got approved.

1.  Conditional membership will be considered for the Hong Kong Curling Association and the Qatar Curling Federation. You don’t have to worry about rainfall humidity affecting the ice surface in the latter country. The Armenian National Curling Federation was excluded from membership during the Assembly.

2. The WCF revealed plans for a Portable Curling Facility/ To quote their release “This new programme offered by the Federation is to help establish dedicated curling facilities in regions which have, up until now, found it difficult to garner the resources to build a permanent curling facility.” This is an excellent idea. Please share the plans with us.

Well here it is.







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Below is the press release that came out of the last CCA AGM. The last paragraph might be the best news with regards to a lot of curlers.


New governors, new rules, new event formats
come out of CCA Annual Meeting

A productive five days of learning, discussions and meetings wrapped up with the election of two new members of the Canadian Curling Association Board of Governors, a new chair and vice-chair, new formats for the Canadian Senior and Mixed Curling Championships, and some tweaks to the Canadian rulebook.

The first Canadian Curling Summit in Niagara Falls, Ont., saw participants from across the country engage in a variety of discussions, all aimed at continuing the growth of curling in Canada.

Following the Summit and the inaugural Swing & Sweep Golf Tournament, presented by Pinty’s, which raised funds for the For the Love of Curling philanthropic program, delegates from the CCA’s 14 Member Associations as well as the Board of Governors met for the National Curling Congress on Thursday, followed by elections of officers and voting on motions.

“It was a wonderfully positive week in Niagara Falls, and I think it’s safe to say that everyone came away with a really positive feeling about the future of our sport and ways to reach out to new participants, both young and old,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer for the CCA. “After such an amazing 2013-14 curling season, it was great to be able to share our successes with people from across the country, while still maintaining our focus on improving on what we have, both at the high-performance and grassroots levels.”

The Board of Governors elected Marilyn Neily of Pleasantville N.S., as Chair for the 2014-15 season, and Bob Osborne of St. John’s, N.L., as vice-chair. Additionally, delegates voted in new governors Scott Comfort of Wadena, Sask., and Liz Goldenberg of North Vancouver, B.C., four-year terms.

Among the motions that were approved by delegates during the meetings:

— The two-year trial for the Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials was extended for another year, with a decision expected in the next 12 months on whether the discipline will be included as a medal sport for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

— The qualifying rounds at the Canadian Seniors and Mixed Championships were eliminated and replaced by a similar 14-team direct-entry format that is currently used at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Championships, with the 14 teams split into two seven-team pools, and the top-four finishers from each pool advancing to the championship round-robin. As well, games at both the Seniors and Mixed nationals will be reduced to eight ends, falling in line with international competitions.

— The age-eligible date for juniors to play at the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors was shifted six months back to fall in line with the World Curling Federation rules. Previously, Canadian juniors had to be 20 and under as of Dec. 31 of the year prior to a Canadian championship; now they have to be 20 and under as of June 30 of the previous year. Prior to this change, non-Canadian players at the World Junior Championships could be up to six months older than the eldest Canadian player.

— Among various minor tweaks to the Canadian rulebook that will govern the sport here from 2014 through 2018 was a change in the timing system. Thinking time for 10-end games will be reduced to 38 minutes from 40 minutes, and to four minutes and 30 seconds in the extra end from five minutes. This change is also expected to be made by the World Curling Federation later this month.

— A proposal to investigate potential resources to help teams participating in the qualifying round at the Tim Hortons Brier and Scotties Tournament of Hearts was approved, with report to be presented to the membership at the 2015 National Curling Congress.

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Barrhead crowned 2014 Kraft Celebration Tour winner
Curling club to receive grand prize totaling $100k
by  Kelly Brooks, courtesy of the Barrhead Leader
The Barrhead Curling Club was announced the winner of the 2014 Kraft Celebration Tour, news that rocked the community Monday, Aug. 25.

The victory means the curling club will be awarded the contest’s grand prize of $75,000 in addition to the $25,000 they received during the KCT event on August 18.

Many gathered at the Barrhead Golf Club to wait for the news, which was announced on the 4 p.m. TSN show.

The moment Barrhead was named the winning community, the crowd of anxious residents erupted in deafening cheers.

Patty Storseth-Wierenga, who nominated the curling club, was among those giving hugs and high-fives in the crowd. After receiving a congratulatory phone call from TSN SportsCentre anchor Kate Beirness, Storseth-Wierenga commended everyone who was involved in bringing success to Barrhead.

“I had a great team. I had several great partners by my side,” she said, adding Jenny Bruns was as much of a part of organizing as she was. “The Barrhead Curling executives, the volunteers, the community, TSN, Kraft, Mosaic, everybody made this happen.”

Storseth-Wierenga said every time she was out in the community, the residents, businesses and organizations all showed excitement and enthusiasm towards the KCT campaign.

“We’ve seen it rurally, we’ve seen it through the Town of Barrhead, everybody rolled out the red carpet. I didn’t even have to ask and people were offering,” she said. “It made my heart smile being a part of this community, so thank you.”

Moments after TSN’s announcement, Town of Barrhead Mayor Gerry St. Pierre expressed how proud he was of every person who was involved.

“It’s a wonderful announcement for the community,” he said. “It proves that if we set our mind to doing something, we can accomplish anything. I am so, so proud of each and every one of you and the community as a whole. “

Although he was just as ecstatic as everyone else, St. Pierre said part of him wasn’t surprised Barrhead claimed the win.

“I didn’t have any reason to know in advance, but I was quite comfortable that we had a really good shot at it,” he said.

Still smiling after hearing the news himself, County of Barrhead Reeve Bill Lee said winning the KCT is a historic moment in Barrhead’s history.

“I jumped up and screamed and there were tears in my eyes,” said Lee. “We were one in the province to get the $25,000, we’re one in Canada to get it all. Isn’t that something? All of Canada, we’re number one. I am so proud.”

Lee added this was the work of the community, and an accomplishment that had no government involvement. That says a lot about the community of Barrhead, he said.

“It just shows when you put your mind to something and get together, many hands make light work,” he said. “This is what happened. Everybody did what they could to make this happen, and look at what came of it.”

Barrhead Curling Club president Brian MacGillvray said he was “totally shocked” when Barrhead was announced the winner. As someone who was heavily involved with the events that followed the nomination, MacGillvray said it was a rewarding experience to watch the community come together.”

“It’s a learning experience to work with a Canadian-wide project, and it was worth it. It was amazing to see that we could do it and put it together,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to keep the club going, and it will survive for a long time because of this.”

MacGillvray said the club is in great need of a new ice plant, which costs around $130,000. The money from the KCT will give the club a good shot at having a state of the art ice plant, he said.

Additionally, the curling club has been struggling with utility costs.

“Like every other rural town, [the club] is suffering with the high cost of utilities,” he said. “Our utilities are killing us, so hopefully we can streamline some of our cost and keep it going.”

Bruns, who heard the announcement at her home, said she hopes this isn’t the end for the community spirit that has been shown over the past several weeks.

“Everybody took full ownership and just went nuts with it, continuing on right until the last second when we found out. It showed they were proud of their town, no matter who’s getting the money,” said Bruns. “We hope they hold on to their community spirit as they move forward. As a community, look what we can do when we all get together.”

“For me it really opened my heart to what a grand community we live in. I’ve had that experience before. It was through tough times, and the community wrapped their arms around me. They’ve done it again in joyous times,” added Storseth-Wierenga. “I’m very proud to say Barrhead is my community.”

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FALL ROCKS poster 2014


Novice Open Ca$h-$piel
RCN (Navy) Curling Club
October 4 & 5, 2014
OVCA Colts Event #1
5 years and under – Open format
Any combination of male/female players
$ 260 entry fee
Maximum of 24 teams
3 games guaranteed
Saturday dinner
Additional Prizes to be won!
Finals on Sunday with lunch available for
Hosted by the RCN Evening Ladies Division in association with the OVCA Colts League
For information on rules, eligibility and to register visit
Please contact Stephanie McClennan or Denis Carter for more information

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Boat Cruise (Clark)


Gananoque Curling Club
In conjunction with
The Brockville Country Club
Cruise the Thousand Islands and mingle with Team Canada’s Olympic
Gold Medalist Team Jacobs, Team Canada’s Olympic Golf Medalist, Brad
Gushue Olympic Silver Medalist Dave Murdoch of Scotland and Olympic
Bronze Medalist and World Curling Champion Eve Muirhead of Scotland
along with many more outstanding curlers.
Wednesday, September 17th
, 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Cost is $25.00 per person
Includes 3 hour boat cruise and appetizers
For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact:
Jayne Curtis, Gananoque Curling Club 613 382-3281
Brockville Country Club 613-342-2468

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original-social LEAGUE ovca


Thanks to curlers and designers Debra Gerylo-Smith and husband Gary, the Ottawa Valley Curling Association just may have a tag line that is at the cutting edge of where many curlers are at. Congrats!

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Posted below is the press release issued by the Canadian Curling Association announcing its “new” National Team Program. This initiative is designed to keep Canada winning medals at the international level. But is this the way to go?

Is this a short sighted policy? What about players development to replace these 12 teams as they move on? Is there a policy and a plan in place for that?

The CCA wants to keep winning medals to ensure Sport Canada/Olympic funding. This is another reason why in the recent past, the CCA has taken a more active hand in, for instance, announcing team changes. This is something that players themselves had done in the past. Everyone has to tow the party line.

While the teams chosen obviously deserve it – what about those teams coming up? Where are their resources?


For Immediate Release
Aug. 14, 2014
CCA announces
2014-15 National Team Program squads
Six men’s and six women’s teams will be part of the Canadian Curling Association’s National Team Program (NTP), it was announced today.

The teams qualified for the NTP based on their standings on the Order of Merit following the 2013-14 curling season. As part of the NTP, the teams will have funding to cover some of the costs of competition and training, in addition to being able to access high-performance resources in the areas of sports science, sports medicine and coaching from either inside or outside of the CCA.

Here are the teams that have qualified for the 2014-15 National Team Program, in order of their Order of Merit standings:

(Skip, third, second, lead)
Team Jacobs (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) — Brad Jacobs, Ryan Fry, E.J. Harnden, Ryan Harnden.
Team McEwen (Winnipeg) — Mike McEwen, B.J. Neufeld, Matt Wozniak, Denni Neufeld.
Team Morris (Calgary) — John Morris, Pat Simmons, Carter Rycroft, Nolan Thiessen.
Team Gushue (St. John’s) — Brad Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant, Geoff Walker.
Team Koe (Calgary) — Kevin Koe, Marc Kennedy, Brent Laing, Ben Hebert.
Team Howard (Penetanguishene, Ont.) — Glenn Howard, Richard Hart, Jon Mead, Craig Savill.

(Skip, third, second, lead)
Team Jones (Winnipeg) — Jennifer Jones, Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer, Dawn McEwen.
Team Homan (Ottawa) — Rachel Homan, Emma Miskew, Joanne Courtney, Lisa Weagle.
Team Lawton (Saskatoon) — Stefanie Lawton, Sherry Anderson, Sherri Singler, Marliese Kasner.
Team Sweeting (Edmonton) — Val Sweeting, Andrea Crawford, Dana Ferguson, Rachelle Pidherny.
Team Middaugh (Coldwater, Ont.) — Sherry Middaugh, Jo-Ann Rizzo, Lee Merklinger, Leigh Armstrong.
Team Nedohin (Sherwood Park, Alta.) — Heather Nedohin, Amy Nixon, Jessica Mair, Laine Peters.

“The depth of curling talent in our country is amazing, and the international results continue to prove that,” said CCA Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. “We were the only country in the world to have no team finish outside of the top six in traditional four-player world and Olympic championship events last season, and the National Team Program has played a significant role in those ongoing successes.”

All 12 teams will be participating in the opening event of the CCA’s Season of Champions, the 2014 Canada Cup of Curling presented by Meridian Manufacturing, running Dec. 3 to 7 at Encana Arena in Camrose, Alta.

“As always, the objective of the National Team Program is to achieve podium results at international competitions, and we’re excited about the potential of the group of athletes that is part of the NTP for the 2014-15 season to continue to maintain those high expectations,” said Gerry Peckham, Director, High Performance, for the CCA. “Thanks to this program, these teams, based on their proven performance levels, will be given every competitive advantage possible to keep Canada contending for international medals.”


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new tankard sponsor


The Dairy Farmers of Ontario issued a press release a couple of days ago indicating that they are now the sponsors  for the 2015 Ontario Men’s Tankard – The 2015 Recharge with Milk Tankard. See the full press release below.

This is perhaps a first however. I received this press release  from the dairy farmers but obviously the Ontario Curling Association must have provided contact info to them about curling writers and publications. Why is thus worth noting?

In my almost 12 years of writing about curling I believe I have ever received 3 press releases from the OCA about anything. This is a nice change and we all hope this now becomes the norm.


Dairy Farmers of Ontario will be the Title Sponsor of the 2015 Ontario Men’s Curling
Championships Hosted by Ingersoll District Curling Club:
The 2015 Recharge with Milk Tankard
Helping Ontario Curlers Power Up and Recharge

TORONTO, ON, August 8, 2014 – Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) announced today their title sponsorship of the 2015 Ontario Men’s Curling Championship: The 2015 Recharge with Milk Tankard.

“Supporting the 2015 Tankard was a natural fit for Dairy Farmers of Ontario and the Recharge with Milk Program,” said Bill Emmott, DFO Chair. “We are extremely proud of Ontario curlers and the dedication they put into their sport, and we are proud to throw our support behind them.”

Research continues to demonstrate the benefits of drinking milk and specifically, chocolate milk as an effective post-workout beverage. Milk has all of the nutritional attributes to help refuel and repair exhausted muscles. The post-workout recovery benefit of milk is the combination of carbohydrates, high-quality protein, fluid and electrolytes that help the body recharge. Research shows 2% milk has significant post-sport rehydration benefits, surpassing both water and sport drinks.

The 2015 Recharge with Milk Tankard will be hosted by the Ingersoll District Curling Club in February 2015 at the Dorchester Flight Exec Centre in the Municipality of Thames Centre. This event “The Clash on the Thames” is held in cooperation with the Ontario Curling Association and the Towns of Ingersoll and Dorchester. Eleven teams representing all the Ontario curling zones will play down to an exciting final that will determine the team representing Ontario in the national Brier. With more than 140 teams from across Ontario vying for the 10 spots available in each championship – the 11th already qualified is the previous year’s winner, Team Balsdon. The provincial bonspiel will bring thousands of people into Ingersoll, Dorchester and London between February 1st – 9th, 2015.

“The Ingersoll District Club has put in a lot of work preparing for this important event and we’re thrilled to partner with Dairy Farmers of Ontario,“ said Bob Armstrong, Co-Chair of the 2015 Tankard. “Ontarians love curling and we know this will be a phenomenal event,” he added.

The 2015 Recharge with Milk Tankard will attract over 18,000 spectators and more than 100,000 television viewers on Rogers television and Sportsnet.

To learn more about how milk and chocolate milk rehydrates, refuels and recharges, please visit

For more information on the 2015 Tankard go to

About Dairy Farmers of Ontario

Dairy Farmers of Ontario represents almost 4,000 dairy farmers in Ontario. Canadian dairy farmers proudly provide consumers with safe, high-quality and reliable dairy products that support our communities, processors and farmers. The goal of Dairy Farmers of Ontario is to strengthen the industry through innovation and increased productivity to maintain a strong Canadian dairy sector.

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As I have maintained for the last number of years, one of the best ways for curling clubs to prosper is to offer a league for beginner curlers – especially after a most successful year of curling television watching novices after the winter games.

In order to achieve great results, it is important to have solid instructors who can impart a love of the game with enthusiasm. That being said the Ottawa Valley Curling Association (OVCA) is doing something about it. They have teamed up with the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) and the Ontario Curling Association (OCA) to offer a one day TRAIN THE TRAINER SESSION

The session is designed for people who might not be the best curlers in the world but who have a love of ensuring new curlers receive a positive experience as the learn the game we all love.

It will be offered Sunday September 28, 10 to 5 at the Ottawa Curling Club – where the national program was introduced. See below.

Who should attend: The success of this program is based on the enthusiasm of the curling centre’s Board and
management and the quality of the instructors hired to deliver it. Once you have decided to deliver this program,
you will need a coordinator and instructors. The beauty of this program does not require either of these positions
to have extensive coaching or instruction backgrounds. That is what this day is for – to train your group to be
effective and successful!
This session is open to the first 30 people who sign up.
Financial Support: The OVCA will provide a $500 grant to member clubs towards the implemen

Preamble: The Adult Learn-To-Curl program has achieved significant momentum
since the pilot project in 2007 with more than 100 Canadian curling centres now
participating. At a recent workshop with OVCA and a number of clubs, however, a
gap in the success of the program was identified: recruiting and training of
instructors and/or league coordinators. Therefore, in conjunction with the CCA,
the OCA and the OVCA, we are pleased to offer a one-day session to train the
trainer for your rink’s Learn To Curl program. This is an opportunity to enhance your
current program or fast track a new program. Your league coordinators and
instructors will leave the session with all the tools they need to run a successful
league at your rink!
 Earle Morris, coach of Team Rachel Homan and originator of the Adult Getting Started Program
 Anna Keller, coordinator of Ottawa CC program and technical resource for a number of Getting Started
programs nation-wide.
Instructor Profile: Ideally, you should be recruiting instructors for this programme staying as close as possible to the
profile to maximize the success of your program. Your coordinator and instructors should be:
 Enthusiastic & passionate about curling
 Confident with good communication skills
 Representative of the demographic of the community
 Solid understanding of the basics of the game & a balanced delivery
Register: please register with the OVCA by September 19, 2014
Name: Curling Centre:
E-mail: Mobile:
Any curling training?:
Please complete this form electronically and e-mail to the OVCA at You will be contacted about payment.
Cost: $49.00* per person includes lunch, refreshments and course materials (* plus HST)

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harnden's tattoo


Inspirational ink
Courtesy of Steph Crosier, The Sault Star

E.J. Harnden got some inspirational ink to remember his team’s success at the 2014 Sochi Olympic.

The second for Team Jacobs was in Toronto last week with teammate Ryan Fry to get the first stage of his new tattoo completed.

“I knew once we got back from the Olympic games that I wanted to do something that would remind me of that achievement daily,” Harnden said. “So that’s why I ended up going with a tattoo.

“It is something that will remind me of that achievement; a dream come true.”

The large tattoo spreads from the middle of Harnden’s chest to his left shoulder. It features the Olympic rings, a large gold medal, the mountains and black sea in Sochi, Russia, and inspirational words: believe, sacrifice, dedication.

Harnden designed the tattoo as an all-encompassing portrait of his Games experience with artist David Glantz at Archive Tattoo in Toronto

“There’s many athletes, when they go to the Olympic Games, they end up getting a tattoo to celebrate the achievement,” Harnden said. “Typically its just the rings, but for me, I don’t have any tattoos, more than likely I won’t be getting any more, so if I do do this I’m going to make it more then just the rings.”

With the first phase complete, Harnden estimates he’ll have to sit for one or two more sessions or about five or six hours.

“Still lots to go,” Harnden said. “Honestly, for me, I’m very detail oriented and very specific about things going into it because I know it is permanent, but I’m extremely happy with what I’ve seen so far.”

In mid-May, little brother Ryan Harnden also started a large tattoo the left side of his chest. It features a picture of him and brother E.J. after receiving their gold medals. The same picture is E.J.’s Twitter profile picture.

“Our team kind of talked about it and how if we won the Olympic Games that one or more of us would probably get some sort of tattoo,” E.J. Harnden said.

Harnden said the tattoo will also serve as inspiration for the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongshang, South Korea.

“(It will) serve as a reminder for myself to continue to push harder, and want to achieve more in the sport, and hopefully do this all over again in 2018,” Harnden said. “Also beyond that, serve as a reminder that in curling, or anything else, to never give up and always follow your dreams because when you do good things happen.”

Team Jacobs has already made waves in the curling world with their high level of fitness and now with tattoos.

“I’m pleasantly surprised in the interest that my tattoo, and Ryan’s, has garnered,” Harnden said. “I think it is because its a bit different in the curling world… I think everyone knows someone with a tattoo, but it is a bit different in terms of a competitive curler doing something like this.”

He said he knows of some curlers with smaller tattoos but nothing at his and Ryan’s scale.

“Maybe that’s just following the suit of our team, doing things a little bit differently,” Harnden said.

Harnden added wife Rachelle is supportive, was surprised at the actual size, but is now excited to see the finished product.

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weagle car

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The forest fire driven evacuation order for Kelly Scott’s family in Kelowna, BC along with 906 other evacuees, has been lifted. They are all, however, still on evacuation alert at any moment.

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Mark Nichols (playing drums in brand new Team Gushue photo) and his wife Colette had their first baby boy a couple of days ago. They welcomed Beckett Hugh Nichols into the world.



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weagle dress 1 weagle dress 2 weagle dress 3

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Congratulations to Lisa Weagle and husband Robin Guy on their Saturday July 19 wedding!

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fire kelly scott

Former Canadian champion Kelly Scott along with her family and hundreds of other citizens were evacuated to avoid any harm during the recent BC forest fires in west Kelowna.

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What a turnout last weekend (July 11-13) in North Bay Ontario for their summer spiel. It filled quickly and is becoming known as THEE summer spiel in the country.

  • Thinking of next season’s Tankard in Ingersoll well here is a unique opportunity for a bit of a summer trip and maybe rub  shoulders with a few curling greats. The host committee for the 2015 Tankard is hosting a golf tournament replete with celebrities on August 8 at the Ingersoll Golf Club. It is inexpensive at $100 per person and includes golf, cart, dinner and prizes. For info

Mike McKwen is in Ottawa visiting his in-laws and is now a sales rep for the new Ice Pad like of curling equipment.

  • Well this is a pleasant surprise – some dedicated Ottawa area volunteers are working hard over the summer to start a city-wide youth curling league. They already have 13 teams interested and they haven’t even advertised yet. Hats of Marc Bourguignon.

 ROCKS AND RINGS BOOMING : A July 10 press release from the CCA indicated that ” 1,456 Canadian schools during the 2013-14 school year, involving 228,162 students, were exposed to the program. Since Rocks & Rings was created in 2009, the program has been in 4,633 Canadian schools with 689,548 participants, meaning the magical 1-million mark is firmly within reach.” It is too bad some tracking method couldn’t be devised to see if this translates into kids on curling ice. The future of our sport depends on this and getting immigrants involved in the game.

Go here to find out what it is like to curl in 106 degree F heat in Tempe, Arizona.

  • Earle Morris has been named as the coach for Team John Morris. So much for Earle stepping back from the game.



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Ottawa’s Bob Martin passed away last week at 96 years of age.

Bob volunteered at the Ottawa Curling Club for a number of years. He curled in many leagues eventually winning the provincial masters. He won some bonspiels along the way as well. He was inducted into the Governor Generals Curling Club and was the Ottawa’s last Lifetime Member.

His quiet support of curling is what made Bob the proudest. He supported curling in many ways especially at the local level.

In the years he couldn’t play, which were many, Bob the non drinker used to spend plenty of time at the Ottawa just talking to curlers and watching games. Ask any young curlers, especially the juniors and the person who he took the most interest in were the junior curlers he talked to when they came off the ice. His interest in them was about their curling, their schooling and what they wanted to do in life.

His greatest joy was volunteering for Doors Open Ottawa at the Ottawa Curling Club. Doors Open meant a number of city institutions that normally were shut to the public would throw their doors open to the public who could tour the facility. Bob LOVED Doors Opened Ottawa! He would even wear the tee-shirt. His eyes lit up when people asked about curling especially the young people. He was a born story teller.

But he could be critical too. Since I write the curling column in the Ottawa Sun he would question me after each article and he would be sure to point out the spelling or grammatical mistakes. He made me better.

As his health faded Bob couldn’t attend many major curling events. It became routine for me to sit Bob beside me while I showed him photos on my lap top that I took of various curling events and the locations they were in. It always brought a smile to his face and resulted in plenty of questions.

Bob was easy to like. Easy to love. This June during Doors Open Ottawa, your tee-shirt will be on the chair, your spirit will be in the room and your presence always felt. And learned from.



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Steve Chenier said ‘In this day and age there is no reason we can’t return an email in 24 hours.” Chenier made a number of eye-opening statements at the Zone 1 OCA meeting at the RCMP club on Tuesday evening.

Chenier spoke at the meeting along with OCA board member Joanne Pomalis and zone 1 rep John Tobias.

The most cogent statement made by Chenier was “what does the OCA do for you?” He realizes that that question has been asked for most of eternity but he wants to make the association relevant to the membership. Some highlights:

  • To answer all inquiries within 24 hours
  • To get ride of current website and unroll a new, more modern one
  • Create a new separate scoring website. “If we can do it in northern Ontario (where he is from) we can do it here.”
  • Create a new service whereby clubs can import a template to create or update their bylaws. Also provide the services of legal advice to examine a club’s proposed bylaws.
  • Create easy to copy and use policy papers. For instance ” A concussion is a concussion. Why not have a concussion policy everyone can use.”
  • To find a better way to use the associations large reserve to better serve the membership. (The reserve is $1.5 million)
  • Re-write the OCA’s bylaws to make them more inclusive and democratic.
  • Give the OVCA a “member at large” seat on the board.
  • Create a new site review committee that will more closely examine sites for more high profile events like Scotties and Tankard.
  • Announce sites for major events two years in advance.

There was much more activity announced. Not once did the panel mean mouth the CA either. This was a breathe of fresh air.

Hopefully this will last.

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If Brent Laing can move to Alberta then New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford can move to Alberta too. Crawford, who has represented NB at numerous Scotties is moving with her police officer hubby to Calgary where she will play third for Val Sweeting,  the runner-up to Team Homan at last years Scotties. Sweeting’s vice, Joanne Courtney is moving to Ottawa to throw second stones for Rachel Homan.

Crawford has never made the Scotties playoffs. Her best record was last year’s 6-5. This is a great opportunity for the New Brunswick skip who most likely would never capture the women’s national championship if she remained in her home province.

The cheering you hear is from other NB skips. Crawford has represented NB at the national Scotties since 2009.


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Yesterday the CCA announced that Adam Casey is returning to the province of his birth to skip his own team next season out of PEI.The CCA  had previously announced roster changes or announced teams remaining together – Team Jones, Kreviazuk leaving Team Homan, Team Koe reforming, Team Canada adding John Morris, etc.

On the men’s side the 3 most prominent teams did their own announcements. Kevin Martin made his on Sportsnet. Jeff Stoughton and Glenn Howard made their own announcements as well but not on television.

All three of those skips were integral parts of the players boycott of the CCA.

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They saved their sorry asses.

The OCA board, through a series of concessions and promises to reform, dodged a bullet and they remain in place.

Through Tweets, thanks to Curling Zone and Bob Weeks, we got the record of the 4 hour plus meeting.

The highlights are:

  • Dale Curtis re-instated as VP but her status has new acting President is unclear.
  • New bylaws to be written.
  • A new,  clear nomination process for the board defined.
  • New committees to be struck to attempt to write the wrongs.
  • Ian McGillis takes a leave of absence.
  • TCA, OVCA and HACA will be members at large.
  • New ED makes great impression. Steve Chenier offers some reforms in the way OCA does business.
  • CCA admits it had a bad year financially.
  • CCA Chair Hugh Avery apologizes to curling for the entire incident.
  • The way the OCA was run resulted in the loss of Travelers as a sponsor.
  • Chenier promised better communications with members and emphasis on club development.
  • Best line: Chenier  “We are going to update FACEBOOK and have a 12 year old teach us how to tweet.”

One of the OCA’s biggest critics was the former head of the Dominion, George Cook. Cook saved their asses when he said just before the vote to turf them that there was only 7 weeks left in the board’s term anyway so leave things alone.

It is too bad that the board has reformed itself because they were scared. Let us hope they now have the message.




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Wayne Middaugh knew how good he was.

Throughout his career and no matter at which position he played the game very well. He was also a money players – 7  time skins game champion; 3 time Tour money leader and big cash earner at 4 Players Championships. This 3 time world champion and 3 time Brier champion said that the only thing he regrets was not getting to the Olympics. Curling money got him in trouble the the Canadian Revenue Agency too. They went after him for not declaring his win money. He stood his ground at first time with the CRA realizing that a curling team’s expenses far out weighed a team’s prize money. The CRA recently went after him again but for other reasons. No info is available on that.

He knew the game so well and because of that he was the kind of third that skips listened to. Players listened to him as well especially the 18 teams that boycotted the CCA just before the 2001-2002 season.  Along with Kevin Martin, Middaugh was the most vocal of the players in explaining what the players were doing and why.

Middaugh could upset people too. 2001 Brier in Ottawa. His middle finger goes up in anger from sheet D I believe. The crowd booed Middaugh and the media bench cleared so the scribes could interview him.

Last season a young man from Slovenia moved to Ottawa for the season so he could learn more about ice making. Tomas as a curler as well. One day a number of people sat around a curling club table when some asked who was the best curler ever, living or dead. The usual suspects were named – Kevin Martin, Russ Howard, Ed Werenich – the list went on. Then Tomas spoke. He claimed that Wayne Middaugh was the best players ever. It was almost like the hockey argument about who was better Bobby Orr or Wayne  Gretzky.

If not at the top Middaugh is right up there.



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With Morris gone from Team Cotter, the BC based team has recruited the 2000 World Junior Champion Ryan Kuhn as their third.

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So John Morris is now skipping Team Canada and throwing last rocks.

No surprise but we won’t be seeing much of the team together. Carter Rycroft will only be playing with the team in the Season of Champions events – Canada Cup, the Continental Cup and the  Brier. If they play in ant Tour or Slam events, Scott Bailey, will be brought in the play second.

Even Morris won’t be participating in everything as he works on his captain’s job with the fire department.


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Team Brad Gushue announced today that Adam Cassey is gone and Mark Nichols is back on the team.
Nichols is moving back to the island after leaving Team Stoughton in Manitoba.
Next announcement is who is going to skip the former Kevin Koe rink – John Morris are you thinking about it?

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When I was not curling but a curling club employee I volunteered to drive for the Welton Beauchamp curling cash spiel. My first driving assignment was to pick up Team Kevin Martin at the airport and drive then to their hotel giant rental van.
Knowing it was my first assignment I bought a 24 pack so I could offer the Martin team a beer at my apartment before I took them to their hotel.

I was working part time so buying a 24 pack cost me a lot of money in the day.

So I picked up the team and drove them to my area on the Golden Triangle near where I worked and near their hotel.

We got out of the can bear my apartment and we passed a big mansion next door to my apartment. Kevin asked if the mansion was my house and when I said no he td the team they should just go to the hotel. So much for buying beer.
Many years later I am interviewing Martin outside the Brockville Country and Curling Club at the Shorty Jenkins Classic. Surprising to me he went on for at least 30 minutes about how to improve the game, how to get more people involved, how the CCA should anticipate the sport’s growth.
After the interview I realized that people grow. I realized that Kevin Martin is the real deal. Curling owes a lot to Martin.
He isn’t finished yet improving the game. Thanks Kevin.

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Joe Pavia, Ottawa Sun Curling Columnist


His season couldn’t have been any worse.


Local skip Chris Gardner, just shy of thirty years of age, earned three provincial championships since March 15 – Tim Hortons Colts, the Dominion Regalia Silver Tankard and the John Shea Mixed banner won this past Sunday.


It still doesn’t make up for the failed promise of his men’s team he started out with this season – Bryan Cochrane, Mat Camm and Brad Kidd. In this scenario Cochrane called the game and threw lead, Gardner tossed third stones and Camm fired the last rocks. Their opportunity for greatness came at November’s Capital One Road to the Roar. Their second couldn’t attend so Mike Anderson subbed.


“We weren’t there very long.” Gardner quipped. They lasted three games and were outscored 25 to 12. “It should have been the best week of our lives but it was the worst.”  He recalls that his motivation was gone and he wasn’t having fun.” For the first time in my career I wasn’t in the house or throwing last rock. It wasn’t enjoyable for me.”  This resulted in team animosity especially accusations that Gardner partied too much. “I knew we weren’t going to win.” Kid, his former second is still best friends with him. “Even Bryan brought me eggnog last Christmas.” He is still distant from Mat Camm. “He (Camm) has huge potential and is one of the best. It still is going to take some time however.”


What has he learned? “I wish I could do it all over again. I regret everything and I take full responsibility for my actions. My goal is to learn from it and make sure it doesn’t ever happen again.”


Gardner (who finished first in the tournament) ended up playing his current roommate and teammate for next season Mike McLean as well as his former second, Kidd, in the mixed final. McLean had to battle through a five-way tie-breaker. The momentum changed sides throughout the game and came down to last rocks forcing Gardner to draw to the four-foot facing two. The final score was 9-7. Gardner played with Trish Hill, Jonathan Beuk and Jessica Barcauskas. Besides McLean at third Gardner’s next season rink is Terry Scharf and Steve Forrest.


The day before another local rink took the Senior Mixed title. The Rideau’s Paul Madden, Natalie Boucher, Norm Hewitt and Carole Fujimoto defeated Toronto’s Bob Garvin 7-5 after both ended the round robin with 5-2 records.


NOSTALGIA CURLING: The Players Championship from PEI began yesterday evening. Many of the rinks will curl this last event then split. Team Glenn Howard just announced the return of Richard Hart as vice and the inclusion of Jon Meade at second although neither will be on the team for the event. Hart will be in the broadcast booth. Meade will throw third for Jeff Stoughton. How will the squad handle playdowns? According to lead Craig Savill “Not sure what the plan is just yet. We are going to discuss our options this summer.”  Stoughton second, Reid Carruthers, is skipping his own rink next season. For Team Rachel Homan a championship in spud land could mean a hefty bonus of $100,000 for having won a previous Slam. Sportsnet will broadcast games beginning Thursday April 17 at noon with 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. draws daily until the finals on Sunday. The women’s final is Sunday morning at 10 while the men’s goes in the afternoon at 4.


END NOTES: In a refreshing change Team Jennifer Jones announced yesterday that they are sticking together until the next Olympics. This marks the final column for this season.

Joe Pavia
Hogline Curlers Proshop

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April 11, 2013. Shorty left us.

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Joe Pavia, Ottawa Sun Curling ColumnistBY 

It has been a banner year for him.

Twenty-one year old Ryan McCrady marked the end of his junior career on the weekend by capturing the provincial mixed junior title. McCrady previously won the Pepsi Junior Men’s Ontario title. “It definitely feels great managing to grab one more banner before I head out of junior curling. It took me a while to get my first one back in January, so to end up winning the mixed provincials as well was just such an amazing way to finish off a great year.” said the Rideau curling club skip.

The team consisted of Lauren Horton, Matt Haughn (McCrady’s junior men’s teammate) and Jessica Armstrong. They achieved a 7-0 record. McCrady tends to be loyal to the people with whom he curls. That is one reason the Carleton U student is one of the most popular junior curlers in the province. “Lauren Horton and I had played Bantam Mixed twice before only to finish second at provincials both times.” Ray Bushfield, his coach, has been with McCrady his entire junior career.

As he leaves juniors his worst memory was his 2013 junior men’s final loss. “It’s just so tough to come so close to the title after all your hard work throughout the year. The 6 hour drive home after didn’t help much either.” Bookend that with his best memory – his men’s provincial win this season.

He is looking forward to playing the men’s circuit. “I’d like to think that I’ll have success with men’s curling, but I know it’s a pretty different place compared to juniors.”

OCA RESULTS: More banners for Ottawa teams – the Dominion Regalia Silver Tankard double rink provincial championship went to two Ottawa curling club rinks comprised of Don Bowser, Jon Beuk, Spencer Cooper and Nick Catizzone and Chris Gardner, Mike McLean, Jeff Guignard and Andrew Hamilton. This win is a second win in two years for both Bowser and Gardner.

WINNER’S CIRCLE: Two Rideau rinks medaled at the ATB Canadian Masters. The Diane Favel rink captured silver while the Layne Noble foursome took bronze. Perth skip Chelsea Ferrier lead her school to a bronze at the Tim Hortons Tim Bits Elementary school championships. Mike Robb, Blake Sinclair, Jeff Tindall and Mark St-John won the OVCA Colts League Tournament of Champions.

OCA TROUBLES: Thanks to Ottawa resident and OCA board member, Joanne Pomalis, some of the mystery that is the OCA was solved Monday evening. Pomalis, in conjunction with the OVCA, called the meeting to explain the OCA/CCA dispute. She said the membership scared the heck out of the OCA by their adverse reaction to the OCA’s non-communication with anyone. OVCA President, Elaine Brimicombe, emphasized that all curlers should contact their zone reps to express their opinions about how the reps should vote at the April 27 special meeting where replacing the OCA board will be voted on.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ottawa curler Willis Hebb wrote to the Sun.

“I heard the comment to the effect that Team Koe was finished. Does the CCA “appoint” the other Team Canada – the one with the Gold Medals or do they do a total re-think, and restore what they have tried to destroy?  (How could they “re-think”, which implies they were capable of “thinking” in the first place.)  The NERVE of these airheads to think that they should kick Nova Scotia, home of the First Brier Winner, to the relegation round!!  Long live NS, even at 1-23-0!” Well the CCA announced yesterday that Pat Simmons, Carter Rycroft and Nolan Thiessen will compete as Team Canada next season. They are looking for a skip.

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Please join the Ottawa Valley Curling Association at the Rideau Curling Club on Monday, April 7 at 6:30 for an information session on the special meeting held by the Ontario Curling Association on March 30 and the upcoming special meeting on April 27. Since the weather in this part of the province was poor on Sunday morning and a number of people were unable to attend some of the background presented at the March 30th meeting will be shared.

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“After you. “No no after you.”

Apparently no one wants to be Team Canada at next year’s Brier.

Team Koe is broken up – well the skip is but his former three remaining players – Simmons, Rycroft and Thiessen- want to take some time off from curling so they are out.

With Johnny Mo taking the next season off his BC rink decides that heck we can’t perform to the vaulted heights we did this past season, so Cotter and the boys have decided to await the return of their leader before strapping on the grippers once more.

Okay so Team  Stoughton should grab the mantle. But no – Jeff turns it down; Mead is playing with Howard, Carruthers is otherwise occupied and Nichols is moving back to the Rock.

So now we have Menard. Well my God he accepts. So Quebec becomes Team Canada. Wait – not so fast. Pauline Marois  wins a majority government, she calls a snap referendum on separation and wins! Team Menard cannot be Team Canada because they are now from a foreign country. Maudit.

Well what now?

Next up is Gushue but his team is so pissed off that Gushue got rid of Gallant so Nichols could re-join the squad that they have quit and all have moved to Nunavut so they can play in the relegation round and sneak into the Brier.

Surely James Gratton from New Brunswick will accept faster than water flows into the reversing falls. Well he turns it down too. He wants to give up the Brier and concentrate on seniors play where he might just win a national title he says. And besides he says “I like the puke  brown colour we get to wear as New Brunswick.” he said.

Surely Saskatchewan wants it. Can Steve Laycock end the province’s 35 year drought? “We were just a Flasch in the pan.” said Laycock. “The pressure will be too great if we are Team Canada. As long as we stay under the radar as Team Saskatchewan we will be okay.” That’s their tried and true strategy that has worked since 1980.

Greg Balsdon – the Brier rookie – most sportsman like player – he would never turn down an offer like this. “I can’t accept. With the demise of Team Howard why we can be the dominant team in Ontario for the next 10 years or until we get sick of playing with a five man rotation.”

Okay we are down to Eddie MacKenzie from PEI. “Yes. I accept. Eat shit CCA. I knew I could get us out of relegation.”

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John Morris announced on social media Wednesday that he is taking next season off. See his Facebook post below.

After a lot of thought and deliberation, I have decided to take a step back from the game of curling next year.
I had the tremendous pleasure of playing with three great, genuine teammates in Jim Cotter, Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky as we made it farther than I think anyone would have predicted for a team playing its first year together. You were all amazing, as were our coach, Pat Ryan, and our alternates Jody Epp and Jason Gunnlaugson. I am extremely proud of our squad for what we accomplished and would like to thank my guys for helping me recover my passion and heart for the game of curling, and for having one of the most memorable years in my career. I will be taking some time off to pursue a holistic nutrition course that I’ve been wanting to take for a few years now, as well as to secure a career in the fire service. If our team happens to be awarded the default Team Canada berth at the Brier next year, then I will consider coming back to play a light schedule.
Thank you to all our true fans, friends, sponsors and to all of our families for being there every inch of the way and showing us the support we needed to almost make the improbable happen!

At least he waited until April 1 was over to announce his intentions. Lost Its Handle posted plenty of great team changes on April 1!

When John was in Ottawa for the Mixed Doubles Curling Trials I asked him if he was taking next season off. He told the Sun that all his options were open. He hadn’t decided. Well now we will have to wait to see what happens with the Team Canada concept. Morris may be forced to curl somewhat next season if his BC rink gets the new Team Canada nod.

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Joe Pavia, Ottawa Sun Curling ColumnistBY 

Assistant coach charged with abuse. Police officer stands guard at meeting.

Do the above refer to the NBA? No it refers to curling.

The assistant coach of the Korean women’s team was accused by his players of verbal abuse and other unproven charges. He quit and four women are gone.  In Ajax, Ontario the OCA board met with about 150 curlers to explain the whole OCA/CCA fiasco. A uniformed Durham Region police officer was there as security. Reports cite a heated meeting that went on for three hours. The rancor resulted in the board dismissing its incoming president who was accused of leaking information.  Nothing seemed to be resolved as the board stood firm despite accusations coming at them from all sides. A second meeting is scheduled for April 27 at the High Park Curling Club in Toronto. One agenda item will deal with dismissing the entire OCA board of directors. Bring lots of cops.

Meanwhile on Sunday at almost the same time as the special meeting at the Annandale curling club was taking place, the Manotick curling club hosted their last youth program of the season. Little rockers, bantams and juniors all shared pizza. Manotick is raising funds for its very successful youth program as well as attempting to retrofit their building.

A special guest made an appearance at the jammed packed meeting. Craig Savill, who was Mister August in the 2014 Men of Curling calendar, recently moved to the small village. Those that posed for the calendar could designate where the proceeds from the sale of the calendars went. Savill chose Manotick’s youth and building program.  People were led to believe that the pro lead would donate $700. There were gasps in the room when the large format check revealed a total donation of $11,220.

DEAF NATIONALS: The National Deaf Curling Trials are starting today at the Granite club. Six men’s and three women’s teams play in a round robin format. The first draw is today at 1. The finals run Saturday morning April 5 at 11. There is an admission charge. The male and female winner will represent the country at the 2015 Deaflympics in Russia.

THE SWEDE SPOT: Alison Kreviazuk’s pending move to Sweden is scheduled for October once the paper work for permanent residency status is completed. She won’t be curling for Sweden as there is a five year residency requirement. Even if that came to pass Kreviazuk maintains she couldn’t curl against Canada in any case.  Her curling may be limited to curling in a recreational mixed league with boyfriend Fredrik Lindberg. She did get some negative feedback from fans when her move was announced. Some fans even questioned her patriotism for moving. Perhaps those people should get lives.

END NOTES: Barb Kelly is looking for a competitive player for her woman’s senior team. Contact Barb at The ATB Financial Masters Curling began Monday in Coaldale, Alberta.  Two Rideau teams are representing Ontario – Diana Favel and Layne Noble. Favel is the defending champion. She threw third stones last year for Joyce Potter.  The bantam and junior mixed provincials begin today in London. Representing this area are Ryan McCrady and Emma Wallingford in juniors and bantam teams skipped by Eric Shantz and Derek Bowden. At the men’s championships in China, the World Curling Federation inducted three players into their Hall of Fame Tuesday. They are Randy Ferbey, Switzerland’s Patrick Huerlimann and Norway’s Eigil Ramsfjell.



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Beginning next season you can substitute freely during the game.

At their annual meeting in Beijing during the Men’s Worlds the WCF passed a couple of new rules.

1. Throwing substitute: At any time during the game you can bring a player in to throw shots. Once the shot is made the thrower leaves the game but can be re-called to throw other stones.

What this means is that say you are in a situation where a left hand throwing, hard hitting shot is required your team can bring in a person who can do that.

2. Substitute sweeper: Much the same as the sub thrower, teams can also bring in a sweeper to spell off a player. This person can only sweep and is not allowed to be the same person as the thrower.


It remains to be seen if the CCA will accept these 2 rule changes.

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With the Durham Regional Police there as security the Special Meeting that was demanded went ahead with plenty, by a accounts, of rants, accusations and the dismissal of the incoming president, Dale Curtis – the person who wanted to make changes.
Meanwhile in Manotick, Ontario at pretty much the same time as the meeting, Craig Savill was making a check presentation to Manotick Curling Club’s youth program and their building fund from the sale of the men of curling calendar. The check was for over $11,000.
Who has their priority right?

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Joe Pavia, Ottawa Sun Curling Columnist


Alison Kreviazuk is moving to Sweden.The Team Homan second announced Tuesday that she is moving to be with her boyfriend, Fredrik Lindberg from Team Sweden.

“I consider myself so incredibly lucky to have played the past 13 years with Emma (Miskew) and Rachel by my side, and four unforgettable years with Lisa (Weagle),” said Kreviazuk.

She will stay with the team for their last event – the Players Championship. Joanne Courtney (the bandana second) from Team Val Sweeting will move to Ottawa from Alberta to replace Kreviazuk next season.

Kreviazuk,  the most approachable member of the Homan rink saw the players at the world championships vote her the Frances Brodie Award for sportsmanship. She was the players who “by deed and action in the course of their performance, best exemplified the traditional curling values of skill, honesty, fair play, friendship and sportsmanship.”

In the 24-year history of that trophy – Brodie was a Scottish curler who was instrumental in starting a women’s championship. She died in 2006 – Kreviazuk is the first Canadian to win it.

So what happened to Team Canada in the final of the world championship? Four words. “Well Al Moore. Welcome.”

That is what Swiss skip Binia Feltscher said to her coach during their first time-out in the gold medal game. It wasn’t that she said it on television. It was how she said it – with a lilt to her voice and a lightness that hid the critical situation they were in.

Contrast that with Team Homan, who were all work and no play. Their solid work ethic got them through the round robin, albeit easier some moments than others, but it deserted them in the final. The Canadians seem to put pressure on themselves, which negated the work ethic. The Swiss were loose and enjoying themselves. Heck, the winning skip was quoted as saying she would have been happy to win silver.

According to TSN, Sunday’s final was the most-watched Women’s World Curling Championship ever. Overall, 3.2 million TV viewers watched some part of the final.

Meanwhile, in Regina on the same day as the gold medal loss for Kreviazuk, sister Lynn Kreviazuk won the Carleton Raven’s first CIS/CCA university championship. They defeated the Alberta Pandas 9-4. Kreviazuk threw second stones. The team was skipped by Jamie Sinclair and included Lauren Horton, Jessica Armstrong, alternate Sarah Armstrong and coach Graham Sinclair. The coach was a substitute for Doug Kreviazuk, who couldn’t get the time off work to either coach the rink at the finals or cheer on his daughter in Saint John.

Earlier in the day, Carleton defeated the Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks in the semi-final. Cheryl Kreviazuk was on the losing team. The Manitoba Bisons won the men’s.


The husband and wife team of Wayne and Kim Tuck from Ilderton captured the gold at the Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials at the Hunt Club on Sunday. Ironically, Team Tuck also won their mixed regions on the same day. They advance to Scotland for the Worlds.


The John Shea Insurance Mixed region winners were: 1A – Chris Gardner, B – Mike McLean. The region winner for the Senior Mixed were: 1A – Paul Madden, B – Terry Corbin.


At OFSAA girl’s curling championships the Brockville team of Sarah Throop, Hailey Robertson, Taylor Pike and Emily Foan were runner-ups in the final. Sudbury took the gold. In the Hogline Curlers Proshop Little Rocks championships on Sunday the RCMP team of Lucas Bourguignon, David Boswell, Brendan Laframboise and Eva MacCarthy took the top spot.


The Men’s Worlds begins March 29 in Beijing, China. If you want to watch the recently destructed Team Koe (Canada) play, the games are on TSN mostly starting at 7 a.m.

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By Joe Pavia



After turning down a meeting with their voting members the OCA is now facing a revolt by its vice president and incoming president. Dale Curtis has exorcized her right to call a special meeting that is allowed for in the bylaws. The meeting place is yet to be determined but is slated for April 27. Despite this move don’t be shocked if current president Ian McGillis (who refuses to even respond to any queries from the Ottawa Sun) finds a way to avoid this meeting. He cited the last special meeting request from voting members as not being in compliance with the Corporations Act.  In the meantime the Convoluted Association has announced that Stephen Chenier from New Liskeard has been selected as the new Executive Director. He takes over in early April giving the current board time to train him on how not to respond to members.

There are at least two groups exploring the formation of new organizations to represent Ontario curlers.

WINNER’S CIRCLE: The Ottawa rink of Kevin, Graham and Ian Rathwell along with third Terry Scharf captured the Ontario Tim Hortons Colts title on Saturday. They lost just one game for 6-1 record.

CITY RESULTS:  The winner of the Alexander Keith’s City of Ottawa Men’s bonspiel was the Rideau rink skipped by Chadd Vandermade who played with Andrew Bugg, Jesse Attfield and Dan Lalonde. They played Greg Richardson in the final in a defensive battle that resulted in a 5-3 win via a steal in the last end. The winners lost their first game before racking up nine wins in a row. They earned $5,600 plus $1200 in executive Golf memberships. Other event winners were: Bytown event – Greg Richardson, Billings event – Chadd Vandermade, Colonel By event – Dennis Elgie, Laurier event – Scott Westwell, Heritage event – Peter Provost, Governor General event – Richard Davis, Pontiac event – Al Solari, Rideau Falls event – Paul Hope,  Mackenzie King event – Paul Weedmark and the Hogs Back event – Marco Sedlar.  In the senior section Layne Noble took the section. Other winners were Capital event – Mike Johansen, Gatineau event – Jean St. Pierre and St. Lawrence event – David Brown. The senators’ bracket winners were Rick Takahara who took the top prize and event victors were Parliament event – Darrell Barnes, Ottawa Valley event –John Mayes and Algonquin event – Rod Matheson.

The Friday evening reception at Tail Gators was a refreshing change with plenty of activities to do.

MIXED MESSAGE: The Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials begins today at 7 at the Hunt Club. There are plenty of notable curlers in town to compete. Kaitlyn Lawes is playing with her nephew Connor while John Morris is teaming up with Heather Smith. Lawes has a 12:40 practice today followed at 4 by Morris. They format is eight ends with only six rocks aside. One of these rocks is pre-positioned on the centre line prior to each end. One player delivers the first and last stones while the second throws second, third and forth. Both can sweep.

END NOTES: The University Curling Championships begin today in Regina. The Carleton Ravens women’s team is competing. The team is skipped by Jamie Sinclair with Lauren Horton, Lynn Kreviazuk, Jessica Armstrong and alternate Sarah Armstrong. The coach is Graham Sinclair who is taking over from Doug Kreviazuk who can’t get time off work to see either daughter (Alison on Team Homan) curl in Saint John or Regina… Craig Savill, the lead for Glenn Howard has told the Sun that it isn’t necessarily true that he won’t be playing for Howard “but I’m not sure what I’m doing next year.”


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The date has been moved up to March 21.

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It looks like someone has deposited a caustic liquid in each organization’s CEO or ED’s cereal.

And we the curlers are caught in the middle.

Instead of getting better the rumour is that the CCA will be publicly responding to the OCA statement that appeared on the Ontario website earlier this month. Fasten your seat belts.

The interesting thing is that the OCA says in their messages that they will answer questions at this spring’s zone meeting. I bet they won’t. They will give answers to questions not asked.

So far the OCA is breaking its own bylaws by not allowing the special meeting requested by over the proscribed 10% of voting members. Association president Ian McGillis issued a terse statement saying that the meeting request did not comply with the Corporations Act. Why they would have bylaws that don’t comply with a provincial statute leaves the organization open to criticism.

I have asked McGillis for an explanation. His answer will be NO COMMENT.

It might be time for Ontario curlers to explore starting their own organization to represent the curlers in this province.

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Joe Pavia, Ottawa Sun Curling Columnist



If you want mixed doubles don’t go to a bar next week. Go to the Hunt Club.
The Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials run March 19 to 23. The 32 team field is studded with Olympic medalists, world and national champions who smell a new Olympic event perhaps as early as the 2018 games in South Korea.
Who will be competing? Kaitlyn Laws, John Morris, Heather Smith, Adam Casey, Scott Howard, Mary- Anne Arsenault – plus a host of other national champions like former junior champ  Charlie Thomas. Ottawa’s Andrea Sinclair is the only local presence.
Each province or territory (except for PEI and Nunavut) sends a rink. The winner of the Canadian Mixed got two entries while the remaining sixteen teams are the result of open invitations based on the order of merit.
Four pools of eight teams each will battle in a round robin with twelve rinks advancing to the playoffs. Unlike most CCA nationals, each team pays a $400 entry fee and must pay for their own travel, accommodations and expenses. There is prize money of $100 per win.
The action begins on the evening of March 19 at 7 with the final slated for Sunday, March 23 at 5. The winner plays in the World Mixed Doubles April 23-30 in Dumfries, Scotland.
RELEGATION PUSH BACK: Although equal opportunity to access CCA championships events began last season not many people cared. Once it struck the Tim Hortons Brier people took notice. There is now a petition started by Connor MacPhee from PEI. So far 750 people have signed it.
OCA RESULTS: The region winners in Bantam mixed were: 1A – Derek Bowden. B – Eric Shantz. In Junior mixed regions those advancing to provincials are: 1A – Ryan McCrady, B - Emma Wallingford. On Women’s Tankard zone winners were: 3A –Caroline Deans, B – Julie Jarvis; 4A – Barb Sopaz, B – Kerry McCue. In men’s Dominion Regalia zone action the winners were: 1A – Don Bowser, B – Alexander Dyer; 2A -  Doug Johnston, B – Greg Richardson; 3A – Bill Adair, B – Paul Weedmark; 4A – Dave Collyer, B – Randy Hutchinson.
SPECIAL MEETING: In response to a demand by over 10% of Ontario Curling Association voting members (as per their bylaws), for a special general meeting, a source close to the OCA told the Sun that President Ian McGillis has polled his board about their meeting availability. Those who want the meeting are expecting answers to the recent OCA/CCA dispute. McGillis said “No comment” to Ottawa Sun questions. The organization’s Executive Director, Doug Bakes, told the Sun he was unaware of the meeting request.  On Tuesday an email was sent to those asking for a meeting. In the email McGillis said “Please be advised that the requisition received is not in compliance with the Corporations Act and cannot be considered by the Board of Directors.  There is now a statement on the OCA website about the situation. The statement does not address what the actual issues were and ends with platitudes.  
WOMEN’S WORLDS:  Team Rachel Homan leaves for the Ford World Women’s tomorrow morning.  Their first match is against Russia on Saturday afternoon at 1:30.
END NOTES: The Syncrude National Grand Slam of Curling begins today in Fort McMurray, AB. The tournament features Canada’s top men’s teams including Team Canada – both the gold medal rink and this year’s Brier winner. Sportsnet will broadcast games beginning Thursday evening at 7…The Alexander Keith’s Men’s City of Ottawa ‘spiel begins today. There are 144 rinks in the open division and twenty teams in each of the Senior and Senator divisions. The Friday night reception will be charity driven with proceeds going to support Prostate Cancer Canada. Team Chris Gardner is defending his title. The aggregate finals are at the RA Sunday at 5.

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Request for Interest: Ottawa Curling Club Ice Technician

The Ottawa Curling Club (OCC) requires the services of an Ice Technician starting the upcoming 2014-2015 curling season with the possibility for a multi-year contract (details to be discussed).

About the Ottawa Curling Club:

The OCC is one of the oldest and most prestigious clubs in the country, boasting everything from a vibrant getting started league to Canadian and world champion curlers and coaches as members.  The membership is engaged and competitive while enjoying one of the friendliest social atmospheres around.

The OCC is a busy, full-service, professionally managed curling facility in the downtown core. This five-sheet club has a one draw morning program followed by a two hour practice period and three evening draws Monday to Friday.  Saturday includes a morning league with two draws followed by a full slate of public rentals into the evening.  Sunday is the busiest day with 6 draws from 9 AM to 9 PM.

Member amenities include a full service kitchen as well as an independently operated pro shop.


The Ice Technician will be contracted to direct the ice making and ice maintenance operations of the club; directly oversee the preventive maintenance program for the physical plant; and consult on related aspects of the ice house/building.

Summary of duties:

  1. Maintain the ice daily for approximately 30 weekly draws plus additional public rentals.
  2. Prepare the ice for all curling events such as league play, bonspiels and special events.
  3. Hire, train, administer and supervise your own ice crew (the OCC can offer names of candidates)
  4. Meet weekly with the Manager and/ or Ice Director.
  5. In conjunction with the Manager, communicate with the membership about ice conditions.
  6. Maintain the Maintenance Log Book for the Machine Room equipment.
  7. Perform preventive maintenance procedures as required.
  8. Maintain on-ice member amenities (including drinking water, tissues, and cleaning brushes).
  9. Ensure catwalks are clean and tidy and ice equipment is stored properly.
  10. Install ice in early September for opening league play usually the last Monday in September.
  11. Install ice markings in consultation with the Ice Director.
  12. Shut down the ice plant and clean rink area after season concludes at the end of April.

Minimum qualifications:

  1. Possess a Level 3 Ice Technician’s certification.
  2. Produce verifiable work record that validates your qualifications.


Ice Technician is responsible to the Board of Directors and reports to the Ice Director. Ice Technician works with the Club Manager to determine ice usage requirements and maintenance schedules.


Written applications must be received on or before 31 March 2014. Your application must include:

  1. Cover letter with your concept of member service and communicating about ice conditions.
  2. Resume detailing your ice making experience including references.
  3. Your contract expectations (price quote not expected at this stage).

Successful applicants will be sent an information package and asked to submit a complete bid. The shortlisted bidders will be interviewed by the Ice Contract Evaluation Committee.

Applications should be sent by email, post, or fax Attn: Peter Glover, Ice Director.

The Ottawa Curling Club

440 O’Connor Street, Ottawa ON K2P 1W4

Telephone: (613) 234-4119 | Fax: (613) 235-2178 |

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Joe Pavia, Ottawa Sun Curling Columnist



Who cares where they live.

John Morris is skipping the B.C. entry at the Tim Hortons Brier, even though he lives in Alberta. Pat Simmons, the Alberta vice, lives and works in Calgary but commutes to his Saskatchewan home in Moose Jaw. At last year’s Brier, Brock Virtue from Alberta skipped his Saskatchewan rink. So what gives?

In June 2013, all 14 member associations of the CCA adopted a national residency policy. That policy makes it clear that one has to reside in the jurisdiction they wish to represent.

However, exemptions are possible in three circumstances. 1. You live within a short distance of a provincial/territorial border. 2. You are based in two locations due to you employment situation. 3. You are a full-time or part-time student and want to represent the area where you attend school.

In the case of Morris, Curl B.C. CEO, Scott Braley, indicated to the Ottawa Sun that the Alberta Curling Association and Curl B.C. granted Morris a one-year exemption to the residency requirements because he is required to be based in two locations due to his current employment situation.

The B.C. skip does the marketing for a hunting and fishing guide company as well as acting as a guide. Braley went on the say “a review of this policy is currently underway at the national level to see how it can be improved.”

Morris’s father, Earle, maintains that if his son hadn’t received permission to curl in B.C., he would have quit curling.

The executive dDirector of Curl Saskatchewan, Amber Holland, also cleared up the Virtue question.

“Brock Virtue provided our association three of the five requirements and those included Saskatchewan driver’s licence, rental lease agreement from his current Saskatchewan residence, and letter from employer confirming employment in Saskatchewan.”

But does any of this really matter at the elite level? If we want Canada to keep winning gold medals and finishing first at the Worlds, it might be time to grant limited exemptions to one player a team for those rinks deemed to be world caliber. They should be able to live wherever they have to for work, family or whatever.

Jennifer Jones lives in Ontario, not Manitoba. Most of her non-curling work is conducted in Montreal. Doe she pack up her 18-month-old and Brent Laing, her partner, and move to Winnipeg? Then where does Laing curl? In Simmons situation he now commutes between two provinces while his family remains in Saskatchewan.

While these individuals are Canada’s elite curlers, it might be best to invent a system where they can concentrate on being the world’s best and not have to jump through hoops to keep curling.

OCA RESULTS: In Tim Hortons Colts and Trophy regional winners were: 1A – Matt Paul and Laura Payne, B – Bryce Rowe and Caroline Deans.

WINNER’S CIRCLE: The team of Sarah Throop, Hailey Robertson, Taylor Pyke and Emily Foan from Brockville defeated Perth high school to capture the eastern Ontario title. They advance to OFSAA girls’ provincial championship beginning March 18 in Brampton. Kayla MacMillan of Huntley with Sarah Daviau, Lindsay Dubue and Marcia Richardson won the silver medal at the Ontario Winter Games in Orillia.

END NOTES: Former Ottawa curler, Kevin Britt, is representing British Columbia in the Canadian Seniors… All are invited to the Team Homan send off to the Worlds tonight at the Ottawa club beginning at 7:30…The much loved Neil Harrison will be buried today in Newmarket, Ontario.


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15questions Ottawa Youth Curling League Junior Curling Connection

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Joe Pavia – Owner/Operator

The Hogline Curlers Proshop is owned and operated by an experienced curler - Joe Pavia.

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.