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Calgary curling casting call

Remember this TV ad? Of course you do. Looks like it would be fun to film, right?
Well, today we can announce a new Calgary curling casting call. For Jennifer Jones… and for you!

Crowsnest Films of Calgary is shooting a series of short films for Bravo Television in advance of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Curlers are wanted, and needed, for a TV shoot taking place this coming Saturday, October 3, just a few kilometres outside of Calgary.

Interested people have to be prepared for a possible 8-10 hour day where they can watch the entire process, get fed, support Jennifer and be on camera as an essential part of the story!

They are looking for the following:

• 8 men (under 60, over 18)
• 8 women (under 60, over 18)
• 4 senior men (over 60)
• 4 senior women (over 60)

Vintage curling sweaters, plaid coats, team jackets circa 1950s thru 1970s would be appreciated. Old corn brooms would be a welcome accessory as would patches, pins or serious tams!

Interested parties can contact Jessica at 403-966-1027 and via email at jcopple@gmail.com. Please indicate which category you would fit into and you will be contacted as to where and when you will be needed!

So what are you waiting for?

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Howard in Toronto

Here’s Glenn Howard showing his stuff at Toronto’s Leaside Curling Club last night.
Howard and teammates Richard Hart and Brent Laing visited Leaside and then the Cricket club to promote next month’s Grey Power World Cup of Curling at Mississauga’s Hershey Centre, located just west of the Toronto airport.

At each club the lads met with members, signed autographs and participated in an interactive on-ice clinic.

Team Howard begins the World Cup with a Wednesday night (Oct. 21) matchup against Germany’s Andy Kapp, in a repeat of the 2007 Ford World Men’s Championship final.

Also in action on that opening draw is Kevin Martin, who faces Sweden’s Olympic hopeful Niklas Edin; 2006 Olympic gold medallist Brad Gushue, who takes on 2006 Olympic bronze medallist John Shuster of the United States; Four-time world champ Randy Ferbey, who battles the Chinese men’s Olympic team; and Edmonton’s Kevin Koe, who takes on Thomas Dufour of France.

Tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster or the Hershey Centre box office.

Toronto media seem to awakening, briefly, from their NHL hockey pre-season slumber. Both the Globe and Mail and Toronto Sun published advance stories about the World Cup today.

[LATEST: and another Howard-oriented piece from the Globe’s James Christie was released tonight]

The Howards are jetting to the left coast tonight, for the start of Thursday’s World Curling Tour stop in Vernon, B.C. Four of the Olympic women’s teams confirmed for Vancouver are also competing in the women’s division.

[The Curling News photo by Anil Mungal]

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Season of Champions TV

It’s no surprise that the Canadian Curling Association has made another leap into the digital world.
Season of Champions TV was announced today and premiers live, online, on Wednesday, October 7 at 7:00 pm MT/9:00 pm ET.

It’s the latest innovation by the CCA to use Internet technology to bring the curling community closer to its championship events and the competitors. The strategy includes the on-going development of the curling.ca website, which underwent a dramatic facelift in July 2008, the seasonofchampions.ca website, with comprehensive information on all of the Season of Champions events, plus live scoring from each championship or event utilizing the CCA’s CurlCast program.

It all starts October 7 with a two-hour live webcast from Edmonton – home to December’s Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, aka the Olympic Curling Trials.

Edmonton media personalities Jim Jerome (a famous Patch host) and Jackie-Rae Greening (she of many Edmonton host committees) will host seven of the eight skips who have qualified for the Roar: namely Kevin Martin, Kevin Koe, Randy Ferbey, Jennifer Jones, Shannon Kleibrink, Cheryl Bernard and Stefanie Lawton.

Ontario’s Glenn Howard is unavailable due to work commitments.

The athletes will appear in a live forum, when curling fans will have the opportunity to submit questions online, by simply by logging on to the Season of Champions website. CCA is strongly recommended that fans pre-register their questions.

“The Canadian Curling Association continues to want to reach out to our fans and showcase our events the best way possible,” explained Greg Stremlaw, CEO of the Canadian Curling Association.

“We have made it a priority to not only embrace information technology as a very important tool within our business, but also to use it to help bring curling enthusiasts closer to the best curling events and athletes in Canada.”

Another innovation for the 2009-10 season will be the introduction of AtThePatch.ca, a website dedicated to capturing all the fun and excitement of the infamous Keith’s Patch. This site, which will launch in early November, will feature entertainment information, Up Close and Personal interview sessions and everything else that makes Keith’s Patch the legendary party central for Season of Champions events.

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Holland takes Schmirler; Oslo measure

Barely five months after being named Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Curing Association, Regina’s Amber Holland scored a big on-ice win at the Sandra Schmirler Charity Classic.
Holland beat out 2007 world champion Kelly Scott of Kelowna 6-3 in the finale, claiming she kept things “simple” during an 8-0 undefeated run.

As for the pic above… what’s that all about?

Sunday we told you of Oskar Eriksson’s upset victory at the Oslo Cup, and predicted a team blog update on Monday. Team Eriksson did not disappoint, and posted a huge dissertation of their playoff run along with a headline we suggested – perhaps they read The Curling News Blog?

The screen capture shows the very end of the game: a thrilling, last-stone measurement for the championship win. It could have gone either way, but hometown hero Thomas Ulsrud got another silver and the young guns came away with the big prize.

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Canada’s wheelchair curling team

Say hello to Bruno Yizek, the newest member of Team Canada.

That’s the Paralympic Team Canada, by the way. Alberta’s Yizek was named yesterday as the alternate on the wheelchair curling squad that will defend its Paralympic gold medal at Vancouver 2010 in March.

Canada’s main lineup is the same one which also captured its first world championship earlier this year at the Vancouver Paralympic Centre: skip Jim Armstrong, third Darryl Neighbour and the all-female front end of Ina Forrest and Sonja Gaudet.

Yizek beat out 2009 worlds alternate Chris Sobkowicz and former national team skip Gerry Austgarden for the spot.

For more on the latest curler to wear the Maple Leaf, click here.

[Ian Readey photo from Eric Eales’ Wheelchair Curling Blog]

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Jones, Gushue rolling early

This busy weekend of curling continues with Monday’s finals of the Sandra Schmirler Charity Classic in Regina.
Among the quarterfinalists are Calgary’s Heather Rankin (photo above) who takes on 2007 world champion Kelly Scott on Monday morning.

Our friend Pal Trulsen kept his time warp going all the way to the semifinals in Oslo, where he finally lost to heir apparent Thomas Ulsrud. In the final, Sweden’s youthful Oskar Eriksson – second and fourth at the last two world junior championships – upset Ulsrud for the men’s victory.

We’re expecting the Swedes to update their team blog sometime on Monday… probably with a headline like Vi vann! or perhaps Helige Gud! Vi slog dem alla!

The women’s crown went to Canada’s Jennifer Jones, who took out a variety of strong teams including defending Olympic champion Anette Norberg in the final. Both Oslo Cup finales ended in 5-4 scorelines.

Elsewhere in Canada, the big story is that Brad Gushue won his third tournament in a row, beating Ian Fitzner-Leblanc in the final of the Appleton Cashspiel in Halifax. The Gushues took out Canada’s 2009 world junior rep Brett Gallant in one semi, while Fitzner-Leblanc defeated 2004 Brier champ Mark Dacey in the other.

KW Fall Classic in Kitchener saw Toronto’s Julie Hastings defeat Stoney Creek’s Karen Bell 4-2 while Bradford’s Dale Matchett beat Jake Higgs of Harriston 8-7 to win the men’s crown.

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Time Warp Trulsen

It’s the early part of this weekend’s Tour action, but indications are that week three could prove to be quite… eventful.
First, France’s Thomas Dufour beats defending world champion David Murdoch and is now 3-0 in his pool at the Oslo Cup.

Second, the U.S. Olympic women’s team loses to 10-0 to Sherry Middaugh in opening draw action at the Sandra Schmirler Charity Curling Classic in Regina. In two ends. Take three, steal seven.

Finally, Norway’s Pal Trulsen (with Rocky Horror friends above) has reunited his now-retired 2002 Olympic champion squad for the Oslo Cup… and they are also undefeated at 3-0.

Wow. Talk about a Time Warp!

[Photoshop by Anil Mungal. Apologies from TCN.]

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Dawson Creek gets Players’ Championship

Dawson Creek in British Columbia has been awarded the hosting rights to the 2010 Grey Power Players’ Championship.
The season’s final Capital One Grand Slam of Curling event is scheduled for the EnCana Events Centre in Dawson Creek from April 13-18.

The Capital One Grand Slam of Curling, the World Curling Tour and iSport Media and Management also announced that Grande Prairie, Alberta has secured the hosting rights to the 2011 championship.

After hosting the six-day event in 2009, which attracted 40,125 spectators and featured championship wins by Edmonton’s Randy Ferbey and Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones, the 2011 Grey Power Players’ Championship will return to the Crystal Centre in Grande Prairie on April 12-17.

Dawson Creek and Grande Prairie are just 133 kilometres apart.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing the 2010 Grey Power Players’ Championship to Dawson Creek as well as returning the event to Grande Prairie in 2011,” said Wendy Kane, Executive Director of the Capital One Grand Slam of Curling.

“Last year’s tournament in Grande Prairie was a great success and we’re looking forward to putting on an even bigger show in the next two years.”

The 2010 Grey Power Players’ Championship will feature a separate men’s and women’s draw consisting of the world’s top 13 ranked teams from the 2009-10 season as well as curling’s gold, silver and bronze medallists from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

“We’re elated that Dawson Creek was selected to host a premier international sporting event such as the Grey Power Players’ Championship,” said Dawson Creek Mayor Mike Bernier. “This is another great opportunity for Dawson Creek to showcase our great city to the rest of Canada. This world class event will have significant positive social and economic impacts to the community and is a real win-win for Dawson Creek.”

Ticket packages for the 2010 Grey Power Players’ Championship are scheduled to go on sale on November 6.

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Canadians go Curlingkanalen

by Teri Lake

OSLO, Norway – Move over Vic, Linda and Ray… Jill and Teri are in the house!

The Curling News columnist-turned-blogger (that’s me) and team have arrived in Oslo, Norway for the Radisson SAS Oslo Cup. We came all the way from Halifax to compete but this morning, skip Jill Mouzar and I got… suckered.

Perhaps it was rookie initiation – we’re Oslo Cup virgins – but we ended up in the commentator’s booth after this morning’s practice (see photo above) to kick off the Curlingkanalen internet coverage of said event. After exchanging looks that resonated a bit of WTF? we jumped into it and, a few coffees later, we couldn’t stop talking.

Alone in the booth, we talked strategy, sweeping and time clocks like old pros (and threw in a few giggles) while France’s Thomas Dufour and Switzerland’s Stefan Heilmann hammered it out. Dufour captured the win (10-4) and we captured the hearts of listeners (well, three of them anyway).

It was quite early in the morning, especially back home in Canada, but we know the camera guy and two techies liked us so much that they’ve asked us back, for as many times as we can swing it. I’m not sure when that will be but, stay tuned. Like the divas we are, we said we’d only come back if provided with telestrating capabilities… or chocolate… we really are easily bought!

I like to stick to the written word in expressing myself but Jill is no stranger to broadcasting. In fact, she’s a pro and I’m simply riding her coat-tails. Jill was a recent competitor in The Score’s Drafted reality show that is looking for Canada’s next sportscaster. You can see Jill, and her boyfriend Paul Brothers, on the website above; check out the Halifax auditions (specifically the 2:15 minute mark of Halifax Auditions Part 2) and follow the show for yourself… this broadcasting power couple kicked serious butt!

We’re on the ice soon against Russia’s Yulia Svetova, with other pool matches upcoming versus Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott, the Czech Republic’s Linda Klimova and Scotland’s Gillian Howard. Follow us!

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RIP Sandra Mulroney

Sandra Mulroney will be remembered today in her home town of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and also at the first big women’s Tour event of the season – this weekend’s Sandra Schmirler Charity Classic in Regina.
Mulroney, who passed away Sunday after a two-year battle with cancer, was the spunky second for Saskatoon’s Sherry Anderson from the late 1990s through the early part of this decade.

That particular Anderson lineup proved to be one of the strongest in women’s curling. The squad ran rampant on the World Curling Tour with big-money paydays – including a victory at the JVC/TSN Women’s Skins Game – and came oh-so-close to wearing the Maple Leaf on two occasions, both of which occurred during the Olympic season of 2001-02.

That year, Team Anderson lost the final of both the 2001 Olympic Trials (to Kelley Law, who won bronze in Salt Lake City) and then the 2002 Scotties Tournament of Hearts (to Colleen Jones).

The photo above shows skip Anderson at left, followed by third Kim Hodson, Mulroney and lead Donna Gignac.

For more on Mulroney’s memory, see this Sault story and also this one from Saskatchewan.