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2011 Women of Curling

Yes, it’s true. She said she’d never, ever do it.

But she did.

Vancouver Olympic silver medallist and curling heroine Cheryl Bernard is one of 13 female athlete models unveiled today in the new 2011 Women of Curling Calendar, an all-Canadian product now on sale for charity.

The glossy wall calendar features Calgary’s Bernard, Winnipeg’s four-time and defending Canadian champion Jill Officer (left, from Team Jennifer Jones) and even the legendary Colleen Jones, the five-time national women’s champion from Halifax, who has returned to competition this fall after a brief hiatus from the sport.

The 2011 Women of Curling Calendar, which features curling ladies from coast to coast, also includes national-level athletes, former junior champions and even a novice recently attracted to the sport following the excitement of Vancouver 2010.

“I know I said definitely not, no posing in a calendar,” laughed Bernard. “I think I said never, actually. But this one is not so much risqué, at least not in my case. At least I don’t think so!

“My image promotes fitness and health for all women. That’s what I want to project and that’s what this project offered.”

The first “Fire On Ice” women’s curling calendar debuted in the fall of 2005 and was an international media and pop culture sensation right through the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy.

That calendar, and more recent efforts, have all featured a majority of European curing stars. The 2011 edition, produced by The Curling News and aimed as a charitable fundraising project, features an all-Canadian cast of strong, confident and beautiful female athletes.

“These girls designed their own photo shoots, found their own photographers, and everyone contributed to it for charity,” said George Karrys, publisher of The Curling News.

“Some of these ladies went all out in terms of the creative concept, and things like wardrobe, makeup, you name it. The commitment they made is unbelievable.”

The calendar costs $29.95 each and is available online at womenofcurlingcalendar.com. It is also available through thecurlingnews.com and will also be available through other curling websites, such as teamjenniferjones.com.

Curling clubs, in addition to the athlete models, can access product at a discounted rate, which also makes the calendar a fundraiser for their local communities.

“We’ll be promoting this wherever we go in the curling world,” said Kari MacLean. who is one of two members of Team Krista McCarville – the Ontario champions and third-place finishers at the 2009 Olympic Trials – to appear in the calendar.

“Maybe Ashley (Miharija) and I will have a team contest,” said MacLean. “Who can sell more, the blonde or the brunette?”

Proceeds will go to Shoot For A Cure Curling, the sport-focussed fundraising and awareness campaign of the Canadian and American Spinal Research Organizations (CSRO/ASRO).

Shoot For A Cure, which is also supported by the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) is committed to finding a cure for spinal paralysis. The campaign also strives to increase awareness of the Paralympic sport of Wheelchair Curling.

The Curling News is the global media authority on the sport of curling. Founded in Canada in 1957, The Curling News publishes six issues during the annual curling season and also leverages itself via multiple online platforms including Facebook and Twitter.

The 2011 Women of Curling are:

December 2010: Colleen Jones, Nova Scotia
January 2011: Ashley Miharija, Ontario
February: Cheryl Bernard, Alberta
March: Chelsea Carey, Manitoba
April: Jill Officer, Manitoba
May: Kari MacLean, Ontario
June: Sarah Wark, British Columbia
July: Andrea Leganchuk, Ontario
August: Trica Affleck, Prince Edward Island
October: Kristy Jenion, Manitoba
November: Teri Lake, Nova Scotia
December: Darah Provencal, British Columbia

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Men With Brooms tonight

One of these things – er, people – is not like the others...

There is lots of press oot and aboot these days concerning the new Canadian TV sitcom Men With Brooms, airing tonight (CBC, 8:30pm ET).

Some notable text come from the Winnipeg Free Press (where all but the pilot was shot), the Toronto Star, the newly redesigned Globe and Mail and an amusing, pleading blogpost entitled An Open Letter to the Creators of CBC’s Men With Brooms.

The Canadian Press also features this zinger of a quote with regard to alternate takes:

There was a little bit of streaking through the curling rink (and) the punching and the kicking and the biting and the nakedness.

Well. That certainly sounds like comedy. And for some readers who have been around The Roaring Game for a while, it kinda sounds like curling, doesn’t it?

(Hey, we did say some readers.)

The show website is now live, and features cast bios, six videos and a puzzle game. There is also the requisite Facebook fan page.

Because The Curling News was the only media organization to visit the set during filming of the pilot, way back in December in Ontario, it behooves us to publish a major feature – including behind-the-scenes content – in our upcoming November issue, which goes to press in a couple of weeks. Make sure your subscription is paid up, as you don’t want to miss it.

For now, here’s a couple of recent cast quotes, exclusive to The Curling News. Just to tide you over until the first issue…

“I hope that we do justice to this sacred sport,” intoned Siobhan Murphy, who plays April, the new girl in town. “Although we may not always have most professional-looking throws and moves, we invite people to laugh at our folly.”

“Be patient with us, said Joel Keller, who portrays Bill, the club manager. “It is a curling show but it’s not just about curling. I think people will enjoy some of the curling humour, but you’ll enjoy the comedy off the ice… people will relate to the beer afterward.”

Serendipity Point Films photo by Allen Fraser