The Boys of Winter are bringing heat as the Men of Curling Calendar lineup and sales website was announced today.
Fifteen of the world’s top male curling athletes appear in the 2020 Men of Curling Calendar, which is now on sale at menofcurling.com. The high-quality printed wall calendar sells for CDN $34.95 and proceeds will be directed to no less than 12 different charitable causes, each selected by the athletes.
The athletes represent four countries – Canada, United States, Scotland and Japan – and each competitor created his own photo theme and found a volunteer photographer to capture the final image.
“My initial reaction to the call about the calendar was shock and surprise,” said Scotland’s Bruce Mouat, defending European champion skip and the defending world bronze medallist. “This was something completely different for me to try and obviously for a good cause as well.”
Mouat is fundraising for Alzheimer Scotland and his photo theme is a blending of two different sport landscapes.
“The underwater idea came to be because when I started curling at seven years old, I thought that all ice rinks were frozen swimming pools,” said Mouat. “The photography company I used aren’t curlers so it was a strange conversation over the phone, first trying to explain that there is a Men of Curling Calendar and secondly that I wanted to take my kit off to get the ‘True Scotsman’ look.”
The calendar also features colour-coded event listings mapping the full 2019-20 season of curling championships, tour events, development camps and other notable occasions. This makes the product a true curling calendar.
The calendar also features a full team participating – Team Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton – for only the third time. Norway’s Team Thomas Ulsrud posed as a foursome in the 2018 Men of Curling Calendar to raise funds for Right To Play, while the recent 2019 Women of Curling Calendar featured Silvana Tirinzoni’s Swiss team, which raised fund for Rolling Thunder, a Swiss power wheelchair hockey team. Team Tirinzoni are now the defending world women’s curling champions.
“We had to go with a train theme, based on our nickname,” said Bottcher second Brad Thiessen. “Bad weather made us postpone our first shooting date but the next one produced some amazing images.”
Team Bottcher, the two-time Brier finalists who won the last two Grand Slam events of the 2019 season, are raising money for Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta while Thiessen, who also appears in his own month, is directing another share of funds raised to the Myeloma Alberta Support Society.
Shannon Birchard of Winnipeg’s Team Kerri Einarson was Ms. August in the 2019 Women of Curling Calendar, and raised nearly $7,000 for KidSport Manitoba. On a typical gym evening in July, she spotted Connor Njegovan, the lead for Team Jason Gunnlaugson, and quickly realized something was up.
“He had a photographer with him, and it was easy to guess that he was shooting for the next men’s calendar,” laughed Birchard. “He may have been pounding out a few extra reps too. Of course I kept quiet about it, and here we are.”
Korey Dropkin of Duluth, Minnesota in the United States skips his men’s squad on the World Curling Tour and is also an accomplished Mixed Doubles competitor with his teammate Sarah Anderson.
“I was very excited and appreciative for the call to be part of the calendar,” said Dropkin, who has chosen to support Sport Matters. “It’s a great honour, and I am ready to do everything I can to sell calendars and make as large of an impact as I possibly can.”
Dropkin’s photo shoot, which took place in his employer’s residential gardens, was interrupted by some wide-eyed workers.
“During the day of the shoot, we experimented with a couple of different wardrobe changes, one which had me in a Speedo, which I’ve never worn before,” said Dropkin. “As I came out into the front garden, a mail truck and a UPS courier truck were both pulling up the street. Sure enough, the drivers come right to the house to find two guys in the front yard, one with a camera, and another nearly naked, rocking a Speedo. There were some weird looks… and some bad jokes.”
John Epping of Toronto has been tearing up the new 2019-20 curling season, scoring two victories in his first two WCT events with third Ryan Fry, a 2018 Man of Curling, featuring in his new team lineup.
“I was excited and nervous during the photo shoot,” said Epping, who is raising funds for LGBT YouthLine. “I feel fortunate to be part of this opportunity to help a great cause.”
The 2020 Men of Curling Calendar is a joint project of The Community Fundraiser (thecommunityfundraiser.com) and George Karrys, the former publisher of The Curling News (curlinguy.com). The partnership now spans more than a decade and has raised over $500,000 for numerous charitable causes since 2013 alone. The 2020 edition is available now from menofcurling.com.
The full lineup of athletes and their selected causes is:
• Team Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton, AB – raising funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta
• Connor Njegovan of Winnipeg, MB (Team Jason Gunnlaugson) – raising funds for the MS Society of Canada
• Robbie Doherty of Charlottetown, PEI – raising funds for the Canadian Mental Health Association, PEI Division
• Bruce Mouat of Edinburgh, Scotland (Team Mouat) – raising funds for Alzheimer Scotland
• Craig Savill of Ottawa, ON – Charity TBA
• Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi of Karuizawa, Japan (Team Yamaguchi) – raising funds for the Japan Wheelchair Curling Association and Team Green at Misayama Hospital
• Brad Thiessen of Edmonton, AB (Team Bottcher) – raising funds for the Myeloma Alberta Support Society
• Korey Dropkin of Duluth, Minnesota, USA (Team Dropkin) – raising funds for Sports Matter
• Kirk Muyres of Saskatoon, SK (Team Muyres) – raising funds for the Do More Agriculture Foundation
• John Epping of Toronto (Team Epping) – raising funds for LGBT Youth Line
• Geoff Walker of St. John’s, NL and Edmonton, AB (Team Brad Gushue) – raising funds for the Sandra Schmirler Foundation
High-resolution images of the 2020 Men of Curling Calendar cover and project logo are available to media upon request; visit The Community Fundraiser contact page to make your enquiry.