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Threepeat Curling in Vegas

Follow #SamInVegas this week, starting Thursday

By Sam Corea

In 2013, I began seeing TV ads showing scenes of curling action cut with the bright lights of Sin City and an announcer asking the question “Curling in Vegas?”  Well, here we are four years later with the third edition of the Continental Cup of Curling in Las Vegas.  And here I go again to take in the Vegas curling experience for the third time, and for your benefit, dear reader.

It seems Las Vegas has become a permanent stop on the international curling event calendar. And it’s Canadian travellers who are supporting curling in Vegas, despite the lower value of the loonie, as they look for any reason to escape the winter cold to enjoy some desert sun and curling.  I am one of those Canadians this year, as the usually mild West Coast winter weather has been anything but balmy with sub-zero temperatures and half a dozen snowfalls in Vancouver since December. So, sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-teens, coupled with watching Team North America battle with Team World will help chase away the January blues.

In 2014, the teams were scouting each other in Vegas as that edition of the Continental Cup was held just weeks before the Sochi Olympic Winter Games. Last year’s edition, in my view, suggested that the teams were more focused on friendly competition and fun.

This year, with the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games just 13 months away, organizers tell us the event is a chance for curling fans to get an advance look at many of the teams who will be chasing gold in South Korea (and we’ll have lots to say about that in future editions of The Curling News).

Of course, we’ve got some curlers who’ve been to many Continental Cups and the last two editions in Vegas. But there are many first-timers this year, so I’ll be looking to get their impressions of curling in the desert (along with Elvis and Marylin Monroe impersonators escorting them onto the ice) for my social media posts this week and weekend, which you can follow on two platforms: The Curling News Twitter feed and also on The Curling News Facebook page.

During last year’s Cup in Vegas, the former director of marketing for Tourism Nevada told me that Canadians love Nevada and they love curling, so hosting these events in the land of casinos, big buffets and showgirls is a natural fit. And the slogan adopted by those involved – Las Vegas Rocks – just seems to roll off the tip of the tongue.

Attendance for the 2016 Continental Cup topped 62,000 – the most people to ever watch a curling event in the United States.  Officials are gambling that the success of the 2014, 2016 and 2017 Cup events will result in even more bums in the seats in the spring of 2018, when the Orleans Arena hosts the Men’s World Curling Championship – soon after the PyeongChang Olympic Games.

I don’t think the novelty of being in an arena in Vegas filled with curling fans has worn off yet. In fact, as I tell folks I’m heading to Vegas for a curling competition, some still raise an eyebrow, but admit that it seems like something fun to do in January.

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12 athletes featured in new 2017 Women of Curling Calendar

womenofcurling_coverhighrez

Three years after a men’s curling calendar broke recent sales records, the Women of Curling are back with a new, high-quality 2017 wall calendar featuring 12 athlete models from four countries.

Each athlete’s photography was designed and shot according to her specifications, in conjunction with a volunteer photographer from her community. In addition, each athlete will be selling units to raise funds for a charity or cause she has personally selected.

“I didn’t hesitate to join this project, not for a second,” said Scotland’s Eve Muirhead, whose 2014 Olympic bronze medal-winning squad captured the top prize at the Curling Champions Tour event in Basel, Switzerland on Sunday. “This is all about strong women, dedicated to training, competition and accomplishment in today’s world. And it’s also about fundraising for causes that are near and dear to each of us.”

Muirhead, who has won every medal colour at the World and European Championships, is raising money for Mindspace, a mental health counselling and recovery centre in Perth, Scotland.

The calendars are on sale now at womenofcurling.com for CDN $29.95 (U.S. $34.95).

Free shipping is also available to curling facilities that wish to sell product to their members.

Muirhead threw down the gauntlet to the men’s calendar athletes, and to her fellow 2017 athlete models.

“I understand the men’s calendar in 2014 sold extremely well,” said Muirhead. “Congratulations to them, but now it’s our turn. I think the ladies will have the last word on sales figures, because we’re going to bring it.”

2014 Olympic champion Dawn McEwen watched her husband, Mike McEwen, appear on the cover of the men’s calendar. Now, the lead for Winnipeg’s legendary Team Jennifer Jones has made her own appearance, and looks forward to a friendly rivalry within her home.

“I might have an advantage because I can draw sales from the city I grew up in,” laughed the Ottawa-born Olympic and world champion, whose team finished second at a World Curling Tour event in Calgary on Monday night. “We’ll see how it goes. I look forward to my husband pushing for sales as he’s competing on tour as well.”

The 2017 Women of Curling are:

Emma Miskew – Team Rachel Homan – Ottawa, Canada – raising funds for the Sandra Schmirler Foundation

Taylor McDonald – Team Kelsey Rocque – Edmonton, Canada – raising funds for the Mental Health Foundation

Sofia Mabergs – Team Anna Hasselborg – Härnösand, Sweden – raising funds for the Swedish Curling Academy

Eve Muirhead – Team Muirhead – Stirling, Scotland – raising funds for Mindspace

Dawn McEwen – Team Jennifer Jones – Winnipeg, Canada – raising funds for Manitoba UNDERDOGS Rescue

Rachel Brown – Team Val Sweeting – Edmonton, Canada – raising funds for Boarding for Brant

Daniela Jentsch – Team Jentsch – Füssen, Germany – raising funds for Right To Play

Jocelyn Peterman – Team Chelsea Carey – Calgary, Canada – raising funds for the Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation

Anna Sidorova – Team Sidorova – Moscow, Russia – raising funds for the Konstantin Khabensky Charitable Foundation

Jamie Sinclair – Team Sinclair – Minnesota, USA – raising funds for youth development at the Charlotte Curling Association

Joanne Courtney – Team Rachel Homan – Ottawa/Edmonton, Canada – raising funds for the Kidney Foundation

Chelsea Carey – Team Carey – Calgary/Winnipeg, Canada – raising funds for KidSport Calgary and Vic’s Little VIPs Memorial Fund

The 2017 Women of Curling Calendar is a co-production of The Community Fundraiser and The Curling News. Additional fundraising revenues will be directed to the Curling Canada Foundation.

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Harder leaves SWISSCURLING, ready for new challenges

Armin Harder (left) with National Coach Al Moore and the WWCC Trophy
Armin Harder (left) with National Coach Al Moore and the WWCC Trophy

Armin Harder, the High Performance Director of the Swiss Curling Association, has announced his resignation after eight years of successful involvement with the national association.

“I have enjoyed serving the interests of SWISSCURLING and I know I am leaving with the organization in excellent shape,” said Harder. “The future of Swiss curling is as bright as the present.”

Harder served a total of eight years with SWISSCURLING; two years as a delegate, and six years as Sports Department Chief which included four years as a delegate to the World Curling Federation.

He first made waves by fighting for an open and fair (but challenging) qualification system, thus averting the plan of SWISSCURLING’s then-leaders to embrace a new selection system for the national teams. As the architect of the current system, he completely changed the elite program and introduced a major overhaul of the junior program, which required the hiring of new personnel and budget streamlining to divert more funds to development, coaching and athletes.

The results have been spectacular, as Harder leaves as the most successful High Performance leader in Switzerland’s curling history. Since 2010, a total of 25 medals have been won by SWISSCURLING teams: 14 gold, three silver and eight bronze. Furthermore, gold medals have been won across varied disciplines: Youth Olympic Games, Women’s Worlds, World Mixed Doubles, World Mixed, European Men’s and Women’s, and World Junior Men.

Currently, Swiss Women are ranked No. 1 in the world, only the second time time a country other than Canada has held this position (World Curling Rankings, WCF).

“Armin had a clear vision when he started and six years later we are definitely on a very good path,” said Andreas Schwaller, Head Coach for SWISSCURLING and a 2002 Olympic bronze medallist. “With our system we gave athletes transparency and encouraged them to tour, so they gained experience and became stronger. When Mirjam Ott won the worlds in 2012 and Sven Michel won the 2013 Euros, it was a big message to all Swiss teams, and it made them believe.

“It’s hard to prove, but SCA would never have reached the latest successes without Armin. He will be missed and I wish him nothing but the best.”

“I want to thank the staff at SWISSCURLING for a great eight years,” said Armin Harder. “Also particular thanks to Andi Schwaller, Al Moore and Marco Battilana, as well as my EC members in particular SCA President Louis Moser, whose leadership made all the positive changes even possible. Finally, great thanks to all the athletes, coaches and support staff I have worked with and represented so proudly over the years.”

Harder plans to consider new challenges, but expects to continue his key role with the Curling Champions Tour, which recently announced new championship events taking place in Korea and China.

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Stephen Colbert capitulates, covers broomgate

I'm with Gerry Geurts here!
I’m with Gerry Geurts here!

We at The Curling News are casual fans of Stephen Colbert‘s new late-night U.S. TV talk show. The veteran host recently took over from David Letterman and is finally portraying himself, and it turns out he is, in fact, oddly warped… something we first suspected from his previous right-wing political persona.

So when Colbert broke down and accepted his writing room’s determination to do something on the never-ending saga of #broomgate #brushgate #broomhaha #brushapalooza #doomandbroom misery – no doubt this past week’s New York Times feature was the last straw – we were optimistic that Colbert and his talented team would deliver.

The verdict? Meh.

In our opinion, the stampede to cliché humour was simply too much… typical, in fact, of U.S. attempts dating back to the late 1990s and early 2000s. That’s right, Stephen, your troops brought old-school corn husks to this here modern comedic battlefield.

We did appreciate the effort, however. And we rather enjoyed, in no particular order:

• The rip on everyone, including Canadian media

• Fish Soccer

• The wireless-controlled curling stone (and backstage hand)

• The shoutout to Gerry Geurts (correct spelling). Stephen is with you, Gerry…

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2015 Worlds: Did Ping-Pong rocks squish Canada?

A three-timage sequence showing the attempted "Squish"
A three-image sequence on the attempted “Squish”

[Click on image sequence to increase viewing size]

Exciting stuff at the world men’s championship in Halifax.

USA, skipped by John Shuster, scored their first winning record (6-5) since Pete Fenson went 8-3 back at Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy, in 2010, but lost in a playoff tiebreaker to colourful Finland. Then, Norway beat Canada for the second time this week, pushing The Pants into Sunday’s final for the second year in a row and dropping Canada down to tonight’s semifinal, where they will lock horns with the winner of Finland versus Sweden.

Earlier this week, guest blogstar Dean Gemmell was in Halifax… and he mentioned something called The Squish.

Here’s another reference to The Squish, and it comes from last night’s NOR vs CAN page playoff tilt. In the 10th end, CAN skip Pat Simmons tried a tricky hit for two that involved “squishing” the first of two red stones in the combo at left (see image sequence) into the back of the rings, for two points and the win. A single point would score only the tie.

As we all know, the shooter stuck for the tying point but that elusive second red point squished through the back of the house and out of play. It wasn’t even close, actually, and Norway went on to score their winning point in the extra end.

Would that elusive “squished” stone have stuck around in the back if Simmons had struck the first stone off centre, and rolled his shooter across (but not out) of the rings?

Here’s another question: Are the rocks these athletes are throwing and sweeping any different than stones from the past – even the near past – and would those old-school curling stones have reacted differently, as per the wishes of Team Canada?

Ask around, and you might find some past legends of the game who might say something between “maybe” and “definitely.”

We recall a lengthy, three-part interview series we published with the legendary Ed Werenich back in 2009 (Feb/Mar/April issues, Vol. 52, Issues 4/5/6). Eddie was lamenting recent differences in curling stone quality, pointing to what he believed are unnatural stone tendencies these days, which includes takeout results… and said The Wrench:

I would like to see them get rid of the magic mushroom rocks that go down the sheet and break four feet from the hogline in. It takes a person that can read ice and then call ice… it takes that stuff right out of the game. It’s just too easy, with the sweeping instruments of today, to flop one around.

We gotta get rid of the inserts and the sandpaper to get back to the way where the rocks curled on a consistent basis all the way down. Because of the rocks it’s too easy to make double, triple peels. The rocks are like ping-pong balls. I see five or six rocks in motion from throwing just one shot. We always used to talk about the quality of the granite.

So there you go. Did these “magic mushroom” or “ping-pong ball” curling stones befuddle Team Canada’s attempt to win the 1 vs 2 playoff game?

[Image sequence from WCTV coverage – click here to watch the video highlight at the 2:05 mark]

 

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2015 Worlds: Nordic efficiency

Niklas Edin: On a roll
Niklas Edin: On a roll

By Dean Gemmell

HALIFAX – So it was a Canada-free afternoon draw in Halifax. At least on the ice. Considering the fact that Canada had a bye, there was a reasonable crowd. Lots of students of the game in the seats watching the Finns, Czechs, Scots et al. Watching a bit silently, I’m afraid, but intently.

I think the number of teams that record games on video is fewer than those who don’t. I’m not saying this to be pro or con. But I wonder about all those hours of video. Do they end up like so many family camcorder videos, buried on hard drives and left unwatched? It seems to me that it might be helpful if you were simply clicking record at key moments to review later. But even the fastest fast-forward might not be enough to get teams through to the key points of a game they already played. I don’t see the Curling Canada stuff running a camera. Nor Canada’s Bob Ursel, the coach of the Russian men. The the Swiss and the Scots aren’t videographers either (that’s not a particularly scientific survey but it’s what I saw from the bench this game).
[Actually, Scotland always records their matches; one must sometimes look way high up in the rafters to find them! –Ed.]
Sweden and Niklas Edin seem to be getting into a groove and dispatched Japan with Nordic efficiency. I caught up with Edin, his Swedish teammates and coach Freddy Lindberg — alarming when coaches are decades younger than me — for a bit in the Patch last night. Shouting over the band, they told me they were pleased with how things are coming together in their first year together. Reasonable assessment, I would say.
I feel like the whole tournament was on the line for the young Swiss team in their match against Scotland. The Scots and Ewen MacDonald had a couple of chances to win the game in regulation, including a draw to the side of the lid on his last in 10, but couldn’t close the deal until Pfister missed his draw for the win in the extra. Winning would have kept them believing they can get into the playoffs and make some noise. Losing means they’ll probably still be thinking they can — but maybe not really believing it. That’s the head space in curling.
After a fast start, Joel Retornaz of Italy has pulled a Simmons/Morris and left the rings. Amos Mosaner called the game and threw last rocks, after the team started the event Ferbey Four-style. Mosaner skipped as a junior so it’s not a big adjustment. Retornaz threw second and held the stick on skip rocks in their win over the Czech Republic.
Speaking of the Czechs, I’m sensing they’ve hit a plateau. A game away from the Olympics in Füssen and I expected more improvement after playing them in Basel in 2012. They seem stuck at the moment.
I could tell you about Russia-Finland but I have to admit I largely ignored it. Nothing against them. Just the far sheet and I don’t have enough focus to watch every game. I’ll just mention, again, that there’s a lot of hair on that Finnish team.
[Curling Canada/WCF photo by Michael Burns – click on image to increase viewing size]
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2015 Worlds: Sort of quiet

Pants 1, Canada 0
Pants (and socks and caps) 1, Canada 0… so far

By Dean Gemmell

HALIFAX – Not exactly the best night for the home crowd with Canada ceding an early four-ender to a Norwegian team that was dressed like John Daly crossed with Pippi Longstocking by way of St. Andrews. Something like that anyway.

U.S. skip John Shuster had a relatively straightforward quiet hit for two in the fourth and played a double for three. Made it. Ergo, great call. After this morning’s loss, there might have been a bit of anger in that shot. Or a belief that an opportunity needed to be taken. Or it was way simpler than that and he just figured it was an easy shot for three.
Niklas Edin’s Swedish side delivered a reality check to the young Swiss team — up front 8-1 at the break and handshakes after the mandatory six ends. The only concern for the Swedes once they got out in front was making sure one of them didn’t suffer a broken foot due to a Christian Lindstroem peel. A serious chucker, that kid.
I was thinking Joel Retornaz looks a lot older than when we saw in him play for Italy at the 2006 Olympics. Then I realized that was nine years ago — it would be weird if he didn’t.
Remember how shocked everyone was when Italy started out 2-0 this week? Here’s what The Editor blogged about Italy’s stunning win over Canada back at those Torino Olympics… and what was said when Retornaz fled Italy for Switzerland a few months later… and what Rodger Schmidt wrote about him more recently from the Cortina worlds of 2010.
I saw women walking with beers that had not only lids, but straws. Maritime practicality.
Spoke to ice technician Jamie Bourassa between yesterday’s draws. He was hopeful that the soft, fudgy ice that developed Monday last night wouldn’t occur; he turned the lights off between draws and has only people with low overall body temperature working on the ice surface. At least that’s what I heard after the part about the lights. Then I was distracted by beers with straws.
It was sort of quiet in here last night. That’s what happens when the home team gets down early.
[Curling Canada photo by Michael Burns – click on image to increase viewing size]
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2015 Brier: Middaugh makes the call

In the March issue print edition of The Curling News, you’ll find Brier predictions from senior columnist Terry Jones.

In the digital version of that issue, you’ll find Brier predictions from six-time champion and TCN columnist Randy Ferbey.

Now, as an added bonus, we present another round of Brier predictions from none other than Wayne Middaugh, a three-time champion (at three different positions) who always has an opinion. Over to you, Wayne!

Middaugh in Tankard action
Middaugh at the 2015 ON Tankard

By Wayne Middaugh

Let’s start with what’s important and then see who is left standing at the end.

Relegation:

Prince Edward Island – Adam Casey … This team has put in the work this year and deserves to be part of the Brier… the entire Brier.

Nova Scotia – Glenn Macleod and Yukon – Bob Smallwood … Enjoy your three games in the big building and milk it for all it’s worth. You deserve better.

Main draw:

12th – New Brunswick – Jeremy Mallais … The goal is no relegation… sorry, I didn’t know who to pick in this spot and when I looked at the teams, I thought if not you… then who?

T7 – P.E.I. – Team Casey, you paid your dues on tour this year and if you keep doing that I only see you moving up on this list.

T7 – British Columbia – Jim Cotter … One of the nicest guys in the game and I want more for him, but just don’t see it.

T7 – Northwest Territories – Jamie Koe … The curling gods like you as you are what curling is all about, but unfortunately, even with everyone on your side, it doesn’t make you a Brier champion. #guyhemmings

T7 – Ontario – Mark Kean … He beat us twice en route to winning his first Purple Heart and this is where I would have put us in this field.

T4 – Manitoba – Reid Carruthers … Reid was great when he became a WFC with Team Stoughton, then took a few years off from making shots. Looks like he’s back and knows how to win.

T4 – Québec – Jean-Michel Ménard … Has won this before and knows what it takes to trick the front-runners. Question is: How many tricks does he have left?

Top pick: Team Jacobs/NONT
Top pick: Jacobs/NONT

T4 – Team Canada – John Morris … Fan favourites and good guys playing in a hometown Brier. However, they didn’t put in the time on tour and on the ice this year, meaning their week on the Saddledome ice will end in a tie-breaker about Friday.

T4 – Saskatchewan – Steve Laycock … This team can throw it hard and if they get a lead on anyone they can run out the scoreboard… although that’s not enough to win the Brier. Getting better every year and I expect to see them in the playoffs.

3 – Newfoundland & Labrador – Brad Gushue … You go every year it’s only a matter of time before you win this thing… and Brad makes enough last shots to do just that, so I expect him to be playing after the round robin… but not sure this is the year.

2 – Alberta – Kevin Koe … This team was built to win games and the 2018 Olympics, but before you win you’ve gotta learn to lose as a team (and hate that feeling). This week will be a learning experience even though I expect them to be there at the end of the week.

1 – Northern Ontario – Brad Jacobs … JJ started the mojo with the current Olympic gold medallists winning the STOH and I’m funny/superstitious that way. Watching these guys is kind of like watching Pros versus Joes; the Joes win sometimes but not often… and Team Jacobs are pros in every way. Congrats Team Jacobs!

First image by Robert Wilson; second image copyright ® The Curling News by Anil Mungal. Click on images to increase viewing size

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Linda Moore retires to battle neurological disorder

Rauter, Moore and Turnbull at Vancouver 2010 (TSN photo)
Rauter, Moore and Turnbull at Vancouver 2010 (TSN photo)

After a 25-year-career, Linda Moore has retired, effective immediately, from TSN curling broadcasts in Canada.

The network made the announcement today, citing “a chronic health condition.”

However, Linda wants the curling world to know… she’s okay!

“I have what’s called benign fasciculation syndrome,” Moore told The Curling News from her home in Vancouver. “It’s a neurological disorder and the doctors don’t really know what causes it, but it’s probably from a virus, or vaccines, or stress. It’s not Parkinsons, but it involves tiny, tiny twitches.”

Moore first noticed this occasional and involuntary twitching in July of 2013, and it has since travelled from the initial area of her calves and feet to her tongue and, more recently, to her fingers.

However, the other aspect is extreme fatigue, which she says is the main reason she has stepped aside after so many years.

“It’s the crew I’ll miss the most,” said Moore. “Twenty-five years with Vic Rauter… and I made it!” she joked.

TSN has rushed to fill the void left by Moore by announcing a roster of various analysts will join Rauter and Russ Howard on the talent crew. TSN’s first event of the year starts this week, on December 3, with the Canada Cup from Camrose, Alberta [UPDATE: And late Monday night, we learned that 2010 Olympic silver medallist Cheryl Bernard would be the first to fill in for Moore in Camrose].

“Linda is not only an excellent curling analyst, she’s also an excellent broadcaster,” said Scott Higgins, Senior Producer, Curling on TSN. “She has been incredibly well-researched, with a natural ability to tell stories. Her greatest strength is her depth of knowledge, and her insights into the game within the game.”

“I want to thank Vic Rauter for being my guide during those years, as well as Russ Howard and Ray Turnbull for sharing the booth with me,” Linda told TSN public relations. “Thanks as well to Scott Higgins and all our incredible producers; Andy Bouyoukos and the other talented directors; my colleagues Cathy Gauthier and Bryan Mudryk; and everyone involved with TSN curling.  This is a group of talented people who are passionate about sharing the superb skills of curlers with fans, and I have been proud to be a part of the crew for so long. I wish the TSN crew all the best for the coming season.

“As well, thanks to the fantastic curlers, hard-working event host committees, and the fans who have let me into their homes for so many years. You may still see me at your local curling clubs, helping to coach a team at a practice or bonspiel.”

Moore skipped a national and world champion team from British Columbia in the mid-1980s, and also won demonstration gold at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary. She has also served the sport as an administrator; as Executive Director of CurlBC for 19 years, promoting the sport and developing curling programs throughout the province, and also as the ED of the Sandra Schmirler Foundation (2005-06).

As a Level 4 certified coach, Moore has been actively involved in coaching for many years. Her husband, Al Moore, also coaches actively, and is currently raking in gold medals as the coach of Switzerland’s national women’s team.

Linda Moore was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1991 and the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 as part of the 1985 World Championship team.

You can read the full TSN news release here.

The December 2014 issue of The Curling News is now in circulation, and includes the Canada Cup broadcast schedule as a part of the “Curling TV/Web Guide”. The guide is also expanded with additional listings in the December digital edition, being released tomorrow to subscribers. To purchase a subscription, and with that an extra nine entry ballots into The Curling News‘ Pinty’s All-Star Curling Skins Game contest, click here.

Tell us what you think in the Comments section below – we’ll make sure your best wishes are sent along to Linda!

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New curling calendar now on sale

Another fundraising tool for curling facilities

Celebrate the Roaring Game in all its glory – for some great causes
Celebrate the Roaring Game – and support some great causes

First came the Women of Curling. Then, last season, the Men of Curling.

Now for 2015, The Curling News and The Community Fundraiser have announced the Spirit of Curling, the latest installment in their successful series of fundraising wall calendars.

The 2015 Spirit of Curling Calendar retails online for $20.00 each plus taxes, shipping and handling, at The Spirit of Curling website.

A portion of proceeds from each purchase go to three charitable campaigns: the Canadian Curling Association’s “For The Love of Curling” philanthropic program, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, which has now contributed over $2.5 million to 35 Canadian hospital neonatal intensive care units, and the Canadian Spinal Research Organization’s “Shoot For A Cure” campaign, which amasses research funding to find a cure for spinal paralysis.

“The 2014 Men of Curling Calendar raised more than $100,000 for multiple charities and causes, across Canada and around the world,” said George Karrys, Publisher of The Curling News. “Now, the 2015 Spirit of Curling Calendar will engage curlers and curling fans in a celebration of the tradition, honour and great history of the Roaring Game.”

A special curling facility program is also available, allowing clubs to purchase copies at a discount and re-sell the calendars in the local community for a fundraising profit, to aid in any number of areas – including capital costs, prize funds, and support for junior, bantam or Little Rock programs.

“The 2015 Spirit of Curling Calendar is a great fundraising tool for curling centres across Canada, the United States, Europe and other curling-crazy countries,” said Rick Warner, President of The Community Fundraiser. “Any interested club representatives can call or email, and we will set them up to engage their communities this fall.”

Each calendar is printed on glossy stock and shrink-wrapped, and ships in a protective envelope with a stiff cardboard insert. Each of the 12 calendar months features a comprehensive worldwide curling tournament schedule, listing colour-coded men’s, women’s, mixed and open events.

The Canadian Curling Association also commented on today’s release.

“We’re extremely pleased that this beautiful calendar will play a significant role in continuing the growth of curling in Canada,” said CCA Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. “Like For The Love of Curling, the Spirit of Curling puts its focus on the grassroots of the game, while still acknowledging some of the sport’s biggest names and showing their athleticism. And the added bonus is that by buying this calendar, you’re helping young curlers and local curling centres.”

Advance orders for the 2015 Spirit of Curling Calendar are now underway at The Spirit of Curling website, with product shipping in the second week of November.