Around the House
Every curler knows that a well-considered strategy can be the difference between winning and losing. But what about strategy off the ice?
In some parts of the country the leaves are still falling, and in others, the snow shovels are in action – it’s curling season from coast to coast.
It’s the nightmare that no curling club ever wants to experience: on September 25, 2007, the Windsor Curling Club in Windsor, Nova Scotia, burned to the ground.
It all started, so the story goes, when a young man named James Baird (later to be the Hon. J. Baird, member of the Legislative Council) cleared space on Quidi Vidi Lake to play the first curling game ever seen in St. John’s. The year was 1844.
In September 2011, icemakers went to work at the Club de Curling Valleé de la Gatineau/Gatineau Valley Curling Club in Maniwaki – for the very first time.
Stepping inside your curling club for the first time this season is like coming home, right?
Welcome to the second season of Around The House, a twice-monthly feature that offers glimpses into curling club life across Canada – both on and off the ice.
The lights were off over the ice when I walked into the club last week for the closing banquet. Actually, the lights were off over eight sheets of water. In the dark, I could see the reflection of the illuminated clock on the surface. Strange, and kind of sad.
Curling clubs are wrapping up their seasons with closing banquets, Annual General Meetings and the crowning of new champions – in some clubs, followed by a skate on the ice before the compressor is turned off for the summer.
The recent win by Jeff Stoughton’s team at the Ford World Curling Championships in Regina hit all the right notes: a highly skilled team, with a long drought since their last world title, trying to erase the well-publicized disappointments along the Brier and Olympics trail. The victory was sweet – for Team Canada, and for Canadian curling fans.
Not all curling championships take place on arena ice, with TV coverage and thousands of spectators ringing cowbells, buying 50-50 tickets and cheering every shot. Some of them take place at your local club.
It’s playoff season for recreational curlers, and that means something different at every club. You might be in a closing bonspiel that involves the entire membership.
See the photo that accompanies this Around The House blog? It’s a partial shot of someone standing in the house, holding the broom. A typical curling scene.
It’s another typical Wednesday night at my club. Our game is over and we head off the ice to change out of our curling gear and into “civvies”.
As I write this, the 2011 Brier is taking place in London, and that means my TV is on in the background when I’m working at home. And it’s on at the office (okay, I confess) where I’m live-streaming the games while sitting at my desk.