Inside Junior Curling: Where the junior stars are now – Dean Joanisse

During this series, we will be catching up with some former junior stars to see what they are up to today. Meet Dean Joanisse, 1987 Canadian junior curling champion and two-time B.C. men’s champ from Abbotsford, B.C. Even as a young player, Joanisse recognized the importance of dedication to his passion and the amount of work it takes to get to the top. Joanisse put his schooling on hold not once, but twice – first, when he prepared for the season in which he won the junior national title, and again in the year before he competed at the World Junior Curling Championship.

(Image courtesy D. Joanisse)

His competitive curling success did not stop there. Since winning the national championship, Joanisse has represented B.C. at the Brier in 2001 and 2007. Curling has always played a significant role in his life. Joanisse spent 17 years as an ice tech, six years as a club professional and several other years instructing at curling camps. Within minutes of chatting with him, you can really feel the love Joanisse has for the sport and life. His passion for curling doesn’t end on the ice. Joanisse is an artist who creates pieces that combine his love for nature and curling. As Joanisse explain on his website: “At first glance, Art of Curling prints are admired for their west coast appeal. Curlers take a far more personal interest when a closer look reveals the curling imagery within the art…” Joanisse sells the artwork through his website with the majority of his business being orders for curling trophies and awards. Joanisse also runs a program called the Junior Curling Reward Program that gives clubs the opportunity to generate revenue for the club’s junior programs through the sale of the art.

Dean Joanisse at the 2009 Road to the Roar Pre-Trials (Photo CCA/Michael Burns)

In his spare time, Joanisse enjoys spending time with his family and exploring his creative side. Though pursuing “the curling dream” has been put on the back burner for now, Joanisse is the first to tell you that it’s only temporary. “That chapter’s not closed yet,” says Joanisse . “My interest, passion and desire is still there, I’m just waiting for the right circumstances.” Rapid fire questions with Dean Joanisse In-turn or Out-turn? Depends… well, outturn. Used to be inturn when I was younger, but a draw to button changed my mind in later on in life. One down with or one up without? Depends on teams and ice conditions – that’s what I love about the sport! For me, one up without has had more success over the years. Favourite curling shot of all time? When you throw a team shot, there’s nothing that feels better. I just love the feeling that I’m going to do my part and my teammates will do theirs. Our squad won a semi-final game with a team shot in the provincials against Pat Ryan in 2001. We were tied up coming home with hammer. The shot to win was a draw to the button, no backing. Maybe not the most exciting shots, but one of the most memorable. To learn more about Joanisse’s art, visit his website at Art of Curling. Good curling and may the rocks be ever in your favour!