Hylands Curling Club in Ottawa closes its doors

The high cost of maintaining an aging curling facility has yet again become a reality for an Ontario curling club. The membership of the Hylands Curling Club in Ottawa this week had to make the difficult decision to close its doors. From their website:

Hylands Curling Club Members:The executive would like to inform you all that sadly Hylands Curling Club has been permantly closed. Estimates for repairs to make the club environmentally and electrically safe totalled $250,000.00. Given that the club was built in 1958, base fund officials could not support this large loan.

All paid members for the Oct 06 – Apr 07 season will be reimbursed by the Canadian Forces Support Unit, Ottawa, Non Public Funds accounting section.

Members who have some personal items stored at the club are to retrieve those items at the earliest convenience by contacting club manager during normal working hours.

Hylands has been a great place to curl for many many curlers during it’s 48 year existance. The Executive deeply regret any inconvience suffered by our members. Further details will be communicated as they become available.

Unfortunately this seems to be becoming a bit of a trend. As clubs age and require major repairs, new compressors or even simple renovations it is becoming increasingly difficult for some community clubs to survive. So far this year we have seen this story with Avonlea and now Hylands. It’s hopeful that a trend like this does not continue…

Penticton club inserts new rocks into rotation

An interesting article in the Penticton Western News reports that the Penticton Curling Club has invested in new inserts for their rocks in time for the 2006-07 season. If the program is a success it will mean less maintenance on the rocks and eliminate the need for sharpening the rocks.

“The rocks are made up of two types of granite,” explained PCC ice man Del Haidenger. “Most of the rock is what they call a Red Trevor which is good for striking. The bottom of the rock has been cored out and we’ve put in an insert of what they call Blue Hone granite. It’s a surface better suited to speed and curling.”

Will be interesting to see if this becomes a trend as technology continues to take over in the sport of curling.

The battle for top spot continues

Kerry Burtnyk kept his win streak alive at five, going undefeated at the Strauss Crown of Curling in Kamloops, British Columbia. With the win Kerry Burtnyk holds on to top spot on the money list, with $ 50,924.00 after six weeks on the World Curling Tour circuit.Â

Meanwhile, Kevin Martin did his best to keep pace by winning the Flint Energy Classic in Bonnyville, Alberta with his 6 – 3 victory over Kevin Koe. This game could have been billed as the battle of ex-teammates as Carter Rycroft and Kevin Koe went up against their skips from last season. With the win, Martin picked up the top prize of $15,000.00, and a total of $50,500.00 this year. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what happens this coming weekend at the Meyers Norris Penny Prairie Classic with many of the top teams participating. Will it be another Burtnky vs Martin final or will we see another two teams step forward? Stay tuned….

It is nice to see that curling is still on the radar south of the border with this article in the Albany Times Union.

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2007 Brier tickets (Hamilton) go on sale today

Beginning today weekly passes as well as particular weekend packages for the 2007 Brier at Copps Coliseaum go on sale. Visit the site here.

Individual daily tickets don’t go on sale until a few weeks before the event.

Hamilton last hosted the Brier in 1991 when Alberta‘s Kevin Martin and his rink of Martin, Kevin Park, Dan Petryk and Don Bartlett defeated Randy Woytowich in the final.

CBC announces 8-year deal with World Curling Tour

Looks like there is light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to CBC’s coverage of curling in this country. Ending weeks of speculation, this release from the CBC of a huge long-term deal with the WCT:

CBC Sports today announced an eight-year broadcast and multi-media agreement with Insight Sports Ltd. for the rights to broadcast the World Curling Tour Grand Slam of Curling events. The agreement begins this fall and runs through to the spring of 2014, with the first Grand Slam of Curling final to air on CBC-TV, Sunday, Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. ET. The remainder of the broadcast schedule will be available in the coming weeks.“Curling has enjoyed a long and proud tradition of coverage on CBC, and we are excited to add these events to our lineup,” said Nancy Lee, executive director, CBC Sports. “The Grand Slams feature the top curlers from Canada and around the world going head to head in thrilling competition. There is no better place for them to be showcased to all Canadians than on CBC.”“Insight Sports is excited and delighted to be able to partner with both the CBC and the World Curling Players Association on such high calibre events in a sport with such a rich heritage and tradition in Canada,” said Ron Bremner, CEO, Insight Sports.

“The World Curling Players Association is pleased the Grand Slam has a solid foundation formed with CBC and Insight Sports. Both organizations have very experienced management teams who will lead this ‘world-class competition’ this year and into the next decade,” said Paul Boutilier, executive director, World Curling Tour and president, World Curling Tour Players Association. “I am very proud of the players, both women and men, for delivering some incredible curling the past five seasons—I know these outstanding athletes will continue to excite and entertain fans and viewers on CBC. This is a great day for all players!”

CBC has provided Canadian curling fans with award-winning coverage of their beloved sport for more than 40 years. In 1998, 2002 and 2006, CBC was selected as host broadcaster for curling at the Olympic Winter Games, and in 1998 the International Olympic Committee recognized CBC’s curling coverage with an IOC Golden Rings Award.

CBC will also broadcast exclusive live coverage of the championship rounds from the Season of Champions events through to 2008. In addition to curling coverage, this winter CBC Sports has coverage of top international sporting events, including FIS Alpine Skiing World Cups and World Championship, FIS World Snowboarding Championship, FIS World Freestyle Skiing Championship, and the World Figure Skating Championships presented by BMO Financial Group.

Viewers can log on to CBC.ca/sports 24 hours a day, seven days a week for comprehensive news and results throughout the World Curling Tour season.

About Insight Sports Ltd:
Insight Sports Ltd. is a leading sports media and entertainment company, operating three specialty television networks: CGTV, Casino and Gaming Television; GOLTV Canada, a 24-hour soccer network; and WFN: World Fishing Network, North America’s only network devoted entirely to fishing. The company also holds a significant interest in the NHL Network, a 24-hour hockey channel.

Russ Howard in 2007?

It would be hard to have a better year in 2007 than Russ Howard had in 2006, wouldn’t it?

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Word has it that Russ will play some with the Gushue team from Newfoundland in the coming season – but will also return to skip a team of his own based in New Brunswick. It does still semm strange looking back that Russ – the curler I have watched for years – is now an Olympic gold medalist. I would have never thunk it…

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Also, a nice story about Russ posted at the Midland Curling Club website (you’ll need to scroll down). A welcome home party was held for Russ at the curling club here in Ontario he once called home. They also celebrated his brother Glenn’s spirited run at this year’s Brier. Good read.

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Curling Club listings – by Zone – Southern Ontario & Northern Ontario

* Updated 10/20/06 – Added Northern Ontario and cross-country listings (Canada & USA). Â Â

* Updated 10/06/06 – One of the key features of our new www.CurlingRink.ca site will be detailed curling club listings (not unlike our flagship golf course directory www.OntGolf.ca). Here is a sneak peak, our research has included Ontario clubs so far, but we plan to expand out to a national cross-Canada database before the end of 2006 (10/06/06 – National database is now in place).  Â

We hope you enjoy, here is a taste:

Southern Ontario
Zone 1
Zone 2
Zone 3
Zone 4
Zone 5Â
Zone 6
Zone 7
Zone 8
Zone 9Â
Zone 10Â
Zone 11
Zone 12
Zone 13
Zone 14
Zone 15
Zone 16

Northern Ontario
Sault Ste Marie & Wawa
Zone 18
Zone 19
Zone 20
Zone 21
Zone 22
Zone 23

Classic Clubs

Brantford Golf & Country Club Brantford
St. George’s Golf & Country Club Islington
Mississaugua Golf & Country Club Mississauga
Weston Golf & Country Club Weston (Toronto)
Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club Ottawa

CCA raising competition fees in cash grab to make up deficit

Word has it that the Canadian Curling Association has raised fees curlers pay to qualify for events like the Brier and the Scott. What used to be a $15 flat fee is now a $25 fee per event.

Provincial associations are worried this might affect entries into a number of key events in the coming year – as curlers choose to pass instead of ponying up the extra cash.

The GlobeandMail has the whole story here. Curlers are speaking out about the move in the Curling Zone forums here.

Have to say – it hasn’t been a great few years of publicity for the CCA – hopefully landing a new TV deal with TSN will help get the association back on curler’s good side.

Eddie Werenich and the Brier on Historica

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I came across a couple of really interesting curling videos on Canadian historical site ‘Historica’ today. Check them out here.

The videos feature a bio of Ed Werenich as well as a short profile of The Brier. They are very well done – our tax dollars put to good use for a change I say. Always been a huge fan of Eddie Werenich fan, so this was a real treat.

Here’s the individual videos:

Ed Werenich video

The Brier video

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