December 14, 2010
Put Cheryl Bernard under your tree ...... and other curling-related ideas for holiday gift-giving this season
By GEORGE KARRYS, Special to QMI Agency
TORONTO - Still looking for last-minute Christmas gift ideas?
Consider these Toronto-centric options for your curling-crazed friends and family, whether they are loud and proud about The Roaring Game or still hiding in the closet …
One of the world’s biggest curling supply companies is headquartered in Mississauga and also has a store on Midland Ave. in Scarborough. A sponsor of Olympic champ Kevin Martin and Scotland’s Eve Muirhead — among others — Goldline offers everything from curling equipment and clothing to a new “Marquess” line of curling-themed jewelry. Check out: goldline.ca
THE CURLING NEWS
Founded at Calgary in 1957, Canada’s only national curling newspaper now operates out of the GTA’s wild west end. A yearly subscription arrives via first-class mail and features a subscriber-only bonus content section — including a monthly “Curling TV Guide” — and gift subscription recipients receive a special curling-themed card announcing the gift in advance. TCN is active online, too: thecurlingnews.com
Believe it or not, there are three options to experience what we saw on TV from the Vancouver Olympics — namely, wild crowds loving top-level curling — before the end of January. Yes, curling broadcasts are a polished addiction … but nothing beats the live show. Trust me.
1. Just north of Barrie, Casino Rama plays host to the 2011 TSN Curling Skins Game Jan. 22-23 featuring three all-star men’s teams (Martin, Kevin Koe and Scotland’s David Murdoch) plus the Olympic sweetheart, Cheryl Bernard of Calgary, in a made-for-TV battle for cash. The skins curling format is weird, aggressive and fun, and the setting and intimacy of watching a curling competition in the casino’s Entertainment Centre can’t be beat. Ticket info at: bit.ly/fMe2Pj
2. Thornhill Golf and Country Club hosts the Scotties Ontario Championship for women Jan. 24-30, with the winners heading to the nationals in PEI. Will it be McCarville (again) or Middaugh? Horgan or Homan? Tickets and info at: bit.ly/gzAnb5
3. The third Capital One Grand Slam of the season is the BDO Canadian Open, and it takes place in Oshawa at the GM Centre Jan. 26-30. The biggest names in high-performance men’s curling will be there including Martin and Koe, Glenn Howard and Wayne Middaugh, the Ferbey/Gushue combo and even Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud, he of the Olympic pants craze. The Norwegians finally escaped silver status last week — they won the European Championship title in Switzerland — so perhaps fans can anticipate a hideous new “golden” pants design? Tickets and info at: grandslamofcurling.com
YOUR FIRST STONE
There’s only one thing better than a live curling championship, and that’s actually stepping on the ice and throwing rocks yourself.
If your company has a social or “team building” events budget, you can host a staff curl-o-rama at any one of the GTA’s 24 curling clubs that stretch from Oshawa to Oakville and from downtown T.O. to Newmarket. If you’re a crafty salesperson, make it a client event ... but regardless, Toronto’s Rock Solid Outings will arrange it all: rocksolidoutings.com
And if it’s friends or family who want to try the game… just call or visit a club near you: torontocurling.com
We’d be remiss to forget the 2011 Women of Curling Calendar, a glossy production that directs proceeds to charity. Each month features colour-coded curling events, and of course a woman. Of curling. Naturally … womenofcurlingcalendar.com
George Karrys is: curlinguru.com