BC well represented at Grand Slam

10 teams from Canada's westernmost province competing in this week's Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge.

BC-based skip Sean Geall gets in some practice at the Memorial Arena on Tuesday afternoon before the opening of the Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge.

BC-based skip Sean Geall gets in some practice at the Memorial Arena on Tuesday afternoon before the opening of the Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge.

The province of British Columbia will be well represented at the Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge this week, with 10 teams being led by local skips.

The event will feature 60 teams — 30 mens and 30 women’s — that will be competing in two tiers of competition in a system that determines placement by accumulation of points.

Jim Cotter, who curls out of the Vernon, will be competing in the top tier as the fourth, while Olympic gold medallist John Morris out of Alberta, will skip.

Cotter, who formerly skipped before teaming up with Morris in 2013 and this current season, has made six appearances at the Tim Horton’s Brier, the men’s national championship.

Last year, Cotter won the Tier 2 title at the Tour Challenge event in Paradise, Newfoundland.

While the Cotter rink is the lone B.C. representation in Tier 1, there are five mens teams and four women’s teams in Tier 2 who curl out of Canada’s westernmost province.

Sean Geall, who curls out of Vancouver, is eager to get down to business with his teammates.

“We don’t get to spend a lot of time together because they live in Kelowna and I’m in Vancouver, but it’s been a slow start to the year for us,” Geall said. “We’ve done some work and we’re excited to get going.”

The field is pretty outstanding as well, given that four-time world champion Glenn Howard and Jean-Michel Menard, who has represented Quebec 10 times at the Brier, lead the pack.

“I haven’t had a good look, but obviously all these guys are pretty good, every game is going to be tough and when you get premier ice conditions like this, there are going to be shots made,” Geall said.

Both the Memorial Arena and Western Financial Place have been converted to hosting five sheets of curling ice, and conditions are looking good, according to Geall.

“Lots of curl and keen, so that’s about all you can really ask for,” Geall said.

Dean Joanisse, who comes to Cranbrook out of Maple Ridge, has made two appearances at the Brier in 2001 and 2007 and is also pumped about getting into the competition.

“We’re looking forward to it, it’s a big event for a lot of the BC teams; there will be lots of points available for getting a berth in our provincials,” Joanisse said.

When it comes to taking on the field, Joanisse says it’s important to focus on his team’s own play first.

“Certainly, once you realize who you’re playing, you might have a big of a game plan against them, but you gotta understand what you’re doing yourselves first and put that at the front,” he said.

Rounding out the B.C. mens teams includes Tyler Tardi, who skips a team with his brother, Jordan, along with Sterling Middleton and Nicholas Meister. They captured the 2016 Junior Men’s championship and earned a bronze at the Canadian Junior Men’s Championship.

Also in the field is Andrew Bilesky, who curls out of New Westminster. He won the provincial championship in 2013 to represent B.C. at the Brier and also captured the top prize at a Kelowna cash spiel in 2011.

Stephen Schneider is a three-time Canadian Gay Curling Champion, while his third, Jamie Sexton, represented B.C. at the 1987 Brier, and finished in second place, behind Russ Howard. Schneider and Sexton are joined by Shawn Eklund and Brant Amos.

Representing B.C. from the women’s side of the Tier 2 division includes  Vancouver’s Diane Gushulak and her team of Grace MacInnes, Jesse Sanderson and Sandra Comadina. Gushulak has been to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the women’s national championship three times, once representing Ontario, and twice representing B.C.

Marla Mallett has had a strong season, winning a Prestige Hotels and Resorts Curling Classic cash spiel out of Vernon. Mallett, who has been to the Scotties three times, curls with Shannon Aleksic, Brette Richards and Blaine DeJager.

Corryn Brown skips a team out of Kamloops and is a former national junior curling champion from 2013, and curls alongside Marika Van Osch, Dezaray Hawes and Samantha Fisher.

Karla Thompson won the national junior title with Brown but now skips her own team with Kristen Recksiedler, Erin Pincott and Trysta Vandale. Thompson is also the reigning provincial champion, having represented B.C. at the Scotties last year.








Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Cranbrook Arts has opened the doors of their  new gallery space to the public with their inaugural exhibit, Kootenay’s Best.
‘Kootenay’s Best’ opens Cranbrook Arts’ new gallery

This exhibit has been in the works for the past several months and features the work of more than 50 emerging and established artists from across the Kootenays

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read