Frontrunners start to emerge during day three of BC juniors

By Rebecca Connop Price

The frontrunners are starting to emerge as day three of the 2016 Tim Hortons BC Junior Curling Championships continues in Kamloops.

Sixteen junior teams (8 junior men’s teams and 8 junior women’s teams) with curlers from across B.C. aged under 21 have been vying for the chance to represent the province at the 2016 Canadian Junior Curling Championships in Stratford, Ont.

Home-crowd favourites, Team Brown, and BC Junior Curling Tour winners, Team Tardi, of Langley/Royal City curling clubs, are both looking strong, having won all their games so far. Also in contention for playoff spots are Team Daniels, of Royal City Curling Club, and Team Henderson, of Victoria Curling Centre, who were also undefeated as of Thursday morning.

But with four draws remaining, there is still time for some of the other teams to make inroads.

The event at Kamloops Curling Club started on Tuesday, December 29 and will run until Sunday, January 3. Page playoffs will take place on Saturday. The junior women’s final will be televised at 9 a.m. on Sportsnet Pacific and the junior men’s final will be televised at 2 p.m. on Sportsnet One.

You can follow the live scores and standings at

The winning teams will travel to Stratford, Ontario for the 2016 Canadian Junior Curling Championships, presented by Egg Farmers of Ontario. The winners of that event will go to the World Junior Curling Championships in Erzurum, Turkey.



Trio honoured for saving curler’s life

By Rebecca Connop Price

Keith Switzer (second from right) with from left, Shelley Birston, Della Bird and Scott Mol.

Scott Mol, Shelley Birston and Della Bird have been honoured with awards after saving the life of curling competitor Keith Switzer following his on-ice heart attack.

Keith had been competing in the BC Mixed Doubles Curling Championship at Peace Arch Curling Centre on January 30 2015 when he suddenly collapsed.

Keith Switzer (second from right) with from left, Shelley Birston, Della Bird and Scott Mol.

Scott Mol, the on-ice official, was the first to respond to Keith’s fall and along with Shelley Birston, a registered nurse who was competing at the event, performed CPR on Keith.

Della Bird, also a registered nurse who was on site supporting her husband Kent Bird, the manager of Peace Arch Curling Centre, helped re-start Keith’s heart with the assistance of the AED kit on site.

The three people are credited not only with saving Keith’s life, but also preserving his quality of life through their quick and effective response. The three individuals have now all been presented with a St John Ambulance National Lifesaving Award at a ceremony in Surrey.

Keith said he remains incredibly grateful for what Scott, Shelley, and Della were able to do, and he also appreciates the concern, support, and contributions of many others who were present at Peace Arch Curling Centre on that day. Keith added: “I am doing my level best to do justice and honour to these lifesaving efforts as my life continues.”

To save Keith’s life, CPR from Scott and Shelley and an AED shock from Della was needed to get a response. The first shock only got a temporary response but the second shock brought Keith into motion.

Although not fully coherent, once Keith was resuscitated, he began communicating with the responders. He had no idea what had occurred (i.e. – heart attack) and had thought he had just slipped and fallen. Keith was clear that he was curling and was ready to start the next end (clothes or no clothes). The response team had a little difficulty in convincing him to stay down and be calm.

The emergency team then arrived, thanks to Kent Bird calling 911. This included paramedics and the fire department. The paramedics transported Keith to Peace Arch Hospital Emergency and he remained there until the cause of the heart failure was determined and arrangements were made for corrective action.

The fact that Keith survived the heart failure and did so without damage to any part of his cardiovascular system is credited to the quick and effective actions of the first responders (Scott, Shelley and Della). Others contributed in response to what occurred; however, these three individuals performed the hands-on life saving intervention. Keith acknowledges he is “one lucky guy”!

A comprehensive battery of diagnostic tests was conducted, both at Peace Arch and Vancouver General Hospitals. The most revealing was the Angiogram at VGH. This test identified almost total blockage of the main coronary artery as the cause of the heart failure, presenting a continued high risk. Tests also confirmed that, fortunately, there had been no damage to the heart or other parts of the cardiovascular system.

Successful bypass surgery was performed on February 18 2015 – by Dr. Richard Cook using Jack (the robot).
Keith, a member at Richmond and Vancouver Curling Clubs, is now making a full recovery and is already curling regularly!



Junior teams gear up for BC championships

By Rebecca Connop Price

Sixteen junior teams from across BC are gearing up for the 2016 Tim Hortons BC Junior Curling Championships, which get underway at Kamloops Curling Club tomorrow (December 29).

The event will feature eight junior women’s and eight junior men’s teams playing for the chance to travel to Stratford, Ontario, January 23-31 for nationals.

Tickets can be purchased at the Kamloops Curling Club for $5 per game, $10 for a day pass, or $25 for an event pass. Visit for more information.

The junior men’s and junior women’s finals will be televised on Sportsnet on January 3. The junior women’s final will air at 9 a.m. on Sportsnet Pacific and the junior men’s final will air at 2 p.m. on Sportsnet One.

Team Love and Team Harvey, from Vernon Curling Club, and Team Buchy from Kimberley Curling Club, were the final teams to qualify at playdowns in Vernon over the weekend of December 5 to 6.

Team Harvey is made up of Skip Winter Harvey, Third Jaelyn Cotter, Second Megan McGillivray and Lead Cassidy Schwaerzle. The team is coached by BC Men’s Champion (and Jaelyn’s father) Jim Cotter. Team Buchy, from Kimberley Curling Club, with Skip Alysha Buchy, Third Kaila Buchy, Second Haylie Farquhar and Lead Arissa Toffolo, is coached by Tom Buchy (Alysha and Kaila’s father), a two-time BC Mixed Champion who is regularly a contender in the BC Men’s Championship.

Junior men’s team, Team Love, made up of Skip Thomas Love, Third Erik Colwell, Second Brendan Chapple and Lead Johnathan Schwartz, is coached by Dean Chapple.

In November, seven berths were decided at Coastal Playdowns at Port Moody Curling Club, one junior women’s team qualified at Northern Playdowns in Prince George and a Kootenay junior men’s team qualified without having a playdown.

On the junior men’s side, the following teams qualified through playdowns: Team Henderson (Victoria – Skip Paul Henderson, Third Duncan Silversides, Second Benton Boychuk-Chorney, Lead Timothy Henderson and coach Todd Troyer), Team Kiss (Royal City – Skip Jordan Kiss, Third Nicholas Umbach, Second Travis Cameron, Lead Zachary Umbach, Fifth Matt Young and Coach Craig Lightbody), Team Carpenter (Royal City – Skip Brayden Carpenter, Third Tyler Proctor, Second Matthew Chan, Lead Breyden Chong and Coaches Roger Chan and Curt Bogren), Team Croteau (Victoria/Kerry Park – Skip Connor Croteau, Third Scott Gray, Second Derek Chandler, Lead Jared Vlassis and Coach Bob Coulombe).

Team Bartlett (Grand Forks/Invermere – Skip Zane Bartlett, Third Sam Gaspar, Second Steven Schafthuizen [Kamloops], Lead Colin Anderson, Fifth Devon Anderson and Coach Dave Bartlett) qualified without having a playdown.

On the junior women’s side, the following teams qualified through playdowns: Team Coulombe (Victoria – Skip Mariah Coulombe, Third Bailey Tinkler, Second Jordan Koster, Lead Sydney Brilz and Coach Andrew Komlodi), Team Loken (Delta Thistle – Skip Sarah Loken, Third Catera Park, Second Kylie Karoway, Lead Kim Bonneau and Coach Marion McNeill), Team Jensen (Tunnel Town/Juan de Fuca/Parksville – Skip Shawna Jensen, Third Katherine Silversides, Second Michaela Douglas, Lead Rebecca Douglas, Fifth Sarah McCrady and Coach Dave Douglas), and Team Connell (Prince George – Skip Alyssa Connell, Third Bailey Eberherr, Second Jordan Henson, Lead Erin Ross and Coach Rick Fewster).

Finally, four teams qualified by gathering the most points on the BC Junior Curling Tour, which ran from September 25 to November 15 and was made up of five events across the province. They were Teams Tardi (Langley/Royal City – Tyler Tardi, Third Daniel Wenzek, second Jordan Tardi, lead Nicholas Meister, Fifth Sterling Middleton and Coach Paul Tardi), Daniels (Royal City – Skip Sarah Daniels, Third Marika Van Osch, Second Dezaray Hawes, Lead Megan Daniels and coaches Katie Witt and Ernie Daniels), McCrady (Royal City – Skip Matthew McCrady, Third Zac Curtis, Second Liam Purgavie, Lead Jacob Umbach and Coach Ken McArdle) and Brown (Kamloops – Skip Corryn Brown, Third Erin Pincott, Second Samantha Fisher, Lead Sydney Fraser and Coach Allison McInnes).

The Kamloops championships will be two eight-team round robins running simultaneously. Live scores and results from the event can be viewed at under the Curl BC tab.

The winning teams will travel to Stratford, Ontario for the 2016 Canadian Junior Curling Championships, presented by Egg Farmers of Ontario. The winners of that event will go to the World Junior Curling Championships in Erzurum, Turkey.



New Men’s Tours get off to roaring start

By Rebecca Connop Price

The first events of the new men’s bonspiel tours on Vancouver Island and in the Thompson-Okanagan got going in Nanaimo and Kelowna.

The Vancouver Island tour includes eight bonspiels with stops in Nanaimo, Powell River, Parksville, Duncan, Glen Meadows (North Saanich), Qualicum Beach, Kerry Park and Victoria.

The Thompson-Okanagan tour visits Kelowna, Enderby, Vernon, Penticton, Salmon Arm, Armstrong and Kamloops.

Two teams each from those tours will compete against eight teams from Region 11 in the inaugural B.C. Men’s Bonspiel Tours Championship, March 18-20 at Cloverdale.

Visit for more information.



Regional playdowns see top men’s teams qualify for BC Championship

By Rebecca Connop Price

Ten teams have qualified for the Canadian Direct Insurance BC Men’s Curling Championship after an exciting weekend of regional playdowns.

Events in Fernie, Penticton, Parksville and New Westminster saw the province’s top men’s curling teams battling for the chance to go to Nelson for the provincial championship (February 10-14).

Four berths were awarded at the Lower Mainland playdowns in New Westminster. Two Royal City Curling Club rinks qualified for the championship – taking the A and B Events on home ice. The rinks were Team Johnson (with Skip Michael Johnson, Third Ty Dilello, Second John Zwarych and Lead Mitch Young) and Team Martyn (with Skip Chase Martyn, Third Cody Johnstone, Second Jeff Guignard, Lead Will Sutton, Fifth Jeff Sargent and coach Karen Watson). The Vancouver Curling Club team of Stephen Schneider, with Third Jamie Sexton, Second Shawn Eklund and Lead Brant Amos, qualified in the C Event to book their second trip to the Canadian Direct Insurance BC Men’s Championship. The final team to qualify from the Lower Mainland was Team Tardi, from Langley Curling Club. The team, made up of curlers Tyler Tardi, Daniel Wenzek, Jordan Tardi, Nicholas Meister and Sterling Middleton – who are also curling in the province’s junior championship, took the second C Event spot. The young curlers are coached by Paul Tardi.

The teams will be joined by the Okanagan rinks of Richard and Longworth, who qualified at the Penticton event. The Kelowna rink of Jeff Richard is rounded out by Third Ted Appelman, Second Bryan Kedziora, and Lead David Harper. They are coached by Gerry Richard. Team Longworth is made up of Vernon’s father-son duo Mark and Michael Longworth, with Jon Gargner and John Slattery rounding out the team.

Playdowns at Fernie Curling Club saw Team Buchy and Team Ducharme book their trip to Nelson. This will be the eleventh trip to men’s provincials for skip Tom Buchy, who returns to the championship with his Kimberley Curling Club rink of Third Deane Horning, Second Dave Toffolo and Lead Darren Will. Creston Curling Club’s Chris Ducharme locked up the second Kootenay berth with his team of Third Josh Firman, Second Jim Stewart, Lead Jim Macaulay and fifth Brendan Stead.

Team Craig locked up a Vancouver Island berth by winning three games in a row to take the A Event at playdowns at Parksville Curling Club. Wes Craig’s Victoria Curling Centre rink of Third Scott MacDonald, Second Tony Anslow and Lead Victor Gamble is coached by Roselyn Craig. The Island B Event went to Team Dangerfield, also from Victoria Curling Centre. Neil Dangerfield skips a team with Dennis Sutton at third, Darren Boden at second and Glen Allen at lead.

The teams will join the three teams that have already qualified, including defending champion Team Cotter of Vernon/Kelowna. The Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) points winners for the year, Team Joanisse and Team Geall, both of Royal City Curling Club, qualified in early December based on their results at World Curling Tour events.

This year’s Championship, which will be televised on Sportsnet, takes place at Nelson Curling Centre from February 10-14. For ticket information, and to find out more about the event, visit

The remaining three berths will be awarded at an open qualification event being staged in Salmon Arm from January 8-10. Visit to view past scores and to follow the championship events.


About Curl BC
Curl BC is the provincial sport governing body responsible for the development, promotion and organization of curling in British Columbia. Curl BC is also responsible for the championship system that declares provincial representation at National events. In cooperation with its Members, Curl BC provides services to both competitive and recreational curlers, including a variety of adaptive groups.