Twenty-six curling teams from across Canada will be at Winnipeg’s Pembina Curling Club November 13-20 for the first Masters national championship events to be played in Winnipeg since 2011.
The COVID-delayed Canadian Masters Men’s & Women’s Championships, for curlers age 60 and better, will feature the best in the age group from 13 provinces and territories on the men’s side and 11 provinces and territories on the women’s side. To ensure an even draw, in keeping with the event’s traditions, Manitoba will have both a provincial representative and a host team entry.
The teams roster list is full of individuals and teams with extensive curling resumes ranging right back to juniors (underlining the age of the players is the fact that juniors is referred to in some of the biographies as ‘school-boys’). Every team has many past provincial championships to boast but a few of the players stand-out for their national and world championship credentials.
Leading this list is Al Hackner, the Northern Ontario skip who won the 1982 Brier in Brandon and went on to win the world championship. He repeated the double in 1985. He followed those wins with Canadian Senior (2006) and Masters (2017) championships. His teammates Eric Harnden, Frank Morissette, and Bruce Munro were all part of that 2017 Masters championship team.
The Alberta men’s front end of Randy Ponich and Wilf Edgar were both members of the 2013 Canadian Senior champion and World Gold medal winning Senior Men’s team. On the women’s side, Ontario skip Jan Carwardine won the Canadian Senior Women’s title in 2007.
In addition to the Hackner team, there are four past Masters champions in the competition. Alberta men’s skip Mickey Pendergast won gold in 2018 and repeated in 2019. The Saskatchewan Women’s team has three past champions in the line-up – skip Beverly Krasowski (2019), second Linda Delver (2012, 2014 & 2016), and lead Trudy Dykes (2016).
Manitoba’s four teams include provincial Masters champions Murray Warren-Brandon (Brian Barker, Reg Warren, Terry Warren, alternate Gary Barker) and East St. Paul’s Judy Colwell (Wendy Nykoluk, Donna Smiley, Leslie Brown, alternate Debbie Palson). The Manitoba host teams are Sandra Cowling-Hamiota (Sheila Gregory, Jackie Brooks, Jeannine Skayman, alternate Wenda Turner) and Mark Franklin-Granite (Jamie Hay, Barry Campbell, Greg Ziemanski, alternate Blair Smith).
The teams will arrive in Winnipeg for practice on Sunday, November 13 with opening ceremonies scheduled that evening at 7:00PM. The first games will go on the ice at 8:30AM on Monday with four draws a day through the week. The playoff schedule has semi-finals at 2PM Saturday and the finals and bronze medal games at 10:00AM Sunday followed by closing ceremonies.
Joyce McDougall and her team won the Canadian Masters championship at Assiniboine Memorial in 2011. Manitobans have won Canadian Men’s Masters titles on six previous occasions: Barry Fry (2001-Winnipeg), Ken Grove (2002-Medicine Hat), Martin Bailey (2004-Kelowna), Doug Armour (2005-Brandon), Ray Orr (2009-Saskatoon), and Ron Westcott (2015-Whitehorse).
Event passes ($50.00), daily passes ($10.00) and tickets for each draw ($5.00) will be available at the Pembina Curling Club (1341 Pembina Hwy). for other event details, go to https://pembinacc.com/