Since I got back into curling about five years ago, I've had the dream that just about anybody involved with the sport had had - to curl in a national championship. Now, I got to experience that pleasure last November when the team I was on made it to the Dominion Curling Club Championship. It was a fantastic experience, one I'm hoping to repeat when we defend our championship next month. However as I am a greedy man, I want more. And more means a Brier. Or hell, even a Mixed Curling championship.
Now, for years that's been a pipe dream. Nunavut does not curl at any of the big national curling events. Do I think that's right? No, I do not. However, number and politics have been against us for many years. Yes, there is supposed to be regional representation, but the total number of curlers in Nunavut is probably less than many clubs. Plus, there's a lot of money involved in curling at those national events. Letting Nunavut play means shaking up the status quo and possibly some of those dollars. So it's always been a struggle.
However, it really does feel like things are about to change. This story says the Canadian Curling Association is seriously looking at some changes when they meet in June. Talking with some of our curling people here in the territory, even they expect some shifting to happen. The exact nature of that shifting remains to be seen. Coming out of the meeting I expect one of four things to have happened.
1. Nothing. The retain the status quo for at least another year while they do more study.
2. They allow for 14 teams to compete at the Brier/Scott. That would be 10 provinces, three territories along with either Northern Ontario or Team Canada. They would then create two pools of seven teams.
3. A 10 team format for the Brier. The bottom two teams would then get dropped into a qualifying round-robin with the four teams who didn't make the Brier. Each province and territory gets a team, along with either Northern Ontario or Team Canada.
4. Status quo, but Nunavut is allowed to start sending teams to territorial playdowns. So instead of a NWT/Yukon team, the team would simply be known as the Territories, representing NWT/Yukon/Nunavut.
So which option would I prefer? Well, I'd be perfectly happy with either three or four. I think #4 is more likely to happen, simply because it's the least controversial and least likely to really upset traditionalists. Option #2 means some of the provinces might not play each other and there are certain rivalaries people want to see. And while option #3 seems not bad, there's always the chance that Alberta or Saskatchewan put up a stinker and get dropped to the qualifying pool, much to the horror of people in their provinces.
But yeah, I could curl at the Brier one day. It's a longshot, sure. But the odds get better if the CCA makes the right call in June. If they give me, and other Nunavut curlers, a shot, well, that's all we can ask for. The rest of it is up to us.
And I've got to say, if someone tells me I have a chance to represent Nunavut at the Brier, that's something I'm going to work very, very hard at. I want to be there.
Anyway, here's hoping you'll get to see me there at some point in the next few years. A long shot, but what the hell. And hey, it'll give Cathy an excuse to watch the Brier, instead of getting burned out by curling, which is where she is right now.
1. No need to cry - Neko Case
2. Burned out the flesh - Andrew LeDrew
3. The first time - U2
4. Stadium love - Metric*
5. Racing in the streets (live) - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band