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Senior curlers set to rock Canadian finals in Vernon

28 teams to compete at Canadian Senior Men’s and Women’s finals at Vernon Curling Club starting Dec. 3

Canada’s top senior curlers converge on the North Okanagan this week.

The Vernon Curling Club is playing host to the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships, sponsored by Everest Funeral Concierge, Dec. 3-9.

“There will be 28 teams competing, 14 in both events, with every province and territory represented, which makes 13, and there’s Northern Ontario in both events,” said Mark Longworth, co-chair of the event along with Vernon Curling Club manager Dave Merklinger.

The men’s and women’s champions will represent Canada at the 2024 World Championships in Sweden.

Teams to watch, said Merklinger, include Manitoba in both the men’s and women’s event. Saskatchewan and Quebec are also contenders in both.

B.C.’s colours will be worn by Diane Gushulak of New Westminster for the women, and Duncan’s Wes Craig for the men. Both skips are quite familiar with the Vernon Curling Club, having taken part in many bonspiels and playdowns in Vernon.

“There is going to be some fine curling,” said Merklinger. “There are plenty of players in the event with lots of Brier and Scotties (national men’s and women’s events) experience.”

Ontario (men’s) and Saskatchewan (women’s) are the defending champions. Saskatchewan’s Sherry Anderson had won the last five national women’s title before her streak was stopped in the 2023 provincial playdowns.

The Canadian finals begin Sunday, Dec. 3, with the opening draw at 4 p.m., followed by the official opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m., and Draw 2 wraps up opening day at 8 p.m.

Men’s and women’s teams will be on the ice at the same time in this tournament. Both B.C. skips see their first action Monday, Dec. 4, at 10 a.m. Craig plays Alberta while Gushulak draws Saskatchewan in her opener.

Each tournament is divided into two pools of seven, where teams will play a round-robin. Top four teams in each pool advance to the championship bracket where they’ll play the top four teams from the other pool.

Top four teams advance to the semifinals.

Draws Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday go at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 6 p.m. There are four draws Thursday, Dec. 7, as the championship bracket gets underway, at 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4:30 and 8:30.

Action Friday, Dec. 8, sees the championship round-robin conclude with draws at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 6.

The men’s and women’s semifinals are slated for Saturday, Dec. 9, at 8:30 a.m.

The men’s gold- and bronze-medal games will be played at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by the women’s championship and third-place games at 3:30 p.m.

A week-long pass, which gets you into every draw including playoffs and championships, is $75. Email the Vernon Curling Club at with the number of tickets you would like, and the club will be in touch to make arrangements for payment and pick-up details.

A day pass is $20 and a draw pass is $10. Both are available at the door.

You can go to and click under the Everest Canadians tab for more tournament information.

It’s the third time the Vernon Curling Club has hosted the national seniors tournaments. The first was the Canadian Senior Women’s championship in 1979, and Vernon hosted both the men’s and women’s events in 2004.

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B.C.: Diane Gushulak, Royal City Curling Club (New Westminster);

ALBERTA: Atina Ford-Johnston, Okotoks, Irricana, Calgary, Sherwood Park;

SASKATCHEWAN: Nancy Martin, Yorkton Curling Club;

MANITOBA: Joelle Brown, Charleswood Curling Club (Winnipeg);

ONTARIO: Susan Froud, Alliston Curling Club (Alliston, Ont.);

NORTHERN ONTARIO: Stacey Szajewski, Keewatin Curling Club (Kenora);

QUEBEC: Chantal Osborne, Thurso, Laval-sur-le-lac, Roberval, QC;

NEW BRUNSWICK: Shelly Graham, Capital Winter Club (Fredericton);

NOVA SCOTIA: Andrea Saulnier, Glooscap Curling Club, (Kentville, NS);

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: Shelly Bradley, Cornwall Curling Club (Cornwall, PEI);


YUKON: Lorna Spenner, Whitehorse Curling Club;

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES: Sharon Cormier, Yellowknife Curling Centre;

NUNAVUT: Geneva Chislett, Iqaluit Curling Club;


B.C.: Wes Craig, Duncan Curling Club;

ALBERTA: James Pahl, Sherwood Park Curling Club;

SASKATCHEWAN: Bruce Korte, Nutana Curling Club (Saskatoon);

MANITOBA: Dave Boehmer, Petersfield Curling Club (Petersfield, MB);

ONTARIO: Bryan Cochrane, Russell Curling Club (Russell, ON);

NORTHERN ONTARIO: Ron Rosengren, Port Arthur Curling Club;

QUEBEC: François Roberge, Etchemin Curling Club (Saint Romuald, QC);

NEW BRUNSWICK: Mike Kennedy, Grand Falls/Curl Moncton;

NOVA SCOTIA: Paul Flemming, Nova Scotia Curling Association;

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: Philip Gorveatt, Montague Curling Club (Montague, PEI);

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR: Alex Smith, Re/Max Centre, St. John’s;

YUKON: Terry Miller, Whitehorse Curling Club;

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES: Cory Vanthuyne, Yellowknife;

NUNAVUT: Peter Mackey, Iqaluit Curling Club.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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