Iqaluit Curling Club teams heading to Ottawa for national tournament

Teams haven’t been able to practise in 2 weeks due to emergency operations to deal with water crisis

Two teams from the Iqaluit Curling Club are representing Nunavut at the Everest Canadian Club Championship in Ottawa. From left: Wade Kingdon, Peter Van Strien, Hunter Tootoo, Justin McDonnell of the men’s team, and Denise Hutchings, Alison Taylor and Aloka Wijesooriya of the women’s team. (Photos courtesy of Curling Canada)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Two teams from the Iqaluit Curling Club are going to Ottawa to represent Nunavut at the Everest Canadian Curling Club Championships.

The event takes place Nov. 29 to Dec. 4 at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club, and it features men’s and women’s club teams, representing every province and territory from across Canada.

Nunavut’s teams have faced some unique challenges ahead of the tournament. On Nov. 10, the city announced that the club’s facilities would be used as a base of emergency operations during the ongoing water crisis.

The lack of a playing surface back home has made it difficult for both teams to train in the weeks leading up to the tournament, says men’s team skip Wade Kingdon.

“Unfortunately, our situation up here is not agreeing with our practice schedule,” Kingdon said. “It is a water crisis and a state of emergency, so, not much we can do about it.”

During the weeks without ice time, the teams have mainly been practising and training with off-ice drills. To compensate for being off the rink for a considerable time, the teams were scheduled to land in Ottawa on Nov. 25, and spend the days leading up to the tournament practising intensely at the RCMP Curling Club.

In addition to the water-related challenges, the women’s team has not been able to meet with their team’s third, Megan Ingram, who moved to Whitehorse in August.

Women’s skip Denise Hutchings says that reconnecting with Ingram in person is just another “wrinkle” the team is hoping to overcome before the tournament begins.

“We’re excited to see her tonight, to come together as a team, sit down and weigh out some things in the next couple days,” Hutchings said.

Both Kingdon and Hutchings have expressed their excitement to be headed back to at a Curling Canada event where they can enjoy the camaraderie that exists between all the teams.

On the men’s team, Kingdon is joined by Peter Van Strien, Justin McDonnell and former Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo. Alison Taylor and Aloka Wijesooriya are competing alongside Ingram and Hutchings on the women’s team.

“I’m looking forward to another great event by Curling Canada, and hopefully we come out with a [win],” Hutchings said.

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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by Patrick star on

    Southerners representing Nunavut *** there you go lol

    • Posted by What’s a southerner? on

      Pushing 200 yrs of living in the north across these fine folk

    • Posted by ashevak on

      Pretty sure Hunter Tootoo is not from the south…

    • Posted by Northerner on

      Some of them have lived here for decades. Happy to have them represent Nunavut.
      OMG look at the teams from NWT or Yukon, always.

  2. Posted by Tinman on

    Good luck guys, do us proud.

  3. Posted by But,…why? on

    I really do not understand all the backlash that comes up every time curling teams go south and get coverage.

    Yes there are no Inuit on the teams who go south, except for the few times Hunter Tootoo went. And maybe there are others who play. I do not know.

    But there is nothing stopping Inuit around Iqaluit from getting into curling. There are lots of Inuit kids signed up for the kids programs right?

    So why all the hate?

    • Posted by Easier. on

      It’s easier to curse the darkenss than to light a candle.

      • Posted by Airo the Queen on

        Some people live miserable lives and have no notable accomplishments of their own, so they work hard to ensure no one else is noticed for anything either

  4. Posted by Never on

    Our family has now 3 generations living, working, contributing in the North. We have many Inuit friends and associates. And yet since we came from the South, many decades ago, we will never be considered, by many, as equal partners in the North but rather remain as intruders and opportunists. Why?

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