Road To The Olympic Games

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Curling Association cancels Tankard, Scotties

Nova Scotia is the latest province to cancel its curling playdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The provincial men's and women's championships were scheduled for Jan. 25-31 in New Glasgow, N.S.

Questions remain on who will represent province at national event in Alberta bubble

Former Nova Scotia skip Mary-Anne Arsenault, pictured competing at the 2020 Scotties, has since relocated to British Columbia and is curling with a new team. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Nova Scotia is the latest province to cancel its curling playdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The provincial men's and women's championships were scheduled to be played Jan. 25-31 at the Bluenose Curling Club in New Glasgow, N.S.

"We're not allowed to have competitions in Nova Scotia at this time so we've reached the point where we've had to cancel those events," said Andrew Abraham, competition director for the Nova Scotia Curling Association.

While the provincial championships will not be played, the men's and women's national championships (Tim Hortons Brier and Scotties Tournament of Hearts) are going ahead in Calgary's curling bubble beginning in late February. 

Jamie Murphy (left) says he won’t skip his team at the upcoming Tim Hortons Brier in Alberta. (Canadian Curling Association)

But who will represent Nova Scotia is up in the air.

Last year's men's champion, the Jamie Murphy foursome, has been given the nod to represent the province, but Murphy says he won't go with the team.

"My other three teammates are on the search for a fourth," said Murphy. "Going out to Alberta, there are kind of some risks involved and then dealing with the isolation coming back, so I just said it's not going to happen."

While some other provinces are sending last year's champion, that's not the case on the women's side in Nova Scotia. Mary-Anne Arsenault is the defending champion but does not have a team this year.

Six-time Canadian champion Colleen Jones was last year's runner-up, but a points system is being used to determine who gets to go to this year's Scotties.

Jill Brothers says her team will meet Tuesday to determine whether they will go to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

That means the Jill Brothers foursome has a big decision to make — a decision they need to finalize by Wednesday.

"The quarantine time is what really makes it difficult," said Brothers, a mother of two small children who works at a hair salon in Halifax. "We're looking at a week and a half to get there and play in Alberta, and then you're looking at another two weeks [to quarantine] after that, so in total it's close to a month away from our work and our families."

Brothers, 37, has been to the Scotties four times and is feeling mixed emotions about the tough decision her team is now facing on whether they should represent their province.

"Everything just feels like it's in a real pressure cooker to figure it all out and make sure our entire team is on the same page," said Brothers. "It's a wild ride with a lot of emotions."

About the Author

Paul Palmeter is an award-winning video journalist born and raised in the Annapolis Valley. He has covered news and sports stories across the province for 30 years.

with files from The Canadian Press

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