By Stewart Grant
David St. Louis spent sixteen years of his life working in Iqaluit, the capital city of Nunavut located some 2,400 km north of St. Marys. This past weekend, the St. Marys resident traveled back to the northern territory where his team earned the right to represent Nunavut in the top curling competition in the country…the Tim Hortons Brier.
As a result of changes adopted by the Canadian Curling Association that came into effect for the 2018 Brier, each of the 10 provinces and 3 territories (along with three additional teams) will have full participation in the 16-team national championship.
Nunavut is not a densely populated area. While Iqaluit is the territory’s capital, its population (7,740 according to the 2016 census) is roughly the same as St. Marys. To qualify for the Brier, Iqaluit residents and avid curlers Wade Kingdon, Peter Mackey and Jeff Nadeau called upon their longtime friend St. Louis to skip their team as an import player.
There was one other rink competing for the chance to represent Nunavut in the Brier, and this other team also took advantage of the rule allowing one import player. In the best-of-five finals that took place in Iqaluit last weekend, St. Louis’ team lost the first game but won the next three matches to advance.
While there is no greater stage in Canadian Curling than the Brier, it is not the first time St. Louis has competed nationally. Way back in 1979, he represented Northern Ontario at the Canadian Junior Curling Championship.
St. Louis has no illusions of grandeur as he looks ahead to the 2018 Brier, where he will likely meet up with world-famous skips such as Brad Gushue, Brad Jacobs, and Kevin Koe. “Our goal is to make it to the 10th end in these games,” said St. Louis. “If we get that far, it means we have a chance.”
The 2018 Brier will be held March 3-11 in Regina, Saskatchewan. If you’d like to cheer on David and Team Nunavut in person, tickets are available at www.curling.ca/2018brier/. Otherwise, be sure to look out for him on the national TV broadcast as he takes on some of the world’s best curlers.