St. Marys resident will skip Team Nunavut in Penticton
By Pat Payton
Special to the Independent
PENTICTON, B.C. – It seems that a dream has come true for Amie Shackleton.
The St. Marys resident and long-time curler will compete for Team Nunavut at the upcoming Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The 2018 Canadian women’s curling championship will be held here at South Okanagan Events Centre Jan. 27 to Feb. 4.
“They needed someone to skip their team, and Carla St. Louis asked me if I’d go and skip the Nunavut ladies team,” Shackleton told the Independent in a recent interview. “The Nunavut ladies team had qualified on their own and I’m stepping in and going to the Scotties with them. Ontario had to release me and I just got approval.”
Carla and her husband David St. Louis lived several years in Iqaluit, the capital city of Nunavut, before moving to St. Marys in 2005. David St. Louis was president and ran the curling club in Iqaluit. When David and Carla heard the Nunavut ladies rink was looking for a skip, they recommended Shackleton.
“We felt she was a perfect fit for theirteam,” Carla St. Louis said.
Shackleton, who is manager of the St. Marys Curling Club, is expecting an experience of a life-time in Penticton. She won’t meet her teammates until she arrives in Western Canada later this month.
“I’m a little nervous, but extremely excited,” Shackleton said. “It will be good.
“When (hushand) Derek and I first got together, I used to joke that I wanted to move to Nunavut and play at the Scotties. I joked about it for 10 years now, so it’s rather ironic that it’s happening.”
For Team Nunavut, last year was their first time competing at the Scotties.
This year’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts will feature a 16-team field for the first time in history. The field features 14 provincial/territorial champions.
“They’ve changed the format this year, so we’re guaranteed seven games,” Shackleton notes. “There’s two pools of eight. You play a round-robin, and the top four teams will advance to the championship round and another round-robin.”
Shackleton’s teammates are: lead Robyn MacKey, second Denise Hutchings, vice Geneva Chislett and alternate Christianne West.
Will skip at 2018 Brier
David St. Louis, meanwhile, will skip the Nunavut men’s team at the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier in Regina, March 3-11.
Late last year, St. Louis travelled back to Nunavut and his team earned the right to represent Nunavut at the top men’s curling competition in the country. His teammates are vice Wade Kingdon, second Peter MacKey and lead Jeff Nadeau.
St. Louis and his rink defeated another Iqaluit team three games to one in a best-of-five final to qualify for the Brier. Sixteen teams will compete in the national championship in Saskatchewan.
–Nunavut is the newest, largest, and northern-most territory of Canada. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999.