The Stone Age: A Social History of Curling on the Prairies

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9781894856294: The Stone Age: A Social History of Curling on the Prairies
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The game of curling has been an intrinsic part of life on the Prairies since the 1800s. The smallest towns are home to a rink, a league, and even a local bonspiel. The Stone Age: A Social History of Curling on the Prairies chronicles the sport's development from a crude game played by fur traders on a frozen river, to the sophisticated Olympic sport it is today. In the early years, curling survived and adapted to a wave of immigration, railway expansion, two World Wars, and a depression, gathering countless fans along the way.

Since the 1950s, curling has experienced an explosion in the number of men, women, juniors, and seniors who have taken up the game - both on the Prairies and across Canada - along with increasingly lucrative bonspiels, intense media coverage, and its share of controversy. The Stone Age looks at this important legacy of success both on and off the ice. It also highlights the careers of curlers such as Bob Dunbar, curling's first superstar, Sylvia Fedoruk, Joyce McKee, Ernie Richardson, Sandra Schmirler, all of whom made vital contributions to the development of the sport.

Thanks to four-time Canadian Women's champion Vera Pezer's long and outstanding involvement in the game, she brings character and color to The Stone Age, with her personal stories of the events, players, and reporters who brought curling from the Prairies to the world stage.

The Stone Age will be of interest to curling fans and Prairie history aficionados. It explores the impact of the sport on the cultural and social life of the Canadian Prairies and why it developed in a substantially different direction here than in its native Scotland or even Eastern Canada. More than that, for anyone with a love of the sport and history, The Stone Age provides a purely entertaining read.

"Top 10" Developments that Changed Curling Forever: George Cameron, a Winnipeg businessman, persuaded Walter Stewart of the Macdonald Tobacco Company of the merit in supporting a Canadian Curling Championship. The Brier was born. Nipawin, Saskatchewan, staged a car bonspiel in 1947. Ken Watson discovered, by accident, that removing the toe rubber from his forward foot gave him a longer, smoother slide. Joyce McKee joined the Hub City men's league in 1952, curling with her father and brother. Winnipeg introduced matching rocks, colored rings, and more ceremony and media coverage to the 1940 Brier, the first staged outside Toronto. Calgary Brier champion Howard Palmer convinced his employer, the T. Eaton Company, to sponsor a Western Canadian Women's Championship (1953). Clubs began to install artificial ice. Manitoba's Bruce Hudson deliberately blanked an end at the 1928 Brier. Gordon Craig, President of TSN, decided to give curling greater prominence on television. Ernie, Arnold, Sam and Wes Richardson competed in the 1959 Scotch Cup.

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About the Author:

Vera Pezer, Ph.D, is a four-time Canadian Curling Champion as well as a Scott Tournament of Hearts and Olympic Curling Coach. She received a Ph.D in sports psychology from the University of Saskatchewan and lives in Saskatoon where she assists athletes from numerous fields with mental training and strategy. Among her many honours, Pezer has been inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.

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