Canadian Seniors in Ottawa

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There's a bunch of amazing curling events on tap this weekend, including the 2010 Canadian Seniors in Ottawa (event website here).

Ottawa Hunt Seniors

Have you paid any attention to Seniors curling lately? More and more legends are qualifying for this age group and are winning their provincial championships to make it to the national shootout. Just take a look at some of the women's teams:

Agnes Charette (QUE)... Christine Jurgenson (BC)... Laura Phillips (NL)... Heidi Hanlon (NB)... and Diane Foster (AB) to name a few.

And the men? We've got Al Hackner (NONT)... Brad Heidt (SK)... Brian Rafuse (NS)... Pierre Charette (QUE)... Mark Johnson (AB)... Wes Craig (BC) and more.

Hackner and Foster are recent champions, with Hackner losing the 2007 world senior final in Edmonton on an amazing last shot by Scotland, and Foster winning the 2008 world seniors in Vierumaki, Finland.

We've got some other neat tidbits for you to chew on. Did you know that:

• The first national Canadian Ladies' Championship (the "Dominion Diamond D") was held at the Ottawa Hunt in 1961, two years after its curling rink was opened? (And yes, that makes this the 50th Anniversary season of Ottawa Hunt curling)

• The Hunt staged the 1986 Ontario women's provincial, won by Marilyn Darte (Bodogh)? (She went on to win the Scotties and Worlds)

• Marilyn's sister Christine, who played second on that squad, is skipping this year's BC Seniors entry?

• The Hunt also hosted the 2008 CN Canadian Women's Open Golf championship, and the 1976 Canadian Senior Men's Curling Championship?

• The 2010 ladies' team from B. C. won the championship in 2008 after going 10-1, and went on to win the 2009 worlds in New Zealand... but with Pat Sanders at skip stone?

• The 2010 Alberta champs are the same three (third, second and lead) that won the Canadian Seniors in 2005 and 2007, but with a different skip each year? This year it's Mark Johnson; in 2007, it was Pat Ryan; and in 2005...? The skip was Les Rogers.

Brian Rafuse also represented Nova Scotia in 2008, going 9-2, but failed to win? (The title went to Sask's Eugene Hritzuk)

Agnes Charette won the Canadian Seniors in 1997, 1999 and 2001, but went 6-5 at her most recent appearance, in 2008?

• Al "The Iceman" Hackner won in 2006 with the same line-up, except that Rick Lang has been replaced by Art Lappalainen? And did you know that Artie is the brother of curling media legend Chico Heseltine's son-in-law? (Er, no, we bet you didn't know that last one)

• The action will be fast and furious, and lots of fun, and it all starts tomorrow? (Yes, we bet you did know that one)

[Thanks to event co-ChairCarol Lawlessfor the photo (that's her, by the way) and to curling legendTerry Beginfor the tidbits]