Three Canadian champion junior teams, a pair of dedicated long-term volunteers, and a curler with six Manitoba, Canadian and World championships on his resume will be honoured by induction into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame at the 2024 induction dinner, May 5 at CanadInn’s Polo Park in Winnipeg.
Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame & Museum President Peter Nicholls extends his congratulations to the 2024 inductee class and to the friends, family and curling fans who have supported their competitive and volunteer efforts.
The 2024 BUILDER inductees include former CurlManitoba President and Curling Canada Governor Sam Antila who has also been a long-time volunteer at Thompson’s Burntwood Curling Club and Bill Biehl, a pioneer in the implementation of organized coaching instruction and coaching programs in Manitoba and three-times past-President of Winnipeg’s Heather Curling Club.
The 2024 CURLER inductee is Ken Tresoor who won a pair of Manitoba Mixed titles along with a pair of Manitoba Men’s championships, one Canadian, and one World title in an over 25-year competitive career.
The three junior champion TEAM inductees honour the 1989 Canadian champion and world bronze medal team skipped by Cathy Overton, the 1994 Canadian champion team skipped by Jennifer Jones, and the 1995 Canadian champion and world bronze medal team skipped by Chris Galbraith.
“We are pleased to welcome these very worthy inductees into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame,” says Nicholls. “Builders Sam Antila and Bill Biehl have played an important leadership role in Manitoba curling. Ken Tresoor and the members of the Overton, Jones and Galbraith teams set standards of excellence which junior teams following them have been challenged to meet and surpass.”
The 2024 Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame Induction Dinner will be hosted at CanadInns Destination Centre Polo Park on May 5, 2024. Dinner ticket prices will be held at $100 for 2024. More complete dinner details will be announced by March 1, 2024.
Interested persons are invited to send an email to [email protected] to purchase tickets or to request more complete information when the details are finalized.
BUILDER: Sam Antila was originally from Larder Lake in Northern Ontario where he had been a successful downhill skier. He began to curl when he moved to Northern Manitoba and it became his sport of choice in Thompson in 1982 when he recognized it could provide the competitive sport outlet he had been missing. This led him to a 40-year involvement with Thompson’s Burntwood Curling Club as well as to the boardrooms of both CurlManitoba and Curling Canada.
In Thompson, in the 1980’s, his first involvement with the local curling club was as a member of the bonspiel committee and willing volunteer for other roles as needed. After many years, and many roles, on the Burntwood Curling Club Executive and major events in the community, he would eventually serve as President – but not until after he served as CurlManitoba President and Curling Canada Governor.
At CurlManitoba, it was his objective to ensure that the concerns of Manitoba’s northern clubs and curlers were known and considered in provincial decisions. He brought the perspectives of an active competitor and an active club executive member to the Board table and was dedicated to ensuring that competitive and development opportunities existed for clubs across rural and northern Manitoba.
As President of CurlManitoba, where he was a Manitoba delegate at the regular meetings of the members of Curling Canada, he chaired the Provincial Associations Council at the national meetings and was recruited to serve as a Governor of Curling Canada. He served a two-year term (2018-19 & 2019-20) as Governor. His very recent experience at the provincial association level provided representation of provincial concerns in discussions of the same and new issues – but now from the national perspective.
BUILDER: Bill Biehl was one of the first to become involved in Manitoba when the Curl Canada technical coach-instruction program was implemented in the 1970’s. He became certified as a Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Course Conductor and from 1978 to 1985, he served as Manitoba’s Provincial Coordinator (known at the time as the Master Course Conductor). In this capacity, he organized instructional programs and helped to train an estimated 400 curlers to serve as course instructors and curling coaches.
During the approximately two decades when the MCA & MLCA offered their junior curling camps program, Bill dedicated much of each summer to an instructor role. In the years 2003-2006, when he was the CurlManitoba Technical Director, he also took the lead role in organizing the junior instructional camps. He retired from CurlManitoba and direct involvement in coach-instructor training in 2006 when he took on a one-year assignment as a national coach-instructor in Italy.
At the club level, beginning as Junior Coordinator, and continuing for thirteen years, he was a member of the executive of the Heather Curling Club. He served as club President in 1983-84. He returned to the Executive and again served as President in 2010-11 and 2011-12. At the same time, he served as a member of the CurlManitoba Board of Directors for a three-year term (2010-11 to 2012-13).
For several years prior to 1993, Bill Biehl was the only certified national official in Manitoba. During the late 1980’s and in the 1990’s he was head official for several Manitoba Men’s, Scotties, Juniors, and Mixed Championships, an on-ice official on many other occasions at provincial, national events., and. His officiating assignment included Brandon’s 1995 Worlds (On-ice Official) and the 1997 Canadian Seniors – Nipawin, SK (Head Official).
CURLER: Ken Tresoor played in his first Manitoba Junior Championship in 1985 and competed in a total of 22 Manitoba championships (2 Junior, 16 Men’s, 4 Mixed) by the time of his final appearance at the Men’s championship in 2012. He won Manitoba Mixed Championships with Howard Restall (1990) and Jeff Stoughton (1994). He won Manitoba Men’s titles with Jeff Stoughton in 1991 and 1996 and the 1996 team went on to win Canadian and World Championships. The 1996 team compiled a 30W-5L record in winning the Manitoba, Canadian and World titles. His overall championship win-loss record was 128W-61L in 27 championship appearances.
TEAM OVERTON 1989: The 1989 Canadian Junior Women’s Champion team of Cathy Overton, Tracy Baldwin. Carol Harvey, and Tracy Bush won events in both the Junior Women’s and MLCA bonspiels and posted a 5W-1L record to win the Manitoba Junior Women’s title.
The team had the unique experience of not having to travel outside the province to win the Canadian juniors and advance to the World championship.
Playing at home at the Heather Curling Club, the team won the Canadian Championship and that trip to the world championship with a perfect 11W-0L record.
The Worlds was played in Portage la Prairie. Overton’s Team Canada finished with a 9W-2L record – they finished the round robin at 8W-1L (tied for first with Scotland) but lost a semifinal game 8-7 to Sweden before beating Switzerland 8-1 to win the bronze medal.
Cathy Overton was named All-Star skip at both the Canadian and World Championships. Tracy Baldwin was all star third at the Canadians and Tracy Bush was all star lead at the Worlds.
TEAM JONES 1994: Since the inception of world championship play, the 1994 Canadian Junior Women’s champion team has the unique (and unfortunate) distinction of being the only Canadian Junior champion team to not compete at a world championship. Jennifer Jones, Trisha Baldwin, Jill Officer and Dana Malanchuk showed a progression of success. In 1992, they lost the Manitoba Junior final. They won Manitoba in 1993 and finished fifth at Canadians. In 1994, they were undefeated (6W-0L) to win Manitoba again and won the Canadian title with an 11W-4L record.
Due to change in qualifying protocol, they did not have an opportunity to play at the Worlds but rather had an assured spot in the next year’s Canadian playoffs round. They also had the chance to compete again to be Team Manitoba but lost the 1995 final. The Canadians in 1995 became a sudden-death affair – dropped into the playoff round as Team Canada, they lost their first game. One and done, they missed their World championship opportunity.
Jennifer Jones was co-All-Star skip at the 1994 Canadian Championship.
TEAM GALBRAITH 1995: In 1995, brothers Chris (Skip) & Bryan (lead) Galbraith joined forces with Scott Cripps (third) and Brent Barrett (second) to record a 25W-6L record in winning the Manitoba and Canadian Junior Men’s titles and the World bronze medal.
The 1994-95 line-up proved to be a winning combination. The Fort Rouge team recorded 6W-1L and 10W-3L records in winning the Manitoba and Canadian Championships.
As Team Canada at the World Juniors in Perth, Scotland the Galbraith team finished the round robin with an 8W-1L record to tie for first in the standings with Scotland’s Tom Brewster team. Team Galbraith bounced back from a semi-final loss to Germany to beat Sweden in the bronze medal game while Scotland won the gold medal.
Chris Galbraith was the Canadian Championship All-Star skip and received the World Junior Men’s Sportsmanship Award.