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Newest member of Team Jennifer Jones says she has ‘big shoes to fill’ heading into Scotties

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It’s a Thursday afternoon in early February, and inside the Granite Curling Club in Winnipeg, champion curler Jocelyn Peterman is perfecting her craft.

You might expect the pressure to be intense for Peterman heading into the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Sydney, N.S., this weekend, as the new second for Team Jennifer Jones — taking over from Jill Officer, who announced last year she would be taking a step back from competitive curling. 

But the 25-year old from Red Deer, Alta., says the transition to Jones’s rink was a seamless one, and Officer — who will still be a part of the squad at the Scotties this year as the team’s alternate —has been especially supportive.

“Obviously, when Jill retired there were big shoes to fill. She’s such a great person and such a great teammate and such a consistently great player,” Peterman said.

“She’s been really great welcoming me to the team, and ensuring that there isn’t any pressure there. So it’s been really great and it’s nice to have her coming to the event as well.”

Returning champions

Following their win last year, Jones’s Manitoba-based rink is looking for a record-setting seventh national championship at the Scotties tournament, which begins Saturday, with lead Dawn McEwen, Peterman at second and third Kaitlyn Lawes.

The stakes are high — the winner returns as Team Canada at the Scotties next year, and also moves on to represent Canada at the women’s world curling championships in Denmark next month.

Jones’s rink won that championship last year.

“We’re just practising quite a bit and training in the gym,” said Peterman. “Mostly practising and taking some time to recover so that we’re healthy and feeling good heading into next week.”

Newest member of Team Jennifer Jones tell us what it takes to be a world class second. 1:54

Peterman knows what it takes to win a national championship.  She was the second with Alberta’s Team Chelsea Carey when they won the Scotties in 2016.

“Sweeping is kind of the main job of the second. Obviously, with the sweeping, you need to be physically fit — upper-body strength with the sweeping.”

Knowing the weight of throwing rocks is just as important, the Alberta native says.

“We throw a mix of shots, so light-touch weight shots and some big heavyweight takeouts as well. A little bit of both with the shots.”

At this practice, Peterman and teammate Lawes are taking turns throwing rocks and sweeping together.

There are also moments in the two-hour practice for the teammates to work on their own on separate sheets.

Peterman hopes to add another Scotties crown to her long list of curling titles, and says she would love to do it with her new teammates. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Peterman was skip throughout most of her junior career. This will be her fifth season playing team second, and she says she enjoys the combination of skills needed in the role.

“I do like that it’s a combination of shots and I do like that you get a good mix of sweeping in there as well. And when you’re needed you can contribute to the strategy as well.”

From competitor to teammate

Peterman says she was approached early last year by her new teammates to take over from Officer.

The decision to join the Olympic gold medal-winning squad was an easy one, Peterman says.

“The girls are all so good and so accomplished in the sport. I was honoured to be asked to be a part of their team and to be in such good company.”

She says she’s excited for the opportunity to play with one of the world’s best teams — and one she’d previously faced as a competitor.

“I’ve competed against them for a long time. But I didn’t know them too well on a personal level,” Peterman said.

Peterman says the Jennifer Jones rink has formed a strong bond ahead of the Scotties. ‘I’ve competed against them for a long time. But I didn’t know them too well on a personal level’ before joining the team, she says. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

“I just knew that they were so accomplished and such good curlers. I didn’t know them well, but it’s been nice getting to know them this season.”

Peterman feels a strong bond has formed between the rink during the very busy curling season that began last fall, and included a win earlier this month at the TSN All-Star Curling Skins game in Banff.

“So that was exciting. And yeah, it’s been a lot of fun.”

The second says she would like to add another Scotties crown to her long list of curling titles, and she would love to do it with her new teammates.

“It would be so exciting. It would be a pretty amazing opportunity with this team.”

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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa

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With Ontario now in Step 3 of 2021 three-step plan for reopening, museums and other indoor attractions are allowed to reopen with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Here is a list of Ottawa attractions you can visit starting July 16th.

Do remember to wear masks and buy tickets in advance.

Parliament Hill

Parliament’s Centre Block and Peace Tower are closed for renovation.

You can join for tours of the Senate of Canada Building (2 Rideau Street), House of Commons at West Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill, and East Block at East Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill.

When: Grounds open; guided tours of Parliament are suspended through the summer of 2021.
Where: 111 Wellington Street, Downtown Ottawa

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Ottawa performer leapfrogs from gymnastics to Broadway to TV

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A new AppleTV+ series set in a magical town that’s stuck in a neverending 1940s musical includes a pair of Ottawa siblings in the cast. 

Warren Yang and his sister, Ericka Hunter, play two of the singing, dancing residents of the village portrayed in Schmigadoon!, a small-screen series that takes its cues from classic musicals like Brigadoon, Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, and skewers them with the offbeat comedic mastery of Saturday Night Live. 

In fact, you’ll recognize many of the names from SNL, starting with executive producer Lorne Michaels, creator of the late-night, live-comedy sketch show. Schmigadoon! also stars SNL cast member Cecily Strong and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who hosted SNL in May. They play a New York couple who get lost on a hike and stumble into a strange town where everyone sings and dances. 

For Yang, a relative newcomer to show-biz, the series marks his television debut. For Hunter, the younger of his two older sisters, it’s the latest in a career path that began with dance lessons as a child more than 30 years ago. She attended Canterbury High School, Ottawa’s arts-focused secondary school. 

“Her dream was always to perform,” said Yang, 34, in an interview. “But that was never the path I thought was an option for me.” 

While his sister studied dance, Yang did gymnastics. He was an elite gymnast throughout his youth, ultimately leaving Merivale High School at 16 to train in Montreal, finishing high school through correspondence courses. He was a member of the Canadian National Team and received a scholarship to study at Penn State, majoring in marketing. 

A few years after graduation, Yang was working at an advertising agency in Toronto when he got a call from a Manhattan number. To his astonishment, they asked if he would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

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COVID-19: uOttawa to require vaccination for students living in residence

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Vaccination will be mandatory for students who want to live in residence at the University of Ottawa this year, with proof of vaccination and at least one dose required before move-in, or within two weeks of doing so if they can’t secure a shot before arriving.

Those who can’t receive a vaccine for “health-related reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code” will be able to submit a request for accommodation through the university’s housing portal, according to information on the university’s website.

Students with one dose living in residence will also have to receive their second dose “within the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health.”

People who haven’t been granted an exemption and don’t get vaccinated or submit proof of having done so by the deadlines set out by the school will have their residence agreements terminated, uOttawa warns.

“Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most (effective) means of protecting people and those around them,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper by uOttawa’s director of strategic communications, Patrick Charette.

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“It is precisely for this reason that the University of Ottawa is requiring all students living in residence for the 2021-2022 academic year to be fully vaccinated. The University recognizes that some students may require accommodations for a variety of reasons and will be treating exceptions appropriately.”

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the statement notes.

“Ensuring a high vaccine coverage in all communities is critical to ensuring an ongoing decline in cases and ending the pandemic. This will be especially important with the return of students to post-secondary institutions in our region in the fall of 2021.”

Neither Carleton University nor Algonquin College is currently mandating vaccination for students living in residence, according to the websites for both schools. But uOttawa isn’t alone in its policy – Western University, Trent University, Durham College and Fanshawe College have all implemented similar requirements. Seneca College, in the GTA, is going even further, making vaccination mandatory for students and staff to come to campus, in-person, for the fall term.

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