UnitedWeCurl Broom Project

The UnitedWeCurl broom initiative launched by Goldline engaged Black and Indigenous curlers (Andrew Paris, Deb Martin, & Greyden Yee Lousion) to design brooms to respond to the killing of George Floyd and outcry for social justice.

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Changing the World Through Curling

Designing Representation That Matters

The UnitedWeCurl broom initiative launched by Goldline engaged Black and Indigenous curlers (Andrew Paris, Deb Martin, & Greyden Yee Lousion) to design brooms to respond to the killing of George Floyd and outcry for social justice.

The goal of the brooms was to bring attention to issues of racial diversity in curling and “to begin a conversation” around why racialized persons face barriers to access, participation, and feeling they belong in the sport. 

The designs created by Deb and Andrew pay tribute to specific aspects that celebrate Black communities across Canada, Black joy and achievement in North America. Greyden’s design incorporates art work from his home reserve in Saskatchewan, Indigenous traditions and cultural symbology, and his own family’s pride in Greyden being part of the world of curling. 

Indigenous Culture

Greyden Yee Lousion describes the process creating the Indigenous Culture broom with a deep connection with his family’s roots.

Black Curl Magic

Deb Martin talks about Black joy captured in her design for Black Curl Magic broom and the need for greater representation in curling

The Desmond

Andrew Paris describes his broom’s tribute to Viola Desmond bringing Black culture and tradition to start a conversation.

Greyden Yee Louison Indigenous Culture

Indigenous Culture Broom – My hope for the design is to make a difference for Indigenous and People of Colour in the sport of curling.
Greyden’s Story

I’m a Saskatchewan First Nation curler from a reservation called Kahkewistahaw First Nation #72 which is 10 minutes north of Broadview Saskatchewan, and is 2 hours east of Regina. I have been curling for 12 years and first started to curl at Broadview Curling Club in 2009 at the age of 8 years old.

Growing up on the reservation, there was not much offered for curling. The only time I would get to curl would be at league nights in Broadview. Around 2014, I wanted more opportunities in curling so I started a school curling team at the reservation and began to play in youth bonspiels, as well as joining a youth league in Regina with my school team. These efforts brought many wins and success for the youth school team and created a reputation that this First Nation team meant business when they got on the ice.

After I graduated, I moved to Regina for university to study Kinesiology, and played in a competitive league at the Caledonian Curling Club. In my time playing in the league, I met many individuals that loved to play the sport as well. I even had the chance to play against curling announcer and former professional curler, Joan McCusker.

Today, I continue to go to university online, because of COVID-19, and I work as well. I strive to continue my curling career in hopes that it brings a chance to play for the Regina university curling team. I’ve also partnered with UnitedWeCurl in hopes to encourage more BIPOC youth to get into the game of curling.

Deb Martin Black Curl Magic

BlackCurlMagic – is a shoutout, a tribute to people like me who show up in unexpected spaces with audacious joy, grit, & grace and Black excellence.
Deb’s Story

Deb Martin curls out of the Plainfield Curling Club in New Jersey and the Bucks Country Curling Club in Pennsylvania.

I simply think of myself as a crazy fangirl who just can’t get enough when it comes to curling. It’s clear to everyone who knows me and my wife, Charlotte, that curling is a HUGE part of our lives.

Being invited to participate in the UnitedWeCurl and to play a part in challenging what we have come to expect when we think of curling is an unbelievably humbling honor. I know first-hand how impactful representation is and the idea that this is a conversation our community seems ready and willing to have just lights me up.

I’m not a Black Curler, or a Female Curler, or a Queer Curler. I am a Curler – who just happens to be all those things and more. Personally, I look forward to a day when it’s not a unique and notable thing to see a face like mine and my wife’s out there throwing rocks, calling shots and brushing our guts out. A day when we are known for our gameface – not our face in the game.

I sincerely appreciate Goldline for choosing such an original and creative way to spotlight these unique experiences and hope that it helps to deepen the understanding of would-be allies who are inclined to increase their understanding as to what it is like to walk through the world on the margins in spaces where we are always the exception. I hope we are all prepared and committed to consciously creating a culture where curlers like us are no longer an exception – but a rule; a community where representation is the standard both on and off the ice.

Andrew Paris The Desmond

The Desmond – This broom helps start a conversation about Black people in Canada and that conversation will be key as we change the face of our great sport.
Andrew’s Story

I’m a Nova Scotia curler, coach and former sport administrator living in Truro, Nova Scotia. I’ve been curling for almost 25 years and threw my first rocks in my hometown (Summerside, Prince Edward Island) at the Silver Fox Curling & Yacht Club. I began coaching in 2006 at the Dartmouth Curling Club in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and immediately developed a passion for how to make curling accessible to all, in particular youth. I took over running the junior program at the club in 2013 and grew the program from 30 kids to a high of 135 kids just two years later. My work earned the Volunteer of the Year award from Nova Scotia Curling in 2016 and I was named a finalist for the National Volunteer of the Year by Curling Canada.

From 2017 to 2020, I worked with Nova Scotia Curling as the Technical Director and Provincial Coach. I’ve used my passion to help rollout a province-wide Junior Development Program and create a High Performance Program for junior curlers representing Nova Scotia on the national stage. I also was the Team Leader with the provincial teams at the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Canadian Under-18 Boys and Girls Championships and the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

Today, I continue to seek ways to bring more people into curling clubs and keep them engaged. I assist as an instructor with the Learn-to-Curl and junior programs at the Truro Curling Club. But now I’m taking on my biggest challenge yet as I build the Black Rock Initiative under the umbrella of #UnitedWeCurl, which seeks to encourage BIPOC youth to pick up the sport of curling and assist curling clubs across the country to be more inclusive spaces for everyone in their communities.