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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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Anglais

‘We’re back’: Montreal festival promoters happy to return but looking to next year

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In downtown Montreal, it’s festival season.

In the city’s entertainment district, a musical act was conducting a sound check on stage Friday evening — the second day of the French-language version of the renowned Just For Laughs comedy festival. Tickets for many of the festival’s free outdoor shows — limited by COVID-19 regulations — were sold out.

Two blocks away, more than 100 people were watching an acoustic performance by the Isaac Neto Trio — part of the last weekend of the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique, a celebration of music from the African continent and the African diaspora.

With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to limit capacity, festival organizers say they’re glad to be back but looking forward to next year when they hope border restrictions and capacity limits won’t affect their plans.

Charles Décarie, Just For Laughs’ CEO and president, said this is a “transition year.”

“Even though we have major constraints from the public health group in Montreal, we’ve managed to design a festival that can navigate through those constraints,” Décarie said.

The French-language Juste pour rire festival began on July 15 and is followed by the English-language festival until July 31.

When planning began in February and March, Décarie said, organizers came up with a variety of scenarios for different crowd sizes, ranging from no spectators to 50 per cent of usual capacity.

“You’ve got to build scenarios,” he said. “You do have to plan a little bit more than usual because you have to have alternatives.”

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Anglais

MELS new major movie studio to be built in Montreal

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MONTREAL — MELS Studios will build a new film studio in Montreal, filling some of the gap in supply to meet the demand of Hollywood productions.

MELS president Martin Carrier said on Friday that MELS 4 studio construction will begin « as soon as possible », either in the fall or winter of next year. The studio could host productions as early as spring 2023.

The total investment for the project is $76 million, with the Quebec government contributing a $25 million loan. The project will create 110 jobs, according to the company.

The TVA Group subsidiary’s project will enable it to stand out « even more » internationally, according to Quebecor president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau. In the past, MELS Studios has hosted several major productions, including chapters of the X-Men franchise. The next Transformers movie is shooting this summer in Montreal.

Péladeau insisted that local cultural productions would also benefit from the new facility, adding that the studio ensures foreign revenues and to showcase talent and maintain an industry of Quebec producers.

STUDIO SHORTAGE

The film industry is cramped in Montreal.

According to a report published last May by the Bureau du cinéma et de la télévision du Québec (BCTQ), there is a shortage of nearly 400,000 square feet of studio space.

With the addition of MELS 4, which will be 160,000 square feet, the company is filling part of the gap.

Carrier admitted that he has had to turn down contracts because of the lack of space, representing missed opportunities of « tens of millions of dollars, not only for MELS, but also for the Quebec economy. »

« Montreal’s expertise is in high demand, » said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, who was present at the announcement.

She said she received great testimonials from « Netflix, Disney, HBO and company » during an economic mission to Los Angeles in 2019.

« What stands out is that they love Montreal because of its expertise, knowledge and beauty. We need more space, like MELS 4, » she said.

There is still not enough capacity in Quebec, acknowledged Minister of Finance, the Economy and Innovation Eric Girard.

« It is certain that the government is concerned about fairness and balance, so if other requests come in, we will study them with the same seriousness as we have studied this one, » he said.

Grandé Studios is the second-largest player in the industry. Last May, the company said it had expansion plans that should begin in 2022. Investissement Québec and Bell are minority shareholders in the company.

For its part, MELS will have 400,000 square feet of production space once MELS 4 is completed. The company employs 450 people in Quebec and offers a range of services including studio and equipment rentals, image and sound postproduction, visual effects and a virtual production platform.

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Anglais

Birdhouse Wingerie & Bar is the Latest to Hatch in West Island’s Bubbling Restaurant Scene

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Wings are the thing at the latest restaurant to make its mark on Montreal’s West Island: Birdhouse Wingerie & Bar.

At the buzzy new Dollard-Des Ormeaux eatery, the bird limbs come aplenty, with a menu listing eleven “wet & messy” wings, including smoked apple habanero, sriracha lime, and cherry cola BBQ; and four — cacio e pepe, ketchups chip, Nashville hot, and the garlicky, lemon pepper “vampire slayer” — dry rub flavours. They come 10 for $18 or 20 for $34, plus the option of ranch, parmesan, or blue cheese dipping sauce.

Tacos, nachos, poutines (one made with bone marrow, another with tater tots), smashed burgers, salads, and a classic buttermilk fried chicken dinner are just sampling of the other dishes that round out the offering. On the drinks side, there are cocktails, sangrias, and spiked milkshakes in popular chocolate bar flavours: After Eight, Skor, Bounty, or Reeses.

Opened on July 5, Birdhouse is among a recent influx of restaurants to grace the island’s western end, including birria taco slinger Tacos Don Rigo and barbecue joint Smoke Box — a double whammy in the same Pierrefonds area strip mall. That comes in addition to plans for Fairview Pointe Claire’s incoming “District Gourmand” (slated to usher in Tommy Café), and, of course, a number of the area’s longer-standing stalwarts — from southern belle Bistro Nolah to old-school casse-croûte Smoked Meat Pete — that have helped bolster the West Island’s culinary credentials.

The brand-new Brunswick Boulevard restaurant is the brainchild of Montreal entrepreneur Lorne Schwartz, restaurateur George Massouras (of Madisons and Arahova Souvlaki), and among the other partners involved, Brahm Mauer, son of the founder of beloved buffalo hot wings expert Wings ‘n’ Things. Mauer has tried his hand at reviving the original Wings ‘n’ Things recipe — the restaurant originally opened in 1986 — over the years, including with a Royalmount Avenue location in 2012, then as a roaming summertime food truck and NDG pop-up. That same truck has now been made over with a Birdhouse-branded livery to be deployed for private events.

A likely draw to many, Birdhouse is reprising the “famous flavours, untouched” of the once-upon-a-time NDG staple, represented on its menu as “The Legendary WNT Buffalo” chicken wing.

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