Monday, Feb 13, 2017
at First Hurl
Curlers fall for each other at
Gillies, Abbotsford Curling Club
Dean Joanisse is hoping to achieve this weekend what his love partner
achieved three weeks ago — win entry to a national curling championship.
Joanisse is skipping of Maple Ridge’s Golden Ears Curling Club, and
competing at the B.C. Men's Championship, taking place this weekend at the
Abbotsford Curling Club. The tournament continues Friday, with finals going
Saturday and Sunday.
Joanisse and Shannon Aleksic have been together for nine years now, and both
are competitive curlers on the provincial and national levels.
While Joanisse is throwing rocks in this weekend’s BC championship, Aleksic,
who works for Curl BC — curling’s provincial governing body — is helping put
on the tournament. But she throws third on Team (Marla) Mallett, which won
the B.C. women’s provincial championship two weeks ago, and is now headed to
the national championship — the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in St.
Surrey’s Tyler Tardi, skip
of the 2017 Junior Men Canadian Champion team that will represent Canada at
the World championships.
And the approach of Valentine’s Day does
little to soften the competitive edge in this Abbotsford relationship. So
far, the Tournament of Hearts is winning the battle.
“Yeah I’m winning right now, but don’t count him out,” Aleksic said this
week. “We’re always competing to one-up each other. I’m ahead right now as I
have already booked my ticket to the nationals while he is here competing at
the provincial championship. I’m quietly cheering for him … just don’t tell
Joanisse quickly counters that he’d not only beat Aleksic in a head-to-head
competition, but he suggests we all head down to the ice right now to do
this. Then he smiles, wraps his arm around Aleksic and pulls her in for a
bear hug and a kiss on the top of her head.
Joanisse is clearly proud of his love as she prepares to head to Ontario, to
vie for a national
championship, two days after they celebrate Valentine’s Day together here in
And it’s only natural and expected that he’d love nothing more than to
replicate the feat … and keep the home competition going.
“I haven’t been in a national championship for 10 years, and she hasn’t been
in a national
championship for 10 years either, soooooo …” he said, with a head tilt that
suggests he’s meant to represent BC at the Tim Hortons Brier next month.
“Maybe it’s in the stars. I’m working on it.”
But they’re not always competing with each other. In 2015 they were
teammates at the Mixed
“We loved playing together,” Joanisse said. “It was a lot of fun. We also
had a chance to go with two of our very close friends so that made it even
that more memorable.”
And competing at respective national curling championships, is kind of how
“True story,” Joanisse begins. “I was sitting in a pub in Victoria with a
buddy of mine; the Scotties was on the TV and this is when I saw her for the
The same happened for Aleksic — first time she saw Joanisse was on TV when
he was competing at the Brier. They officially met in person seven months
later at a Cashspiel in Kamloops and the rest is history.
Dean was speechless when he was finally introduced to Aleksic.
“I made a complete ass out of myself – and didn’t even know what to say,” he
said with a
chuckle. He redeemed himself later in the event and strung together a
complete sentence that convinced Shannon he was a pretty good guy.
Nine years later, they happily reside in Abbotsford, B.C.; sharing national
aspirations … and Valentine’s Day.
The Valley Voice News | All