Kate Cameron is a rising star in Canada’s competitive curling scene. Not only did she participate in the last two Scotties Tournament of Hearts competitions, but her team also managed to win the Manitoba Scotties championship back in 2017.
Even though Cameron’s mind is fixed on upcoming big-ticket events, including the Olympic trials for the 2020 Winter Games in Beijing, the Thompson resident was also busy with a side project that involves raising money for Northern Manitoba Paws in Need, a local animal rescue.
Cameron is trying to collect these funds by promoting the 2019 Women of Curling calendar, which features her as a model for the month of January.
According to The Curling News owner and publisher George Karrys, who has run this project since 2010, this year’s calendar has a heavy focus on international athletes from countries like Canada, Switzerland and Japan.
Coupled together with the fact that the organizers gave each participant complete creative control on how to put their shots together, Karrys said the end product features a nice variety of styles and locations.
“There’s outdoor shots, there’s indoor studio shots, there’s workout shots showing a strong level of fitness,” he said. “It’s whatever the athlete wants to project and that’s typically some kind of combination of strength, self-confidence, power and beauty.”
For her contribution, Cameron said she wanted to represent the natural beauty of Northern Manitoba, having grown up in Gillam and lived in Thompson for the last four years.
Unfortunately, this meant Cameron had to venture outside for the photo shoot, which is something she’s never done before.
“I was completely out of my comfort zone and it was during the week, during the day,” she said. “It was just kind of weird to be outside in a public area and doing something like that.”
Luckily, Cameron said she was in good hands thanks to Thompson photographer Kristie Crate, who walked her through the entire process down by the Burntwood River.
“It was fun and I was very surprised with how those pictures turned out, based on how awkward and uncomfortable I felt during the process,” said Cameron.
The curler also said she was comforted by the fact that 1/12th of the proceeds from this calendar, including any sales she makes personally, will go directly to her charity of choice.
After talking with Vicki McNevin of Northern Manitoba Paws in Need, Cameron determined that these funds would be best spent helping the rescue pay for general ongoing costs and possibly even a new ventilation system.
“Being local I thought it was a really good opportunity to give back,” said Cameron. “In a northern community sometimes these opportunities are few and far between, so I know how much they’ll benefit from the money that I’ve raised.”
Karrys mentioned that the popularity of this project, which switches between featuring male and female athletes, could result in a good payday for the rescue, since they’ve raised over $400,000 for various charities throughout the last four years.
Despite being hesitant to participate in this project at first, Cameron said she would do it all again if she had the chance.
“The people I’ve met along the way, and the other girls in the calendar, we’ve all become pretty close and it’s been fun to share stories and meet all the people I’ve sold the calendars to.”