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Curl BC’s Mentorship Program lifts officials to new heights

April 05, 2023

The BC Winter Games are an amazing experience for young curlers, allowing them to travel, experience a large-scale multi-sport competition, and compete at a level that’s usually reserved for a precious few.

But while youth is—and as it should be—the main focus of the Games, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t valuable training and growth opportunities for adults as well.

When it comes to officiating, the Games can be one of the greatest training grounds available. Seeing this great opportunity, Curl BC has created an Officials Mentorship Program, which allows Level 2 trained or Level 2 certified officials to take the next step participate as proteges to some of the most well-respected officials on the Curl BC circuit. This training, and their work at the games, will count towards advancement to certified level 2 or level 3 status, and open opportunities to become chief deputy umpires and chief umpires at future Curl BC events.

The entire complement of curling officials at this year’s BC Winter Games.

Dave Shortill, an umpire who participated at this year’s U21 championships in Duncan, was very excited about the chance to work with expert umpires to increase his knowledge and skills.

“With Phil McKenzie, I was able to co-ordinate a provincial event from start to finish at the U21s. With his leadership and experience as chief umpire, and with the new coaching interaction with athletes, I felt prepared to work with Herb Wong at the Winter Games.”

Dave Shortill and BC Winter Games Chief Umpire Herb Wong

Shortill’s experience at the games was also hugely helpful to his advancement as an umpire—not to mention personally rewarding.

“There were so many wonderful take-aways from the Winter Games. Mostly seeing the young athletes, up and coming curlers enjoy themselves and building experience with their teammates. And, as an umpire, I was able to experience many unusual situations, all providing learning opportunities. Both events showed me how much coordination and administration is required by the Chief Umpire, and I would like to thank Herb Wong and Phil McKenzie for the opportunity to work with them at the U21 Provincials and BC Winter Games in 2023.”

Curl BC would like to thank Peggy Burfield, Dave Shortill, Bruce Solomchuk, and Luci Tremblay for participating in this year’s program and for their dedication to developing as officials for the sport of curling. Their eagerness to learn, and their excitement to refine their craft, serves as inspiration to the advancement of officials throughout the province.

BC Winter Games Chief Umpire Herb Wong with Peggy Burfield

This program will be available again for the 2024 Quesnel BC Winter Games, with eight positions available for interested individuals from across BC to participate.

For more information on the program, and an application form, please visit