You do a ton of curling stuff 24-7… day in and day out… year after year!
George Karrys started his playing career as a provincial junior champion in 1986 and launched his specialized curling journalism career that same year with Ontario Curling Report. Karrys was also active in volunteering, chairing a Junior Mixed tournament that saw the young participants raise more than $80,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation over 10 years.
Yes, the late 80s were a bad fashion scene
Karrys then worked as Associate Editor of Canadian Curling News and steered the launch of Canada’s first colour glossy magazine on the sport, The Curling News Magazine, as Editor and later Associate Publisher.
Throughout his career, Karrys has contributed to the National Post, Toronto Sun, Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen, FAN 590 all-sports radio, Rogers Television, CBC Sports, CBC Newsworld and Sportsnet. He also served on various regional, provincial and national committees.
On the corporate side, Karrys steered the curling interest of JVC Canada from one small team sponsorship in 1990 to a $1 million investment by 2003 – ownership of three properties and sponsorship of four teams. He has also executed contract work for IMG Canada, Strategic Objectives (M&M Meat Shops), CMG Marketing (Curling Canada, KIA Motors), Due North Communications (Monster.ca), Bell Canada and the Toronto Curling Association.
In 1995 the Toronto Curling Association presented Karrys with the Outstanding Contribution Award (Builder) for lifetime achievement. In 1998, he shared in the award for a second time (Athlete) becoming the first-ever repeat winner.
The Guy and Team Canada in Tokyo, 1998
The Mike Harris curling team reunited in the fall of 1996 and upon their final disbandment in 2000, Karrys had competed in five Ontario Men’s Championships (twice runner-up) and shared in over $250,000 in winnings on the World Curling Tour (WCT). In 1997-98 his team won four WCT tournaments, a made-for-TV Skins Game, the Canadian Olympic Trials and the Olympic Silver Medal at the XVIII Olympic Winter Games in Japan.
Post-Nagano, Karrys worked full-time for the Canadian Olympic Committee in Development and Athlete Programs. He also served as an active member of Team 2008, the athlete lobby group for the city of Toronto’s 2008 Olympic bid.
In late 2001 Karrys completed a contract for a one-hour TV show promoting curling in advance of the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Aimed at an international audience, Rock Stars: The World Of Curling was produced by CBC-TV and co-financed by the World Curling Federation (WCF) and USCA. Shortly after beginning his consulting work, Karrys’ involvement increased to include on-camera co-host, as well as post-production consultant.
"Barnhart" was a Man With Broom
In March 2002 Karrys completed an eight-month contract as Technical Consultant to the Men With Brooms project, a Canadian motion-picture film which grossed $4 million upon theatrical release. His pre-production and shooting responsibilities included script consulting, actor training, contracting an agency for product-placement sales, recruiting 72 background competitors, recruiting 3,000 background extras, sourcing national and international equipment and product, on-set creative and continuity consulting, and principal acting.
Upon release he also worked on the film company’s grassroots marketing campaign, which included a national theatre promotional program, cross-country promotional tour of cast appearances/media conferences, national series of opening galas, and a viral internet campaign.
Ever curled in a barn? (Men With Brooms)
In late 2003, Karrys purchased the legendary
In 2004, Karrys served a one-year contract with RBC Royal Bank as an RBC Olympian, one of 16 community ambassadors engaged in speaking appearances across Canada. He made over 40 appearances and still engages audiences today, as registered with the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Olympic Voices speaking bureau.
In 2005, Karrys joined CBC Sports in a research role for the network’s famed CBC Championship Curling coverage. Karrys worked in advance of the Season of Champions events and on-site in the broadcast booth, developing content and liaising between production and talent.
Also in 2005, Karrys acquired North American sales and marketing rights to a new product, a fundraising calendar featuring female curling athletes... minus their team uniforms. Karrys' media campaign turned the Ana Arce Team Sponsorship Calendar into an instant worldwide hit, with media saturation in U.S. and Canadian newspapers, television and also in magazines such as Esquire, Maxim, Sports Illustrated, Playboy, and ESPN Magazine. Distributed via The Curling News, three versions were sold from 2005 through early 2009, including the 2009 Women of Curling Calendar, returning tens of thousands of fundraising dollars to the athlete models and their teams.
2009 Women of Curling Calendar
Karrys eventually built his own
In early 2006, Karrys delivered another sponsor to the curling world. McNeil Consumer Healthcare became a two-year sponsor of the Grand Slam of Curling, assuming title rights to the Players’ Championship under the Tylenol Arthritis brand.
Also in 2006, Karrys was hired by the World Curling Federation in the role of Media Relations Officer. Over the next three seasons he fulfilled all communications needs – everything from overseeing website content, to managing event media logistics and requirements, and working with key organizational and broadcast partners including Eurosport, VANOC, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee.
In fall 2009, Karrys re-launched his weekly curling column for the Toronto Sun and Sun Media after a decade-long layoff. And in another blast from the past, he resumed consulting duties for the pilot episode of Men With Brooms: the TV adaptation.
In 2010 and 2011, Karrys worked for iSport Media and Management, the operators of the Grand Slam of Curling event series, in the dual roles of Director of Communications and Event Master of Ceremonies.
The Guy and the Prime Minister in Moncton
In 2012, Karrys approached the CEO of Rogers Media and was soon working on Sportsnet’s successful procurement of the Grand Slam of Curling series. Thanks to The Curling Guy, a popular series of multi-million dollar events was saved from financial difficulties and has now more than doubled in size, with eight championship events on the Grand Slam calendar.
In addition, Karrys helped develop Sportsnet’s new national coverage platform for Canadian provincial championship curling. Debuting in January and February of 2013, the series broadcasts annual provincial championship playoffs and finals in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario.
In 2013, The Curling News partnered with The Community Fundraiser to produce the first-ever Men of Curling Calendar. Featuring 12 of the sport’s top competitors from four different nations, the 2014 Men of Curling Calendar shattered sales records with over $100,000 raised for multiple curling and non-curling charities.
In 2014, Karrys was hired by CBC on behalf of Olympic Broadcasting Services, the IOC’s television arm, as a member of the host broadcast crew for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Karrys had previously fulfilled this role on the 2006 crew during the Games in Torino, Italy.
Karrys still volunteers, too. He supports the Canadian Spinal Research Organization’s Shoot For A Cure Curling campaign, KidSport Ontario, the Canadian Olympic Foundation and also currently serves on the board of directors for Olympians Canada (Ontario Chapter) and the Toronto Curling Association.
Over the years George Karrys has just about done it all in the sport of curling. He enjoys close relationships with regional, provincial, national and world curling governing bodies and their marketing agencies; high-performance athletes; trade manufacturers and distributors; print and broadcast media contacts; LOC directors and community leaders; regional, national and international sponsors; national amateur sport leaders and other sport and media industry stakeholders.