Truro, NS: Andrew Paris is Canada’s foremost Black Curling promoters. A coach and community activist, the Prince Edward Island native, now living in Truro, Nova Scotia, has spent 25 years both playing and coaching at high performance levels. Andrew is the only Black Curling Competition Development coach in Atlantic Canada.
Andrew is the former Technical Director for Nova Scotia Curling. During his time there he served as the Team Leader with Nova Scotia Junior teams. Over three years, Andrew helped lead Team Nova Scotia to 5 podium performances at National Championships, including winning the Under-21 Women’s, Under 18 Boys and Under-18 Girls Championships in 2018.
“THE DESMOND”: Diversifying the Curling Game
The Desmond is a brush designed by Andrew to tell the story of the Black community in Canada and create a conversation in Curling clubs that will lead to changing the face of Curling. The broom was named in honour of Viola Desmond , a Black Nova Scotian who became a pioneer in the movement for equality by challenging racial segregation at the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.
A Testament to Black Canadian History
The Desmond has multiple shades of Black and brown incorporated into the base, to acknowledge that the Black community in Canada is comprised of roughly 1.2 million people with a variety of skin tones. The middle of the brush has listed 30 former and current Canadian Black communities.
Above the Pan African colours at the base of the brush is the crest of The No.2 Construction Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. The battalion was Canada’s first and only all-Black battalion, based out of Nova Scotia. It was created after hundreds of Black Canadians volunteered to serve in the First World War, but were initially turned away from enlisting.
The top brush has three adinkra symbols from Ghanaian culture:
- Mpatapo – a symbol meaning reconciliation, peacemaking and forgiveness. It represents the knot or bond that binds parties in conflict to resolve their dispute in a peaceful way.
- Sankofa – A symbol meaning the importance of learning from the past. It comes from the expression “return and get it”.
- Dwennimmen – A symbol meaning both humility and strength characteristics. The two ram horn heads symboliza the humility found in those who have strength of leadership. It also symbolizes the strength of Africans needed in order to survive the middle passage, the strength needed to fight for their rights and freedoms, and the humility to forgive , but not forget.
Proceeds of the sale of The Desmond will go to the Black Rock Initiative, a not-for-profit created by Paris to introduce youth to Curling that identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Colour while also providing Curling clubs with the support and tools necessary to be a more welcoming and diverse resource for their whole community.
The Black Rock Initiative is just getting started on social media. You can find them on Facebook (fb.com/blackrockinitiative), Twitter (@BLR_Initiative) and Instagram (@blackrockinitiative) with a website coming very soon. For more information on the #UnitedWeCurl Initiative led by Goldline Curling: please visit: www.unitedwecurl.com.
To purchase The Desmond, visit: https://www.goldlinecurling.com/fiberlite-air-curling-broom-the-desmond-UnitedWeCurl
Leadership Through Sport – We Are #StrongerTogether .