The Laura Walker / Kirk Muyres mixed doubles curling juggernaut ramped off the competition circuit long enough to hit the road in Saskatchewan for the Corr Grain Community Rocks program. Each year, Community Rocks pulls into three different Saskatchewan towns to spend time with young people coming out to refine their curling skills or try the sport for the first time.  

Muyres founded Community Rocks with some of his men’s team curling compatriots twelve years ago with the notion of promoting the sport from the grassroots. It was a labour of love then, and that hasn’t changed. His mixed doubles curling partner and one of Canada’s preeminent female curlers, Laura Walker, has leaned into the project with Kirk, bringing her vast experience into the mix.  

“It’s crazy how time flies,” admits Muyres. “Just a few years ago it feels like we started this thing, and we were just starting to figure it out. Now, twelve years later, we’re still doing it and it’s pretty cool.” 

This year’s Community Rocks tour took the duo to Melville, Hudson Bay, and Melfort for a first-ever repeat visit to a Community Rocks participant. The turnouts were exceptional, says Muyres, with 50-70 kids hitting the ice in each centre, up to a third of them never having curled before.  

“You need to get as many people as you can acquainted with the game. A certain percentage are going to stick with it right away. Then maybe 5, 10 or 15 years down the road some others will say ‘I did that as a kid, and it was pretty fun – I'd like to get back into that. You just have to expose as many kids as you can at an early age.” 

Some of those youngsters could wind up in competition in the Scotties, Brier or the Olympics, a goal Muyres has set for himself along with Walker. If the result is simply filling up local clubs with new people who have an outlet for activity and wintertime socializing, then it’s mission accomplished as well, says Muyres.  

The program has parked at 39 different curling clubs in its dozen years. Melfort was one of the first clubs to participate, so Walker and Muyres felt it was time to return to inspire a new generation. The Clubs apply to participate in Community Rocks, and there never fails to be a solid core of parents and club members who volunteer their time and effort.  

“All the clubs that have helped us over the years, and obviously this year too, have made it special. As we all know, small town curling rinks and small town community clubs are pretty much all volunteer run. So all these people who have helped us over the years have done it because they love curling and they want to see it grow in their communities.” 

The tour doesn’t happen without the financial commitment of the tour’s backers, including title sponsor Corr Grain. Others in the fold include long time local supporters Michel Industries, along with NexGen Transportation, Service Experts, Peace Hills Insurance, Atlas-Apex Roofing, Norstar Industries, Understood Mineral Resources and Hardline Curling. 

With Community Rocks wrapped up, Muyres is back in Edmonton alongside Walker, prepping for this weekend’s final outing on the Mixed Doubles Super Series in Brantford. The Player’s Championship. A win there would solidify their hold as the number one ranked Canadian Mixed Doubles team, and number two in the world. 

“It’s been a good season so far; Laura and I have had more success than one could reasonably expect, but at the same time, we’ve done a lot of work to get here. Hopefully we can keep that going.” 

Ater the Player’s, there’s a month off to recover and catch the Brier in Regina, then it’s the Canadian Championship which hopefully translates to a spot in the worlds. The target of a birth in the Canadian Olympic Trials remains well in the sites.  

Enjoy the full interview with Kirk Muyres.