When Kirk Muyres was asked to appear in the 2018 Men of Curling calendar, he didn’t hesitate to accept.
Muyres, who tosses third stones for Saskatoon’s Team Laycock, had seen the various calendars over the years featuring curlers stripping down and posing to raise funds for charity and thought it would be cool if he was featured one time.
Of course, Muyres was actually surprised — but also excited — when he received the call from publisher George Karrys.
“Obviously not many curlers would turn that down,” Muyres said Thursday. “That’s a pretty cool opportunity to be a part of that with 14 other athletes, guys in the curling world, and we get to raise money for charities that are close to us.”
Among those also featured in the calendar are reigning Brier and world champion Brett Gallant (Team Gushue), 2014 Olympic gold medallists Ryan Harnden and Ryan Fry (Team Jacobs) and 2010 Olympic gold medallist Marc Kennedy (Team Koe), who also graces the cover shirtless.
Each athlete was able to choose which charity they wished to support and Muyres selected Mental Health in Agriculture.
“I wanted to find something that really resonated with me,” said Muyres, who was raised on a grain farm in St. Gregor, Sask. “I’m so connected with the ag industry because I grew up on the farm and all of our team’s sponsors are really from the ag industry.”
Muyres was inspired after seeing a video online by Lesley Rae Kelly and her husband discussing the struggles they deal with on the farm and the mental health issues farmers face.
“It really hit home with me and it was something I really wanted to support,” he said. “That’s something I want to be able to give back to, create awareness around and this was a no-brainer way to do that.
“We’re actually working with her and a couple other people now on building that into some sort of foundation going forward to create more awareness and more funds for some of the farmers who feed everyone in the world and help them get through some of the tough times they face.”
— Kirk Muyres (@kirkmuyres) October 10, 2017
When it came time to do the photoshoot and strip down to his skivvies, Muyres admitted he was feeling a little tense at first.
“I’ve been a part of photoshoots and stuff like that before but it was a little different having to do it without a shirt on and not a lot of clothes,” he said with a laugh. “It was pretty nerve-racking but Erin at Finelite, who did it with me and is awesome, was able to relax me and she made me feel OK in front of the camera. It was fun but nerve-racking and something different for sure.”
After the process was all finished though, Muyres was quite pleased with how the photos turned out.
“Whoever buys the calendar will see in there it really ties back to our family and curling in Saskatchewan with the picture I ended up choosing,” he said. “It’s going to be cool when the calendars actually get into our hands and we get to see it. I loved the finished product and what it really represents too. Everyone needs to buy one of those calendars because it’s going to be neat.”
The 2018 Men of Curling calendar is available now for $29.95 CDN at menofcurling.ca.
— Finelite Photography (@FineliteCA) October 10, 2017