Stars on Ice
Kurt List

Pedigree Adoption Drive Media Tour - February 2009

For the 2nd year in a row, Kurt Browning acted as the campaign spokesperson for the Pedigree Adoption Drive. In February 2009, he embarked on a cross-Canada tour to raise awareness and money for the drive. As part of this tour, he made two skating appearances, one in Oshawa (at the Legends Centre, benefiting the Humane Society of Durham), one in Edmonton (at the West Edmonton Mall), which were followed by an opportunity for fans to join him on the ice, as well as an autograph session. He also made a few media appearances at shelters across Canada. A few lucky fans were able to catch Kurt in Oshawa, Winnipeg, and Edmonton, and sent in the following reports.

written by Noreen

I was at the Oshawa show last night at the Legends Centre and in spite of the rotten weather there was a great crowd - the seating area was full and a few people were standing. The recommended donation was $5.00/person and for that we got two numbers from Kurt and two from ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje. As friend Barbara remarked we certainly got our money's worth. Just a word about the fire at the Durham Humane Society - it happened just before Christmas and it was truly horrific. Over 100 dogs and cats were killed and the whole city was just devastated...it cast a pall over the whole holiday season. There have been many fund-raising drives in the past few months and this one from Pedigree is certainly appreciated by all of us. OK on to the show...Kurt did Antares and also Raggy the clown. All three skaters are to be commended for skating so well on hockey ice of all things. From what Kurt said in his opening remarks this fundraiser was put together in a very short time and getting the ice time involved a lot of last-min. rescheduling by the Legends staff. Kurt's Antares was a trifle uneven...a fall on an attempted triple sal and a messy 2nd jump but he got off a great double axel and a triple toes here and there. The clown was a great success with all the little kids in the audience...the ones surrounding us where hysterical with laughter. After the show everyone was invited onto the ice to skate (not me!...my skating days are long over) but just as Kurt got onto the ice a lady took a very nasty fall just below where we were sitting. As it happens Kurt was right there and he heard the crack as her head hit the ice - he got down on the ice to hold her hands and comfort her as best he could. She was bleeding profusely from a gash on the back of the head and of course the arena staff were quickly on the scene. Kurt remained with her for some time and when he finally left to get cleaned up (his hands were all bloody from holding on to her) there was an announcement for everyone to leave the ice. It took about 1/2 hr. for the paramedics to arrive and get her onto a stretcher and out to the ambulance. It appeared that she was not badly injured but of course with a head injury you have to take all the precautions. The zambone (how do you spell that word?!) had to clean the ice and then the skaters were finally allowed back on - but by this time Kurt was set-up for autographs so his "skating with fans" didn't last very long. In any case Barb and I had a nice chat with him at the end of the night and among other things he said the Pedigree program is going across Canada - but he didn't mention how many places he would actually be skating. Also he's working with a brand new choreographer on a potential CSOI number - it sounds like it will be very different from anything else we've seen him do and I'm looking forward to seeing it this Spring.

Written by Sharilyn

Kurt's Pedigree shelter-o-rama continued today at a smaller shelter in the most western end of Winnipeg. There are VERY few opportunities for me to meet Kurt - this was only my third since becoming a fan 10 years ago - so this was a big day!

Anyway.... today's thing started at 2:30, and I arrived a few minutes beforehand, easily scoring a parking spot right infront of the door. I had a feeling the place wouldn't be too busy -- I only knew of this event because of the Kurtlist -- and I was right. The only people in there seemed to be friends and family of the staff, with just a couple of exceptions. There couldn't have been more than 15 people in there at its busiest.

Kurt came through the front door at exactly 2:30, while I was in the back looking at puppiiiieees. He was pulled in one direction after the other, doing meet & greet with all the staff and being taken aside by the tv guy and then the newspaper guy. He had a girl from Pedigree there with him, but Kurt took total command of the media stuff. He knew which puppy from the litter would look best on camera, suggested poses for the photographer, had all his talking points and stats down... he's damn good at this!

I held back and waited for him to finish, and to make awkward small talk with a few people (the puppies were a welcome distraction during this part. I think EVERY meet-and-greet should have a pen of puppies on hand.) Finally, I (re)introduced myself and told him where we'd met before. Maybe it was the lack of interesting conversation with the others in attendance, but he saw fit to chat with me for quite some time!

Here's a few photos, including a few of Kurt holding a little puppy:

Written by Sherry

Kurt appeared on City TV this morning. As he's done in other cities he promoted shelter dogs and had a dog with him, but then he stuck around and did an impromptu second segment without the dog. They asked him about the Olympics and he said Canada had a shot at a medal in all 4 disciplines. Also mentioned that he was working with Olympic athletes through Team Visa and said that he thought Canada's athletes were well prepared. He also talked a bit about the event at West Edtn Mall later in the day and said that Vaughn Chipeur was driving up from Calgary to skate too.

At West Edmonton Mall Kurt performed Raggy, and Vaughn skated the exhibition program he did at Cdns, (I really like Vaughn so this was a nice bonus). Both of them skated just fine with no problems. Then Kurt came out with a cute little dog in his arms, thanked Vaughn for driving all the way from Calgary on bad roads, said it was good to be home, and talked about the shelter program. After that people could go out and skate with him and I think he made a point of spending time with everyone on the ice. He is just so good with people - young and old - and he seemed in no hurry to get off the ice.

Written by Shelly

I, too, was at West Ed on Wednesday and I finally got to meet Kurt!!!! I have been a fan of is since the beginning of his career and have never gotten the opportunity to meet him, despite living in Edmonton for most of my adult life. I had a horrid cold, though, so did not much feel like skating - I wanted to, but just did not have the balance or the energy for it! So I lived vicariously through everyone else who did go skating, hoping that they'll do this again next year and I'll get a chance then.

I was most impressed at how Kurt took the time to spend a bit of time with everyone on the ice, from the grandmas & grandpas all they way down to the kids. He made everyone feel like he was thrilled to spend time just with them. He made extra sure - because he kept coming to tell those of us who were waiting for him off-ice ;) - that he "touched" each and every one of the kids on the ice. What's more is he pulled Vaughn Chippeur into the encouragement/feedback sessions he held with some of the skating kids. Not only was he mentoring the young ones with stars in their eyes, he was teaching Vaughn how to be a role model at the same time.

I finally got my chance to say hi and get my "A is for Axel" book signed as well - he seemed quite surprised when I pulled it out of my bag. We chatted for a few minutes and I mentioned we both have boys about the same age - 19 months. He remarked how it is a fun age. I said yes, except mine was currently cutting 6 teeth at the same time ... not so much fun. He said, "I know!!! I lost 3 nights' sleep last week because of that!!!" It was pretty funny. Then I got my picture and a dream I've had for a long time had just come true.

Speaking for those of us who did not skate, I'm very thankful he did autographs, too. It was an awesome day that I'll remember for a long time. And yes, I kept my cold germs to myself ;)