Bernard was born in Grande Prairie, Alberta. She began curling at the age of eight. In 1988, she lost in the Alberta provincial finals; however, four years later she would win the provincial title, earning a berth at the 1992 Scott Tournament of Hearts, Canada's national curling championship with her team of Allison Earl, Barb Davies and Bev Kellerman. The following year, Bernard won the provincial mixed title with spouse Terry Meek.
In 1995, Bernard lost the Alberta provincial final, but rebounded the following year to win it, sending her to the '96 Hearts, this time with an altered lineup. Her team of Karen Ruus, Barb Sherrington and Judy Pendergast had a 7–4 round robin record. In the playoffs, Bernard's rink won their first game in the 1 vs. 2 page playoff match-up against Ontario (skipped by Marilyn Bodogh). This sent her Alberta team to the final, where they faced Bodogh in a rematch, which they lost, 7–4.
Cheryl has started up her own insurance brokerage at the age of 23 and with the increased demands of building and running a successful business, she failed to make it to another national championship for 11 years. In the meantime, she was a finalist at the JVC/TSN Skins Game in 1999, and made it to the provincial finals once again in 2000. She was also the Canadian Women's Curling Tour champion in 2004. In 2006, she lost in the first ever women's Players' Championships final against Jennifer Jones.
Bernard won her third provincial championship in 2007. At the 2007 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, her team of Susan O'Connor, Carolyn Darbyshire and Cori Bartel finished with a 6–5 record, tying them with Prince Edward Island and Ontario. Bernard's team beat Ontario in the first tie breaker, but were unable to beat P.E.I.'s Suzanne Gaudet (Birt) whom they lost to 5–4. In 2008, Bernard's team played in their first Grand Slam of Curling final, losing the 2008 Trail Appliances Curling Classic to Shannon Kleibrink's rink. In 2009, Bernard won her fourth Alberta title and represented the province at the 2009 Scotties Tournament of Hearts where her team finished with another 6–5 record. However, this would keep them out of the playoffs.
The Bernard team's success during this period qualified them for the 2009 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials. They were one of four teams to directly earn a spot at the event nicknamed "The Roar of the Rings". At "the Roar", Bernard's rink almost went undefeated, having lost only their final round robin game to Stefanie Lawton. Their 6–1 record earned them a direct spot in the final, which they won. They defeated Shannon Kleibrink in the final by a score of 7–6. The game came down to the final shot, where Bernard had to draw to the full eight-foot to win.
Bernard's team won the silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia. After completing the round robin in first place with just one loss to China, Bernard won the silver medal, losing to Sweden (skipped by Anette Norberg) in an extra end, 7–6.
Bernard wrapped up the 2009–10 curling season by winning the 2010 Players' Championships, her first Grand Slam victory in her career and was named 2010 MVP by her peers during that event.
Despite going to the 2010 Winter Olympics, The Bernard rink began the 2010–11 curling season without a corporate sponsor. The response of the team was to put up billboards around Calgary advertising their need for one. Within a month Dairy Queen announced they would be their main corporate sponsor. In December 2010, the team lost to Stefanie Lawton's rink 7–3 in the 2010 Canada Cup of Curling.
Following losing the semi-final of the 2011 Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts, on February 8, 2011, Team Bernard announced that they would disband the team. This had been a team agreement at the beginning of 2011.
Cheryl Bernard announced her new curling team for the 2011–12 season will consist of longtime third Susan O'Connor, Lori Olson-Johns who previously played with Crystal Webster, and Cathy King, and three time junior champion Jennifer Sadleir. Due to the Sports Canada Funding the Bernard team received from their olympic appearance, all four members will have to play the 2011–2012, which leave Cori Morris and Carolyn McRorie having to join, or form a new team. McRorie will be the alternate for the Bernard team when appropriate.
Although Bernard did not participate at the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, she was awarded the Joan Mead Builder’s Award. The award is given to someone in the curling community that significantly contributes to the growth and development of women's curling in Canada. Her rink failed to qualify for the playoffs at the 2012 Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Bernard's rink would not even return to the provincials in 2013, as her rink lost to Lisa Eyamie in the C Final of the Alberta Southern qualifier.
Bernard announced her retirement from competitive curling in June 2014.
After retiring from competitive curling Bernard has dedicated her time to give back to the communities that supported her through her Olympic journey. In October 2014, Goodwill Industries of Alberta announced that the Olympic medalist Cheryl Bernard would become an ambassador and "Goodwillian". Bernard decided to join Goodwill after touring their operations in Calgary. She learned about Goodwill’s Power of Work program, which provides individuals with disabilities the opportunity to enhance their lives through meaningful employment..
In November 2014, Bernard was invited by TSN as a guest analyst at the 2014 Canada Cup of Curling. Bernard remained with the TSN team for the rest of the 2014/2015 Season of Champions. She is now a member of the TSN broadcast team for the 2015/2016 Season of Champions.http://www.speakers.ca/2015/03/cheryl-bernard-why-teams-are-so-important/ Bernard does motivational keynotes for corporations sharing the parallels between business and sport as well as stories and lessons from the Olympics.
Aside from curling, Bernard also co-wrote Between the Sheets: Creating Curling Champions in 2005, a book about the mental aspects of curling, with journalist Guy Scholz. After taking home a silver medal in her home country at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC, Cheryl teamed up with Guy once again to co-publish an updated version of the book titled Between the Sheets: The Silver Lining through Canadian book publisher Polished Publishing Group (PPG), copyright 2011.
Bernard lives with her common-law husband, curler Terry Meek, and stepson Connor Meek in Calgary, Alberta.