FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 23, 2019
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA — CurlManitoba has announced the 2021 Manitoba Junior and Senior curling championships will be played in Carberry with competition in both the Carberry Curling Club and the local arena, the Carberry Plains Community Centre.
The double championships event will run over a two-week period and will feature four different Manitoba curling championships. Tentative scheduling has the TELUS Junior Men’s and TELUS Junior Women’s championships being played February 16-21, 2021 with the Strathcona Trust Senior Men’s and the Manitoba Senior Women’s championships taking place February 23-27, 2021.
“We were excited by the concept from the moment Carberry came to us with the proposal to host the Juniors and the Seniors in back-to-back weeks,” says CurlManitoba Executive Director Craig Baker.
“The Carberry Curling Club has an excellent reputation as an innovator,” Baker says, citing the annual Carberry bonspiel which is also played in the community arena due to the large entry received each year. “It is important to test a good idea when it is proposed and Carberry’s reputation assures us that this is an excellent opportunity to assess the concept of hosting two events back to back in one venue.”
The dates represent a significant change of timing for the provincial junior championship events, which have traditionally been played together in early January. The change has been made possible by a change of policy, which will see the Canadian Junior championships being played later in the spring with the champion going on to the world championships during the following curling season.
Timing of the senior championship events, which are also played together, is unchanged from previous years.
“We are honoured by the trust which CurlManitoba has placed in us,” says Rob Van Kommer, who will act as the Carberry event committee chair for the event. “We also appreciate the cooperation of the extended Carberry community as we will be dedicating the arena to curling for about ten days during a traditionally very busy time.”
Carberry Curling Club was one of the original seven clubs which formed the Manitoba Curling Association back in 1888, but until now has never hosted an association championship event.
“To host four different championships in our first opportunity truly makes this a great occasion for our club and our community,” Van Kommer says. “I know we’ll have great support from curling fans in Carberry and the surrounding communities as well as from the local business community and the many local user groups and organizations who we’ll be calling on to help stage this historic event.”
CurlManitoba’s ice technicians will be responsible for turning the Carberry Plains Community Centre into a curling arena and for providing championship ice for the duration of the double event.
Competing on arena ice in the championships is considered an important experience for the juniors, in particular for the eventual champions who might otherwise experience arena ice conditions for the first time when they reach the Canadian championships.
For the senior championships, playing on arena ice is not the usual experience, but both Van Kommer and Baker are confident it will be appreciated by the competitors.
“Many of our senior competitors have played in the past in men’s or women’s championships in the arenas in other communities across the province. I know they’ll enjoy competing on arena ice again,” concludes Van Kommer.