Some of the best curlers in Alberta will be making their way to the Swan City next January. Curling Alberta has selected Grande Prairie to host the 2022 Men’s and Women’s Provincial Curling Championships.
For the first time ever, the Boston Pizza Cup and the Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be combined. They will be held at the Downtown Events Centre from January 3 – 9, 2022 after being cancelled in 2021, with the semi-finals and finals broadcast on Sportsnet.
Executive Director for Curling Alberta Jill Richard says the hope is to make a bigger and flashier event, but notes putting the two championships on at the same time has other advantages.
“Most importantly, if the pandemic throws us yet another curveball as we approach January, we will be ready to pivot as needed if it means we can keep people healthy and the championships can proceed this upcoming season.”
Grande Prairie most recently hosted the Scotties in 2016 and the Grande Prairie Curling Club announced it would be bidding for the 2022 tournament in January 2020, with the hopes of holding it at the curling centre. Centre president Keri Bruce says they’re looking forward to hosting and organizing, regardless of the location.
“The Peace Region boasts a hotbed of curlers and fans and we are thrilled that all levels of local government have offered their enthusiastic support. This event will be hugely welcomed by the community as we emerge from some trying times.”
That community support looks to have been a factor in the organizing committee’s selection. Chair Ray Mildenberger says there was a strong foundation of supportive businesses and a volunteer base presented.
“We have a lot of experience hosting successful, high-profile events,” he argues, noting the city also held the 2006 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship and the 2015 Home Hardware Canada Cup. “The community is really planning to roll out the red carpet. There will be a new kind of energy in Revolution Place as our curlers reconnect with competing on the big stage and with their fans, who can expect a truly special experience.”
Before the provincials, another major curling event will also set up in Grande Prairie. After being postponed from last November, the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling will be stopping at the Coca Cola Centre for the Tour Challenge from September 21 – 26, 2021.