A quartet of Canadian curling championships will be on the line in Portage la Prairie, Man., over a nine-day stretch of March 2020, it was announced today by Curling Canada.
The 2020 Canadian Senior Men’s and Women’s Championships, the Canad Inns Canadian Mixed Doubles Championships, the U SPORTS/Curling Canada Curling Championships, and the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA)/Curling Canada Championships will take place between March 13 and March 22.
The two varsity events will run March 13-17; the Canadian Seniors will be played March 17-22 and the Canad Inns Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship will be staged March 18-22.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the dedicated curling fans of Manitoba to be able to watch a wide array of talent in one community,” said Maureen Miller, Chair of Curling Canada’s Board of Governors. “Portage la Prairie has shown in the past that it has a superb group of volunteers, and I know they’re ready to get to work to make sure curlers, fans and officials are welcomed with open arms.”
The four events will be staged at both Stride Place and the Portage Curling Club. Stride Place, which opened in 2010, has 1,675 seats in its main arena, and is home to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Portage Terriers. It also played host to the 2018 Canad Inns Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials, where Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris captured gold, and then went on to win Olympic gold in Pyeongchang.
“The City of Portage la Prairie is excited to host some of Canada’s best and brightest curlers in March 2020 and showcase what we have to offer to a national audience once again,” said Portage la Prairie Mayor Irvine Ferris.
The U SPORTS and CCAA championships are being staged jointly in conjunction with Curling Canada for the third time. Last April in Leduc, Alta., where the host University of Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas squads swept the men’s and women’s U SPORTS titles to earn the right to represent Canada at the 2019 FISU Winter Universiade from March 2-12 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. The winners of the 2020 U SPORTS Championships will wear the Maple Leaf at the 2021 FISU Winter Universiade in Lucerne, Switzerland. In the CCAA, Ontario’s Fanshawe College and B.C.’s Douglas College won the women’s and men’s CCAA titles respectively. The 2019 U SPORTS and CCAA Championships will take place in March in Fredericton, N.B.
It will be the first time the U SPORTS championships have been staged in Manitoba, while the CCAA Championships were last played in the province in 1987 at Brandon — an event notable for the presence of a young Kevin Martin, who skipped the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Ooks men’s team to a silver medal.
“This will be the first time the U SPORTS Curling Championships will be held in the province of Manitoba,” said Lisette Johnson-Stapley, Chief Sport Officer at U SPORTS. “We couldn’t be more excited to offer this top tier tournament in the prairies for our student-athletes, while continuing our partnership with Curling Canada to develop and grow curling across the country.”
“The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association is looking forward to bringing the top collegiate teams to Manitoba, which is a hotbed for curling in Canada,” said Sandra Murray-MacDonell, Chief Executive Officer of the CCAA. “There is no doubt that Portage la Prairie will offer a unique experience to the student-athletes and spectators that will be attending.”
Both scholastic championships will feature eight men’s and eight women’s teams.
The eighth edition of the Canad Inns Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship will be played in Manitoba for the first time. The winner of the 2019 Canadian Mixed Doubles will represent Canada at the 2020 World Mixed Doubles Championship; dates and location for the 2020 Worlds will be announced later by the World Curling Federation.
“As a Manitoba-owned, Manitoba-grown and Manitoba-proud company, Canad Inns is thrilled to continue our partnership with Curling Canada and bring the Canad Inns Mixed Doubles Championship to the province of Manitoba for the first time,” said Cindy Carswell, Vice President of Community Relations. “The City of Portage la Prairie is no stranger to major sporting events having hosted countless throughout the years, including last year’s Canad Inns Mixed Doubles Trials. The dedication of volunteers is what contributes to the success of these large-scale events and Portage la Prairie has no shortage of generous people eager to help. With the backing of a strong community and a passion for curling, Canad Inns looks forward to hosting the Canad Inns Mixed Doubles Championships in Portage la Prairie next year.”
The Canadian Seniors will be played in Portage la Prairie for the third time; it previously was played there in 1986 (men’s champ Earle Hushagen, Ontario; women’s champ Ev Krahn, Saskatchewan) and 2000 (men’s champ Bob Turcotte, Ontario; women’s champ Agnès Charrette, Quebec).
The winner of the 2020 Canadian Seniors will represent Canada at the 2021 World Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships (dates, location TBD).
The Canadian Senior Men’s Championship began in 1965 in Port Arthur, Ont. Since then, Ontario and Manitoba each have won a leading 12 titles (Manitoba’s most recent winner is Randy Neufeld in 2015 at Edmonton). The Canadian Senior Women’s Championship began in 1973 in Ottawa. Ontario has won a leading 10 crowns (Manitoba’s most recent winner is Lois Fowler in 2014 at Yellowknife).
The men’s and women’s seniors were combined into a single event in 1985.
“The combination of terrific facilities and enthusiastic fans and volunteers makes Portage la Prairie an ideal host for events such as these,” said Craig Baker, Executive Director of CurlManitoba. “I know the past events in Portage la Prairie have been highly successful, and I have no doubt that will be the case again in 2020.”
Selected games from the four Portage championships will be streamed live by CBC Sports. You can watch at cbcsports.ca or via the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android.
“The Portage Regional Recreation Authority, the Portage Curling Club and Stride Place are proud to host these national championships and showcase not only our beautiful facility but also the future stars of curling next spring,” said David Sattler, General Manager, Portage Regional Recreation Authority.