Moose Jaw to host 2015 Canada women’s curling championship
Moose Jaw will play host to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts for the first time.
© Katie Brickman
Glenn Hagel, co-chair of the 2015 Scotties Tournament of Hearts committee speaks about the announcement that Warren Hansen (left) of the Canadian Curling Association made on Wednesday morning. Times-Herald photo by Katie Brickman
“We often assume that national events of this calibre will be held in larger communities and for some, it may be a bit of a surprise that Moose Jaw has been chosen,” Deb Higgins, mayor of Moose Jaw, said at a media conference “For anyone who has been here for a previous event or anyone who lives in this community, it is no surprise whatsoever.”
Canada’s top female curlers will be at Mosaic Place from Feb. 14-22, 2015.
“This is the largest and most successful women’s curling event in the world. It has a history going back to 1961,” said Warren Hansen, director of event operations for the Canadian Curling Association. “The City of Moose Jaw has been an integral part of bringing the event here in 2015.”
Just one year ago, the first rock was thrown at a Moose Jaw-based Capital One Canada Cup of Curling and that event broke attendance records. The success of the Canada Cup was one of the major pulls for the CCA to bring a larger event to the city.
“We couldn’t be happier to bring one of our marquee curling events back to Moose Jaw,” Greg Stremlaw, the CCA’s chief executive officer, said in a media release. “The 2012 Canada Cup was a shining example of a city supporting our sport and our curlers. We know the people in Moose Jaw and all over Saskatchewan will provide an amazing atmosphere in 2015.”
Last month, event co-chairs Glenn Hagel and Danielle Sicinski took a proposal to city council requesting $100,000 in cash or in-kind support. Councillors debated for over an hour about whether to put their support behind the bid before deciding to go ahead with the original motion to dedicate funding from the 2014 and 2015 operating budgets.
“While we always debate things at council, it was pretty easy when you looked at the economic impact and activity that will be seen in the city from this event,” stated Higgins. “Our investment will be seen many times over coming back to the community.”
That economic impact could be to the tune of $8 million to $10 million. When the initial documents came to council, they presented the economic-impact numbers from the 2012 Scotties in Red Deer.
“It is pretty substantial,” stated Higgins.
Not only will there be thousands of people in the city to take in the curling event, sleep in hotels and eat at local restaurants, but all games will be nationally televised on TSN.
“Warren mentioned the 60 hours of coverage on TSN,” Higgins said. “That will show Moose Jaw, show this facility and have our logos on the ice. That is really opening the doors to Canada and letting them know what we have in the city of Moose Jaw. It is more than we could buy.”
Saskatchewan has had great success at this event, winning 11 times — most recently with Amber Holland’s rink in 2011.
“Teams from Saskatchewan have a great history with the Canadian women’s curling championship and have done exceptionally well over the years,” stated Hansen. “We look forward to the Saskatchewan women’s team doing very well here in 2015.”
Hagel spoke to a room full of curlers, curling fans and other members of the public about how the success of the Canada Cup “snowballed” into being chosen as the host for the Scotties.
“The fact of the matter is, we deeply appreciate the confidence the Canadian Curling Association has shown in the Moose Jaw committee and the City of Moose Jaw,” said Hagel.
He also spoke about the need for volunteers to help make the event run smoothly.
“It will be important that we have a strong team of volunteers,” said Hagel. “We will be expecting to be needing somewhere between 400 and 500 volunteers. We have still not completely discussed our needs with the CCA, but we will, and in early 2014 we will put out a call of volunteers.”
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