Prince Albert will be at the centre of the provincial curling world in March as it plays host to the 2018 Provincial Mixed Curling Championships from March 21 to 25.
The announcement made Friday morning marks another bright spot for the local curling club, after recently securing the 2019 New Holland Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships.
“Curling is trying all these different formats. One just happening on the weekend is the Olympic trials for the mixed doubles which is really gathering strength in Europe and starting to gather here,” Chair Bryan Rindal said during the announcement.
“We are hoping... the Olympics, and the introduction of the mixed doubles, will make sure that we get our entrants.”
A new qualifying format will be introduced for the championship event this year. Teams will gain direct entry through registration for the championship over traditionally gaining entry to provincials through zone or regional playdowns.
Rindal said a maximum of 24 teams will be allowed to register, leading him to urge haste to anyone considering entry.
“There is life after losing out of the Scotties or the Brier, and the mixed is the perfect step to go,” he said.
The winner of mixed provincials will go on to represent Saskatchewan at the National Mixed event in November 2018.
Alongside gathering 96 of the province's top curling superstars in the city, Rindal is expecting plenty of economic spin-off saying it will “put heads in beds.”
Mayor Greg Dionne was on hand for the announcement and applauded the work of the club and economic injection the event will bring.
“We are always looking for the big announcement of new jobs,” Dionne said. “But people don’t realize how much money these events generate. They fill our hotels, gas stations, restaurants, and retails stores.”
Prince Albert recently hosted the Men’s and Women’s Northern Playdowns on back-to-back weekends January 2015. Last year, the club hosted a successful 2016 provincial Scotties event.
The city last welcomed mixed provincials in 2000, which was won by Scott Coghlan, Kim Hodson, Murry Humble and Laurie Secord-Humble. Admission for the event will be free.
On Twitter: @JournoMarr
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