MOOSE JAW, SASK., TO HOST 2022, 2023 CANADIAN WHEELCHAIR CURLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship has found its home for the next two seasons, it was announced today by Curling Canada.
The 2022 and 2023 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships will be played at the Ford Moose Jaw Curling Centre in Moose Jaw, Sask.
The venue is located inside Moose Jaw’s downtown Mosaic Place, the venue of the 2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The conjoined Ford Moose Jaw Curling Centre was used as the Heart Stop Lounge during the event.
“Moose Jaw is coming off of hosting a successful Scotties Tournament of Hearts and I’m thrilled to see another Canadian curling championship return to my home province of Saskatchewan,” said Mitch Minken, Chair of Curling Canada’s Board of Directors. “This host committee is determined to provide a first-class experience for our country’s wheelchair curlers over the next two years and they have our full support.”
It will be the first time Moose Jaw hosts the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship and it’s been hosted once in Saskatchewan prior – in 2016 at Regina. The 2022 championship is scheduled for Feb. 21-26, while the 2023 event will take place Feb. 20-25.
The Ford Moose Jaw Curling Centre is located downtown in Mosaic Place, the venue of the 2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. (Photo supplied, Ford Moose Jaw Curling Centre)
“We are looking forward to hosting the 2022 and the 2023 Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships with great anticipation,” said Moose Gibson, host committee chair of the events. “It is our goal to provide an outstanding experience both in the curling club and in the city. Moose Jaw has a strong history of putting on successful Curling Canada events and that experience will ensure that this event is no different.”
In addition to hosting the 2020 national women’s championship, it hosted the 2015 Scotties, the 2012 Canada Cup of Curling, the 1994 Canadian Senior Curling Championships, the 1983 World Women’s Curling Championship (first time hosted in Canada) and the 1979 World Junior Men’s Curling Championship.
“The City of Moose Jaw welcomes the opportunity to host such a prestigious event,” said Mayor Fraser Tolmie. “The people of Moose Jaw are known for their hospitality, strong community volunteer support and access in hosting events.”
The 2022 event will be the 17th edition of the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship, which made its debut in 2004. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
British Columbia leads the way with five national wheelchair curling titles courtesy of teams skipped by Darryl Neighbour (2007), Jim Armstrong (2008, 2009), Gary Cormack (2010) and Gerry Austgarden (2015).
Saskatchewan has won three Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championships with skip Darwin Bender winning the first two in 2012 and 2016. In 2018, Paralympian Marie Wright became the first female skip to win the event, winning Saskatchewan’s third and most recent national wheelchair curling championship in 2018.
“We are very excited to welcome the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship back to Saskatchewan in 2022 and 2023. The City of Moose Jaw and local curling community has proven their ability to host first class events with the successful hosting of the 2015 and 2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and 2012 Canada Cup of Curling,” said Ashley Howard, Executive Director of CURLSASK. “This championship will mark the second and third time respectively that the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship has been hosted in Saskatchewan and we are confident in the ability of host chairman Moose Gibson and his team; we know it will be a wonderful showcase for Canada’s best wheelchair curling teams.”
The most recent event was won by Alberta’s Jack Smart in Boucherville, Que., in 2019. The gold-medal victory was Alberta’s first at the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship with Smart defeating Manitoba’s Dennis Thiessen in the final. Thiessen has previously skipped Manitoba to gold in 2014 and 2017.
“We are proud to host these athletes here in our city competing for the Canadian Wheelchair Curling Championship,” said Curl Moose Jaw president Kevin deDelley. “These athletes participating in Moose Jaw will generate more exposure to wheelchair curling as a whole in our city and province and we are proud to help build this interest.”
Representatives from all 14 Member Associations are eligible to compete in Moose Jaw. The teams are separated into two pools of seven and compete in a six-game round robin. The top team in each pool advances directly to the semifinals and the remaining teams crossover to play a qualification game. Winners of the semifinals games advance to the gold-medal game and the losers compete in the bronze-medal game.