A total of 24 teams – 12 men and 12 women – will compete in the nine-day tournament that will run from March 16 to 24. The winning men’s and women’s rinks will go on to represent Canada at the world championships.
The 2006 and 2009 senior championships were also held at The Fox, and this marks the first time the event has been held at the same club three times.
Including the 2002 Canadian junior championships, which were staged at The Fox and Cahill Stadium, this is the fourth high-profile national curling championship in Summerside in 11 years.
“Some people have told me it must be easier for you because this is the fourth national I’ve done since 2002, but it doesn’t really get any easier,” said host committee chairman Carl Delaney. “We have 156 volunteers and they outnumber the participants.
“That gives you a pretty good idea of how they will be looked after. We have a great group of volunteers, which is going to make this all possible.
“We have an excellent committee as well. Some are very experienced and some are new. . . I guess I’m just the grandfather to oversee the whole thing.”
Delaney and the host committee have been working on the event for approximately a year and a half.
“The reason why it’s here is because of the record we had in 2009 and 2006. Both in 2006 and 2009 we weren’t supposed to have it. In 2006, I got a call that there was a problem with the Moncton Curling Club that they couldn’t do it. We only had probably six or eight weeks to plan the whole thing. . .
In 2009, a similar thing happened to Ontario, the Ottawa Hunt Club. Something happened to their machinery and they had to cancel, so the phone call came, ‘Can you do another one for us?’
“For 2013, it didn’t happen that way. We got a call about a year and a half ago or more saying, ‘Which one do you want and what year do you want?’”
One new aspect this year compared to ‘06 and ‘09 is that there is a qualifying event that will feature the four men’s rinks and three women’s teams. Delaney explained the teams that have to qualify were teams that finished at the bottom of last year’s championships.
The men’s rinks seeking the qualifying berth are Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nova Scotia. The women’s qualifying spot will go to either British Columbia, Northwest Territories or Yukon.
The relegation games are slated for Thursday at 3:30 and 8 p.m., and Friday at 9 a.m.