Canada’s most talented senior-aged curlers will converge in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and battle for the 2021 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships, it was announced today by Curling Canada.
The Community First Curling Centre will be the first to host the event in its new time slot in the Canadian curling calendar, from Dec. 6-11, 2021. It’s the same facility to host a portion of the 2008 Canadian junior men’s and women’s curling championships.
“We’re excited to make this announcement after what has been a turbulent year for both our sport and in general,” said Mitch Minken, Chair of Curling Canada’s Board of Governors. “The 2020 version of this event was one of the first to be impacted by COVID-19 this past March, and we’re excited to work with our partners Everest and the exceptional host committee in Sault Ste. Marie to bring this first-class event back to the ice.”
Last season’s event was slated for Portage la Prairie, Man., but cancelled due to the emerging global pandemic.
“The Soo Curlers Association is extremely proud to be named as the host organization for the 2021 Everest Canadian Senior Championships,” said Soo Curlers Association President, Tom McLean. “Our community has a rich history in the sport and we are thrilled at the opportunity to showcase Northern Ontario hospitality while featuring exciting championship curling at the Community First Curling Centre.”
It will be the third time the Northern Ontario Curling Association has hosted Everest Canadian Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships. Most recently, Sault Ste. Marie hosted the 1998 edition with Saskatchewan’s Gary Bryden and Ontario’s Jill Greenwood, winning their respective crowns. Before that, the 1989 event was hosted at Kenora and won by Jim Sharples of Ontario and Emily Farnham of Saskatchewan in the men’s and women’s events, respectively.
“The City is pleased to be named the host of the 2021 Everest Canadian Seniors Curling Championships, and I know City staff and our tremendous local volunteers will work hard to ensure a memorable experience for attendees,” said Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano. “Sault Ste. Marie has a proud curling history. We have hosted the Brier, several Grand Slam events and are the home of Team Jacobs, the gold medal-winning men’s curling rink from the 2014 Winter Olympics. We look forward to hosting the 2021 Everest Canadian Seniors Curling Championships.”
Northern Ontario played host to the individual men’s events in 1973 at Sudbury won by Manitoba’s Bill McTavish and 1965 at Port Arthur, won by Manitoba’s Leo Johnson.
Sault Ste. Marie is no stranger to hosting premiere national curling championships. The city is most recently known for its role in hosting the 2010 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, where Jennifer Jones won her fourth of six Canadian women’s curling titles. The 1990 edition of the Brier, the Canadian men’s curling championship, was won by Ontario’s Ed Werenich in Sault Ste. Marie.
“It’s been over 20 years since Northern Ontario has hosted the Everest Canadian Seniors Curling Championships,” said Bobby Ray, Executive Director of the Northern Ontario Curling Association. “Sault Ste. Marie takes a lot of pride in hosting premiere curling events and we look forward to welcoming Canada’s best senior curlers to the community this December.”
Everest is a funeral planning and concierge service rolled into a life insurance plan. The first event featuring the Everest name was in 2015 at Edmonton.
“This is Everest’s seventh consecutive year sponsoring the Canadian Senior Curling Championships and we are extremely excited for the return of curling this year!” said Mark Duffey, President and CEO of Everest. “We continue to look for new and exciting ways to celebrate the curling community and the Seniors event has been an integral part of that journey. Sault Ste. Marie has a rich history in the curling community, enthusiastic fans and dedicated volunteers, making it an ideal place to host this incredible event.”
Northern Ontario won one Canadian senior men’s curling courtesy of skip Al Hackner in 2006. The women have won two events, in 1991 led by Eila Brown and in 1995 by Sheila Ross.
Manitoba and Ontario lead the way with 12 men’s titles each at the Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships and Ontario leads the pack with 10 titles to its name in women’s competition. The Canadian senior men’s championship first occurred in 1965, with the first event played in Northern Ontario at Port Arthur. The women Canadian senior women’s championship began in 1973 in Ottawa.