(by Al Cameron)
A four-day gathering of curling’s movers and shakers gets underway Monday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Niagara Falls, Ont.
The inaugural Canadian Curling Summit will offer participants the opportunity to examine the sport of curling from all angles and contribute to discussions on ways to help its continued growth in Canada.
Keynote speakers include TSN president Stewart Johnston, Own The Podium Chief Executive Officer (and two-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts silver-medallist) Anne Merklinger and Brent Barootes, the president and CEO of the Partnership Group, a national sponsorship-consulting firm.
Workshops will cover such diverse areas as coaching, energy conservation at curling centres, legal issues in curling, ice, rocks, school curling, social media and future strategies for the sport.
Additionally, there will be a presentation on the Sochi experience, reliving Canada’s gold-medal successes at the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games earlier this year in Russia, in addition to a trade show featuring various curling suppliers and manufacturers.
For the full agenda and more information, go to www.curling.ca/summit2014/
“This will be a wonderful opportunity for everybody to contribute to a sport we all love and want to continue to make bigger and better,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Curling Association. “Nothing is off the table; we’re looking at the grassroots level of the sport in our curling centres across Canada, all the way up to our high performance program, and everything in between. I’m excited about the lineup for the Summit, and what can and will be accomplished in Niagara Falls.”
In addition to the workshops and panels, the Summit will include two other major events. On Tuesday, Olympic gold-medallist Kevin Martin and longtime curling sponsor and supporter former Dominion Insurance Chief Executive Officer George Cooke will be inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame during the Hall of Fame and Awards Gala. In addition, Past CCA Chair Ron Hutton will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in the category of Executive Honour Roll.
On Wednesday, the Summit will be capped with the inaugural Swing and Sweep Golf Tournament, presented by Pinty’s, at Thundering Waters Golf Club, a day that will include an evening dinner, silent and live auction — all to raise funds for junior curling and club development in Canada. Celebrity participants include Olympic men’s gold-medallists Brad Jacobs and Ryan Fry; Olympic women’s gold-medallists Kaitlyn Lawes and Jill Officer; former world men’s champion Richard Hart and reigning Tim Hortons Brier champion and member of the first Team Canada squad for the Tim Hortons Brier, Nolan Thiessen.
Only a few tickets for the Hall of Fame and Awards Gala remain, and there is room for possibly two more foursomes in the golf tournament. To register and purchase tickets, go to www.curling.ca/summit2014/registration-form/
Following the Summit, the CCA will hold its 2014 Annual General Meeting on Thursday in Niagara Falls.
Registration for the 2014 Summit is now open at www.curling.ca/summit2014/registration-form/, with pricing details at www.curling.ca/summit2014/pricing/, including prices for the Summit, the Swing and Sweep Golf Tournament and the CCA Hall of Fame induction banquet.