Ongoing uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Curling Canada to alter its plans for the pre-Christmas portion of the 2020-21 curling season, it was announced today.
The 2020 Home Hardware Canada Cup, scheduled for Nov. 24-29 in Fredericton, N.B., will be postponed indefinitely, while the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship, scheduled for Nov. 7-15 in Canmore, Alta., and the Everest Canadian Curling Club Championships, scheduled for Nov. 22-28 in Ottawa, have both been cancelled.
(PEI was to have been represented for the third consecutive time at the Canadian Mixed by the Jamie Newson rink from the Silver Fox Curling Club. The team also includes Melissa Morrow, Andrew MacDougall, and Miranda Ellis. PEI’s representatives at the Everest Canadian Curling Club Championship were also both from the Silver Fox, with the team of Veronica Smith (skip), Sabrina Smith (3rd), Emily Gray (2nd), Whitney Jenkins (lead), and Pat Aylward (coach) winning the PEI Women’s Curling Club Championship, while the men’s event was won by Leo Stewart (skip), Edward White (3rd), Darrell Thibeau (2nd), and Corey Montgomery (lead). Leo Stewart passed away suddenly in April.)
“We all know the reality of our situation, and it goes beyond sports,” said Katherine Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of Curling Canada. “Our primary goal and responsibility, always, is to keep athletes and volunteers safe and it was determined that without any kind of clarity about what the situation will look like in the late fall when these events were scheduled, we couldn’t responsibly go further in the planning process.”
Because the Home Hardware Canada Cup may play a role in determining teams for the 2021 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, presented by AGI — the event that will decide Canada’s four-player teams for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing — Curling Canada will attempt to reschedule the event for some time in the new year.
But the Canadian mixed championship and Everest Curling Club Championships — which both are largely operated by local volunteers, and wouldn’t be financially viable, both for Curling Canada and local host committees, due to attendance and travel restrictions — won’t be rescheduled and will take place again as scheduled in the fall of 2021.
“These were not easy decisions, but they were correct decisions in these circumstances,” said Henderson. “Like all curlers and curling fans, we look forward to a return to normalcy and we will work diligently to make sure this is done responsibly.”
With the cancellation of the 2020 World Mixed Curling Championship announced last week by the World Curling Federation, Curling Canada also confirmed that Jean-Sébastien Roy’s Quebec team (vice-skip Amélie Blais, second Dan deWaard, lead Brenda Nicholls), which was to have represented Canada at the 2020 World Mixed, will maintain its status as Team Canada for the 2021 World Mixed Championship.
Curling Canada will continue to assess the status of the post-Christmas events in the 2020-21 season, and no further updates are available at this time.