It appears that Brandon is the front-runner to host the 2015 Manitoba men’s curling championship.
Representatives from both the Brandon Curling Club and CurlManitoba have confirmed that the sides are in negotiations to bring the event to the Wheat City for the first time since 2008.
Brandon Curling Club president Shawn Taylor is excited about the prospect of having the five-day, 32-team event return to the Wheat City.
“The potential is fantastic,” Taylor said. “It’s something that we haven’t had in Brandon for a while, so that’s why we’re very interested in looking at it.”
The men’s championship used to be awarded to communities throughout Manitoba on a rotational basis, with Brandon scheduled to host the event every four years. That, however, was derailed after the 2008 Safeway Championship — held at Westman Place — as the Brandon Curling Club barely broke even based on its agreement with the Keystone Centre.
The Brandon club and Keystone Centre are working on an agreement that would allow the event to be held in Westman Place again and be a win-win situation for both parties.
There are other hurdles to be overcome — including sponsorship as Sobey’s recently purchased Safeway — before the deal is finalized. It’s still unclear if the Riverview Curling Club will join the Brandon club as a host.
Rob Van Kommer, CurlManitoba’s vice-president, is glad the 32-team tournament is so close to returning to the Wheat City.
“It’s never a hard decision to come back to Brandon,” the Carberry native said. “You got some good people who are involved there who have worked hard to get it back. It’s never hard to come there. Just need the volunteers to get organized.”
The 2014 championship will be held in Winnipeg from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2. It will be Winnipeg’s first time hosting the event since 1995.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 12, 2013