by Al Cameron
January 28, 2014 (ISN) – The world’s top men’s curling teams will gather in Halifax for the 2015 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship, it was jointly announced today by the World Curling Federation and the Canadian Curling Association.
The 2015 Ford Worlds will be staged at the 10,500-seat Halifax Metro Centre from March 28 to April 5 — the first time the world men’s championship will have ever been played in Nova Scotia.
“We are delighted to be returning to the province of Nova Scotia for a World Curling Championship, the first since the World Junior Men’s Curling Championship was held in Dartmouth in 1986,” said World Curling Federation president Kate Caithness. “The World Curling Federation, Canadian Curling Association and our partner Ford of Canada are looking forward to welcoming the world’s best men’s curling teams back to Canada after witnessing an extremely exciting men’s World Championship in Victoria, British Columbia, in 2013. We invite curling fans from around the world join us in Halifax and experience one of the highlights of the 2015 curling season.”
While it will be the first time the Ford World Men’s Championship has been played at the Metro Centre, the building — which opened in 1978 — is no stranger to hosting major curling events. The Tim Hortons Brier was played there in 2010 (won by Alberta’s Kevin Koe), 2003 (won by Alberta’s Randy Ferbey) and 1995 (won by Manitoba’s Kerry Burtnyk), as well as the 1992 Scotties Tournament of Hearts (won by Manitoba’s Connie Laliberte). As well, the 2005 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials were played at the Halifax Metro Centre, with Brad Gushue winning the men’s title and Shannon Kleibrink claiming the women’s title.
“Halifax has delivered the goods in the past when it comes to hosting CCA Season of Champions curling events, and I see no reason why the 2015 Ford Worlds would be any different,” said CCA Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. “The Halifax Metro Centre is an outstanding facility, and the volunteer groups always rise to the occasion to make these events memorable.”
“Ford of Canada is honoured to be title sponsor of the 2015 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship,” said Sarah Rae, Partnerships and Events Manager for Ford Motor Co. of Canada. “At Ford we are proud of our 20-year partnership with the Canadian Curling Association, and events like this are a perfect opportunity to bring our joint commitment to community and sport to the world stage.
“On behalf of Ford, I want to thank the City of Halifax, the host committee and all the volunteers who we know will make this event a great success.”
It will be Canada’s 22nd opportunity to host the World Men’s Championship, and the fourth time it will be played in Atlantic Canada. Moncton, N.B., hosted in 2009 (won by Scotland’s David Murdoch) and 1980 (won by Canada’s Rick Folk), while Saint John, N.B.. hosted in 1999 (won by Scotland’s Hammy McMillan).
“We’re extremely proud that the WCF and CCA have decided that Halifax should play host to the 2015 Ford World Men’s Championship,” said Mat Harris, who along with brother Graham Harris will serve as co-chairs of the Host Committee. “Our city’s curling volunteers and fans can’t wait for the opportunity to show our hospitality to the world’s best curling teams.”
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage welcomed the news.
“Halifax is a curling town with a proud tradition of welcoming competitive curlers and filling stands with enthusiastic fans,” said Mayor Savage. “The Ford World Men’s Championship is a wonderful opportunity for our city and its people to play host to athletes and visitors from around the globe.”
Canadian men’s teams have won 34 world championships since the event’s inception in 1959 — the most recent coming in 2012 when Glenn Howard’s team claimed gold at Basel, Switzerland.
“Nova Scotians have a proven track record of hosting successful events, and in 2015, we will welcome participants and curling fans with our renowned hospitality and good cheer,” said Michel Samson, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. “Events like this are one way we can boost tourism and our provincial economy, and we’re pleased to be a supporter.”
Tickets for the 2015 Ford World Men’s Championship will go on sale later this year. Check www.curling.ca/tickets for updated information.
“With our long history of successful events, the Halifax Metro Centre offers a perfect backdrop for the Ford World Curling Championship,” said Scott Ferguson, president and CEO of Trade Centre Limited, the Crown corporation that manages the Metro Centre. “We look forward to working with the World Curling Federation, the Canadian Curling Association and the local host committee to make 2015 a memorable experience for the athletes, organizers and fans.”
The 2014 World Men’s Championship, presented by Ford of Canada, will be staged in Beijing, China, March 29-April 6.
Meanwhile the 2014 Ford World Women’s Championship, presented by Booster Juice, is scheduled for March 15-23 at Harbour Station in Saint John, N.B.