Canada’s national capital will become the world’s curling capital when the 2021 World Men’s Curling Championship is staged in Ottawa, it was announced jointly today by the World Curling Federation and Curling Canada.
The World Men’s Curling Championship will be played April 3-11 at TD Place in Ottawa.
“I am delighted to confirm that the World Men’s Curling Championship 2021 will be held in Ottawa, Ontario, during this upcoming season,” said Kate Caithness, President of the World Curling Federation. “It is a real pleasure to be able to hold one of our flagship championships in Curling Canada’s home city for the first time. With Olympic qualification points on the line, this championship will be vitally important and I am certain that Ottawa will host a first-class event.”
The 2021 World Men’s Championship will determine most of the field for the 2022 Winter Olympics men’s curling competition.
Originally, it was to be the combined results of the 2020 and 2021 world championships, but due to the cancellation of the 2020 World Men’s Championship in Glasgow, Scotland, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the change was proposed to, and then approved by, the IOC.
“My hometown of Ottawa has proven itself as an amazing host for championship curling events over the years, and the 2021 World Men’s Championship has the potential to take that to another level,” said John Shea, Chair of Curling Canada’s Board of Governors. “World-class curling belongs in world-class cities, and Ottawa fits that description perfectly.”
The TD Place Arena, with seating capacity for around 9,500 curling fans, last hosted a major event in 2016 — the Tim Hortons Brier, won by Alberta’s Kevin Koe, who went on to win the 2016 World Men’s Championship in Basel, Switzerland.
Seating capacity and ticketing information for the 2021 World Men’s won’t be known until closer to the event date, said Curling Canada Chief Executive Officer Katherine Henderson.
“In collaboration with our partners at the World Curling Federation, we will continue to monitor news and government guidelines pertaining to COVID-19, with the main priority of keeping athletes and curling fans safe,” said Henderson. “That said, we are optimistic that in 11 months, the world will be in a better place and we’re excited about what will take place in Ottawa next April.”
It will be the first time the World Men’s Championship has ever been played in Ottawa, but the city is no stranger to championship curling, having hosted the Tim Hortons Brier on four occasions (all at TD Place) — in 2016, 2001 (won by Alberta’s Randy Ferbey), in 1993 (won by B.C.’s Rick Folk) and in 1979 (won by Manitoba’s Barry Fry).
Additionally, Ottawa played host to the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials, with Koe and Rachel Homan prevailing to earn berths into the 2018 Winter Olympics.
“I am thrilled to welcome the World Men’s Curling Championship to Ottawa in 2021,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “Canada’s capital has a proud history of successfully hosting major curling events, and we look forward to welcoming the world’s best curling talent and fans from around the world again next year.”
“Ottawa Tourism looks forward to welcoming the World Men’s Curling Championship to Canada’s Capital for the first time in April 2021,” said Michael Crockatt, president and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “Now more than ever, we look towards these types of prestigious, large-scale events to engage our sports community and boost our local economy. This exciting competition will bring joy to the passionate curling and sports community in Ottawa and builds upon our proud history of hosting big curling and sporting events. We look forward to giving the athletes and participants a taste of all there is to see and do in Ottawa.”
It will be the first time since 1996 that the World Men’s Championship has been played in Ontario; that year, in Hamilton, Canada’s Jeff Stoughton came out on top.
Previously, the World Men’s Championship was played in Toronto in 1986 (won by Canada’s Ed Lukowich) and London in 1981 (won by Switzerland’s Jürg Tanner).
“I am thrilled that the 2021 World Men’s Curling Championship will be hosted right here in our Nation’s Capital for the first time,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “As the MPP for Nepean and Ontario’s Sport Minister, I am proud to welcome curling fans, athletes and coaches from around the world to Ottawa. Congratulations to the World Curling Federation and Curling Canada and good luck Team Canada and to all of our visiting competitors from abroad.”
It will be Canada’s 26th hosting of the World Men’s Championship. Canadian men’s teams have won 35 world championships since the event’s inception in 1959 — the most recent coming with Team Brad Gushue’s gold medal in 2017 in Edmonton.
“This is an exciting day for our province, which has a proud tradition of hosting major curling championships, and based on recent history in Ottawa, this will be another big success,” said Stephen Chenier, Executive Director of CurlON. “The World Championship in Ottawa will be an event that we can all be proud of, and we hope it will inspire a whole new generation of curlers and curling fans.”
A total of 13 Member Associations, including the host Canadian team will compete in Ottawa. Teams will qualify through the Pacific-Asia, Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships, Americas Challenge and World Qualification Event.
The Canadian team will be decided at the 2021 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by AGI, next March in Kelowna, B.C.
“As a vibrant curling community, we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome the 2021 World Men’s Curling Championship to Ottawa, and our world-class city will be ready to put on a world-class show,” said Elaine Brimicombe, co-chair of the Ottawa Host Committee. “We have a superb base of volunteers who’ve put in so much time and effort to make past events successful, and we’re looking forward to welcoming new volunteers who can enjoy this experience the same way we do.”
“We’re thrilled to be the host venue for the 2021 World Curling Championship,” added Mark Goudie, CEO of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), which manages TD Place and the surrounding Lansdowne district. “We learned when we hosted the Tim Hortons Brier in 2016 that we are an ideal location for major curling events because we have restaurants and bars and shops and a massive party building right here on site, so it’s easy for fans and everybody that loves to party with curling fans, to have a great time, day and night. All of us are looking forward to the event and welcoming the curling world to TD Place and Lansdowne.”