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Host cities enjoy benefits of 2013-14 curling events

Besides some amazing curling on the ice, there were plenty of other reasons host cities for the Canadian Curling Association’s 2013-14 Season of Champions events came away pleased.

Saint John N.B.Mar20_2014.Ford World Woman's Curling Championship.CCA/michael burns photo

All told, the championship events last season generated an estimated total economic impact to the host communities and provinces of $57 million, on such varied services as hotels, restaurants and retail.

Additionally, the Season of Champions events generated significant legacy funding for the host committees and Member Associations through initiatives such as volunteer-supported ticket sales and 50/50 fundraising efforts. Those funds will be used to continue the growth of curling across the country.

“One of our main goals is to make sure our host cities reap the benefits of hosting a Canadian Curling Association championship,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Curling Association. “We know it’s a major undertaking to host a championship curling event, so there should be a reward for doing that. The numbers tell you that cities that host our events come away with a significant economic boost, and the curling community is left with a legacy that will help our sport in the long run. The message is clear that our events are difference-makers for the host communities.”

The 2013-14 Season of Champions host cities were: Kitchener, Ont. (Capital One Road to the Roar), Winnipeg (Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings), Liverpool, N.S. (M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships), Montreal (Scotties Tournament of Hearts), Kamloops, B.C. (Tim Hortons Brier) and Saint John, N.B. (Ford World Women’s Curling Championship). Approximately 405,000 tickets were sold to those events.

The Ford Worlds in Saint John were recognized with the Economic Driver Award by Hospitality Saint John — “given to an event that has been hands down an economic catalyst for the Saint John region in not only benefitting all of the tourism partners in the area, but also helped increase the city’s profile.”

In addition to the financial benefits, the cities were exposed to a national TV audience on TSN and RDS that featured 330 hours of live broadcast coverage, with a cumulative audience reach of more than 14.8 million over the season.

As well, the volunteer base of more than 4,100 for the events will continue to pay dividends. Each community now has a larger core of trained volunteers, through the professional development and guidance many of them received through the CCA, making them valuable for future events in their respective communities.