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St. Catharines to host 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Canada’s elite women’s curling teams will be heading to the Niagara region of Ontario for the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, it was announced today by Curling Canada.

The Meridian Centre in St. Catharines will play host to the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. (Photo, Vaughn Ridley)

The Meridian Centre in St. Catharines will play host to the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. (Photo, courtesy Vaughn Ridley)

The 2017 Canadian Women’s Curling Championship will be staged Feb. 18-26 at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines.

“St. Catharines put in a wonderful bid that was backed wholeheartedly by the city, and we’re excited to see what’s in store in 2017,” said Hugh Avery, Chair of the Curling Canada Board of Governors. “The Scotties Tournament of Hearts has a rich history of thrilling action on the ice and party for all ages off the ice. Curling fans in St. Catharines, and all over Southern Ontario, are in for a treat.”

It will be the first time the Scotties has been staged in St. Catharines, which previously hosted the 2001 (won by Newfoundland/Labrador’s Brad Gushue and Prince Edward Island’s Suzanne Birt) and 2007 (won by Alberta’s Charley Thomas and Newfoundland/Labrador’s Stacie Devereaux) Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Championships.

“Congratulations to the St. Catharines Golf and Country Club and Meridian Centre, co-hosts of the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts,” said St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik. “We look forward to welcoming curlers and their families from across Canada to St. Catharines, to experience our world-class sports facilities and cultural venues, right here in our hometown.”

The Meridian Centre opened in September 2014, and seats approximately 5,300 for hockey. It is home to the Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara IceDogs.

Marilyn Bodogh

Marilyn Bodogh

“When my sister (longtime teammate Christine Jurgenson) and I were growing up, it was our dream to curl in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and we worked hard to achieve that dream,” said St. Catharines curling legend Marilyn Bodogh, a two-time Scotties and world women’s champion. “Now to see the biggest women’s curling event in the world come to my hometown is an absolute thrill, and I can’t wait to show off our city for all of the curlers and fans who’ll be here in 2017.”

There will be plenty on the line at the 2017 Scotties. The winning team will represent Canada at the World Women’s Championship in Beijing, China. Additionally, should the Scotties champion win a medal at the World Women’s, the team will also qualify for the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials in Ottawa. That’s the event that will decide Canada’s men’s and women’s four-player teams for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

“We couldn’t be happier to welcome the Scotties Tournament of Hearts back to Ontario,” said Ontario Curling Association executive-director Steve Chenier. “St. Catharines has produced some great curling champions, and has also hosted wonderful curling events in the past, so I’m confident that the 2017 Scotties will be no exception.”

The 2017 Scotties will mark the 36th consecutive year of Kruger Products’ title sponsorship of the Canadian women’s curling championship, which is among the longest-running partnerships in Canadian sports.

The country's best women's curling teams will play for the Canadian title in 2017 at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ont. (Photo, courtesy Vaughn Ridley)

The country’s best women’s curling teams will play for the Canadian title in 2017 at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ont. (Photo, courtesy Vaughn Ridley)

“Kruger Products is excited to welcome the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts to St. Catharines,” said Nancy Marcus, Corporate Vice President Marketing at Kruger Products. “As a Canadian company, we are pleased to continue to support the outstanding women of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and we look forward to seeing this premier event hosted in St. Catharines for the first time. All of us at Kruger Products are proud to be the longest sponsor of amateur sport in Canada and we are thrilled to continue our support of women’s curling for over 35 years.”

TSN/RDS will provide complete coverage of the 2017 Scotties, from the opening round-robin draw to the gold-medal game.

Tickets for the 2017 Scotties will go on sale early in 2016.

The 2016 Scotties Tournament of Hearts is scheduled for Feb. 20-28 in Grande Prairie, Alta. The winner of the 2016 Scotties will be Team Canada a year later in St. Catharines.