Medicine Hat awarded 2010 Canada Cup of Curling

MEDICINE HAT, ALBERTA, October 2, 2009…The City of Medicine Hat will stage the 2010 Canada Cup of Curling, it was announced today by the Canadian Curling Association (CCA). The Canada Cup, which brings together 10 of the best men’s and 10 of the best women’s teams in the country, will be played November 30-December 5, 2010 at the Medicine Hat Arena.  It will mark the first time that the Canada Cup, in its eight-year history, will be contested as the first event in the CCA’s Season of Champions, rather than being played in the middle of the curling season. “The City of Medicine Hat continues to be a great location to hold significant curling events in Canada,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Curling Association.  “After the recent successes of the Continental Cup there, we were enthused to learn that the city had a keen interest in hosting the nation’s top curling athletes in the 2010 Canada Cup.  The Canadian Curling Association is very interested in growing the Canada Cup in both scope and profile. The 2010 event in Medicine Hat will be the first glimpse of this concept.” Medicine Hat was the site for the most successful ever Continental Cup in 2004, when a record 42,317 fans attended the unique four-day international competition, patterned somewhat after golf’s Ryder Cup.   The city also staged the 2007 renewal of the Continental Cup at The Arena and drew the second-highest attendance, 26,810.   Team North America prevailed over Team Europe both times. “We’re thrilled that Medicine Hat has been awarded the 2010 Canada Cup,” said Host Committee chairman Des Grant.   “After hosting two Continental Cups and several other Canadian championships, we continue to attract the creme de la creme of Canadian curling to our city.  This promises to be a tremendous event.  It has been said by various people that to get out of Alberta sometimes is as tough as winning a Brier.   Now, we’ll likely have not only all of the best men’s and women’s teams in Alberta participating in this Canada Cup, but all of the best teams in Canada.” Since its inception in 2003, the Canada Cup has been won by some of the country’s most successful curling teams.   Edmonton’s Kevin Martin (2005, 2006, 2009) and Randy Ferbey (2003, 2004, 2007) are both three-time men’s winners, while Kevin Koe, also of Edmonton, emerged victorious in 2008. On the women’s side, only skip Shannon Kleibrink of Calgary is a two-time winner (2005, 2009).  The other winning teams were skipped by Sherry Middaugh (2003), Colleen Jones (2004), Cathy King (2006), Jennifer Jones (2007) and Stefanie Lawton (2008). The first six Canada Cups, under the title sponsorship of Strauss Herb Company, were played in Kamloops, British Columbia from 2003-2008, before the event moved to Yorkton, Saskatchewan for the 2009 edition. The winners of the 2009 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings (Canadian Curling Trials), December 6-13 in Edmonton, the 2010 Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Sault Ste. Marie, 2010 Tim Hortons Brier in Halifax and 2010 Players’ Championship in Dawson Creek will earn invitations to the 2010 Canada Cup.  At this time, it has not yet finalized how the remaining 14 teams (seven men’s and seven women’s) will qualify. The Canada Cup will offer a total purse of $150,000, split equally between the men and women.  First place is worth $25,000. The last three Canada Cups were also used as qualifying events for the winners to become part of the pool of 16 teams eligible for the upcoming Trials, which will determine Canada’s representatives for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.  It is anticipated that the 2010 Canada Cup will offer similar qualifying status leading to the 2013 Trials. -30-