Home teams set!

Team Gushue’s Brad Gushue (top left), Mark Nichols, E.J. Harnden and Geoff Walker will represent the men at the inaugural Pan Continental Curling Championships, while the women will be repped by Kerri Einarson (bottom left), Val Sweeting, Shannon Birchard and Briane Meilleur. (Photos, Alina Pavylyuchik & Steve Seixeiro/World Curling Federation & Michael Burns/Curling Canada)

Teams Einarson and Gushue to represent Canada at inaugural Pan Continental event

Canada will send its reigning women’s and men’s national champions to the first Pan Continental Curling Championships, it was confirmed today.

Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., and Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., winners of the 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and 2022 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by AGI, respectively, will wear the Maple Leaf at the inaugural Pan Continental event, which is scheduled for Oct. 30-Nov. 5 at WinSport Arena at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

The event will decide the countries (but not the actual competing teams) from the Americas, Asia and the Pacific region that go to the 2023 World Men’s and World Women’s Championships. The top five finishers will secure their World Championship berths, although in the case of countries that are hosting a world championship, their berths are already secure.

Ottawa will play host to the 2023 World Men’s Championship, but Team Gushue must still finish high enough in Calgary to avoid Canada being dropped to the B Division of the Pan Continental Championships for the 2023 event.

“Any time you get to wear a Canadian uniform is special, and to do it in this historic first event will make it even more memorable,” said Einarson. “We’ll be working hard for the rest of the summer to make sure that we’re ready to bring our best to Calgary.”

“It should be an interesting and competitive event, and we’re honoured to have a chance to be the first Canadian men’s team to compete in it,” added Gushue. “We know what’s on the line, so there’s a lot of work to be done between now and then to make sure we’re ready.”

Both Canadian entries finished on the podium at the World Championships this past season.

Team Einarson (vice-skip Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Briane Meilleur round out the team) was a bronze-medallist at the BKT Tires & OK Tire World Women’s Championship, presented by Nature’s Bounty, in Prince George.

Team Gushue, meanwhile, took silver at the LGT World Men’s Championship, presented by New Holland, in Las Vegas. Vice-skip Mark Nichols and lead Geoff Walker will be back from that team, while E.J. Harnden will replace Brett Gallant at second.

The women’s A Division in Calgary features Canada, the United States, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan and Australia. The men’s A Division consists of Canada, the United States, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, China, Chinese Taipei and New Zealand.

Ticket and broadcast information for the 2022 Pan Continental Curling Championships will be announced at a later date.

Curling Canada