File Photo

Sylvan Lake to host Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts

The NexSource Centre will host a combined Boston Pizza Cup-Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

For the first time ever, the Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts is coming to Sylvan Lake.

From Jan. 25-31, 2021, curlers from across the province will be taking over Sylvan Lake during the men’s and women’s provincial championships, known as the Sentinel Storage Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

That week will also Sylvan Lake will also host the Boston Pizza Cup Presented by Best Western, combined the Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

This is the first time in Alberta curling history the two events will be combined as one, with the NexSource Centre in Sylvan Lake as the battle grounds.

Curling Alberta says the idea behind combining the two events was to make the championship a “bigger, flashier event.”

However, much has changed in the world since the combined event concept began to take off, namely the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jill Richard, executive director for Curling Alberta, said the organization had to think creatively to bring the combined event to fruition in both a safe and financially viable way.

“Bringing the event to a smaller community, especially one with experience hosting successful championships as they did in 2014 for the Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and a new and spacious facility that lends well to physical distancing, is a logical choice for us,” Richard said.

Sylvan Lake Mayor, Sean McIntyre, says the community of Sylvan Lake will be celebrating the championship in whatever way they can.

“Sylvan Lake has a long-standing history of welcoming and celebrating the curling culture, as well as hosting large-scale sporting events like the 2021 Provincial Curling Championships. While events may look different this year – likely without the presence of fans, I know that the curling community and Sylvan Lakers, myself included, will be there in spirit, celebrating,” McIntyre said.

Richard says the curling facility at the NexSource Centre is “top-notch” and curlers can look forward to excellent ice conditions.

The format of the championship will see the women compete in an eight-team round-robin. The playoff format will be changed slightly, reducing the playoff field from four teams to three.

The men’s champions will see a 12-team triple knockout with a page playoff.

“We considered many format alternatives for a combined event, and there were many elements that weighed into the decision to revert to the triple knockout for the men. In the end, the two formats simply complement each other well given our time frame for the event,” said Richard.

The “bubble” concept, as was utilized by the NHL, will not be employed at this event. Curling Alberta says that is because teams will not be in contact with the opposition, meaning the non-delivering team will relinquish the sheet completely.

Creating a true “bubble environment” is a costly endeavour that is “realistically within reach for only much larger or professional sport organizations.”

Though there have been many challenges this year, with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also given Curling Alberta to bring fans together virtually.

Curling Alberta will be live streaming throughout the event and to connect curlers and their fans. Sportsnet will also return to broadcast the semi-finals and finals on their four regional channels

Richard says there is still a lot to celebrate and be thankful for during this difficult time.

“Our curlers have been very understanding of the changing realities. Both our organization and our curlers are poised to adapt as needed if it means we can keep people healthy and continue to play,” Richard said.

Just Posted

Alberta’a chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday that there are more than 328,000 vaccine appointments booked over the next seven days. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta surpasses 2 million doses administered of COVID-19 vaccine

Red Deer down to 835 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.
‘We did not unite around blind loyalty to one man’:Kenney faces internal call to quit

Senior backbench member Todd Loewen, in a letter posted on Facebook, called on Kenney to resign

Alberta continues to wrestle with high COVID-19 case numbers. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer up to 858 active cases of COVID-19

Province reports additional 1,799 cases of the virus

(Photo Courtesy of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools will not pilot draft curriculum

RDCRS is one of many divisions in the area to opt out of the pilot of the K-6 draft curriculum

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity, watchdog says

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe, was put in handcuffs after an anti-restriction protest Saturday in the parking lot of the business. (Screenshot via The Whistle Stop Facebook page)
Alberta RCMP investigating possible threat to police after Mirror rally

Online images show RCMP members, vehicles in crosshairs of a rifle

An Israeli attack helicopter launches flares as he flies over the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Singh calls for halt on Canadian arms sales to Israel as violence escalates in region

Government data shows Canada sent $13.7 million in military goods and technology to Israel in 2019

New homes are built in a housing construction development in the west-end of Ottawa on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Budget’s foreign-homebuyers tax could bring in $509 million over 4 years, PBO says

Liberals are proposing a one per cent tax on vacant homes owned by foreign non-residents

A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier’s shoulder in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. The Canadian Forces says it has charged one of its members in the death of an army reservist from British Columbia during a training exercise at a military base in Alberta last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Canadian Forces member charged in death of army reservist during training exercise

Cpl. Lars Callsen has been charged with one count of negligence

A youth plays basketball in an otherwise quiet court in Toronto on Saturday April 17, 2021. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is urging the federal and provincial governments to fight COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on proven public health policy interventions including paid sick leave, and education rather than punitive enforcement measures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Provinces issued more COVID-19 tickets during 2nd wave: CCLA report

‘A pandemic is a public health, not a public order, crisis,’ reads the report

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Trudeau is rejecting accusations from Alberta’s justice minister that his federal government is part of a trio rooting for that province’s health system to collapse due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Alberta justice minister sorry for saying feds, others rooting for COVID disaster

Earlier Tuesday, prior to Madu’s apology, Trudeau rejected the accusations

In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File
Questions remain about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in Canada

More than two million Canadians have received AstraZeneca and 17 have been confirmed to have VITT

Most Read