Corona hits Curling Canada – an Update

12.6.20: Daily New cases in Canada (worldometers)
12.6.20: Daily New cases in Canada (worldometers)

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Like here in Europe, the Curling Season 2019/20 ended also in Canada early. 2 days before the event, the WCF cancelled the World’s Women Curing Championships to be held in British Columbia. On March, 16th, Curling Canada issued a statement that ended the season in Canada:

“Curling Canada is strongly urging all curling centres in Canada, both affiliated and non-affiliated, to immediately temporarily suspend all domestic sanctioned curling activities, until further notice, in light of the public health risks associated with COVID-19.”

Corona in Canada

Daily New Deaths in Canada (worldometers)

Canada seems to have reached the peak of new cases around April, 22nd with around 1,800 cases per day and two weeks later the number of daily deaths seems to have topped short of 200. Since then both numbers are in decline. Actually there are 400 new cases and around 50 deaths per day, but still more than 32,000 active cases.

The Consequences for Public Tournaments

As we all know by now, “social distancing” is the main way the governments us right now to stop the virus from spreading.
Concerning Curling Tournaments this has grave consequences for financing. Most tournaments need spectators to pay the bills. Empty stadions like we see it now in European football are in most cases not possible. Tickets are just one part of financing these events. From presentations of producers to booths of local dealers of curling supplies, there are many sources of money. Not to forget the kiosk that sells beer and hot dogs. Without these funds, it gets difficult. Very difficult.
Events have to be planned long way and nobody knows, which rules will apply at the time of an event. Worst case would be an event cancelled on short notice, but all the contracs already done.

What’s the situation right now over the Atlantic?

That corona is able to strike curlers on the rink is not in doubt. Nobody has forgot how after a bonspiel in Edmonton 40 of the 73 participants tested positiv. Even more so, as it was an event for medical professionals.
So how is it going to continue in the country where curling is a mass sport?
One of the earliest events this upcoming season, the “Shorty Jenkins Classic” to be held in September in Ontario has already been cancelled. Already on May, 8th came the sad news whenGord McCrady Jr. posted:

“We felt that it was in the best interests of the fans, volunteers, curlers, and our major sponsors, AMJ Campbell, Jet Ice, VIA Rail , Choose Cornwall and the Cornwall Curling Centre to postpone for one year,”

The News is, that there are not many news.

Katherine Henderson, CEO Curling Canada
Katherine Henderson, CEO Curling Canada

The “Grand Slam of Curling” offers tickets for events from October, 20th – no word about the virus. Also Curling Canada goes on selling tickets for events from November onwards.
World Curling Tour seems to have cancelled already some events. The Canad Inn’s on Octobre, 9th had, after having been cancelled in 2019 due to a storm, been cancelled again.
But -to sum it up- so far, there are not many news. Most event organizers seem to wait for a clearer picture. And that is no surprise as Curling Canada still “looks at thing day by day” as their CEO Katherin Henderson told CBC in late May. Right now, there seems to be no plan, but a set of scenarios even for essentials like qualifications to the Olympics.

Jill Richard, the executive of Curling Alberta, has acted already. This upcoming season Alberta hosts the “Provincial Curling Championships.” News is, that instead of a men’s and a women’s event, there will be just one combined event in Calgary in January 2021. Hopefully this creates an event large enough to carry the costs and attract enough attention.

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