KINGS COUNTY - Twenty-six men’s and women’s teams are the focus of the Canadian Masters Curling events this week in Kentville and Wolfville, but it won’t happen without a huge number of volunteers off the ice.
“We have a little over 100 volunteers in place,” event co-chairperson Tony Stirling said March 23. “The response has been great, mostly from within the two clubs, but also from as far away as Greenwood, Halifax and Liverpool.”
Kathy Johnston is one of the volunteers who has stepped up – she’s taking on data entry/
“I’ve never been to anything this big before, even as a spectator,” she said at a volunteer rally March 24. “This way, I’ll get to volunteer and watch at the same time.”
Another volunteer Brian Boutilier, who will be handling transportation, said he was looking forward to the experience.
“We’ll have 26 teams here from all across Canada,” he said. “Getting them here, and making sure they get from place to place while they’re here, is important.”
Boutilier said he would pitch in for whatever needed doing and he’s excited for the week ahead.
”It’s all about giving our guests the best possible experience we can while they’re here.”
Stirling says this is the largest curling event to be held in the Annapolis Valley.
Nova Scotia hosted just once before, 15 years ago in Bridgewater, Stirling said, and now the turn is up again. But why the Valley?
“I was asked by the executive director of the (Nova Scotia Curling Association) whether one of our clubs would be interested in hosting,” Stirling recalled. “It would have been too much for one club, so we agreed to host it together.
“It’s great for curling in rural Nova Scotia, and it could lead to something even bigger some day.”
Kathy Siddall is the co-chairperson, and the Annapolis Valley representative on the Nova Scotia Curling Association board.
Local curlers will also get to shine with a men’s host team, skipped by Alan Marshall of Glooscap in Kentville.
The Municipality of Kings County is the title sponsor for the event. Kentville, Wolfville and New Minas have also contributed support.
Stirling, who is also the icemaker for the Wolfville club, said staff at both Wolfville and Glooscap would be resurfacing the ice in preparation for the start of play.
The event will begin with a practice round April 3, with the competition getting underway in earnest bright and early on April 4. In co-operation with Bell Aliant Community One, one game from each draw will be live-streamed.
By the numbers
22 former Canadian champions
14 men’s teams
12 women’s teams
9 former world champions
1 Olympic bronze medalist.
Draws at 8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m.
Opening Ceremonies in Kentville following last draw
Draws at 10 a.m., 2:30 and 7 p.m.
Draws at 8 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Kentville
10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Wolfville
Draws at 10 a.m., 2 and 7 p.m. in Kentville
10 a.m. and 7 p.m. in Wolfville
Draws at 8:20 a.m., 12:30, 4 and 7:30 p.m.
Playoff draws at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m .
Banquet and awards Ceremony, Old Orchard Inn
Bronze medal games, men’s and women’s, 10 a.m.in Kentville
Gold medal games, men’s and women’s, 2 p.m. in Wolfville
Farewell reception, following the finals, in Wolfville
Get updates on the tournament website