CURLMANITOBA is looking to sweep up some excitement this curling season and take advantage of an Olympic year, a time when curling takes on a big spotlight across the world.
New executive director Craig Baker went over some of the events and activities Manitobans can expect from the sport this season:
The Manitoba Open
The first and possibly biggest change to the 2013-14 curling season is the rebranding of the MCA Men's Bonspiel. After seeing drops in registration in recent years, CurlManitoba has decided to rebrand it as The Manitoba Open. Female and junior curlers are encouraged to enter what was once a men's-only bonspiel.
Curlers of all ages and gender will have two bonspiel options. They can compete in the traditional 256-team, six-game guarantee bonspiel or a 64-team halfspiel, which starts on the Friday of the Manitoba Open and concludes on the Sunday.
For the first time in 20 years the Safeway Championship will be held in Winnipeg. The Winnipeg Free Press arena at the MTS Iceplex will host the top men's teams in the province from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2. Depending on the results of the Olympic trials, Jeff Stoughton, Mike McEwen and Rob Fowler will compete.
New curling exhibit
Fans can get a taste of the history of curling in the province at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame. Curling jackets, shoes, pins, pictures, medals and more will be on display from now until Jan. 12. Everything from Mark Nichol's 2006 Olympic gold medal to Jill Officer's Canada themed curling shoes from the 1994 World Junior Curling Championships will be on display.
Roar of the Rings
Canada's biggest curling event is taking place at the MTS Centre this December. Ticket packages are still available for the event and single tickets will be available on Nov. 7.
While the curling will be the biggest focus, downtown Winnipeg will transform into a curling hub in the first week of December. The Convention Centre will be home to The Patch, which will be the entertainment zone for the week.