It was announced Aug. 2 that Queens County will host the World Junior Curling Championships in February 2019.
“I am delighted to confirm we will be taking international curling back to Nova Scotia for the first time since 2015, when the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship was held in Halifax,” said Kate Caithness, president of the World Curling Federation, in a release following the announcement.
“With this announcement, we continue to grow stronger ties with Canada, who have time and time again hosted first-class world curling championships. It is also exciting to work with a new organizing committee who are full of enthusiasm for this event.”
This marks the eighth time Canada has hosted the combined Junior Worlds – most recently in Vancouver in 2009. This marks the 45th World Junior Men’s Championship, which debuted in 1975 in Ontario, and the 32nd World Junior Women’s Championship, which has been held continuously since 1988, when it debuted in France. The two events were combined a year later, when it was held in Markham, Ont.
“We’re extremely excited to see the World Junior Curling Championships returning to Canada,” added Peter Inch, chairman of Curling Canada’s board of governors. “We’re also grateful to the World Curling Federation for this opportunity, and its faith in the Liverpool Host Committee. We’ve seen this group do a wonderful job in the past, and I’m confident that Liverpool will be ready to welcome the world in 2019.”
Liverpool is no stranger to hosting high-calibre junior curling. The 2014 Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Championships were played at Queens Place Emera Centre, and featured victories by eventual two-time world champion Kelsey Rocque of Alberta in the women’s competition, along with Manitoba’s Braden Calvert on the men’s side.
Region of Queens Mayor David Dagley said he was thrilled with the announcement.
“We look forward to welcoming the world’s top young curlers to Queens Place Emera Centre in Liverpool in February 2019,” said Dagley.
“Congratulations to the Liverpool Championship Host Society on its successful bid to host this major international event. Not only will we be able to share our Queens County hospitality with curlers and visitors from all over the world, fans of top-calibre curling will see eight days of the very best that curling has to offer.”
Support from government
The region had previously announced its support for an unnamed major event that would be put on by a local, nonprofit organization, saying after an in-camera session last week that it had made a pre-budget approval of spending $50,000. That money will be set aside for the event in the 2018-2019 budget.
The announcement, made at the Queens Place Emera Centre – the host site for the world juniors – also included a provincial government pledge for $100,000 in funding.
"The province recognizes the value of events and their ability to deliver significant social and economic benefits," said Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leo Glavine. "This event will put Queens County on the international stage and I am confident the local curling community and its amazing volunteers will make this a memorable week for curlers and spectators."
About the competition
The 2019 competition will bring 10 men's and 10 women's teams in the under-21 age group to Liverpool from Feb. 17 to 24.
This is the first time the world juniors have been hosted in Canada since 2009 in Vancouver.
"We are delighted that Liverpool has been awarded the 2019 World Junior Curling Championships by the World Curling Federation," said Greg Thorbourne, chairman of the Liverpool host committee.
"The bid process has been a collaboration with our partners, and the real work begins now as we start turning these ambitious plans into an exciting event.”
The 2019 world juniors will feature host teams from Canada in both genders, along with the top six countries in each gender from the 2018 World Juniors in Aberdeen, Scotland. Three more countries in each gender will be added after a qualifying tournament.
"Beginning today, we will start working with new partners, sponsors and volunteers to deliver a successful event in February 2019,” Thorbourne said in the release.
Did you know? Queens Place Emera Centre is a multi-purpose facility with an NHL-size arena, indoor track, fitness centre and basketball courts, with the arena containing 1,050 seats.
MORE TO COME