Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge: Volunteers rock

Organizing committee puts out call for volunteers for November event; meeting to be held April 5 at 7 p.m. at Curling Club.

  • Apr. 4, 2016 10:00 a.m.

Barry Coulter

For a week of days in November of this year, Cranbrook will be the centre of the curling world. And organizers are putting out the call for volunteers to make the event a success.

Cranbrook has been awarded an event in the Grand Slam of Curling — the Tour Challenge, the second event on the tour — and will see a massive influx of top international curlers, 15 men’s teams and 15 women’s teams in the top tier, and another 30 teams in a second tier.

They will playing in two tiers that will compete at Western Financial Place and the Memorial Arena from Nov. 8-13, 2016.

Organizers are holding an information meeting Tuesday evening, April 5, at 7 p.m. at the Cranbrook Curling Centre.

“Come down and get all the details on volunteering for The Tour Challenge, the largest professional curling event in the world, coming to Cranbrook this November,” said Brenna Baker, Marketing and Sponsorship Manager for the local Tour Challenge committee.

Organizers will also be bringing local curlers to Western Financial Place to do a mock line up at the ticket booths located in Western Financial Place — a test run in advance of the  actual ticket launch April 15, 2016.

The event will be broken down in to 15 men and 15 women’s teams in Tier One—the top level of competition. The same format will be duplicated for the Tier 2, which will feature professional curlers that aren’t quite at the elite level.

A strong and committed cadre of volunteers is essential for the event, but Cranbrook’s track record in this regard is strong. Kristi Petrushchak, Manager of the Tour Challenge for Sportsnet, told the Townsman in an earlier interview that Cranbrook’s existing volunteer network, and the 2011 Canada Cup experience made the city a compelling host for the 2016 event.

“The veteran volunteer committee lead by Todd Pellerin are enthusiastic and excited to bring a world class event back to Cranbrook,” Petrushchak said.”It’s always a plus when you have a community of volunteers that have hosted a large curling event, to take their previous experience and key learnings and help make this event a greater success for the community.”

Pellerin himself said in an earlier interview with the Townsman that depending on the success of the Tour Challenge, there is potential for the city to host more Grand Slam events in the future.

“If we have a good local buy-in and the sponsorship is good and everyone has a good review after the event, Sportsnet has said that we would become one of the city locations that would be on a rotating basis for future events,” he said.

The organizing committee has decided to donate 50 per cent of profits back into those minor sport organizations.

The last major curling event that Cranbrook hosted was the Canada Cup of Curling in 2011, which was organized by the Canadian Curling Association, which has nothing to do with the Grand Slam of Curling, as it is organized directly by Sportsnet.