Top curlers from Canada and around the world will descend on Cranbrook Nov. 8-13.

Top curlers from Canada and around the world will descend on Cranbrook Nov. 8-13.

Volunteers will make Grand Slam in Cranbrook a success

Sportsnet says experienced, dedicated volunteer group makes Cranbrook ready to host Grand Slam

  • Feb. 17, 2016 2:00 p.m.

Barry Coulter

For a week of days in November of this year, Cranbrook will be the centre of the curling world.

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.

The event will be broadcast on Sportsnet, a national sportscasting TV network.

Kristi Petrushchak, Manager of the Tour Challenge for Sportsnet, spoke to the Townsman from Humboldt, Saskatchewan, where she is scouting locations for the 2017/18 Grand Slam.

Petrushchak said Cranbrook’s existing volunteer network, and the experience Cranbrook had hosting the 2011 Canada Cup of Curling, made Cranbrook a compelling host city 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.”

Petrushchak added that it was local organizer Todd Pellerin who reached out to Sportsnet with the idea of holding the Tour Challenge in Cranbrook.

“We’ve been talking for almost a year, trying to figure out what the right timing is,” she said. “Originally we were thinking January, and then we had to move one of our events — the Tour Challenge — I said ‘Well, Todd, do you have two rinks?’ He said ‘yes, we do.’”

Two rinks — in this case Western Financial Place and the Memorial Arena — are be required to accommodate the two tiers of teams. Petrushchak said her colleague

Petrushchak’s colleague Jennifer Cram was recently in Cranbrook.

“She met with the City of Cranbrook and with Todd Pellerin, and did a tour long with the icemaker. And everything’s perfect.

“We’ve got 60 teams coming — two different tiers, two different arenas, so it will be something bigger and more unique. But it will be amazing — the broadcast and the story that goes behind hosting 60 teams and five regionals for men and women. Having the hometown pride there is great.”

The two tiered event is something relatively new for the Grand Slam. It was first held in Paradise, Newfoundland, in September, 2015, and Petrushchak said it was a great success.

“Sportsnet is dedicated to growing the sport of curling,” she said. “Adding a second tier of teams allows teams that are on the cusp of making it into the Slams an opportunity to play on world class ice. Ultimately the winners of the Tier 2 get a bye into the Canadian Open event in January, 2017, with their travel and accommodations paid as well as their entry fee.”

Notable by his presence before and during the Tour Challenge will be the official icemaker.

“Mark Shurek is our Grand Slam of Curling icemaker,” Petrushchak said. “He’s been the icemaker of the Slams since its inception in 2001. He will bring with him three assists and work with the local icemaker to secure a crew for both arenas.

The Sportsnet team travels with all of the equipment for the event, Petrushchak added, from rocks to carpets, draping, signage, scoreboards, time clocks, etc.

Pellerin 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.

“So what that means is, we have a successful event here, maybe in two or three years, we get another event, and because we’re pre-qualified with our facilities, we could host any of their events, on very short notice.”

As well as support from the City of Cranbrook, local minor sports groups and the Kootenay Ice have agreed to modify their schedules around the Tour Challenge. In an earlier interview with the Townsman, Pellerin said 50 per cent of profits from the event will go towards these groups, to help offset the costs of the adjustments they’re making.”

Pellerin and the Cranbrook Curling Club are hosting a public information meeting on Tuesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. at the curling club to answer any questions, recruit more volunteers and establish a board of directors and sub-committees.

Just Posted

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

Six years after an earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal faces another catastrophy

Most Read