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Excitement lingers in Red Deer after Grand Slam of Curling announcement

Red Deer will host the event in January 2024
Red Deer’s Jocelyn Peterman expressed her excitement for her hometown which will host a major curling event next January. (File photo by The Canadian Press)

In Just a little under a year away Red Deer will host its first Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event in January 2024.

More specifically, the 2024 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling Co-op Canadian Open at Red Deer’s Servus Arena on Jan. 16 - 21.

Chair of the event Lindsey Planaden told The Advocate Red Deer got the event after organizers approached Lyn Radford, who helped bring many major events to Red Deer that were successful including the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

From there Radford brought in Sherri Ryckman for help through her experience in the 2016 Memorial Cup in Red Deer.

“Certainly Lyn’s experience is what attracted Sportsnet and Rogers to approach her in the first place and then they went from there,” Planaden said.

“I think we have a great facility and a great curling club. The fact that the club is so close to the Servus Arena where it will be hosted is a great draw.

“We can have the social house right next to the curling venue, which we’re looking forward to. The history of the events in Red Deer with the winter games and the involvement of Red Deerians with the Memorial Cup has been a great draw.”

The tournament will feature the world’s best and will feature 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world. It will also mark the first time a major curling event will be held inside the Servus Arena.

The format includes a triple knockout preliminary round and in order to reach the playoffs, teams need to win three games before they lose three games.

Calgary’s Team Bottcher was the men’s 2022-23 champion and on the women’s side, Team Fujisawa from Japan took home the victory.

In order to qualify is dependent on team rankings in the World Curling Federation. There will also be one spot reserved for the winner of the Tour Challenge Tier 2 event and another team will be filled by a sponsor’s exemption.

Planaden explained hosting the major event will only benefit the city further down the road.

“It can only help and make things even more enticing and exciting for the City of Red Deer,” she said. “It’s definitely a big curling event there are a lot of very enthusiastic curlers but just at the Red Deer Curling Centre but around Central Alberta.”

They’re hopeful that tickets will go on sale next month but are just getting the details sorted out.

“We just announced and there is already people who have approached the curling club… They’re excited, they want to help, and they want to volunteer.

“I think everyone’s just excited. I think it will be a great event for the community, especially for local businesses.”

Red Deer’s Jocelyn Peterman, whose team just qualified for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, expressed her excitement for her hometown.

Peterman, who is on Team Lawes earned a spot in the 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts later this month as one of three wild card teams. The Scotties will take place from February 17-26 at the Sandman Centre.

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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