For the last 22 years, the Red Deer Curling Classic has been a staple event for the curling scene in the city and it will return once again this month.
From Nov. 18-21 a combined 56 teams from all over the world will make their way to the Pidherney Centre in Red Deer to compete.
“It’s looking really good,” said Chairperson Shaun Planaden. “Lots of community sponsors. We’ve got 28 men’s teams, 28 women’s teams, and probably one of the best fields we’ve ever had. We’re looking forward to seeing some good curling.”
A total of $76,000 of prize money will be given out. Specifically, 38,000 to both the men’s and women’s teams with $10,000 to each winner. The tournament is a triple-knockout format and is the only curling tournament that happens in Red Deer with professional talent year after year.
Some of the top teams include Brendan Bottcher, Matt Dunstone, Kevin Koe, Kaitlyn Lawes, Rachel Homan, Casey Scheidegger, and Satsuki Fujisawa. Red Deer’s Jocelyn Peterman is also a member of Team Lawes.
Four of the top 10 world-ranked men’s teams and three of the top 10 world-ranked women’s teams will also be taking part.
Last year, Team Jacques won the men’s side and Team Fujisawa won the women’s side after tight finishes on the final day. The 2021 event was the first classic held since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s quite substantial. It brings teams in from all over Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, and a bunch from the U.S. Then you get teams from China, Switzerland, Sweden, and Scotland… It brings quite a few people to Red Deer,” he said. “The curling is high level like I said it’s some of the best teams in the world here.”
A full-day pass is $15, meanwhile, an advance event pass is $30, and is $40 if bought at the door.
“It’s usually a pretty good environment down there because there are usually quite a few people watching and enjoying it all together,” he said. “It would be good to see the place full and have it rocking… It would be good to see even if you don’t know what curling is to come down and check it out.”