Two-time world men's champion Rick Folk (right) and Kelowna Curling Club manager Jock Tyre hope the Canadian Open at Prospera Place this week will pave the way for similar curling events in Kelowna in the future.

Kelowna curling community embraces Grand Slam event

Prospera Place hosts first major curling tournament, the $100,000 Canadian Open featuring Canada's top teams

It’s been a long wait for Kelowna’s curling community.

Thirteen years after first opening its doors, Prospera Place is playing host to its first major curling event this week—the Canadian Open.

With 18 of the top men’s teams in the country on display for the second stop of the Grand Slam circuit, Kelowna Curling Club general manager Jock Tyre hopes it will mark the beginning of a new era for local curling fans.

“We’ve been trying for a long time to break through, to break into Prospera with a curling event of any magnitude,” said Tyre, who has managed the KCC since 1992. “We’re really hoping this opens the door for future events, and that R.G. Properties (Prospera Place owners) will see the value of an event like this. Kelowna is such a great destination and such a great place to host big sporting events, we’d like curling to be part of that.”

Kelowna has served as host to several major curling events in the past, but never in an arena setting with seating for 6,000 spectators.

The city hosted the Pioneer world women’s championship in 1986, the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in 1988, the 1999 Canadian juniors and the world juniors in 2001, all held at the Kelowna Curling Club or Memorial Arena.

A local group tried to land the Scotties national women’s championship in 2010 but couldn’t secure the necessary dates at Prospera Place.

Tyre said if this week’s event is a success, then it’s quite likely Kelowna’s curling community will pursue the Scotties again in the future.

And with Kamloops landing the Brier for 2014, the most coveted of all curling events, hosting a Canadian men’s curling championship at Prospera in the future may not be out of the question, either.

“The (Canadian Curling Association) usually goes to the bigger centres, but by picking Kamloops for 2014 that opens the door for smaller cities,” said Tyre. “Our building is pretty much the same size, so you never know. It’s something we would definitely be interested in bringing here.”

Two-time world men’s champion Rick Folk of Kelowna counts himself among the many who are thrilled to see a major curling event inside Prospera Place for the first time.

In Folk’s heyday—the 1980s to mid-1990s—only the Brier was played in arenas and commanded national television exposure.

“These kinds of events were just sort of coming along when I was already kind of past my prime, you could say, so I think it’s wonderful to see how far they’ve come in the last 10 years or so,” said Folk, the 1980 and 1994 Canadian and world champ. “Now people can watch a lot more curling on TV and the interest is growing because of that. Personally, I still love watching curling and I like to watch it live as much as I can.

“In a way I’m a little jealous I didn’t get a chance to play in a few of these, but I really think it’s great for the game,” added Folk, “I definitely think it would be good to see more events of this kind come here in the future.”

Action continues Friday at Prospera with draws at 9 a.m., and 12:30, 4 and 8 p.m.

The playoffs begin Saturday, with the quarterfinals at 12:30 and semis at 4:30 p.m.

The final of the $100,000 Canadian Open will be played at 10 a.m. Sunday at Prospera Place with $20,000 going to the winner.

The championship game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet.

For more information on the Canadian Open, visit world



Just Posted

Need to catch up on news? You’re covered

Every Saturday the Capital News will highlight stories from the week

Big White board school among best

Director of snow sports, Josh Foster, is one of the top instructors in Canada

Seniors prefer funeral to lifestyle planning

Survey finds 73% of seniors have a will, only 13% have long-term care plan

Okanagan College business students soar

Medal winners at Western Canadian Business Competition

UBCO civil engineer touts cohousing option

Gord Lovegrove says cohousing is sustainable social and economic lifestyle

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

VIDEO: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. man to plead guilty in connection with hit-and-run that killed teen

Jason Gourlay charged with failure to stop at the scene of accident, attempting to obstruct justice

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for B.C. SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Most Read