Port Hawkesbury hosting Canada’s top curlers
Published Friday, March 17, 2017 7:53PM ADT
The town of Port Hawkesbury, N.S., has become the curling capital of Canada this weekend as it hosts a grand slam featuring some of the top curlers from across the country.
Ten teams of top curlers will compete for a total purse of $100,000. It’s the fifth time the Civic Centre in Port Hawkesbury has hosted a grand slam since 2005.
Ticket sales are up 30 per cent from previous years.
“Curling's big. I'm surprised every time a ticket buyer comes in to buy their ticket, they may be from Ontario or New Brunswick or Nova Scotia,” said Civic Centre events manager Paula Davis. “They're very particular as to where they sit and who they're cheering for, so yeah, it's a big deal.”
It's also a big deal for local hotels and restaurants, which see a big increase in traffic over the four day curling event. The economic impact is estimated to be close to $1 million.
“We've got curlers in, organizers, media, ice crew, so they're all eating in our restaurant, breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said hotel general manager James Tobin. “It's been very positive within the community, as well.”
Visiting curlers find it positive, as well.
“When you get a really excited crowd in a small community, I think you get really excited to play in front of that because there's more energy in the building,” said curler Nolan Thiessen.
There are close to 70 volunteers on hand at the Civic Centre making sure everything runs smoothly over the weekend.
“I would say over the next couple of days, you'll see that Port Hawkesbury is certainly the curling capital of Canada right now,” said Port Hawkesbury mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton.
The championship game is set for Sunday morning at 11 a.m., but many believe the real winner is the community itself.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh.