Kamloops to host 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts
With BC’s provincial Scotties as a backdrop, Curling Canada today announced that the Scotties Tournament of Hearts is headed to the Tournament Capital of Canada.
The 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian women’s curling championship will be played Feb. 17-26 at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops, B.C.
“Hosting the Scotties Tournament of Hearts is a huge opportunity for a host city to promote itself and generate economic activity for local business, and it’s why it’s such a competitive process for bidding cities,” said Katherine Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of Curling Canada. “Kamloops came in with a bid that was superb in every way; the Tournament Capital of Canada knows how to host major events, as we’ve seen in the past, and I know it’s going to be an amazing Scotties in 2023.”
It will be the 42nd edition of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, extending a partnership with Kruger Products that goes back to 1982 when the first Tournament of Hearts was played in 1982 at Regina.
“Kruger Products is excited that the 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be staged in Kamloops for the first time,” said Susan Irving, Chief Marketing Officer at Kruger Products. “As a proudly Canadian company with leading brands including Scotties, Cashmere, Purex and SpongeTowels, we are thrilled to continue this long-standing sponsorship for over four decades. All of us at Kruger Products are so pleased to support the exceptional women competing in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and to return to British Columbia, which enthusiastically embraces this wonderful sport.”
The Sandman Centre, which opened in 1992, has a capacity of 5,464 seats, and is the home of the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers. It’s located near the confluence of the North and South Thompson Rivers, a short walk north of the city’s downtown core.
“I am so pleased on behalf of my Council and membership to be extending a warm welcome to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts that will be held here in Kamloops, which is located on the direct unceded ancestral lands of the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc,” said Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir from the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc. “We are proud to be one of 17 First Nation campfires within Secwepemcúlecw (Shuswap Nation). We are honoured and hope that you enjoy your event, and that participants and guests will have the opportunity to experience the beauty of these ancestral lands.”
While it will be the first time the Scotties has been played in Kamloops, it certainly won’t be the first major curling event in the city in B.C.’s Interior region. Most recently, Kamloops hosted the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier, won by Alberta’s Team Kevin Koe. It also hosted the Tim Hortons Brier in 1996, with Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton coming out on top.
Additionally, Kamloops hosted the World Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships in 1998, with Canada’s Team Wayne Middaugh claiming the men’s gold medal and Sweden’s Team Elisabet Gustaffson taking the women’s gold.
“Kamloops has had a rich tradition with curling events, and we know that this one will be no exception,” said Mayor Ken Christian of the City of Kamloops. “We are beyond thrilled with the opportunity to again showcase our City and to have been selected to host this prestigious championship.”
Upon hosting the 2023 Scotties, Kamloops will be just the fifth city that has hosted all four major Season of Champions events — the Tim Hortons Brier, the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the World Men’s Championship and the World Women’s Championship. The others are Winnipeg, Brandon, Man., Saint John, N.B., and Lethbridge, Alta.
Other significant national curling events in Kamloops were the Home Hardware Canada Cup from 2003 through 2008; the 2013 U SPORTS Canadian university championships; the 1986 Canadian Mixed Championship; the 1971 Canadian Junior Men’s Championship and the 1970 Canadian Senior Men’s Championship.
“This signature event will highlight our amazing city and the people who work tirelessly to elevate the sporting experience for athletes, sponsors and visitors,” said Beverley DeSantis, Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Kamloops. “The economic benefit to Kamloops and surrounding centres cannot be understated and we are so grateful to have been chosen to host the 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.”
It will be the ninth time the Canadian women’s curling championship has been played in British Columbia. The most recent edition was the 2018 Scotties in Penticton, where Manitoba’s Team Jennifer Jones prevailed. Other B.C.-hosted Canadian women’s championships were in 2009 and 1974 at Victoria (won by Team Jones and Saskatchewan’s Team Emily Farnham respectively); 2000 and 1983 at Prince George (won by B.C.’s Team Kelley Law and Nova Scotia’s Team Penny LaRocque respectively); 1997 and 1966 at Vancouver (won by Saskatchewan’s Sandra Schmirler and Alberta’s Gail Lee respectively); and in 1989 at Kelowna (won by Team Canada’s Team Heather Houston).
“Kamloops has a well-earned reputation for hosting first-class championships in all sports, and its history with major curling events is well-known,” said Scott Braley, Executive Director and CEO of Curl BC. I have every confidence that the 2023 Scotties will be a huge success, on and off the ice.”
The winner of the 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts not only will represent Canada at the 2023 World Women’s Curling Championship (location to be announced by the World Curling Federation, the winning team also will play at the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts as Team Canada.
The first entry into the 2023 Scotties will be decided on Feb. 6 in Thunder Bay, Ont., as the 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts winner is decided that day, and will play as Team Canada in Kamloops.
Full event ticket packages are expected to go on sale during the coming weeks. Customers are encouraged to sign up for Curling Canada’s e-newsletter at curling.ca to receive presale information.
Volunteer opportunities also will be available later this year. Go to curling.ca/volunteer to sign up to receive updates on volunteering for the 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
TSN/RDS2 , the official broadcast partner of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will televise all of the action from Kamloops.
“The Scotties Tournament of Hearts is very close to my heart,” said Host Committee vice-chair Linda Bolton. “After being a part Kruger Products team for over 22 years at the Scotties, and seeing so many cities across the country host this event, I am so pleased it is coming to our amazing City of Kamloops in 2023 so we can show our Canadian Tournament Capital to the country. (Fellow vice-chair) Brenda Nordin and I have proudly partnered in numerous events and know how supportive and strong curling is in our city, from fans and businesses alike. Our curling family looks forward to welcoming this prestigious event and provincial and territorial champions from across Canada in 2023.”