Wheat City Classic cancelled for 06/07 World Curling Tour season

Here is an unforunate release that came out over the wire last week. Looks like one of Manitoba’s top events will not be happening this fall:Â

It is with deep regret that the Manitoba Lotteries ($50,000.00) Wheat City Curling Classic scheduled to begin Thursday, October 19, 2006 at the Wheat City Curling Club in Brandon, Manitoba has been canceled due to circumstances beyond our control. The Curling Committee believes very strongly in the positive purpose and intention of our annual event, however the possibility of not being able to fulfill our obligations to our curlers, sponsors and fans makes canceling this event the only responsible action.The leasing arrangements for the Golf and Curling Club have been terminated effective September 30, 2006 and the operation of our facility is being returned to the City of Brandon. While we have been told that the curling ice will be in place, there are no specific plans as of today and we felt it was a priority to notify the teams and sponsors of our decision to cancel.We hope in the wake of our decision that those who have made arrangements to attend the 2006 Wheat City Curling Classic can find a suitable bonspiel replacement for the October 20, 2006 weekend and we wish you well in this endeavour.

We believe the Wheat City Curling Classic has been a great success over the past 5 years and our Curling Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support.

Yours Truly,

Dick Scott, Chairman
2006 Manitoba Lotteries Wheat City Curling Classic

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Kevin Martin teams up with John Morris; Ferbey’s rink stays intact

The jockeying for the 2009 Olympic trials has officially begun…

[photopress:martin.jpg,full,alignleft]In a rather unexpected move Kevin Martin has informed his old team of Don Walchuk, Carter Rycroft and Don Bartlett that he will be leaving to form a new Alberta rink with (former) skip John Morris. TSN has more on the story here.

Should be interesting how these 2 successful skips adapt to playng together on the same team and whether Morris finally gets a chance at realizing his huge potential.

At the same time – perenial powerhouse rink – Team Furbey – have decided to stay together. hey will likely win some nice cash over the next 3 years, but the temptation of Olympic glory was too much for them and they have decided to keep a good thing going. TSN has the full scoop here.

Team Gushue highway opens

Team Gushue Highway opened

Trevor Taylor, Minister of Transportation and Works, and the members of Team Gushue, the 2006 Olympic Gold Medal Champions in men’s curling, officially opened the first phase of the Team Gushue Highway to motorists today.

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“The section we are opening is the first phase in the construction of the Team Gushue Highway, allowing for more free-flowing movement of vehicles in this ever-increasing, high traffic area,” said Minister Taylor. “The completion of the Team Gushue Highway is part of government’s ongoing commitment to improve the infrastructure and grow the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador.”

This phase of the Team Gushue Highway, from the Outer Ring Road to Kenmount Road, is 2.3 kilometres in length and cost $12.8 million. When completed, the Team Gushue Highway will eventually terminate at the Heavy Tree Road (Commonwealth Avenue)-Goulds Bypass-Pitts Memorial interchange, with a total length of 9.6 kilometres. It is estimated the second phase will total $40 million and will be cost-shared between municipal, provincial and federal governments.

Some members of the St. John’s and Bally Haly junior curling programs were also on hand today for the opening ceremonies.

“Naming the highway in honour of Team Gushue was an easy decision considering the exemplary manner in which they represented the province and the country in Torino,” said Minister Taylor. “Members of Team Gushue are role models for all Newfoundland and Labrador athletes and I’m sure they’ve inspired the young curlers in attendance here today.”

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Bob Ridgley, MHA for St. John’s North, welcomed the news of the highway opening.

“This is a great day for motorists who travel in this area,” said Mr. Ridgley. “This highway will go a long way toward reducing traffic congestion in this region. I also applaud the decision by the Premier, the minister and the Cabinet to rename this highway in honour of our Olympic champions that have made us all so proud.”

Formerly known as the Bifurcation Road, this section of the Team Gushue Highway was funded under the Roads for Rails Agreement. Construction of this major project began in 2001.

Government will invest $300 million in infrastructure this year, of which $171 million is earmarked for transportation infrastructure, 97 per cent of which is being spent outside the Northeast Avalon region. This is the first installment of a six-year strategy for infrastructure improvements, exceeding $2 billion that will create more than 4,500 full-time equivalent jobs.

Avonlea Curling Club sadly closes its doors

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TORONTO – Avonlea Curling Club, the last of the 16-sheet curling facilities in Ontario, is closing its doors.
The owners, a private partnership, have sold the property on Railside Road in Don Mills, just steps from the Don Valley Parkway and Lawrence Avenue. The club will close on August 15, 2006.
Club Manager Dave Gardner said “The current owners received an offer they couldn’t refuse.” Gardner indicated that the club, which opened in 1961, was facing a number of repairs over the next few years, and “the current owners did not find it financially feasible to continue to operate it.”
Home to an estimated 1,500 curlers, Avonlea also enjoyed a championship pedigree. It was the home of the Dream Team, Ed “The Wrench” Werenich’s Toronto squad which dominated curling in the 1980s, winning the Brier and World championship in 1983.
Team member Paul Savage said “This is a sad day because I have a lot of great memories. I threw thousands of hours of practice rocks at Avonlea.”
The club was doing well with membership and was especially popular with recreational and industrial leagues. “Avonlea had approximately 30 rental leagues with 1,500 curlers, many of the other local curling clubs are already full and don’t have room to accommodate them,” Gardner said.
Ron Tolhurst, President of the Toronto Curling Association, brushed off suggestions that the closure is a bad sign for metropolitan curling. “Curling couldn’t be any stronger,” Tolhurst said. “Membership is exploding after the 2006 Olympics, and Hamilton is hosting the Brier in March. Growth is assured right up to Vancouver 2010. This is just part of the natural evolution of the sport in Toronto, which is unique to the country in its size and in competition for recreational dollars.”
The Toronto Curling Association (TCA) is a volunteer organization dedicated to the promotion of the sport of curling in the greater Toronto area. All 22 curling clubs in and around Toronto are members of the TCA.

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