Swift Current, Canada, to host Ford World Women's Curling Championship 2016

  • The Credit Union i-plex will host the Ford World Women's Curling Championship 2016 Photo: CCA

The World Curling Federation and the Canadian Curling Association are pleased to announce that the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2016 is returning to Swift Current in Saskatchewan, Canada.

The 12-team competition, which is scheduled for 19-27 March 2016, was successfully staged at the Credit Union i-plex in 2010. Efforts to bring the Championship back to south-western Saskatchewan began soon afterwards, leading to today’s announcement.

Speaking about the event, World Curling Federation President Kate Caithness said: “We are delighted to be returning to Swift Current for the 2016 Ford World Women's Curling Championship after the city put on such a fantastic show back in 2010. We are pleased to see the legacy of that event continue as Swift Current looks forward to welcoming the world's best women's curling teams back to Saskatchewan.

“The competition is set to be extremely exciting, with not only the Women’s World Championship title on offer but it is also the first of two World Championships, 2016 and 2017, where teams will be able to earn qualification points towards direct entry into the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games curling competition.”

It will be the third time the World Women’s Curling Championship has been played in Saskatchewan. In 1983 it was held at Moose Jaw where Switzerland’s Erika Müller won the title. In 2010, at Swift Current, it was Germany’s Andrea Schoepp and her team who won the gold medals at the i-plex, which will seat approximately 2,400 for the 2016 event.

“This is an exciting day for us, because we know how great a job Swift Current did in hosting the Ford Worlds in 2010, and we expect the same thing in 2016,” said Canadian Curling Association Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. He added: “The Ford Worlds are one of the biggest events on the curling schedule and we have a great deal of confidence that the championship will be in good hands in Swift Current.”

Jeremy Harrison, Minister Responsible for Tourism Saskatchewan, is also looking forward to staging the Championship in the province again. He said: “It is a distinct privilege for Saskatchewan to host the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship in 2016. Curling is Saskatchewan’s official sport and there is no better place to stage a competition of this calibre. Swift Current is known for its hospitality and has a record of success in hosting events and showcasing excellence in sports. The 2016 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship will bring international attention to the city and province and the economic impact of this event will be considerable.”
Swift Current has a population of approximately 17,700 and is home to the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos and Saskatchewan Major Baseball League’s Swift Current Indians.

In addition to the 2010 Ford World Women’s Curling Championships, it has also hosted several Canadian Curling Championships in the past, including the 1975 Canadian Senior Women’s, the 1982 Canadian Junior Men’s and the 1993 Canadian Mixed.

“On behalf of City Council and our entire community, we are extremely honoured to be chosen to host the 2016 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship,” said Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer.

He continued: “I was so proud of our communities’ efforts hosting in 2010 and once again those in our region and visitors from around the world will have the opportunity to enjoy the best women’s curling in the world right here in Southwest Saskatchewan. We look forward to a memorable week of world-class entertainment.”

Karen Biese, President of the Swift Current Curling Club, was also delighted to see the event return. She said: “Ever since the 2010 Ford Worlds, we’ve been eager to bring a major curling event back to Swift Current and we’re thrilled that the WCF and CCA had confidence in us. We have a dedicated core of volunteers who are going to make this event memorable for spectators, officials and players.”

The Ford Motor Company of Canada began its involvement as title sponsor of the World Curling Championships in 1995 in Brandon, Manitoba.

Speaking of their continued involvement, Sarah Rae, Partnerships and Events Manager for Ford Motor Company of Canada, said: “The 2016 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship will be a part of our 22nd year as a proud partner of the Canadian Curling Association. We are honoured to be title sponsor of this truly world-class event. On behalf of Ford, I want to thank the City of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, the host committee and all the volunteers who we know will make this event a great success.”

WCF President Kate Caithness concluded by saying: "The World Curling Federation, Canadian Curling Association and our partner Ford of Canada would like to encourage curling fans from across the world to join us and witness some first-class curling in what will be one of the highlights of the 2016 curling season.”

World Curling Championship history in Canada:
The world women’s championship began in 1979 in Perth, Scotland, and was contested separately from the men’s championship through 1988. During that time, the women’s event was held twice in Canada, in 1983 in Moose Jaw and 1986 in Kelowna.

In 1989, the championships were combined for the first time in Milwaukee, USA and remained so through 2004.

During that time, Canada first hosted the joint championships in 1991 in Winnipeg, followed by five Ford World Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships (Brandon in 1995; Hamilton in 1996; Kamloops in 1998; Saint John in 1999 and Winnipeg in 2003).

Beginning in 2005, when the men’s and women’s world championships were separated once again, the Canadian Curling Association agreed to alternately stage a men’s and women’s event in Canada each year.

Since then, the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship has been held in Canada in Victoria (2005), Edmonton (2007), Moncton (2009), Regina (2011) and Victoria (2013), with the 2015 event set for 28 March 5 April in Halifax.

The Ford World Women’s Curling Championships have been held in Grande Prairie in 2006; Vernon in 2008; Swift Current in 2010; Lethbridge in 2012 and Saint John, earlier this year.