Saturday, February 27h was not only Curling in Canada Day, it was also the official launch of the Ontario Men’s Curling Championship Tankard that will be hosted by Port Elgin Curling Club in 2022.
The Ontario Men’s Tankard will determine the team that will represent Ontario Men’s curling at the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier that will be held in Lethbridge, Alberta.
At the recent delegation to Saugeen Shores Town Council, Port Elgin Curling Club President, Doug Flowers said, “We have been awarded the 2022 Tankard plus our annual Superspiel is going to become a sponsored World Curling Tour event. As a community, we have all of the ingredients to attract other curling events, and all of the benefits that come with them. Once we get the 2022 Ontario Tankard under our belt, there are other opportunities if we choose them.”
Steering Committee spokesperson in charge of public relations, Dave Middleton emceed the launch and said that a lot of volunteers and sponsors are going to be needed for the event. He also pointed out that an event of the calibre of the Tankard requires the right facility. “You know that we have the right facility here with the Plex and we have the backing of a great community. There are 40 curling clubs in the area and, if we only get five volunteers from each, we will reach our goal of 200.”
Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau also thanked the Port Elgin Curling Club for bringing the event to the community and said that the opportunity to host the premier event has created excitement throughout the community. “This will be an opportunity to show off our community as being able to host major sporting events and it’s a huge untapped potential that Saugeen Shores has. I think this is just the beginning and the town is going to be very keen to work with you (P.E. Curling Club) to ensure this will be a successful event.”
Steering Committee Chair, Earl Anderson, who dressed for the occasion in his curling T, said that it is an honour to host the Ontario Provincial Men’s Championship Tankard where eight of Ontario’s top teams will be playing. “We’ve had experience in the past of hosting major events. Super Spiel has always been a well-featured event in the province and some of the teams that will be playing in the Tankard have played in the Super Spiel over the years.”
Anderson also added that the Port Elgin Curling Club is a “… proud member of Saugeen Shores athletic community. Our club offers fun and curling opportunity for people of all abilities and ages. There is great spirit in the club and on the ice.”
On a large screen TV, provided by Square Deal Neil’s, renowned Canadian curler Glenn Howard, was televised in an interview with Middleton. Howard, who is off to Canada’s national Tim Horton’s Brier tournament in Calgary that begins Friday, March 5th , assured that he would, in fact, be attending the 2022 Tankard in Port Elgin. Howard has won 10 Tankards.
The Steering Committee is made up of members from all walks of life that include, Kate Hagan, a school teacher, is also a certified curling instructor and as a professional curler has been to the Scottie Tournament of Hearts and Ontario Doubles; Veterinarian Brian Crabb; Chair Doug Flowers; Earl Anderson; Dave Middleton Public Relations.
Club member, Jan McGarry, said that the Club is appealing in particular to “millenials’. “They are what will keep the club going,” she said. “Our Friday nights are now full. They pay $10 each and they have fun. Our ‘Learn to Curl’ program is also full. Unfortunately, with Covid last year, our membership dropped to 90 but now we have gained 55. If everyone who dropped out because of Covid comes back, we will be really full so it’s very exciting.