By Tyler Marr, paNOW
The Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club (PAGCC) is decked out in blue and the Provincial Mixed Doubles Curling Championship host committee is eager to showcase one last hurrah of competitive curling in the province.
“I think it is going to be a good, fun weekend,” committee co-chair Bryan Rindal said.
Twenty teams from across the province are set to descend on Prince Albert for the five-day championship. The winner of provincials will go on to represent Saskatchewan at the national championship November 2018.
Players will hit the ice starting at 7 p.m.Wednesday when Saskatoon’s Team Thevenot takes on Prince Albert’s Team Korte, made up of skip Bruce Korte, third Brett Barber, second Jayden Shwaga and lead Robyn Despins.
Opening ceremonies will go Thursday after the 4 p.m. draw.
Draws run Thursday at 9 a.m., 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., and Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 7 p.m.
Championship rounds start Saturday at 7 p.m.
A champion will be decided through straight elimination, unlike playoffs at other events. Draws 11 takes place Sunday at 10 a.m. with Draw 12 at 2 p.m.
Rindal said he hopes the hype around the Scotties, Brier and the debut of mixed-doubles curling at the Olympics will drive crowds to the PAGCC.
“It is nice to watch on your TV and I understand it is nice to be able to hear them discussing strategy,” he said. “But you don’t get the social atmosphere in your basement that you get at that club or arena.”
Admission for the event is free, with Rindal asking patrons to make a contribution to the 50/50 to help the club. He said the host committee worked hard to prepare the facility for the event, comparing it to when “grandma comes to visit, you make the house look good.”
“We are just trying to get people out and get them to enjoy our club and come watch some curling,” he added.
The event marks another bright spot for the local curling club, after securing the 2019 New Holland Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships.
The city last welcomed mixed doubles provincials in 2000.