Friday, July 20, 2007

Grand Slam to Quebec

Make that le “Grand Chelem”...

One of the four Grand Slam of Curling events will take place in Quebec City Nov. 28-Dec 2, as announced this week at a glitzy news conference at the famed Chateau Frontenac.

Curl Quebec, one of the more dynamic member associations of the CCA, is heavily involved, as is Tourism Quebec, and of course the usual suspects: the Asham World Curling Tour and World Curling Players’ Association (that’s chief Paul Boutilier in photo), and series management company Insight Sports.

Check out Curl Quebec’s video coverage of the announcement via their portal, located here.

For a nifty promotional video, go to the .tv mainpage.

The $100,000 tourney will be contested at the Pavillon de la jeunesse, part of ExpoCité. The Pavillion recently underwent a massive renovation and now boasts 5,000 seats plus a modern design update, which Boutilier said “made it (Quebec hosting) a very easy decision.”

“This is a golden opportunity to showcase the sport of curling in Quebec,” said Curl Quebec honcho Marco Berthelot.

“We hope to seize this opportunity to demonstrate that Quebeckers are poised to host a successful major curling event.”

This is Quebec’s first big event since the 1988 Chicoutimi Brier, the site of Pat Ryan’s first of two back-to-back Brier wins, which also featured the infamous “Hritzuk” shot in the last end of the championship final.

According to press reports, the planned team lineup includes two Quebec teams, two international teams – once from France – and a U.S. team.

It’s about time a major was hosted in Quebec, and the Grand Slam was a logical place for Curl Quebec to look, following the disappointment of the failed – and controversial – 2008 Scotties bid. Reports say Quebec City is also pushing to host a national championship in the Olympic year of 2010.


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