Masters curling event in Qualicum Beach

Real Scottish piper to perform at opening ceremonies

A reminder Qualicum & District Curling Club will be rocking this week as it plays host to the 2011 BC Masters Curling Championships.

The big bonspiel, which will feature the top eight men’s teams and top eight women’s teams in the province for curlers aged 55+ runs March 10 to 13.

According to event co-chair Eileen Leachman, men’s teams are coming from Sparwood, Vernon, Kelowna, Prince George, New Westminster, Abbotsford, and Richmond, while the women will be coming from Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Nanaimo, Cloverdale, Marpole and Richmond, which of course is good news for the local economy.

QB skip Rick Dunn and his rink — third Rob Findlay, second Bart Longmore and lead Garry Nolan — will also be in the mix on the men’s side with home-ice advantage having qualified for the BCs by going 5-0 for a first place finish at the Island playdowns held in Cowichan last month.

 Both defending champions will be back — Kelowna’s Garry Gelowitz returns with a new second and third this year while Karin Host from Richmond will be bringing the same team she won with last year.

Thursday’s opening day draws will see the men in action at 3:15 p.m. with the women to follow at 6:30 p.m.

Friday’s action gets underway at 8:30 a.m. with the opening ceremonies to follow at 11:15 a.m. Dignitaries will include Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek; Curl BC liaison/past president Judie Roberts, and QDCC president Tom Freeman.  

According to Leachmann, who will be emceeing the ceremonies, there will be a Scottish piper, flag bearers, RCMP honour guard, and team signs carried by members of the club from Juniors to Masters, who will lead the teams out onto to the ice.

Four club members will take part in the ceremonial throwing of the first rock.

There are a full slate of games on Saturday, and the bonspiel wraps up Sunday with the semi-finals starting at 9:30 a.m. and the finals slated to start at 2 p.m.

The winner of the men’s and women’s playdown advances to the national finals in Winnipeg.

In the meantime, “we are working on the last details including getting the ice in great shape, providing a room for the officials, decorating, and the usual last-minute details required to host such an even,” Leaechmann said. “There has been an incredible committee working for the past seven months, and we will give the visitors a great welcome to our club.”