Canada’s men’s and women’s 50-and-over curling teams will be heading to B.C.’s beautiful North Okanagan region for the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships, it was announced today by Curling Canada.
The 2023 Everest Canadian Seniors will run Dec. 4-10 at the Vernon Curling Club and will feature 28 teams — men’s and women’s representatives from Canada’s 14 Member Associations.
The Vernon Curling Club, Tourism Vernon and the Sport & Culture Society of the North Okanagan partnered in securing the bid and bringing the national championship to British Columbia.
“We received an outstanding bid from the Vernon Curling Club, Tourism Vernon and the Sport & Culture Society of the North Okanagan and that made our decision very clear, and we know the athletes and their families will have an enjoyable experience,” said Katherine Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of Curling Canada. “This is a highlighted event on the Curling Canada competitive calendar because it brings together old friends from past and renews competitive rivalries, and reminds us that curling is truly a sport for all ages.”
It will be Vernon’s third time hosting the Everest Canadian Senior Women’s Championship and second time hosting the Everest Canadian Senior Men’s Championship.
In 1979, B.C.’s Team Flora Martin claimed the Everest Canadian Senior Women’s title. Twenty-five years later, in 2004 in the combined event, Ontario’s Team Anne Dunn captured the women’s title and Newfoundland/Labrador’s Team Bas Buckle won the men’s crown.
Curling Canada’s partnership with Everest – a funeral planning and concierge service rolled into a life insurance plan – as the title sponsor of the Canadian senior championships dates back to 2015.
“We are incredibly excited to sponsor the Canadian Senior Curling Championships for the ninth consecutive year,” says Mark Duffey, Everest’s Chief Executive Officer. “Everest is devoted to curling. We love the curling community and believe that curling represents the best of Canada. Our partnerships year-after-year with Curling Canada reflects that, and our commitment to growing the sport.”
“We’re looking forward to continuing this tradition with our curling Executive Committee,” notes renowned Canadian curler Randy Ferbey. “Me and my fellow committee members Jennifer Jones and Cheryl Bernard are excited to promote the sport we love at the Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships in beautiful Vernon, B.C.!”
Vernon also played host to the 2008 World Women’s Curling Championship, with Canada’s Team Jennifer Jones winning gold, as well as the 1992 Canadian Junior Men’s and Women’s Championships, when Quebec’s Team Michel Ferland and Saskatchewan’s Team Amber Holland claimed the men’s and women’s titles respectively.
“On behalf of the City of Vernon and Council, I am pleased to welcome all the athletes, their families and friends, and all the fans of great curling to our community,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “Attracting events like the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships to Vernon is further confirmation that the City is an outstanding year-round travel destination. Thank you to all those who helped make this a reality.”
It will be the fifth time the Everest Canadian Seniors have been staged in British Columbia since the men’s and women’s events were combined in 1985.
In 1987 at Prince George, Manitoba’s Team Norm Houck and Nova Scotia’s Team Verda Kemton won Canadian titles. Four years later in Victoria, it was Manitoba’s Team Jim Ursel and Northern Ontario’s Team Eila Brown coming out on top.
At the 2012 Everest Seniors in Abbotsford, Alberta’s Team Rob Armitage and Alberta’s Team Cathy King won national titles, while in 2019 at Chilliwack, Saskatchewan’s Team Bruce Korte and Team Sherry Anderson came out on top.
Prior to 1985, Quebec’s Team Jim Wilson won the Canadian Senior Men’s championship in 1981 in Nanaimo, and Team Don MacRae of the host province won in 1970 at Kamloops.
“It’s always exciting to welcome Canadian championship curling events to British Columbia, and show off our province and our curling community,” said Scott Braley, Chief Executive Officer of Curl BC. “There’s a great team at the Vernon Curling Club who will make sure this event ranks among the best in the history of the Canadian Senior Championships.”
The winners of the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships will represent Canada at the 2024 World Senior Curling Championships (location, date TBA).
Manitoba and Ontario lead the way with 12 men’s titles each at the Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships. Ontario and Saskatchewan lead the pack with 10 titles in women’s competition. The Canadian senior men’s championship first occurred in 1965, with the first event played in Northern Ontario at Port Arthur. The women Canadian senior women’s championship began in 1973 in Ottawa. The events were first hosted jointly in 1985 at Yorkton, Sask.
“I’ve made a lot of great friends in curling over the years, and I’m pretty excited to be able to host a lot of them in my hometown,” said longtime Curling Canada ice technician Dave Merklinger, who will be the Co-Chair of the Vernon host committee with Mark Longworth. “We’ve got a lot of hard work to do over the next 14 months, but it’s the kind of work we love to do, and we’ll put on a great show in 2023.”