September 11, 2007

Celebrating curling's anniversaries

The World Curling Federation has announced today that Moncton, New Brunswick, is to host the 2009 Ford World Men's Curling Championship. The widely expected announcement confirms that the event will be staged, April 4-12, in the 7,000 seat Moncton Coliseum which hosted the Air Canada Silver Broom way back in 1980.

That was a splendid event - one of the most enjoyable weeks I've ever spent in connection with curling, thanks in large part to the help and kindness of the event's executive director, the late Doug Maxwell. The whole community seemed to be involved. The ticket office for the event was inside a curling stone (see below). And there was even off-ice educational excusions for those with interests in hydrologic phenomena: the famous Moncton Bore! And the Beaver Club (yes, it really is called that)! And the lobster!

I'm sure Moncton 2009 will be great.

Now, a little rant, for which I apologise in advance. I have to take issue with the WCF's esteemed President Les Harrison. In the official press release (which can be found here) he says, "It will be a very significant event, since 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of this championship."

Well, actually no! The first world event was the Scotch Cup in 1959. This means that the 50th world championship is this season in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in 2008. Celebrating the anniversary of an event is not exactly the same as celebrating birthdays or wedding anniveraries. Then you are celebrating the fact that fifty years have passed since you were born, or when you got married. It seems to me that there is little point in celebrating the fact that fifty years have passed since the first world championship was held. We should be making much more of the fact that Grand Forks is the 50th championship, rather than Moncton being the 51st championship, as it will be.

In any case the 25th anniversary was celebrated (correctly in my opinion) in 1983, so the 50th anniverary should be in 2008, not 2009! Or were the Regina organisers wrong?

Anyway, that aside, Moncton will also be the final championship of the season for member associations of the WCF to gain points to qualify countries for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

The advance ticket office for the 1980 Silver Broom. I wonder what happened to it. Any chance it's in store somewhere and can be brought out to promote the 2009 event?

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