A first time Viterra championship venue and a return, 20 years later, to a previous Scotties Championship venue have been announced as host sites for CurlManitoba’s two premier championships in 2024.
The announcement has been made at the outset of the new curling season, rather than waiting until the traditional announcement time at the current year site, to create an opportunity and more time for the 2024 host committees to begin to develop plans and recruit their volunteers.
The 2024 Viterra Championship, where the best of Manitoba’s Men’s curling teams vie for the provincial title and coveted eligibility to compete in the national Tim Hortons Brier, will be played for the first time in Stonewall. Exact dates will be announced at a later time but the event is expected to be played in the traditional mid-February timeframe.
Stonewall’s Arena (at Veteran’s Memorial Sports Complex) previously hosted the 2012-13 Scotties Tournament of Hearts which was won, for the second consecutive year by St. Vital’s Jennifer Jones, Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer, and Dawn Askin.
No doubt Jones and Lawes, now with two different teams, will be among the favourites to win the 2024 Manitoba Scotties Championship when it takes to the ice in late-January in Morden’s Arena (at the Access Event Centre) to determine who earns that season’s invitation to the national Scotties.
Morden previously hosted the best Manitoba Women’s curling teams in the 2002-03 season championship when Barb Spencer and her team of Darcy Robertson, Barb Enright, and Faye Unrau won, also for Fort Rouge.
While it is the second women’s championship, it is the fourth Manitoba arena championship hosted by Morden. Prior to the 2002-03 Scott Tournament of Hearts, the first major championship hosted by Morden Curling Club was the 1988 Labatt Tankard won by Assiniboine Memorial’s Kerry Burtnyk with Jim Spencer, Ron Kammerlock and Don Harvey. They hosted again in 1997 when the Safeway Select was won by Granite’s Vic Peters with Dan Carey, Chris Neufeld, and Scott Grant.
The Stonewall and Morden host committees, and CurlManitoba, will announce further details of the two 2024 championship as plans develop. In the meantime, planning continues for the 2023 championships.
The Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be played at East St. Paul, January 24-29, 2023 where last year’s champion Mackenzie Zacharias team, with the addition of Jennifer Jones, will defend their title.
The Viterra Championship will be played February 7-12, 2023 in Neepawa. With last year’s champion Mike McEwen team having split to join three different teams, the defending champions berth has been vacated.
Qualifying for the two championships will begin November 3-6 with Viterra and Scotties Berth Bonspiels, hosted by Minnedosa Curling Club.