WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government glided closer Friday in hammering home the idea of developing an International Curling Centre of Excellence (ICCE).
During a news conference at the Granite Curling Club, Premier Brian Pallister announced the creation of a committee to make recommendations to the province on how best to establish a centre in Winnipeg.
The centre will be designed to promote curling at all levels, train and develop curlers and coaches to achieve top-class international performance, engage students from across Canada, and seek out and host international competitions.
“We are bringing together some of curling’s best and brightest to help us develop a training ground that will nurture great talent from at home and abroad, and inspire the next generations of curlers,” said Pallister.
The 13-member committee will be chaired by Brier champion Mark Olson, international level coach and past-president of the Manitoba Curling Tour, and includes some of Manitoba and Canada’s biggest names in curling including Jennifer Jones, Jill Officer, Connie Laliberte, and others.
“We’re excited to get started,” said Olson. “Having Winnipeg and Manitoba as the home to where the international curling community can come and raise their game to the level they desire makes perfect sense to me. We’re going to do our best to see that it comes to fruition, right here in the modern-day home to curling.”
The committee will have $700,000 to work with and report back to the government by summer 2018 after reviewing similar centres in other jurisdictions and look for ways to partner with the private sector.
Manitoba is home to more than 110 curling clubs.