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Guelph to host major international curling event in 2025

WFG Masters event to run at Sleeman Centre Jan. 14-19, 2025

The eyes of the curling world will be on Guelph in early 2025.

The WFG Masters, a Grand Slam of Curling event, will take place at the Sleeman Centre Jan. 14-19, 2025.

The announcement was made Tuesday at Spring Mill Distillery.

It was referred to as “the worst kept secret” in the Guelph curling community, as it has been talked about behind closed doors for about a year.

“There were lots of questions along the way,” said Rob Mungham of the Guelph Curling Club and one of the co-chairs for the Grand Slam of Curling Guelph. “We wanted to make sure that we had the infrastructure in place, that we can support an event of this size. We knew that Guelph could do it, we just needed to bring partners on board to help us along that way.”

The event will feature 16 men’s and 16 women’s teams from all over the world competing, and will be broadcast on Sportsnet across Canada.

The invited teams will be based on the World Curling Federation's world ranking system ahead of the event.

“It works out to about 130 athletes in total,” said Jennifer Cram, the events manager for the Grand Slam of Curling. “And when you add in coaches and families, and many of the curlers do bring extended families and their children, plus our production and events staff, I think you can expect a tremendous economic impact for the entire week.”

Jennifer Jones, an Olympic champion, multi-time world champion and Grand Slam winner, took part in the announcement.

“Guelph has actually hosted a junior clinic for so many years,” she said. “And it’s just kind of this passion for curling (that) it makes sense for the Grand Slam to come and just to see what an incredible place Guelph is.”

Jones, who could be one of the participants in 2025, said it's a great atmosphere to be a part of, but admits it is a hard event to compete in.

"You're seeing the best of the best play against each other," she said. "As a competitor, it's really hard to do well because the curling is so good."

Preparation at the Sleeman Centre will begin the Friday before the event.

“We’ll start shaving the current ice level down, lasers will be put onto the ice to make sure that it is completely flat, and then the ice technicians come in and start building curling ice, which is very different than ice hockey ice,” Mungham said.

It’s the first Grand Slam of Curling event to come to Guelph since the National in 2010, which was a men’s-only event.

While the event is still just over a year away, full event and weekend passes go on sale Dec. 2.

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Mark Pare

About the Author: Mark Pare

Originally from Timmins, ON, Mark is a longtime journalist and broadcaster, who has worked in several Ontario markets.
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