Manitoba's Men's Curling Championship will be hosted by the western Manitoba community of Virden when the top 32 teams in the province gather at Tundra Oil & Gas Place for the Viterra Championship February 6-11, 2019.
"With the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier just down the road in Brandon, it is an exciting prospect for us to be hosting the event which will determine the Manitoba representative," says host committee chair Cory Barkley. "We have a very experienced committee and we look forward to hosting a Viterra Championship which will prepare the Manitoba champions to compete for a Canadian and maybe a World Championship."
"Virden has a proud legacy of competitive curling and a history of hosting successful championship events," says CurlManitoba Executive Director Craig Baker. "We know Virden will host a memorable event for both curlers and fans, just as they did in 2014 when Chelsea Carey won the Scotties
Championship in the same arena."
"At Viterra, we've been the presenting sponsor of this premier event for the last few years, and are proud to continue supporting this excellent display of the province's top curling talent," says Kyle Jeworski, Viterra's President and CEO for North America. "Viterra's presence in southern Manitoba goes back over 100 years, and our competitive spirit and pursuit of excellence are the same qualities that drive our curlers to be successful and home and internationally.
In addition to Barkley, who is himself a 12-time competitor in the event, the committee's management includes co-chairs Roxanne Freeman, a former Scotties competitor, Carol Polk, and Jay Kinnaird.
The 2019 event will mark the fourth time Virden has hosted the Manitoba Men's, making Virden the second community (with Brandon) to host the championship under each of its sponsorship banners. The community formerly hosted the British Consols in 1972, the Labatt Tankard in 1984, and a Safeway Select in 1998.
"We're excited by the prospect of sending another Manitoba team to a world championship," says Cory Barkley, reminding Manitoba curling fans that 1972 Canadian and World Champion Orest Meleschuk and 1984 Canadian Champion Mike Riley and their teams won their Manitoba titles in Virden.
While tickets for the 2019 Viterra Championship in Virden will not go on sale until the fall of 2018, Barkley says the Virden host committee will be making its preliminary planning steps through the 2017-2018 curling season.
"We know how excited Winkler is to be hosting the Manitoba Men's for the first time and we wish them great success with this season's Viterra Championship, January 30-February 4, 2018," Barkley says.