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Canada Cup curling event in Fredericton postponed due to covid-19

Wayne Tallon, a co-chair of the organizing committee for the 2020 Home Hardware Canada Cup, says the decision to cancel the event set to be held in November in Fredericton was unfortunate but necessary.

“Curling Canada and ourselves sat down and looked at all of the different options in order to make sure the players were safe, the volunteers and all of our fans in a COVID world.” 

The conclusion to postpone the event indefinitely was made when organizers realized they couldn’t keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and still see the event break even or be profitable.

“We just couldn’t make it happen,” Tallon said. Curling Canada made the official announcement Tuesday. The 2020 Home Hardware Canada Cup was among three tournaments Curling Canada has decided to cancel duet to the pandemic. 

The other two events are the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship in Canmore, Alta., and the Everest Canadian Curling Club Championships in Ottawa. 

The Fredericton event was to include the top five men’s and women’s teams from last season’s rankings. It could have played a role in determining the teams for the 2021 Tim Hortons Roar, the event that decides Canada’s four-player teams for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. 

Tallon stated the toughest challenge facing organizers was bringing in the players, having them self-isolate and then only letting them to go between the hotel and curling rin at the Aitken Centre. 

“They wouldn’t have been allowed to deviate from that, from those two venues.” 

The need to allow as many people as possible into the venue while still following COVID protocols also made things difficult.

“We were looking forward to having the best curlers in the world come to our city and show us what they can do, but at the same time we get to show them good Maritime, Atlantic hospitality,” Tallon stated. 

“Unfortunately, it’s the signs of the times right now, but hopefully we’ll have another opportunity in the future to invite them back and out on another great show.”  Tallon said the cancellation will mean a significant economic loss to the city and the Capital Winter Club.

Tallon said he’s hopeful Curling Canada will consider Fredericton again as a host for a tournament, and the organization recognized the efforts the local committee made to try to host the event. 

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