THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – This year’s annual Canadian Firefighters Curling Championship is being held in Thunder Bay. The Northern Ontario Firefighters Curling Association is committed to hosting an outstanding event at the Port Arthur Curling Club in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.
The event that runs March 29 to April 7 and marks the 59th year for this national championship that is second only to The Brier as the longest running Canadian curling championship. This is the only competition that gathers firefighters from every province and territory in Canada to compete for a national championship. This is the sixth time Northern Ontario has acted as host.
The Thunder Bay Fire rink of Dan Jackson, Joe Marques, Philip Dzuba and Martin Hynna will wear the colours of Northern Ontario. The Jeff Zechner rink from Nipigon was the last Northern Ontario rink to win the Firefighters national title back in 2012.
This championship will feature preliminary action starting Saturday, March 31, at Port Arthur Hotel with the ladder draw, which is a unique ceremony to determine the team match up. The opening ceremonies begin Saturday at Port Arthur Curling Club at 2 pm with the first game at 3:30. Curling draws continue throughout the week at 9:30 am and 2:30 pm daily. Semifinals and finals will be held Saturday, April 7.
The Canadian Firefighters Championship is another big sports tourism event that Thunder Bay is hosting in March on the heels of the Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships.
The Fire Fighters Nationals are supported by the City of Thunder Bay’s Event Development Grant and is expected to generate an economic development impact of $515,000 over the 10 days of the competition.
The teams are staying at Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel and Suites which means restaurants and shops in the Waterfront District can expect extra business from not only the 50 competitors but the families and friends who are visiting Thunder Bay as spectators for the event.