Swift Current will be rolling out the welcome mat for another major curling event as the 2023 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship takes place on the curling club ice at InnovationPlex from November 5 to 11.
Saskatchewan will be represented by a local team including Shaun Meachem, who skipped two provincial mixed championship teams in 2019 and 2022, with third Kelly Schafer, a four-time provincial mixed champion who also won the Viterra Scotties with Robyn Silvernagle’s rink last season, and Chris & Teejay Haichert, who have also won four provincial mixed championships and a national mixed title together, on the front end. The team won the Provincial Mixed Championship in North Battleford back in March with Colton Flasch as skip, however Meachem is listed as the skip for Team Saskatchewan in Curling Canada's official draw for the Canadian Mixed Championship.
Among the curlers coming from every province and territory for the event is a six-time Scotties champion, two-time World Women’s champion, and the winner of the Canadian Mixed the last time it was held in Swift Current 30 years ago.
“So, in 1993, Colleen Jones was here representing Nova Scotia and she won the event,” said Melody Robertson, the chairperson for the 2023 Mixed Championship. “Now she is coming back and her very first draw will be against our Saskatchewan team, which is our own homegrown team.”
The opening draw will be at 12:30pm on Sunday afternoon with the opening ceremony following at 3:30pm and draw #2 at 5:30pm. Action continues through the week with three draws daily on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, four draws on Thursday and the semi-finals and final on Saturday.
Robertson adds that the cost to watch this event in person is absolutely free.
“We’re giving back to the community on this one,” she said. “We want everyone to come in and just enjoy watching some awesome national curling.”
Along with the 1993 Canadian Mixed, Swift Current has had a long resumé of hosting major curling events, including numerous provincial championships, the World Women’s Curling Championships in 2010 and 2016, and the Western Showdown bonspiel which returns in December with a combined men’s and women’s event.
Robertson says they are thankful for the support they’ve received from the community to make this event possible.
“Volunteers… we had thought, ‘well, you know, when we get up into the season, we’ll see. We’ll fill all the empty spots.’ We didn’t have to do that,” she added. “People came to us, not just our club members, but community members, and said, ‘I want to volunteer. Where do you want me? What can I do?’ And sponsorship has been absolutely amazing. I was so pleasantly surprised. The support of the southwest and Swift Current has been phenomenal, so a huge thank you to all of them.”