Rock star speaks at Rotary

By Geoff Lee

June 1, 2017 12:00 AM

CURLING ROYALTY Canada's Olympic curling gold medalist, Kevin Martin, from Lougheed Alta., made a presentation to the Rotary Club of Lloydminster on Monday about the Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling Masters, to be played at the Centennial Civic Centre Oct. 24-29, featuring the top 15 men's and women's teams in the world. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

The Rotary Club of Lloydminster hosted the first of many famous rock stars coming to our city this fall for the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling Masters.
Kevin Martin, an Olympic curling gold medalist from Alberta, teamed up with local executive committee members, Cindy Rekimowich and Daryl Hanley, to speak about publicity and sponsorships opportunities at Monday’s luncheon.
The eyes of the world will be focused on Lloydminster, as the top 15 men and women curling teams in the world compete at the Centennial Civic Centre from Oct. 24-29.
“This is going to be an amazing event,” said Martin, who will serve as a curling commentator for Sportsnet, and an event ambassador.
“What an exciting time to be at the end of October,” he said.
The Masters is the first curling major of the new season, and comes right before the Canadian Olympic pre-trials and qualifying trials in November.
“The hype before the Olympics is going to be great, and the timing couldn’t any better for having an event here,” said Martin.
He said all of the teams in Lloydminster will be trying to build their games in the lead-up to the Olympics in South Korea in February, 2018.
Martin will be a curling commentator for NBC in Korea.
The full selection of teams and the draw for the grand slam have yet to be made, but Hanley is counting his economic chickens, knowing they will hatch.
“It’s huge for our tourism; it’s huge for the sport of curling; it’s huge for the kids and the schools to meet some of these elite athletes,” said Hanley.
He will have his nephew, Catlin Schneider to cheer for as the second on B.C.‘s Jim Kotter rink with Martin’s former third, John Morris as a teammate.
Hanley is planning to host Schneider at his own home.
He said that’s in sync with some players from teams that know they are coming, and are looking to rent private homes and do their own cooking.
Hanley took to the podium to formally unveil the event sponsorship package, with tickets already on sale at ticketmaster.ca.
The Civic Centre can only hold about 1,400 people, so a sellout is likely, he noted.
“This is a huge curling area,” he said, noting there is a lot of interest out there in sponsorships with a good bang for the buck.
“There’s hundreds of opportunities that are going to be seen, not only by the local people coming to watch curling, but on Sportsnet for five days,” he said.
“So you can see your business name on TV.”
The package includes everything from in-ice logos and rink board ads, to naming rights.
Some ticket holders will gain admission to the Pinty’s Bar and Grill to sit at ice level at one end of the rink.
“It is awesome,” said Martin, who said it’s just eight feet from the ice surface.
Rekimowich, who oversees the event as the city’s general manager of parks and arenas, said the grand slam will be the first time the arena has ever been used for curling.
“We will be taking the glass out and Rogers (Media) will be coming in,” she said.
“We’ll be shaving down the ice and crews will come in and build the board system and put the curling ice on top of our existing ice.”
Rekimowich said it’s an exciting event and it’s something new, and will create opportunities for roughly 100 volunteers.
She said there will be also be a kids’ curling program involving schools.
“Overall, it will be an excellent experience for everyone involved,” she said.

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