2021 Brier, scheduled for Kelowna, will be played in Calgary along with other major championships

Kelowna loses Brier

UPDATE 4 p.m.

Kelowna's event development supervisor says the city is in discussions with Curling Canada for a future Brier in the city.

Chris Babcock says no specific year has been offered, but discussions are taking place.

Before any decision is made, Babcock says he will have to speak with different stakeholders to determine hotel and arena availability.

Thunder Bay, which was set to host the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, has already accepted an offer to host the 2022 event.

It may be a few years before a Brier does come to the city. The 2022 event is not ideal since it is an Olympic year and the focus is on that event, while the Kelowna Rockets could be in line to host the 2023 Memorial Cup they lost last year due to the pandemic.

Babcock says the city bid specifically on the 2021 event because it was the year prior to the Olympics when teams are at their peak.

With that in mind, an event in 2024 or 2025 may be the most attractive to the city.

ORIGINAL 3:30 p.m.

Curling Canada has made the inevitable official.

The 2021 Brier will not be held in Kelowna, as scheduled.

In a news release Tuesday afternoon, Canada's national curling body announced the Brier, Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the World Men’s Curling Championship and the Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship will all be held in Calgary.

Similar to the Stanley Cup playoffs, the events will all be held at one location, the Markin MacPhail Centre, at Canada Olympic Park, without fans.

Exact dates will be announced later as Curling Canada works with local, provincial and national health authorities to set up the facility in a so-called bubble environment.

“No one can deny that these are challenging times, and not just for curling, obviously, but we also know how important these events are to the athletes, to our partners and, of course, to our fans,” said Katherine Henderson, CEO of Curling Canada.

“It is thanks largely to the commitment of our business partners that we are able to have ambitions of holding some of our events, giving the best curling fans in the world something to look forward to in the new year. The support from the City of Calgary and the Province of Alberta also was appreciated, as they share our aspirations of making these events happen as safely and responsibly as possible.”

The release went on to say the scheduled host cities of each event, including Kelowna, "have all graciously agreed to host Curling Canada championships in the future."

This is the third major national, or international sporting event scheduled for Kelowna which has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

The Memorial Cup and World Mixed Doubles and World Senior Curling Championships scheduled for 2020 were all wiped out.

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