This is not the time of year when most people have winter sports on the mind, however, for committee getting set to host the 2018 Viterra Provincial Men's Curling Championship in Winkler, it's front and centre.
32 teams from across the province will compete in the men's championship to be held in the city, January 31 to February 4th, 2018.
Committee Chair Louis Tanguay explained they haven't finalized the budget yet for event, but have made great strides in securing sponsorships. "We're using the same template as we did for the Scotties," said Tanguay.
Tanguay says they have already sold all 10 Diamond sponsorships at $10,000 each, and have already received commitments for 8 of the 10 Gold sponsorships at $5,000 each. "Those were the ones we were really focusing on early. That's were we had a lot of people say "it's only July," but we're trying to line up our ducks and get this all in place." Tanguay says once they have the 2 remaining Gold sponsorships sold, they will move onto securing the $2,500 Silver sponsorships.
About 40 percent of the 300 needed volunteers are also in place already, many of whom were involved in helping with the 2015 Scotties.
Meanwhile, hosting the Women's Provincial Scotties in 2015 has laid out a clearer path for the local committee now planning for the 2018 Viterra Championships. Never having hosted an event like the Scotties before, Tanguay said for the committee, it was like going through uncharted waters. "In 2015 there was a lot phone calls right from the beginning, there's been a lot less phone calls now, because I think people know what they did, and we know it was successful. I think we're a little more comfortable now and familiar with what needs to be done." He noted they will use what they did in 2015 as a template, and make the necessary tweaks. "Will it be a lot of work though? Absolutely it's going to be a lot of work."
As for accommodations, Tanguay said they will need about 100 for the curlers, all of which have been booked.