More than 400 people were needed to pull things off in the most efficient manner, a number that for any community would be difficult to pull off.
And yet, only a few months after the initial call went out, almost every position is filled as of last week – according to Maddie Kelly, marketing coordinator for Curling Canada, fewer than a dozen spots are remaining, with a handful of drivers and a few spots in the HeartStop Lounge left.
The response has definitely been heartening for the organizing committee, especially when it comes to how much work in other areas is still to be done as the tournament – taking place Feb. 14-23 at Mosaic Place – moves closer and closer.
“It’s definitely quicker here,” Kelly said of volunteer spots being filled. “In other places you have to work a little harder to get people to come out but here, especially when we opened it in February and we had a giant inflow of volunteers almost immediately. Then it’s been pretty steady since, and that speaks a lot to how important curling is to this community and how much people want this event to go off well. We can’t do this event without the volunteers and it’s great to see it filled up.”
Ticket sales are also moving along briskly, with the recent Sandra Schmirler Celebration Buy One Get One Sale cracking around 300 bundle buys by the end-of-October deadline. Because of that interest, the sale – where patrons can buy a Draw 4 ticket for the opening Sunday afternoon, featuring Team Saskatchewan vs. defending champion Chelsea Carey and Team Canada for just $32.50, and receive a ticket for Draw 5 on Sunday evening to ticket for Draw 5 to see the home team play back-to-back for free – has been extended to Christmas.
“It was really welcomed and a lot of people enjoyed it, so we decided to actually extend it to Christmas because we thought the bundle would make a nice gift,” Kelly said. “So if someone wants to buy a pack for Christmas and don’t need tickets for the opening and closing weekend, the BOGO is still a good option.”
Tticket sales in general are close to even with numbers seen the last time the Scotties Tournament of Hearts was in Moose Jaw in 2015.
Another initiative that will undoubtedly prove popular is the Scotties partnership with Primary Eye Care to offer tickets to local senior homes so that older folks who otherwise might not have a chance to check out a live draw can do so.
“We want to make it available for everyone, even for those who might not be able to afford these tickets or who because of their disability might not have had the opportunity to come out,” Kelly said. “It doesn’t matter, come on out, if you’re a curling fan we want you here.”
All-in-all, November marks a major ramp-up in preparations as the first draw sits only three months away.
“November is one of the busiest times because that’s when you have to start closing things, you have to start ordering things and have to start looking at programs and deadlines when you can get tickets,” Kelly asid.
“There’s plenty going on behind the scenes, there’s always something in the works and I know the City of Moose Jaw is coming together and looking to make the Scotties coming to Moose Jaw a really amazing event. They’re embracing it with open arms and that’s all we can ask for.”