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Hub Staff

The fate of the 2022 Ontario Tankard, currently scheduled to take place at the Plex in Port Elgin February 9 through 13, remains unknown.

In a January 17 statement from the 2022 Ontario Tankard, organizers said that with present regulations, the event could not be held with spectators and whether or not the regulations will expire or be extended January 26 is yet unknown.

"One possibility is that current regulations will be replaced by those that had been in effect prior to December 19th, those allowing spectators at 50% capacity in the Plex," read the release. "There are concerns surrounding that scenario, notably public health, since our event occurs right on the heels of a reopening. Such an event would also be somewhat compromised, with some planned activities and functions cancelled due to ongoing regulations."

The release went on to explore the possibility the event be held without spectators. "The [Plex] would become a bubble for players and officials only, regulated by strict protocols."

In either case, organizers promise all planned sponsor logos would be placed in the ice and the event would be streamed. "Past streaming audiences have been 50,000, however given the hunger to watch curling, it is anticipated the broadcast audience will be much larger," read the release.

"Volunteers would still be required in both scenarios, however less of course in the scenario without spectators," the release continued, adding that the host committee recognizes full well that whatever course is taken, it is not the event they had imagined, nor is it representative of the overwhelming support that has been shown by the community.

"As such an overture has been made to CurlON to host the event again in 2023," the release said. "We’ll keep you posted."