Skip to main content Skip to footer

Council supports local bid to host 2026 Scotties curling event

The women’s national curling championship could be heading back to Lethbridge.

Lethbridge City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to provide a letter of support, as well as $400,000 in cash and in-kind services, to support the Lethbridge Curling Club in its bid to host the 2026 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The event would be held from January 23 to February 1, 2026, at the ENMAX Centre and feature the top 18 women’s curling teams from across Canada, including at least two or three Alberta-based teams.

The Lethbridge Curling Club and the community of Lethbridge has a strong history of hosting elite curling events, including the Tim Hortons Brier (2022), World Men's Curling Championship (2019), World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship (2017), World Senior Curling Championships (2017), World Women's Curling Championship (2012) and, previously, the Scotties Tournament of Hearts (2007, 1987). Lethbridge will also host the 2025 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association/Curling Canada Championships and U SPORTS/Curling Canada University Championships.

"As we witnessed with the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier, as well as all the other elite curling action held in Lethbridge, there would be significant social and economic benefits to hosting an event of this magnitude," says Mayor Blaine Hyggen, who led a recommendation at the May 7 Economic and Finance Standing Policy Committee meeting. “Council is proud to help support this bid."

There is no bidding fee paid to Curling Canada and no money changes hands until all accounting is done after the event in 2026. If the bid is unsuccessful, there is no financial impact for the City. City Administration has reviewed the Lethbridge Curling Club’s proposal and believes it is in alignment with the intent of CC55 Major Community Event Hosting Policy. Funding from the grant program for the 2023-2026 Operating Budget has been fully allocated and the program had been deemed closed. Council voted to allocate proposed funding from the Municipal Revenue Stabilization Reserve (MRSR) for $330,000 and the Major Community Event Grant for $70,000.

On Tuesday, Council also voted to approve the updated and revised request for $140,000 of cash or in-kind contributions, with $70,000 funded annually in 2025 and 2026 from the Major Community Event Grant, to the Downtown Lethbridge BRZ for the Lethbridge PlayOn! Canada Street Hockey Festival event.

PlayOn! Canada was unable to secure federal matching funding, so all PlayOn! Canada hockey festivals for 2024, including the one planned for Lethbridge, were cancelled. This meant $70,000 was back available from the Major Community Event Grant Budget, which is now conditionally allocated to the 2026 Scotties bid.

Host bids for the 2026 Scotties must be submitted by September. Curling Canada is anticipated to announce the host city in January 2025.

The Lethbridge Curling Club board has already engaged with and received letters of support from key community stakeholders including the ENMAX Centre, the Lethbridge Hurricanes, the Lethbridge Soccer Association and Servus Sports Centre, Tourism Lethbridge, the Downtown Lethbridge BRZ, Lethbridge Sport Council and Curling Alberta. As the event is not until 2026, there is ample time for the Lethbridge Curling Club to further engage with stakeholders and community to ensure a successful event.

"The Lethbridge Curling Club would like to thank Lethbridge City Council and Administration for their support of our 2026 Scotties Tournament of Hearts bid," says Kirk Mearns, General Manager of the Lethbridge Curling Club. "These events inject millions of dollars into the local economy, plus they create a sense of civic pride that contributes to our sharing common memories, emotions and beliefs with other people. They also help build the sport by attracting young people and new adult curlers, as well as inspire upcoming athletes in curling. We are committed to bringing world class curling events to Lethbridge and we are always humbled by and appreciative of the support we get from the City and the residents of Lethbridge."

"The Lethbridge Curling Club's passion and success in hosting events is a massive economic driver in our community," says Erin Crane, CEO of Tourism Lethbridge. "The Tim Hortons Brier saw visitors spending millions of dollars locally. Without organizations like the Lethbridge Curling Club who host large-scale events like this, our community would not be as economically strong and diverse. The Brier also helped to promote Lethbridge across multiple media channels, Canada-wide. The Advertising Equivalent Value (AEV) for the exposure to Lethbridge was almost $25 million.”

Other quick facts:

  • All revenue from the sale of 50/50 tickets at the 2026 event would stay directly in Lethbridge and would be used to support the Lethbridge Curling Club's diversity programming, junior program, high school curling, senior accessibility as well as "Rocks and Rings" outreach programs, initiatives and equipment
  • Curling Canada will guarantee more than 220 room nights for their exclusive use, totaling more than $33,000 in room revenue. Local catering, restaurants, retail businesses and tourism attractions would all benefit directly from expenditures
  • Local talent would be showcased at the Patch lounge at the Servus Soccer Centre
  • Tourism Lethbridge has committed to lead efforts to create adjacent events to showcase Lethbridge to visitors and to engage local Lethbridge residents
  • The event would continue to showcase Lethbridge as a destination for hosting prestigious provincial, national, and international sporting and non-sporting events

This website uses cookies to enhance usability and provide you with a more personal experience. By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies as explained in our Privacy Policy.