Published Saturday, April 22, 2017 6:16PM ADT
Last Updated Saturday, April 22, 2017 6:29PM ADT
For the first time ever, the top youth male and female curlers are in Moncton fighting for a national championship.
“These kids, we’ll be seeing them five years, 10 years, 15 years from now in the Brier, in the Scotties, in the Olympics and the world championships,” said event organizer Jacques Robichaud.
The 2017 Canadian Under-18 Boys and Girls Curling Championship has seen 24 teams, coaches, friends and family from across Canada unite in the hub city.
The event has already posed some challenges, but by all accounts it’s been top notch.
“The girls and the boys were saying the ice was amazing,” said team Quebec supporter Julie Hamel. “It was fun to play on good quality arena ice.”
The early spring event brings a welcome boost to local businesses.
“It acts and economic driver for the Greater Moncton area,” said Robichaud.
“We’re staying downtown, we’ve been to many restaurants. The food has always been great, and the service,” said Northern Ontario supporter John Leonard.
The event is considered a test run for the city as it prepares to bid on hosting the 2019 Canadian Brier.
“I think people are pretty happy with the crowds,” said Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold. “It’s a junior event, it’s not the Brier, but I think it’s a good warm up for us to take home the Brier.”
The last time the Brier was held in the Maritimes was in Halifax in 2010. Many in Moncton say it’s about time the event came back.
The host city of the Brier will be announced at the end of September.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jonathan MacInnis.