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Curling fans in New Brunswick have more to look forward to as the country slides out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Curling Canada announced Tuesday that Fredericton will host the Continental Cup next year from Jan. 20 to Jan. 23, with brooms to hit the ice at the Willie O'Ree Centre on the city's north side.
"We're going to work our hardest to make sure this region has an event to be proud of," said Amy Nixon, chair of Curling Canada's board of governors, during an online video announcement.
"Events like the Continental Cup generate huge exposure for their host cities through TSN broadcasts and it's probably the most fun event to attend and play in."
The announcement comes after the highly anticipated Home Hardware Canada Cup, which was supposed to be held in Fredericton last November, had to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Continental Cup will bring together six teams drawn from across North America to compete against six teams from across Europe.
Curling Canada, in a news release, boasted the tournament is set to bring out many of the same teams that will go on to compete at the Winter Olympics happening in Beijing the month after.
While formats and team lineups for the 2022 Continental Cup are to be announced, Curling Canada said Team Canada will be led by the 2021 national championship teams, including team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., who won the Tournament of Hearts, and team Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton, who won the 2021 Brier.
The last Continental Cup was held in London, Ont., in early 2020, before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2021 tournament would have been held in Oakville, Ont., but was cancelled because of the pandemic.
Curling Canada said next year's tournament will be the 17th edition of the Continental Cup.
Fredericton Deputy Mayor Greg Ericson, speaking during the announcement, said he, the mayor and council were excited by the decision to bring the event to the capital.
"This is especially true today as we contemplate an event on the other side of the COVID pandemic, and what a return to normal looks like, and what a return to excellent events look like as we've experienced in the past with Curling Canada's support," he said.
"Certainly, everyone on council, when we were discussing this last night, is very excited about this event and is looking forward to participating and doing what we can to strengthen these partnerships moving forward."