April 5 - Canada's position as the most important country in the curling community has been reinforced with a new agreement that sees the sport there given the rights to hold four more World Championships between 2015 and 2018.
The World Curling Federation (WCF) have extended their partnership with the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) which will see the country host the World Men's Championship in 2015 and 2017 and the World Women's Championship in 2016 and 2018.
The CCA will also be allowed to choose the venue for these events, in consultation with the WCF, and will retain the position of presenting sponsor for world men's and women's events held outside of Canada, while host committees of World Championships, held inside Canada, will continue to receive a percentage of gross ticket sales.
Also, the CCA's official broadcast partner, TSN/RDS, will continue to hold exclusive rights to broadcast the world championships in Canada through to the 2019-2020 curling season, wherever they are competed.
Curling was taken to Canada by Scottish emigrants, with the first club being established in 1807, the Royal Montreal Curling Club, which is now the oldest established sports club still active in North America.
There are now more than 1,500 curling clubs across Canada and it is estimated that more than 750,000 Canadians take part in the sport at least once a week.
"The WCF is delighted to extend our agreement with the Canadian Curling Association," said WCF President Kate Caithness.
"This will ensure that alternating World Championships will continue to be held in Canada and will be a joint operation between the WCF and CCA.
"Our partnership to date has been extremely constructive and beneficial to the development of our sport and we look forward to building on this success over the coming years."
Canadian Curling Association chief executive, Greg Stremlaw, said: "The extension of our partnership with the World Curling Federation will benefit curling fans in Canada and around the world,"
"This agreement is another sign that the CCA and WCF want to work together to continue building the sport of curling and showcase its top players in the best way possible on a global stage."
This year's World Men's Curling Championship is currently underway at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, British Columbia, with the gold medal game set to take place on Sunday (April 7).
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