FREDERICTON (GNB) – In celebration of New Brunswick’s rich curling heritage, Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames has declared the third week in January to be New Brunswick Curling Week.

The declaration follows a motion that was debated and carried in the legislative assembly. The week is intended to mark the important role curling has played in enriching the province’s heritage, athletics and community well-being.

“Curling plays a vital role in contributing to the mental, physical and social well-being of New Brunswickers,” said Ames. “I am pleased to declare the third week in January as New Brunswick Curling Week, recognizing curling’s unique role in New Brunswick’s culture and heritage.”

The sport has been part of New Brunswick’s social and cultural fabric dating back to the early 1800s, bringing communities together while also promoting healthy living through physical activity in the wintertime.

A certificate marking the first New Brunswick Curling Week will be presented later this month when the legislature resumes sitting.

“On behalf of the New Brunswick Curling Association, and all New Brunswick curlers, I thank the Government of New Brunswick for declaring this week as Curling Week in New Brunswick,” said association president David Burpee. “We are proud to have 28 curling centres and approximately 4,500 members. We offer programs for all ages, from our Little Rocks program to our weekly adult leagues. I encourage all New Brunswickers to get involved, either as a curler or as a volunteer.”

More information about the province’s curling centres is available on the association website and on its Facebook page.

Sport and culture are important elements of the provincial tourism industry. The government’s Tourism Growth Strategy will invest $100 million over the next five years toward the goal of growing tourism-related GDP to $2 billion by 2025. Tourism has been identified as a key opportunity for growth in the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan. Tourism visitor spending is estimated at $1.3 billion, making it the third-largest service sector in the province.