With the countdown on to the start of the Ford World Women's Curling Championship in North Bay, the focal point for this huge international event will be Memorial Gardens. And the transformation is under way.

The ice at the local hockey arena is being switched to a four sheet curling rink as North Bay prepares to welcome the world.

“We are really, really excited. There's a good ticket base in North Bay, and Northern Ontario, but also from across Canada and across the world." Said Organizing Committee Vice-Chair, Dave Bennett.

This is the culmination of years of planning, according to another senior member of the organizing Committee.

"We've actually been working on this for almost four years to get the event. Then, the last year and half since we've been awarded it, it’s been full-time planning to get everything organized.” said Rick Miller.

While this tournament will be a huge thrill for curling fans, organizers say the event will be great for the city itself.

"There's the direct economic benefit which Curling Canada has estimated is anywhere up to 15 million dollars." said Miller.

Mayor Al McDonald has said that getting North Bay’s name and brand out to a global TV audience is advertising the city could never afford to buy.

Dave Bennett agrees. "It's going to be a great economic impact for the city and we're just excited." he says.

North Bay’s local curling community is heavily involved, with several functions planned at The Granite Club, including entertainment events and autograph sessions with each team.

The Ford World Women’s Curling Championship opening ceremony will take place Saturday morning at Memorial Gardens with doors opening at 10:30 am.