SAULT STE. MARIE -- Sault Ste. Marie has been selected to host the 2021 edition of the Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships.

It's the third time northern Ontario will host the tournament and the first since the Sault did it in 1998.

"It's pretty exciting," said Bobby Ray, executive director of the Northern Ontario Curling Association. "Not just that it's coming to northern Ontario, but that we're even talking about hosting sporting events anywhere in Canada -- that's pretty exciting."

The 2020 version of the event was among one of the first events to be cancelled when the pandemic hit the country in March 2020.

So far, Curling Canada said its latest tournaments have gone off without a hitch.

"We've been able to provide a safe, healthy environment for athletes," said Katherine Henderson, CEO of Curling Canada. "The minute that it becomes endangered in any way, we stop what we're doing and make sure safety comes first."

The Soo Curlers Association is heavily involved organizing the tournament and said it does have COVID on its mind.

Still, it's hoping this event will help it build on the future.

"So we're looking forward to hosting them and maybe it'll be a stepping stone to future events," said Al Harnden, chair of the host committee. "We think this will be a great opportunity to showcase what the north has to offer."

Planning for the event is tentative, depending on how Ontario's pandemic situation improves.

It is scheduled to be held from Dec. 6-11.