The stage has been set and the players are reviewing their lines, rehearsing their parts.
In two weeks, the best women's curling teams on the planet will be coming to Prince George to try to win the world championship at CN Centre.
The nine-day tournament, March 14-22 includes 13 teams - Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and United States.
For the first time in her curling career, Manitoba skip Kerri Einarson will represent Canada.
The 32-year-old from Camp Morton, Man., won an 8-7 thriller in an extra end over Rachel Homan of Ontario in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts final Sunday in Moose Jaw, Sask.
Einarson, a three-time national women's finalist, heads a team which includes third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard, lead Briane Meilleur, alternate Jennifer Clark-Rouire and coach Ppatti Wuthrich.
Einarson, Sweeting, Birchard and Meilleur have all been provincial-level skips. They went 9-2 at the Scotties and defeated Jennifer Jones in the 1 versus 2 playoff.
The Einarson rink opens the world tournament in the second draw of the day on Saturday, March 14 against Scotland's Eve Muirhead.
Muirhead was a world bronze medalist in 2017, the year Homan beat Russia for the title.
Switzerland has dominated the event, winning five of the last eight world titles. Swiss skip Elena Stern, a two-time competitor at the mixed world championship (2016, 2017), earned the trip to Prince George when she beat defending world women's champion Silvana Titinzoni 6-4 for the Swiss championship.
Anna Hasselborg of Sweden will be one of the medal favourites. Hasselborg was the 2018 Olympic champion who won silver at the world championships in 2018 and 2019. The Swedish skip lost her first game at the 2019 championship in Denmark and didn't lose again until the final, an 8-7 loss to Titinzoni in an extra end. In December, in Conception Bay, Nfld.,Hasselborg topped Jennifer Jones in the final to win her second-straight Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling title.
The U.S. (Tabitha Peterson, Burnsville, Minn.) won the three-team Americas Challenge in Eveleth, Minn. on Nov. 30. Italy (Veronica Zappone) and South Korea (Gim Un-chi) qualified at a four-team event in January in Lohja, Finland. South Korea won its first women's world medal last year, beating Japan for bronze.
Japan be represented by skip Satsuki Fujisawa. The other team skips are China (Han Yu), Czech Republic (Anna Kubeskova), Denmark (Mathilde Haise), Germany (Daniela Jentsch) and Russia (Alina Kovaleva).
TSN will broadcast all 12 of Canada's round-robin games as well as the playoff games on Saturday, March 21 and the final on Sunday, March 22 (4 p.m. PT).
Tickets are available at the CN Centre box office or online through curling.ca.
The price of a full ticket package, which includes all 25 draws, starts at $389 (including taxes and fees) Opening-day packages are $59 (which includes breakfast at The Patch), while the ticket price for non-Canada draws throughout the week starts at $17.50. Opening weekend packages cost $99 and the championship weekend package is $199.
Canada's game tickets start at $19.50 (Sunday-Friday morning games), $25 (Monday-Thursday afternoon game) and $30 (opening Saturday and Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evening games). Youth 17 and under can get in the building for $15 for any of Canada's round-robin games.
Tickets for the Friday evening Canada-Switzerland game, playoff qualifiers, semifinals and the bronze-medal game are $35 and gold-medal game tickets are $45.
Canadian team schedule
Saturday, March 14 vs. Scotland, Draw 2, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 16 vs. Russia , Draw 7, 2 p.m.
Monday, March 16 vs. China, Draw 8, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 17 vs. United States, Draw 10, 2 p.m.
Tuesday, March 17 vs. Italy, Draw 11, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 18 vs. Germany, Draw 13, 2 p.m.
Thursday, March 19 vs. Sweden, Draw 16, 2 p.m.
Friday, March 20 vs. Denmark, Draw 18, 9 a.m.
Friday, March 20 vs. Switzerland, Draw 20, 7 p.m.