MONTREAL—Some of the best names in curling are in Montreal for the 2012 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship. What started as a big gamble, could pay off for Canadian curling.

With a silver medal in Vancouver, Alberta’s Cheryl Bernard says she was surprised by the interest in Quebec, a province without a deep love of the game.

“I had the same perception but I changed it. The people have been amazing,” said Bernard.

She's also loved the city and plans on returning here in the summer to shop. Mixed curling doesn't have the same appeal as men’s and women's curling, which draws 15,000 spectators at the nationals.

“I always compare it to doubles tennis,” said Mike Fournier of Quebec, who is tied for first. “You still get the same quality of play, but it is a sport that doesn't attract the same money and the same players.”

Often the issue of interest here is a competitive one. If Quebec can't do well, then it's harder to get behind them, but Quebec has been competitive. In fact, this week the Quebec foursome out of Montreal is tied for first place.

“Mixed curling has always been competitive with some of the best in Canada. In the last 50 years, there have been world champions and hall of famers that have played in the mix,” said Danny Lamoureux, from the Canadian Curling Association.

The event concludes on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. with the final. The playoffs are Friday at the Town of Mount Royal Club.