World Curling Chief tours Prince George
The president of the World Curling Federation will be in Prince George this weekend to survey the community’s capacity as a training and pre-Games competition site.
“I am truly looking forward to my first visit to Prince George as I have been hearing such great things about the city and its support of various national and international sporting events,” said Les Harrison, President of the World Curling Federation. “It takes a real partnership of all levels of government, business, volunteers and fans to gain this kind of reputation, along with the required supporting infrastructure to ensure success and financial viability.”
Harrison notes that from a curling perspective, Prince George has recently hosted the Canadian Women’s Championship and has a solid base of curlers to support these type of events. “I look forward to visiting your curling club and having the opportunity to discuss ways we might be able to work together for the future,” said Harrison.
Prince George Mayor Colin Kinsley says he is looking forward to welcoming Mr. Harrison to the community. “It’s exciting to see that Prince George is on the radar of international sport organizations. Our city has extensive experience when it comes to hosting curling events and I look forward to showcasing what our community has to offer,” he said.
Harrison’s visit is being coordinated by Events Prince George. Virginia Sprangers with Events Prince George said the visit is a result of marketing activities with the Train in PG campaign. She said Harrison will spend the weekend touring sport facilities like CN Centre and the Northern Sport Centre. He and Mayor Kinsley will play a fun game of curling at the Prince George Curling Club.
On Saturday, Harrison will attend the Prince George Cougars game, and be hosted by Wolftek Industries. “Wolftek believes in our community and is pleased to be able to support Events Prince George in hosting the International Curling Association’s visit to Prince George,” said Wolftek President Bruce Sutherland.
“As Train In PG ramps up, Prince George will see more international activity when it comes to sport. International sport federations are interested in Prince George and the word is spreading about how our wonderful our community is, how fantastic our facilities are, and most importantly the great support from the community,” said Sprangers.
The “Train in PG” campaign is geared to international athletes, teams, coaches and officials in promoting Prince George as a place to acclimatize prior to national or international competition. The campaign currently focuses on five major winter sports; hockey, curling, speed skating, cross country skiing and biathlon. Based on the current success of the “Train In PG” campaign, extension of the program will increase to include summer sports. More information about the campaign can be found at www.traininpg.com.
Calgary to host 2009 Tim Horton’s Brier
Tim Hortons Renews Sponsorship Through 2010
The Canadian Curling Association announced on Oct. 12 that Calgary has been awarded the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier. The 80th edition of the Canadian men’s curling championship will be held March 7-15, 2009 at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
It will mark the sixth time that the city has hosted the event. Calgary will join Toronto as the only cities to have staged the Brier at least six times since its inception in 1927. It will be the 12th time the Brier has been held in Alberta, the latest being 2005 in Edmonton.
It was also confirmed that Tim Hortons, the largest quick service restaurant chain in Canada, has renewed its title sponsorship of the Brier through 2010. The new three-year agreement also includes sponsorship of the 2009 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials, which will determine Canada¹s representatives for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
“The Canadian Curling Association is excited to have its premier championship returning to Calgary to enjoy the spirit of Alberta,”" said CCA Board member Bernadette McIntyre. “The curling venue is terrific and a stampede atmosphere in the Brier Patch will be enjoyed by all. It’s also tremendously gratifying to know that Tim Hortons has enjoyed the involvement in our sport enough to renew its sponsorship of the Brier and the Trials for the next three years. It’s an excellent Canadian company to be associated with and we certainly appreciate their support.”
Calgary last hosted the Brier in 2002, attracting 245,296 fans, the third-highest in Brier history. The city also staged the 1997 Brier, setting an attendance record at the time of 223,322, in addition to the 1948, 1961 and 1980 Briers. In 2009, Calgary will hold the unique distinction of having staged a Brier for the event’s four title sponsors over the years; Macdonald Tobacco (1927-79), Labatt (1980-2000), Nokia (2001-2004) and, since 2005, Tim Hortons.
“Tim Hortons has been a long-time supporter of curling in Canada for over 12 years,” said Bill Moir, Executive Vice President, Marketing, Tim Hortons. “The sport of curling, similar to the Tim Hortons brand, has a unique Canadian identity and community appeal and we are both proud and excited to be a part of this world-class event.”
“I am very pleased that the Brier is returning to Calgary and the Pengrowth Saddledome in 2009,” said Host Committee Chairman Ian Henderson, who held a similar post for the very successful 2002 event. “It will be our first Tim Hortons Brier and we are looking forward to putting that special Calgary stamp on what is one of Canada’s premier sporting events. Our city has experienced significant growth since the last Brier here in 2002 and our challenge is to catch the spirit of Calgary and grow the Brier as well, building on the successes in 1997 and 2002.”
Tickets for the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier, which is being presented once again by Monsanto Canada, are expected to go on sale in February of 2008. The Keith’s Brier Patch and Purple Heart Lounge will be located in the adjacent, refurbished Big Four Building.
The Brier began in 1927 in Toronto and has been played in 31 cities across Canada, from Victoria to St. John’s. Manitoba has won a record 26 Briers, while Alberta is next with 22. New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Yukon/Northwest Territories have yet to win.
The Brier competition involves 10 provinces plus teams representing Northern Ontario and Yukon/Northwest Territories playing a round robin, leading to the Page Playoff system involving the top four teams. The first- and second-place teams meet in the Page 1 vs 2 game, with the winner advancing to the final while the loser goes to the semi-final. The third- and fourth-place teams meet in the Page 3 vs 4 game, with the winner advancing to the semi-final while the loser is eliminated.
The Brier attendance record is 281,985, set by Edmonton in 2005 at the first Tim Hortons Brier, which eclipsed the former mark of 248,793 established in 2000 in Saskatoon.
The 2009 Tim Hortons Brier will also be the first time that TSN provides exclusive coverage of the championship from the round robin through the Page Playoffs, semi-final and final.
Since 1980, when the first Labatt Brier was held in Calgary and a playoff format was introduced, 18 of 28 Brier winners have gone on to win the world men’s curling championship. The latest was Ontario’s Glenn Howard, who won the 2007 Tim Hortons Brier in Hamilton and the Ford world men’s curling championship in Edmonton.
The winner of the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier will represent Canada at the Ford world men’s curling championship in Moncton, New Brunswick, April 4-12. Other 2009 events confirmed to date are the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, February 21-March 1 in Victoria, BC, and the world women’s curling championship, March 21-29 in Gangneung, Korea.
Meanwhile, the 2008 Tim Hortons Brier will be held at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, March 8-16, with the winner to represent Canada at the world men’s championship in Grand Forks, North Dakota, April 5-13.
For further information:
Warren Hansen Manager of Event Operations and Media Canadian Curling Association ten.suletnull@nesnahnerraw 604-329-9850
Ian Henderson Calgary Host Committee Chairman 2009 Tim Hortons Brier moc.tcejorpcscnull@nai 403-233-7994
A tale of two cities…and five curlers
Five BC curlers entered the halls of fame in Trail and Victoria this fall. Kathy Smiley was honoured by Trail in September while Elaine Dagg-Jackson, Melissa Soligo, Julie Skinner and Jody Green were inducted in October in Victoria. Congratulations to all!
Victoria to host 2009 Scotties Tournament of Hearts
Victoria, BC – The Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be hosted in BC for the fifth time in the championship’s twenty-eight year history. Following on the heels of a successful World Curling Championship in 2005 at the new Save-On Food Memorial Centre, it was announced today that Victoria has been awarded the premier women’s sporting event in Canada.
“This Canadian Women’s Curling Championship will showcase the best women’s teams representing the provinces and territories,” said Jack Bowman, Director of the Canadian Curling Association and a Victoria resident. “The Victoria curling community is looking forward to a very successful and memorable championship with all of the excitement associated with a pre-Olympic year.”
Kruger Products Limited is the longest-running sponsor of amateur sport in Canada. “Our curling teams have an impressive record on the international stage, bringing home Olympic medals in 1998, 2002 and again in 2006,” said David Ronald, Kruger’s Western Region Manager for Canada and the U.S. “The competition among curlers is already fierce, and the winner of the 2009 Scotties Tournament of Hearts will gain valuable points towards the Olympic trials and the ultimate dream of representing Canada right here in BC.”
Chris Atchison, Chair of the Host Committee, said he thanks “Kruger Products for their unyielding commitment to curling, the Provincial government for investing in a key winter core sport just one year away from the largest sport tourism event this province will have ever seen, and the City of Victoria for embracing this major curling event.” Atchison will assemble more than 600 volunteers to work on the event over the next 16 months.
The 2009 Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be held from February 21 to March 1.
Moncton lands 2009 Ford Worlds
Moncton, New Brunswick, September 11, 2007 – The city of Moncton, New Brunswick, has been awarded the 2009 Ford world men’s curling championship, it was announced today by the World Curling Federation (WCF).
The 2009 event will be staged April 4-12 in the 7,000-seat Moncton Coliseum, which was also the site of several previous curling championships, including a memorable 1985 Labatt Brier and the 1980 Air Canada Silver Broom.
“I am very excited and pleased to formally announce that the 2009 Ford world men’s curling championship will be held here in my hometown,” said Les Harrison, President of the World Curling Federation. “It will be a very significant event, since 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of this championship. It will also be the final championship of the season for Member Associations of the WCF to gain points to qualify countries for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
“In addition, the WCF Executive Board and Annual General Meetings will be conducted here during the week. With the Beaver, Beauséjour and MCA Curling Clubs providing the nucleus of a large volunteer cast, we look forward to a memorable competition to celebrate this special anniversary.”
Ford of Canada has been the title sponsor of the world curling championships since the first Ford Worlds in Brandon, Manitoba in 1995, when both the men’s and women’s events were held together.
“Our 14-year relationship with the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship has been a rewarding one and Ford of Canada is proud to be the title sponsor of the championship to be held in Moncton in 2009,” said David Greenberg, Vice-President, General Marketing, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited.
The world men’s curling championship was held for the first time in 1959 in Scotland, when the famous Ernie Richardson team from Regina represented Canada in a five-game series in Scotland against Willie Young and his reigning Scottish men’s championship team. Richardson won the first ‘Scotch Cup’, 5-0 and repeated that performance the following year. He would go on to win the 1962 and 1963 Scotch Cups as well, both in Perth, to become the only male skip to win four world titles.
“As a long-time volunteer in the great sport of curling, including being a Vice-President of the organizing committee for the very successful 1980 Silver Broom, it is very exciting for me, now as the Mayor of this city, to have this event return after all these years,” said Lorne Mitton. “I am grateful to the World Curling Federation for making Moncton its choice for 2009. Moncton is known for holding prominent sporting events, such as the 2007 Memorial Cup (Canadian Junior Hockey Championship) and the Canadian University Hockey Championships for the last two years. I know that Monctonians will do themselves proud in making this another successful event.”
Added Al Forsythe, President of the Canadian Curling Association (CCA), “First of all, I would like to thank the WCF for selecting Moncton as the site for the 50th anniversary of the men’s world curling championship. I’m sure it will be a huge success, considering the expertise, dedication and support from not only the curling community, but also from the people of the greater Moncton area. I wish the host committee great success in its preparations over the next 18 months in staging this world championship.”
This will mark the third time that New Brunswick has hosted a world curling championship. In addition to the 1980 Air Canada Silver Broom in Moncton, which was won by Canada’s Rick Folk, when his team went undefeated at 10-0, defeating Norway’s Kristian Soerum, 7-6 in the final, the 1999 Ford world men’s and women’s curling championships were hosted by Saint John. The men’s event was captured by Scotland’s Hammy McMillan, while the women’s event went to Sweden’s Elisabet Gustafson for a record fourth time.
“We are delighted that Moncton has been named to host the 2009 Ford world men’s curling championship,” said Host Committee president Jim Lockyer. “We are excited about welcoming curlers, spectators and media from around the world to what will be a very successful and important event for Moncton and all of New Brunswick. We believe it will be one of the best world curling championships ever held and will continue this community’s tradition of successfully hosting major world class events.”
Tickets are expected to go on sale in February of 2008 for the 51st edition of the men’s world curling championship, the 19th time that Canada will have staged this event.
In 2005, the men’s and women’s championships were separated for the first time since 1988. It was also decided that Canada would alternately stage a men’s and women’s championship each year. In addition, 12 countries, instead of the former 10, participated and the Page Playoff format (1 vs 2, winner to final, loser to semi-final; 3 vs 4, winner to semi-final, loser eliminated), which is used at the Canadian men’s and women’s championships, was also introduced. The loser of the semi-final was awarded the bronze medal. Beginning in 2008, though, the bronze medal game will be reintroduced, featuring the loser of the Page 3-4 game versus the semi-final loser.
Canada has won a leading 30 men’s world curling championships since 1959, including 2007 in Edmonton, when captured by Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ontario. Sweden is next with five, followed by Scotland and the United States with four each. Edmonton also established an attendance record for a men’s only event, 184,970, in 2007.
Norway’s Eigil Ramsfjell (15) holds the men’s record for the most world curling championship appearances, 15 and the most games won by a skip (63). In addition to Ernie Richardson, Arnold and Garnet Richardson and Randy Ferbey are the only other four-time winners. Ferbey skipped Canada to victory on three occasions (2002, 2003 and 2005) and also played third for Pat Ryan in 1989.
The 2008 Ford world women’s championship is in Vernon, British Columbia, March 22-30 while the men’s world championship will be in Grand Forks, North Dakota, April 5-13.
The 2009 world women’s curling championship takes place in Gangneung, Korea.
For further information:
Manager of Event Operations and Media
Canadian Curling Association
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