The City of Kamloops has been awarded the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier, it was announced today by the Canadian Curling Association (CCA).
The 85th edition of the Canadian men’s curling championship will be played March 1-9 at the Interior Savings Centre. It will mark the second time that Kamloops has hosted the Brier, after staging the 1996 renewal won by Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton, who stole the victory against Alberta’s Kevin Martin in an extra end in one of the most exciting finals in history.
It will also mark just the seventh time that British Columbia has hosted the Brier since the championship began in 1927 in Toronto.
“We are delighted to be announcing today that the premier men’s curling event in the world, the Tim Hortons Brier, has been awarded to Kamloops,” said the CCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Greg Stremlaw.
“The year 2014 is stacking up to be an incredible Olympic year with some very unique championship locations and events being hosted by the CCA. We were very pleased to see such support from the City of Kamloops during the bidding process as they put together an impressive bid to ensure that the Tim Hortons Brier would come to their beautiful city.”
Curl BC CEO Scott Braley said: “It’s a great day for curling in BC. It’s nice to know the winning team from the 2014 Canadian Direct Insurance BC Men’s Curling Championship, hosted by Vancouver Curling Club, will go on to represent BC in Kamloops.”
Tim Hortons began its title sponsorship of the Brier in 2005 in Edmonton and has extended its agreement through 2014.
Tickets for the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier are expected to go on sale in February of 2013. The winning team will then represent Canada at the World Men’s Curling Championship, at a site and date to be announced by the World Curling Federation.
There are also some new aspects to the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier. First of all, the winning team will become Team Canada and receive an automatic entry into the 2015 Brier. Secondly, an as-yet-to-be-determined number of provinces/territories, based on the results of the 2014 event, will play a relegation round immediately prior to the 2015 Brier, in order to determine which ones qualify for the 12-team draw.
In addition to the 1996 Brier, Kamloops also staged the Canada Cup competition from its inception in 2003 through 2008 and the 1998 Ford World Curling Championships, when won by Canada’s Wayne Middaugh and Sweden’s Elisabet Gustafson.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome back the best curlers in the world to the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier,” said Host Committee Chair Norm Daley, who held a similar post for the 1998 Worlds and Canada Cups. “Kamloops has had a rich tradition with curling events and we know that this one will be no exception. Our community has great memories of the Canada Cups, the Ford Worlds and 1996 Brier. We look forward to the opportunity to again showcase our City as we host this prestigious championship.”
The Brier will be televised exclusively and extensively in Canada by TSN and RDS, from the round robin, through the Page Playoffs, semi-final, bronze medal and gold medal games.
“In 2014, Tim Hortons will proudly celebrate its 10th year as title sponsor of the Brier,” said Bill Moir, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer, Tim Hortons. “Each year we look forward to the excitement the Brier ignites in Canadians. We join them in anticipation of another great event.”
When Kamloops hosted the 1996 Labatt Brier, 127,746 fans attended the event. In 1998, the attendance for the Ford Worlds was 93,530. The Interior Savings Centre seats approximately 6,000.
The Brier has been played in 31 cities across Canada, from Victoria to St. John’s. Manitoba has won a leading 27 Briers. Alberta is next with 25 victories, followed by Ontario with 10, after Glenn Howard’s win last season in Saskatoon. British Columbia has four titles – in 1948 (Frenchy D’Amour of Trail), 1964 (Lyall Dagg of Vancouver), 1994 (Rick Folk of Kelowna) and 2000 (Greg McAulay of New Westminster). New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Yukon/Northwest Territories have yet to win.
Meanwhile, the 2013 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by Monsanto, will be held March 2-10 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, with the winner representing Canada at the Ford World Men’s in Victoria, B.C., March 30-April 7.