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Halifax Awarded the 2010 Tim Hortons Brier

The Canadian Curling Association (CCA) today announced that the 2010 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by Monsanto, will be staged at the Metro Centre in Halifax, March 6-14, 2010.

It will mark the sixth time the city has hosted the Canadian men’s curling championship, after staging the 1951, 1966, 1981, 1995 and 2003 Briers. Halifax will join Calgary and Toronto as the only cities to have staged the Brier at least six times, since it began in 1927, when the 81st edition gets underway.

“The Tim Hortons Brier is considered by many curling enthusiasts to be the flagship event of men’s curling not only in Canada – but throughout the world, ” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the CCA. “This annual event is further strengthened with an amazing corporate partner in Tim Hortons. In the 2009-10 season, there are many significant curling events including the Pre-Trials Qualifier in Prince George, the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials in Edmonton, and of course the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

“The Canadian Curling Association is very pleased to see Canada’s east coast get to participate in one of the most anticipated curling seasons on record. With this, I am proud to announce that Halifax will host the 2010 Tim Hortons Brier and we are excited to be returning to this gem of a city.”

Most recently, Halifax hosted another major curling event, the 2005 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials, which determined Canada’s representatives for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, where Canada’s Brad Gushue won a gold medal and Shannon Kleibrink earned a bronze.

“On behalf of the Host Committee, together with the Nova Scotia Curling Association, I am very excited that the 2010 Tim Hortons Brier has been awarded to Halifax,” said Host Committee co-chairman Hugh Avery. “It will not only allow us the opportunity to show off our great city, but will also provide a legacy of growth for the sport of curling in our province. I am very pleased that Graham Harris and I will be co-Chairs for the event. Graham brings a tremendous amount of experience from working on the host committee of the 2003 Brier and chairing the 2005 Trials. We feel very confident that this will be another world class event for Halifax.”

“Without question, Halifax has one of the most experienced and passionate volunteer groups in the country,” added Harris. “We look forward to working with them again on another fabulous event.”

“Tim Hortons has been a long-time supporter of curling in Canada for over 15 years,” said Bill Moir, Chief Brand & Marketing Officer, 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.”

When Halifax held the 2003 Nokia Brier, it was won by Alberta’s Randy Ferbey, who went unbeaten during the week, finishing with a perfect 13-0 mark after defeating the host province’s Mark Dacey in the final. The total attendance was 158,414, a Brier record for an Eastern Canada site (east of Winnipeg). When the city staged the Trials two years later, a record event attendance of 159,235 was established.

Since the Brier began in 1927 in Toronto, it 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 23. New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Yukon/Northwest Territories have yet to win.

“Monsanto is pleased to continue our association with the Tim Hortons Brier in 2010 and we certainly couldn’t ask for a better host than Halifax,” said Trish Jordan, Public Affairs Director with Monsanto Canada. “Halifax has a rich tradition and history of support for curling. We look forward to some great curling and to the hospitality we know the city of Halifax will offer to Monsanto, its customers and curling fans from across the country.”

Nova Scotia boasts three Brier wins. The first victory, by Halifax skip Murray Macneill, came in the inaugural Brier of 1927 in Toronto. The province’s second win came in 1951, ironically in Halifax, by Kentville’s Don Oyler, before Dacey defeated Ferbey at the 2004 Brier in Saskatoon, in a rematch of the 2003 final.

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.

Tickets for the 2010 Tim Hortons Brier are expected to go on sale in late February of 2009.

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 2010 Tim Hortons Brier will be televised exclusively and extensively in Canada by TSN, 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, 19 of 29 Brier winners have gone on to win the world men’s curling championship. The latest was Alberta’s Kevin Martin, who won the 2008 Tim Hortons Brier in Winnipeg and the world men’s curling championship in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

The winner of the 2010 Tim Hortons Brier in Halifax will represent Canada at the world men’s curling championship in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, April 3-11.

Meanwhile, the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier will be held at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, March 7-15, with the winner then representing Canada at the Ford world men’s in Moncton, New Brunswick, April 4-12.

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For further information:

Warren Hansen
Manager of Event Operations and Media
Canadian Curling Association
604-329-9850
whansen@curling.ca

Hugh Avery
Halifax Host Committee Co-chairman
2010 Tim Hortons Brier
902-423-3700
hugh.avery@gmail.com

Graham Harris
Halifax Host Committee Co-chairman
2010 Tim Hortons Brier
902-497-1164
ggh@ns.sympatico.ca