Curling Canada – 2015 Canadian Senior Curling Championships
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History – Canadian Senior Men’s Championship

The Canadian Senior Men’s competition began in 1965 with the backing of Joseph E. Seagram and Sons Limited. When Seagram took over The Mixed in 1973, the CCA assumed sponsorship of the Senior Men’s competition from 1975 – 1994.

From 1965 – 1974, the Seniors competed for The Seagram Stone. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) began its sponsorship of the CIBC Seniors at Saint John, New Brunswick in 1995 and concluded its association after the 1999 championship. The CCA resumed sponsorship of the championship in 2000.

Beginning in 2010, World Financial Group (WFG) became the title sponsor not only of the Canadian Seniors Championships but also the unique international curling competition known as the Continental Cup. WFG sponsored the Canadian Seniors for 2010 and 2011 only, but has extended its involvement as title sponsor of the Continental Cup through 2016.

Everest, the first nationwide funeral planning and concierge service, became the title sponsor of the Canadian Seniors beginning in 2015, the start of a three-year agreement.

The senior men’s and women’s championships were conducted separately at different venues until being combined in 1985 at Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

In 2012, for the first time, all 14 Member Associations of the Canadian Curling Association were given the opportunity to qualify for the Canadian Seniors.   This necessitated a pre-event qualifying event on Thursday/Friday before the competition officially began in order to qualify two teams into a 12-team main draw.

This pre-event qualifying format continued in 2013 and 2014 but has been replaced by a new format, beginning in 2015, whereby all teams, after seeding based on the previous year’s results, now participate in a round robin within their pool before moving on to either the Championship Round or Seeding Pool.

Over the years, the Senior men’s has been won by a number of prominent curlers.   Dr.

Wen MacDonald of Prince Edward Island became the first three-time winner, skipping his team to victory in 1971, 1975 and 1976.  MacDonald also holds the record for most appearances (14), all as skip, and most game wins as skip (85).

The only other three-time winning skips are Lloyd Gunnlaugson of Manitoba, who is also the only one to win three consecutive titles (1982, 1983 and 1984) and Ontario’s Bob Turcotte (1996, 1997, 2000).

Northern Ontario’s Al Hackner, a two-time Brier and world champion (1982, 1985), won the 2006 Canadian Seniors.   Other Brier-winning skips to win the Canadian Senior men’s are Manitoba’s Leo Johnson (a Brier winner in 1934 and winner of the first senior men’s championship in 1965); Jim Ursel, who won the Brier for Quebec in 1977 and the senior men’s for Manitoba in 1990 and 1991; Alberta’s Pat Ryan, a two-time Brier (1988, 1989) and one-time world champion (1989), who won the Canadian senior men’s in 2007.

Manitoba leads all provinces with 11 wins since 1965, followed by Ontario (10) and Alberta (8). Every province has won at least once, plus Northern Ontario claimed the title in 2006.

Only three teams have gone undefeated while winning the Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Championship. Saskatchewan, skipped by Don Wilson, was 10-0 in 1968; Manitoba (Lloyd Gunnlaugson) went 11-0 in 1984 and Ontario (Bob Turcotte) finished 12-0 in 1997.

Since 2002, when the World Seniors officially began, Canada has won a leading nine times, while the runner-up on four other occasions.   In 2002, 2003 and 2004, the Canadian senior men’s champion represented Canada at the World Seniors, which was then held in conjunction with the Ford Worlds. Alberta’s Tom Reed in 2003 and Newfoundland & Labrador’s Bas Buckle in 2004 won both titles.

However, when the dates of the Canadian Seniors shifted to later in the season, beginning in 2005, when the event was no longer part of the Season of Champions, it became necessary for the reigning Canadian champion to represent Canada at the following year’s World Seniors.

Thus, Buckle did the honours again in 2005 as reigning Canadian and world champion and promptly won the world title again.   Alberta’s Les Rogers won the 2005 Canadian and 2006 world senior men’s titles.   Other winners of both events are Alberta’s Pat Ryan in 2007 and 2008; Saskatchewan’s Eugene Hritzuk in 2008 and 2009; Alberta’s Mark Johnson in 2010 and 2011; Alberta’s Rob Armitage in 2012 and 2013 and New Brunswick’s Wayne Tallon in 2013 and 2014.