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Canadian Curling Association ecstatic about exceptional year

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) was held in Gatineau, Quebec on Saturday, June 19th.

The CCA is pleased to report that, for a third consecutive year, it will finish the fiscal year in the black, with a continued positive financial outlook. The Association showed a financial surplus of $853,044 for the year 2009-2010, which far exceeded the projected budget, with a total accumulated surplus of $2,556,996. Almost all of the accumulated surplus has been allocated to the recently established CCA long-term reserve fund.

“This has been a truly remarkable and successful year,” said Greg Stremlaw, Chief Executive Officer of the CCA. “Not only are we pleased to report a third consecutive financial surplus, but competitively, Canada reached the international podium 11 out of 11 times. We also enjoyed the highest television numbers in our history, we had the jubilation of hosting the Olympics and Paralympics on home soil and we were thrilled with the success of our teams in Vancouver.

“In addition, this year’s National Curling Congress (NCC) and AGM established a landmark decision. After years of debate and various efforts, I am very proud to announce that the CCA’s membership endorsed a presentation by senior staff which will see each of our Member Associations (MA’s) have an equitable opportunity to access the CCA’s national championships in the years ahead. This is long overdue and will provide a fair platform for all, as it will be built on a performance-based criteria for each MA to qualify for the final field of 12 teams in each championship.”

A number of other notices of motion, either passed by the General Assembly or agreed to in meetings which took place during the NCC, included the following:

– A new CCA rulebook was approved and will be in effect for the next two years. A number of housekeeping changes were submitted and approved, many of which will bring the CCA rules in-line, as much as possible, with the rules of the World Curling Federation. The major adjustment that will impact all of the CCA championships in 2010–2011 will see the time for each team to complete a 10 end game remain at 73 minutes, with no additional time provided for coaching time outs. Each team will be allocated two coaching time periods of one minute but the team’s clock that called the time out will continue to run. One similar coaching time period will be allocated for each team during an extra-end.

– The Olympic qualifying process for 2014 was presented in general principle. The major change will see the qualifying process take place over a period of two years rather than three years, which was incorporated for the 2010 Olympic Games. It was confirmed that a Pre-Trials process, followed by an eight team Trials (men and women), similar to what was done for 2010, will be in place for the next quadrennial.

– A bronze medal game will be introduced for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the Tim Hortons Brier in 2011. The bronze medal game will involve the loser of the Page 3 versus 4 game and the loser of the semi-final at a time deemed to be appropriate on the final day of each competition.

– A motion was passed at the 2009 AGM that tasked the CCA senior staff with bringing a proposal to the 2010 AGM which would see the implementation of a system that would afford all 14 Member Associations of the CCA an equitable opportunity to access the Mixed, Senior Women’s and Senior Men’s Championships in 2012. The proposal was brought forward, accepted by the membership and, with some minor adjustments, resulted in the following being agreed to:

1. The Canadian Mixed Championship in 2012 will be played with all Member Associations having the right to send a team to compete in the inaugural qualification. The 14-team round robin will be for a one year period only, subject to agreement by the host club for the Mixed in November of 2011, with the competition returning to a 12 team round robin format in 2013 onwards. Further details of the qualification system will be disclosed at a later date.

2. The Canadian Seniors Championships in 2012 will continue as a 12 men’s and 12 women’s team competition. However, all 14 Member Associations of the CCA will have the opportunity to qualify for the championships, with further details to be disclosed at a later date.

Jack Bowman of Victoria, British Columbia, was elected to the office of Chair of the Board for the 2010-11 season while Laura Lochanski of Edmonton, Alberta was voted for the position of Vice-Chair.

In the order of progression, CCA Governor Fran Todd of Ontario retired from the Board, as did Chair Graham Prouse of British Columbia. Both had completed their five-year terms.

Newcomers to the Board are Marilyn Neily of Iqaluit, Nunavut and Hugh Avery of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

It was approved that the next three NCC’s and AGM’s will be held in the Ottawa area, with the dates for 2011 being June 16th – 18th.

The CCA manages a number of Canadian curling championships, including the Tim Hortons Brier, Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Canada Cup and the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Juniors.

Additionally, the CCA partners with the World Curling Federation in hosting the World Financial Group Continental Cup and the Ford World Curling Championship (men or women), when held in Canada.

The CCA also directs the high performance programs for Canada’s national elite athletes and provides various programs and services for Member Associations Canada-wide.

The CCA’s official broadcaster, TSN, will air more than 240 hours of live coverage in 2010-2011 of those curling championships, which comprise the Season of Champions.