Curling’s biggest event will return to Ottawa in 2016, it was announced today by the Canadian Curling Association.
The 2016 Tim Hortons Brier will be staged March 5-13 at TD Place in Ottawa. It’ll be the first time the Canadian men’s curling championship has been played in the nation’s capital since 2001, when Alberta’s Randy Ferbey prevailed in the same building (then known as the Ottawa Civic Centre).
“Ever since the building renovations started at TD Place, we’ve been wanting to put a major event there, and the Tim Hortons Brier will be a perfect showcase,” said Canadian Curling Association Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. “Ottawa has a great tradition of hosting major championships, including three Briers, and the curling fans in this city are extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable. We know it will be a great event.”
The 12-team round-robin competition will feature 11 provincial/territorial champions, along with the reigning champion Team Canada squad that wins the 2015 edition of the Tim Hortons Brier, Feb. 28-March 8 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.
Tim Hortons began its title sponsorship of the Brier in 2005 and earlier this year extended its agreement through 2018.
“We’re proud to continue to be the title sponsor of the Tim Hortons Brier,” said Rob Forbes, Senior Director, Marketing and National Programs, Tim Hortons. “After many years of sponsoring first-class events like the Brier, to supporting youth curling programs across Canada, Canadian curling and Tim Hortons share such a rich history. We are thrilled for the Tim Hortons Brier to be returning to Ottawa at TD Place in 2016, and this event will no doubt be exciting.”
The arena at TD Place seats approximately 10,000 fans, and is home to the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s. The multi-sport facility, which is also home to the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa REDBLACKS, underwent a massive renovation, which was completed earlier this year.
“I am thrilled to have the Tim Hortons Brier return to Ottawa in 2016 at TD Place,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “This is a perfect location to showcase our country’s best curling talent and as one of the premier sporting events in the country each year, it promises to have a major economic impact on our City.”
It will be the fourth time the Canadian men’s curling championship has been staged in Ottawa. In 1979, Manitoba’s Barry Fry prevailed. The 1993 Brier was captured by B.C.’s Rick Folk, while Ferbey’s triumph in 2001 started his amazing run of winning four Canadian men’s titles in five years.
In total, Ontario has played host to the Brier 30 times, the most of any Canadian province.
“It’s great to see the Tim Hortons Brier coming back to Ontario in 2016. Events like this attract tourists, create jobs and support economic growth, which is why we were proud to support the Ottawa Host Committee with a grant through our Celebrate Ontario Program,” said Hon. Michael Coteau, Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “Get your brooms ready — the countdown to the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier in Ottawa begins today!”
Tickets for the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier, the 87th edition of the championship, are expected to go on sale in February 2015. The winning team will represent Canada at the 2016 World Men’s Curling Championship in Basel, Switzerland, in addition to qualifying for the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier as Team Canada.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome Canada’s best men’s curling teams, as well as fans from across the country, to Ottawa for the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier,” said Host Committee spokesperson Elaine Brimicombe, the past-president of the Ottawa Valley Curling Association. “It’s been hard to keep this a secret for the last few weeks, but now that the news is public, I know we’ll get an amazing response from volunteers and fans, both from the Ottawa region and across the country.”
The Brier has been played in 31 cities across Canada, from Victoria to St. John’s. Manitoba has won a leading 27 Briers, while Alberta is just behind with 26 victories, including last March’s win by Calgary’s Kevin Koe in Kamloops, B.C. New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut have yet to win.