Curling Canada expected to name host for 2023 Tim Hortons Brier by end of January
Cape Breton Island among bids
JEREMY FRASER SALTWIRE NETWORK
SYDNEY, N.S. – Cape Breton Island may soon know whether Sydney will host the 2023 Tim Hortons Brier men’s national curling championship. In an email to the Cape Breton Post, Curling Canada spokesperson Al Cameron said the organization hopes to name the success bid by the end of January. No official announcement date was confirmed. In a memo sent to council in August, CBRM’s recreation manager Kirk Durning noted it would cost $750,000 to host the championship with contributions from the municipality along with the provincial and federal governments, if the hosting rights were granted. The memo also noted Curling Canada has lowered seating requirements for the tournament, which allows Centre 200 to meet the venue requirements to host. “They changed the criteria in terms of building size, so they have allowed for buildings with 5,000 seats and above to now bid for the Brier,” said Centre 200 manager Paul MacDonald in an interview with the Cape Breton Post in August. “So, we said, ‘We’re there, we want to host this event, we think we can handle this event easily.' In 2019, the Scotties attracted a total of 46,796 fans for the nine-day competition with the wildcard game and final weekend being sold out. The championship draw saw Alberta’s Chelsea Carey come back from a 5-1 deficit to win the championship, 8-6, over Ontario’s Rachel Homan, thanks to five total steal points in the second half and two dramatic misses by the now 32-year-old Homan. If successful, the Brier could potentially attract 100,000plus spectators with an estimated economic impact of between $10-million and $15-million. The event would also show the area nationally on TSN. Along with Cape Breton, two Ontario cities, Barrie and London, have also bid for the tournament. London has hosted the tournament twice. The city, which had a population of 404,699 as of 2017, held the event in both 1974 and 2011. Meanwhile, Barrie has never had the tournament. The last time the Brier was held in Atlantic Canada was in 2017 when St. John’s, N.L. hosted the tournament. The last time the event was held in Nova Scotia was in 2010 when it took place at the then Halifax Metro Centre. In 1924, George J. Cameron, president of the W.L. Mackenzie and Company subsidiary of the Macdonald Tobacco Company pitched the idea of having a national curling championship to Macdonald Tobacco and was accepted. The first Brier took place in 1927 at Granite Club in Toronto and featured representation from Western Canada, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Northern Ontario, Toronto, and Montreal. Nova Scotia’s Team MacNeill led by skip Murray MacNeil captured the inaugural tournament championship. The team featured MacNeill, Al MacInnes, Cliff Torey, and Jim Donahue. Since then, the province has only won the Brier twice – once in 1951 and once in 2004. The 2022 Brier will take place March 4-13 at the ENMAX Centre in Lethbridge, Alta.