Did you know Canada.. it's almost Brier time! The 2011 Tim Hortons Brier runs March 5-13, this year hosted at the John Labbatt Centre in London Ontario. This is the 30th time the Brier has been hosted in Ontario since it began in 1927 - making this the 82nd year for the Brier.
The Brier is the annual Canadian men's curling championship, sanctioned by the Canadian Curling Association (CCA). The winner of the Brier goes on to compete as Team Canada at the World Championships.
The Brier has had a few sponsors over the years including Macdonald Tobacco, Labbatt, Nokia and now Tim Hortons since 2005.
The Brier includes 12 teams - 1 from each province except Ontario which sends 2 and 1 from the territories. Unlike the woman's Championship the previous years winner is not automatically entered. Alberta has been the Champion for the past 3 years but it's Manitoba that has won a record 26 Briers since it began.
The John Labbatt Centre has been getting the ice ready for the Brier, converting a hockey rink into a curling rink is no easy task. There is an article in the London Free Press today discussing these challenges. The head ice technician is Hans Wuthrich, originally from Switzerland, and was the technician in charge of the curling sheets at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
Source: curling.ca, London Free Press, John Labatt Centre, tsn.ca