Curling Canada Preps for Brier 2017

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Curling Canada CEO Katherine Henderson chats with us about event bidding and the upcoming Tim Horton’s Brier happening March 4-12 in St. John’s. Listen to the full audio or read the key takeaways from our discussion below. 


Key Takeaways

  • Curling Canada has tightened their bidding process and will soon release a step-by-step guide detailing the types of things they are looking for. After many years of executing events, they believe to have established a winning formula; one that leads to success in the areas of ticket sales, community engagement, and event awareness, among others.
  • In addition to the Tim Horton’s Brier, Scotties Tournament of Hearts, and Ford World Championships, Curling Canada also hosts juniors, seniors, and mixed events that are more appropriate for smaller venues. As a result, there are plenty of opportunities to work with Curling Canada depending on the event size and complexity a city is willing to take on.
  • Curling Canada works with the host city to develop a business model that goes way beyond ticket sales. This involves working with tourism bodies and local businesses to produce a wider economic and social impact in the region.

  • The last time St. John’s hosted the Brier was in 1972. Since be awarded the 2017 Brier, the community involvement and local awareness has been tremendous. Katherine believes the event will compare to last year’s Brier in Ottawa, which was recently nominated for the CSTA PRESTIGE Event of the Year Award.

“…every one of these cities puts their own stamp on things and they create a fan and an athlete experience that’s entirely unique to their geography, and to their culture…” 

  • St. John’s presented a very compelling and innovate business case to Curling Canada. The recently renovated St. John’s Convention Centre played a role in the selection process. As did the adjacency of Mile One Centre to the downtown core and local businesses.

  • Curling Canada provides an ecosystem of excellence in event delivery. They take care of event operations which includes managing the field of play and developing broadcast partnerships. The host city manages local promotions and develops relationships with local stakeholders.
  • Curling Canada sends a core team of people in advance to work with the local host committee. They often hire locals to help with ticket sales, local promotions, and sponsorship fulfillment.
  • Curling Canada recognizes that curling fans are all across the country. Although some provinces are better equipped to host major events, they work with the 14 member associations to give fans an opportunity to experience an event nearby on a regular cycle.

Curling Canada recently awarded the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts to Penticton, BC, the 2018 Tim Horton’s Brier to Regina, SK, and the 2018 Ford World Championships to North Bay, ON. Bids are now being accepted for the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier, the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the 2018 Home Hardware Canada Cup and the 2019 World Financial Group Continental Cup, in addition to all other Canadian championship curling events. 

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