Podcast Ep. 01 – Curling Canada CEO Katherine Henderson

katherine henderson curling canada

For our first podcast, we throwback to a conversation we had with Curling Canada CEO Katherine Henderson about event bidding and this year’s Tim Horton’s Brier in St. John’s. 


Curling Canada CEO Katherine Henderson has a wealth of experience in leadership roles in sports, marketing, and brand management that spans more than 20 years. 

This episode is brought to you by our friends at Affinio – the marketing intelligence platform that reveals hidden audience insights at scale.


Show notes:

  • 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.
  • 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.

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