Wednesday, September 20, 2006

2008 Brier, Hearts announcements

Two big curling announcements this week.

Today at 11:30am local time, official word will finally confirm the 2008 Tim Hortons Brier at Winnipeg's MTS Centre. Brier '08 will mark the first time in 10 years the Canadian men's championship is hosted in Manitoba, and only the third time in 35 years.

Tomorrow, Regina will officially be awarded the 2008 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The Queen City last hosted the Canadian women's championship in 1998, and also hosted the first-ever event with Scott Paper affiliation back in 1982. This marks the return of big-event curling to Regina just two years after the 2006 Brier.


• VANOC's 2010 Paralympic Games logo has been unveiled (image)...

Jon Mead is featured in Part II of his latest interview at The Curling Show...

• Ontario's three-year-old BDO Galt Curling Classic (men and women both) gets underway tomorrow, with a twist: playoffs and finals are being held at the Cambridge Ice Centre, an NHL-sized ice pad located inside a busy shopping centre.

Six sheets of ice in full view of shoppers, an estimated 167,000 who wind their way through the centre each week.

"This is about growth of the sport," organizer Byron Scott told The Record. "(There's) always one sheet open with a coach on hand to give a lesson."

The event is a part of Curling Week at the Cambridge Centre, which began yesterday and ends with the BDO final on Sunday.

• In other action this weekend, Ontario's popular Shorty Jenkins Classic mixes brooms with golf clubs in Brockville, led by defending men's champion Team Glenn Howard, resplendent in their new pink & black on-ice attire... and a who's who of top women's teams are in Oslo, Norway, including Canada's Shannon Kleibrink and Jennifer Jones, and the triple-crown world-beaters from Sweden, Team Anette Norberg; not to forget a few high-powered men's teams too, such as Scotland's defending world champion Team David Murdoch...

• Thunder Bay, Ontario is mourning the loss of curling administrator and volunteer Colleen Syrja, who passed away from cancer at age 51. Syrja was probably best-known as one of the committee members of the Heart to Heart Bonspiel, which celebrated it's 25th anniversary in April.

Celebrity skip Don Barcome of the Dakotas offered these thoughts:

This hits a bit too close to home for me. I met Colleen while still recovering from cancer, and will never forget her great hugs and positive attitude. She was the first person to volunteer for our 2008 Worlds, I was truly looking forward to introducing her to my family, friends and community.

Colleen's family is honouring her close ties to the H2H and the Northwestern Ontario Curling Association by establishing the Colleen Syrja Junior Curling Scholarship Fund, available to an active junior curler within the NWOCA who is continuing his or her post-secondary education. The first scholarship will be awarded for the 2007-2008 Academic year, and donations to shore up this new fund can be mailed to:

700 Simpson Street
Thunder Bay, ON
P7C 3K1

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