The Tim Hortons Brier, or simply (and more commonly) the Brier, is the annual Canadian men's curling championship, sanctioned by the Canadian Curling Association (CCA). The current event name refers to its main sponsor, the Tim Hortons coffee and doughnut shop chain.
The Brier has been held since 1927, traditionally during the month of March. The winner of the Brier goes on to represent Canada at the World Championships of the same year. The Brier is regarded by most curlers as the world's premier curling championship. Many Canadian teams feel it is more of a privilege to win the Brier than the World Championship. The Brier is by far the best supported curling competition in terms of paid attendance, attracting crowds far larger than even those for World Championships held in Canada.
For the first fifty years, the Brier was sponsored by Macdonald Tobacco (later RJR Tobacco Company and now part of JTI-Macdonald Corporation). The name "Brier", in fact, came from a brand of tobacco being manufactured by Macdonald at the time (a brier being a small shrub whose roots are commonly used to make tobacco pipes). Macdonald was also responsible for introducing both the Brier Tankard trophy (originally named the British Consols Trophy after a brand of cigarettes), and the now famous heart-shaped patches awarded to the tournament winners. The patches were modeled after a small tin heart pressed into the centre of Macdonald tobacco plugs, along with the slogan “The Heart of the Tobacco.” The same heart appeared on tins of Macdonald pipe tobacco. Later, when other national championships were developed, many took the heart as their identifying symbol as well.
Labatt became the title sponsor of the Brier in 1980, and remained so until 2000. Nokia Canada was the title sponsor from 2001 to 2004. On September 10, 2004, the CCA announced that Tim Hortons would be the new title sponsor, beginning with the 2005 Tim Hortons Brier in Edmonton, Alberta. Since that time, Monsanto has also been an important sponsor.
Famous quotes containing the word brier:
“Merrily swinging on brier and weed,
Near to the nest of his litle dame,
Over the mountainside or mead,
Robert of Lincoln is telling his name:
—William Cullen Bryant (17941878)