Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Strike Vancouver off the Brier list

With attendance not so hot out in Kamloops for this year's Tim Hortons Brier, the thought of possibly moving the big show to one of Canada's major centres seems to be off the front burner. As Jim Morris writes in the Vancouver Courier, curling's popularity in the Western city is slipping and the chances of bringing another major event there seem remote. 
Even Vancouver resident and CCA head-of-all-things-Brier Warren Hansen appears to have admitted defeat. 
“I don’t think there’s an appetite [for curling] in Vancouver,” said Warren Hansen, director of event operations for the Canadian Curling Association and a Vancouver-area resident.“ 
The sport is not familiar enough for people to simply come out because there is a major curling event.”
That's got to be a tough one for Hansen who was hoping to one day host the Brier in Vancouver or Toronto. But he's also a realist and he knows that the sport still has a long way to go. 
Hansen said the biggest obstacle curling would face in Vancouver is perception. The sport just isn’t cool enough for most residents. 
“It’s an interesting thing about curling,” said Hansen. 
“Despite the fact of everything we have done over the last 25 years, curling in Canada still has a stigma about it. 
“The young people in the U.S. think the sport is cool. They think it’s something they would like to do. We tend not to get that in Canada because the sport still has a stigma.”
The bigger question now becomes if you can't go to big cities and smaller centres such as Kamloops are no longer excited, just where do you hold this thing? You can only go to the Calgary-Edmonton-Winnipeg-Regina rotation so much. 
The next few years will be interesting to see just what locales get the nod. 

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