hours of live coverage each year, an established time slot in the event calendar (probably early January) and, for the first time ever, we have agreed to host the event in an Olympic year (2014). In addition, we are pleased that much of this consistency has been aided and abetted by a brand new title sponsor — World Financial Group. With the support of the World Financial Group and Monsanto Canada Inc., a long-term presenting sponsor, the Continental Cup would appear to be in its best shape ever. Q: This is great news. The concept definitely is worth pursuing. And what is the future of the Canada Cup? A: The Canada Cup will be a mainstay of the CCA’s Season of Champions for the next quadrennial. We plan to move the event to ideal locations around the country, like we did last year with Yorkton, Saskatchewan. It made a significant difference to the event’s bottom line, which was in need of fiscal stabilization and a new plan. The Canada Cup has a number of unique features and provides our championship inventory with some diversification. We are pleased that TSN will be showing a minimum of 14 hours per event going forward. After input from multiple stakeholders, the Canada Cup will move to an earlier time slot in the curling season, likely the week after Grey Cup (early December). This not only reduces the load of an overburdened March schedule, but also lets the Canada Cup stand on its own at a preferred time of year. Q: In a few months, the 2010 Olympics will be history. What is the plan for qualifying teams for the 2014 Olympics? Will there still be trials? And if so, what will be the process of determining where the trials will be held? And will the Canadian Team Rating System continue? A: At this stage, a full plan for qualifying teams for 2014 has not been completed. The CCA wants to consider the results of the pre-trials Road To The Roar, the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials Roar Of The Rings, and the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, so we can take them into account in our assessment and consultation process. There most certainly will be trials in the lead-up to 2014. We’re currently looking at a formal tender process, which would be the first of its kind for the curling trials. The upcoming trials will be incredibly successful on a number of fronts and from a business standpoint we feel there is good value in raising the bar with such a process for 2014. We may look at interested bidders and release the tender to parties that meet the initial criteria as early as this year’s trials in Edmonton. I can confirm that the CTRS point system has accomplished everything it was put in place to do and, although we may see some modifications, I think it’s fair to say that our high-performance team has a keen interest in its continuing. Q: Word from the June annual general meeting indicated that the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut will each have access to the mixed and seniors in 2012. How will two additional teams be added to these events? 6 www.seasonofchampions.ca
A: At the National Curling Congress and AGM, one of the approved motions read: “Subject to the ongoing work of the Team Entry Committee and the acceptance of an implementation process of the membership at the 2010 AGM, all member associations will have the ability to access all national curling championships. The intent of this notice is to begin with implementation of the mixed, senior women’s and senior men’s in 2012.” I think it’s important to consider that the motion is contingent on an ad hoc committee of the board completing its work on this subject, which has not yet transpired. Also that any implementation process that involves accessibility of all member associations must be approved by the majority of our members. And likely most important, that subject to the aforementioned, the motion is about “accessibility” not “direct accessibility.” In other words, this doesn’t necessarily mean two additional teams will be added to these two events. What it means, should it come to fruition, is that we would have all 14 of our members having the right to access these two events. There are many ways to achieve this; it could include a challenge round, a playoff format, or a selection of X number of teams based on performance-based criteria, for example. We only need to look at other sports — the IIHF, Olympics, World Cup Soccer, FIBA — and the accessibility procedures they use for teams to gain access to a specific event. The key is that right now we have members who can’t play in our championships because they don’t even have the right to enter playdowns or be chosen. This lack of general accessibility is the primary mandate of the Team Entry Committee. Q: Do you have any comment regarding rumoured format changes to the Brier and other national championships following the 2009-10 season? A: We are continuously looking at ways to improve all of our championships. General improvements on the entertainment value of the properties, aesthetics, and television coverage and exposure continue to be the impetus. Certainly the Brier is one of our flagship properties and, as such, we need to be very careful with any format changes that might alter the success of this iconic event. Last year’s Brier in Calgary again showed it is a highly popular entity with a format wildly embraced by Canadian curling fans. So it would be premature at this time to comment on any format changes pertaining to post-2010 events. Larry Wood is a Calgary-based communications consultant and associate editor of Extra End magazines
Extra End Magazine - The Official Publication of the Canadian Curling Association's Season of Champions.