The Brier is one of the most prestigious trophies in Canadian curling. A Dominion championship competition for men's curling was inaugurated in 1927, sponsored by the W.D. Macdonald Company for a trophy known as the Macdonald Brier Tankard. This annual event gave curling a significant impetus.
While the games always carried a sacred aspect, held on the open plains of Elis, surrounded by magnificent groves of gleaming, silver-grey olive trees, they also displayed that most Greek of contributions to our civilization: individualism.
Politicians lobbied to hold the race in their constituencies in the early years. It was raced in Ontario at Toronto, Guelph, St Catharines, Whitby, Kingston, Barrie, Woodstock, Picton, London, Hamilton and Ottawa before it settled permanently, with the Queen's approval, in Toronto in 1883.
The Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, visited in 1860 and offered £100 to the winner. Times improved in the late 19th century, and in 1901 a crew from Outer Cove set a record time, 9:13.75, that was not broken until 1981 (the crew has been elected to the CANADA SPORTS HALL OF FAME).
Rod Warren remembers vividly the first time he competed professionally at the Calgary Stampede. It was 1989 and Warren, a 21-year-old greenhorn from the northern Alberta community of Valleyview, found himself in the company of riders he had idolized while growing up.
Capitalizing on the public interest aroused by the Canada-Soviet Hockey Series of 1972, Douglas Fisher of Hockey Canada, and Alan Eagleson of the NHL Players' Association, arranged to bring national teams from Europe to compete against Canada and the US in tournaments which would be staged, every 3 or 4 years, in North American arenas.