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Curling at the 1947 Macdonald Brier

The Story

It was briefly on hiatus during the Second World War, but the Macdonald Brier is back, and its competitors are as hungry as ever. Interest is high among radio listeners, too -- live coverage was a new feature last year from Saskatoon, and the leader board was tied among Alberta, Manitoba, and Northern Ontario. This year's Brier is in Saint John, N.B., and CBC sports reporter Bill Good is covering it once again.

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC News Roundup
Broadcast Date: Feb. 28, 1947
Guest(s): Garnet Campbell, Frenchy D'Amour, Bob Munroe, Jimmy Welsh
Reporter: Bill Good
Duration: 2:33
Photo: Photo courtesy of Saskatoon Public Library - Local History Room

Did You know?

• The 1947 Brier was won by the Jimmy Welsh rink of Manitoba. That province boasts more Brier wins than any other -- 26. Alberta comes second with 20.

• The Macdonald Brier was started in 1927 as a national men's curling competition. The name "Brier" came from a brand of tobacco manufactured by the event's sponsor, Macdonald Tobacco. By definition, a brier is a small shrub whose roots are used to make tobacco pipes, and the word can also refer to such a pipe.

• The Brier continued to be sponsored by Macdonald Tobacco until 1979 when Labatt took over, retaining the Brier name. A new trophy was unveiled: the Labatt Tankard.

• In 2000, Labatt ended its association with the Brier and the Nokia Brier was born, sponsored by the Canadian arm of the Finnish telecommunications giant. The old Brier trophy, the Macdonald tankard, was refurbished and a new base was added to accommodate the names of all the winners since 1927.

• From 1927 to 1939, the Brier took place at the Granite Club in Toronto. In 1940 it was held in Winnipeg and has moved around ever since.

• The Brier was begun as and remains a men's event. The first national women's championship was the Dominion Diamond "D", held from 1960 to 1967. The championship was sponsorless from 1968 to 1972. In 1973 Macdonald Tobacco took on sponsorship, calling their event the Lassie. It ran until 1979, and the event was again sponsorless for two years, until Scott Paper signed on in 1982 as sponsor for the Scott Tournament of Hearts.

• Women have been curling since before the turn of the century, and their numbers increased greatly in the years after the First World War. The Manitoba Bonspiel added a ladies' event in 1913, as did the Ontario Curling Association.



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