Curling fans embracing Brier in Brandon
The Brier continues this week in Brandon, Man. where curling fans from across the country have converged for the Canadian men’s championship.
The event has long been a gathering place for curling fans from right across Canada — a tradition which holds true this year in Brandon.
From Atlantic Canada to British Columbia, a cross-section of curling fans represent provinces and territories from across the country.
“The atmosphere at a Brier is always great with everyone cheering on their teams, their provinces,” said Susan Phillips of Neepawa, Man.
Organizers say that’s part of what makes the Brier so special.
“People are rooting behind their provinces,” said host committee vice chair Nate Andrews. “That’s what’s really fun, as the week builds on, people really start getting behind their provinces and that’s when things get really fun.”
One family doesn’t have to look to find a friendly rivalry.
Phillips is attending the Brier along with her four siblings who all grew up in Manitoba but now live elsewhere.
Phillips’ sister Sharon McDonnell and brother Barry Finnimore both live in Medicine Hat, Alta., sister Shauna Daku lives in Arcola, Sask. and brother Brian Finnimore in Bowmansville, Ont.
“One of us was having a 55th birthday and the rest of us decided to make this a family birthday party and so we all came to the Brier,” said Daku.
It’s the first time in eight years they’ve all been together in the same place.
“It means the world, really. This is the reason that we’re here,” said Barry looking at his brother Brian, whose birthday is being celebrated.
He and brother Barry joined sisters Susan and Sharon to cheer on team Manitoba.
“You’ve gotta go back to your roots,” said Brian. “Usually they’ve got a good record at the Brier so it’s easy to cheer for them.”
The family joked Shauna has been shunned for wearing green to cheer on team Saskatchewan.
“We’re not usually wanting to be this close to the green but we’re making an exception,” said Phillips.
Doing their part to keep the spirit of the Brier intact by keeping a healthy rivalry between provinces going both on and off the pebbled ice.