'Peg Brier ready to rock

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

The theme is Legends of Rock, and a unique fundraising plan has been put in place to keep Manitoba curling clubs rocking for years to come.

The 2008 Tim Hortons Brier organizing committee held its kickoff press conference yesterday in downtown Winnipeg to reveal the Legends of Rock theme, logo and song -- a tribute to the province's rich rock 'n' roll history -- and announce that tickets will go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m.

The Canadian men's curling championship will be held March 8-16, 2008, at MTS Centre. Full event passes range in price from $300 to $550.

The committee also unveiled the "Quote Your Code" program yesterday. Anyone who buys a ticket for the event -- online, over the phone or in person -- can quote his or her curling club's special code, and a percentage of the purchase will go back to that club.

Each club's code can be found online at timhortonsbrier.ca.

"It's a win-win," said Manitoba Curling Association president Mitch Tarapasky. "They sell tickets, the Brier has people in the stands, and the facilities get money to go towards their buildings.

"Every curling club in the province should be very happy about that."

The concept was created in 1993, when the Canadian women's curling championship was held in Brandon. That raised approximately $85,000 for 94 clubs across the province.

This marks the first time it will be used for a Brier, and 129 clubs across the province are being included. Each club will have a "skip" who will get an official Brier vest featuring his or her club's code to get the word out.

"They're the rah-rah guy in the club," said Lorne Hamblin, the host committee's business vice-president. "If clubs jump on this, it's a wonderful opportunity."

The Keith's Brier Patch and Purple Heart Lounge will be housed at the Convention Centre, which means, unlike when the event was held at Winnipeg Arena, they will be within walking distance for curling fans.

In fact, the only time patrons will have to go outside for the trek between the Convention Centre and MTS Centre will be to cross St. Mary Avenue.

Next year will mark the Brier's sixth trip to Winnipeg, with the last occurring in 1998. Known as the no-name Brier, only 147,017 tickets were sold that year, but 2008 organizers are hoping to exceed the 180,000 mark this time around.

The Brier attendance record is 281,975, which was set in Edmonton in 2005. Capacity for the 21-draw event in Winnipeg will be approximately 283,500.


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