Abbotsford, BC (November 24, 2016) – The BC Men’s Curling Championship is headed to Abbotsford with a new name and new format for 2017.

The event, which will take place at Abbotsford Curling Club from February 8-12, will now be called the 2017 belairdirect BC Men’s Curling Championship.

Canadian Direct Insurance has joined forces with another great Canadian company and, going forward, will be known as belairdirect, providing both car and home insurance solutions. The company will continue its generous support of BC curling under the belairdirect brand.

The 2017 belairdirect BC Men’s Curling Championship, which decides the BC team that will go on to compete at the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier, is also being boosted by a new partnership with Shaw TV.

A total of four games from the event (instead of the usual two) will be televised – a record for the BC championship.

The increased coverage means more BC athletes will be featured on TV. The televised games will be broadcast on February 11 and 12.

Kent Bird, the manager of Abbotsford Curling Club, said he was looking forward to hosting the best male curlers in BC. He said: “Anyone who comes to the club will be greeted by our friendly volunteers and will see great curling from these teams. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our centre.”

Scott Braley, Curl BC CEO, said: “Our BC Men’s championship is seeing some big changes this year, so it will be exciting to watch what unfolds. Thanks to the great volunteers in Abbotsford, we think it will be a big success.”

He added: “We are also really happy to be working with the team at belairdirect. They have been big backers of curling in BC and their support has been vital.”

Henry Blumenthal, belairdirect’s Vice President, Sales and Operation Western Region, said: “We are delighted to work with athletes and an association that share our passion for excellence.”

He continued: “Like us, the athletes who win this tournament will be able to build on their local success and bring it to a national level. Bringing our national offerings to BC is what we’re doing at belairdirect and British Columbians can expect great things and enjoy the benefits of insurance simplified.”

Also new in 2017 is the event’s format. For the first time, the event will feature 12 men’s teams fighting for the opportunity to represent British Columbia at the Tim Hortons Brier in St John’s, Newfoundland, from March 4-12.

The event was previously a 16-team competition.

The 12 teams will play a modified triple knockout with a four-team page playoff.

Defending champions, Team Cotter, will be joined by 2010 Olympic gold medallist John Morris at the Abbotsford event. Morris replaced Ryan Kuhn, who did not rejoin Team Cotter this season.

Two teams will earn their berth because of their ranking on the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS list).  Those winners will be announced next week.

The final nine berths will go to winners of four regional playdowns and one open playdown. The regional playdowns will take place in Trail, Enderby, Port Alberni and Maple Ridge from Dec. 9-11. The open event will be held at Cloverdale Curling Club in Surrey from January 6-8.