Two St. Albert brothers are set to face off against each other this week in Lethbridge as they curl for opposing teams at the Tim Hortons Brier.
Some of Canada’s best curlers are at the Lethbridge ENMAX Centre this week for the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier — Canada’s national men’s curling championship.
Representing St. Albert is three-time Brier champion Marc Kennedy, who is fresh off his bronze medal win in men’s curling at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
One of his opponents is his older brother, Glen Kennedy, who is making his Brier debut. Glen and Marc are set to play against each other on March 8 as members of Team Northwest Territories and Team Northern Ontario, respectively.
Marc said that match will be the first time he and Glen had ever competed against each other at the Brier, and probably the first time they have been on opposing sides in a tournament in 12 years.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Marc said on March 3.
“Our dad passed away a couple years ago, and he would have loved to see both of us playing in a Brier.”
The brothers Kennedy
Glen said he and Marc played on the same teams throughout their junior curling careers in St. Albert and always saw themselves playing together at the Brier.
“I’m his No. 1 fan,” Glen said of Marc, adding that he considers him to be one of the best curlers in the world.
Marc said Glen eased off on curling following a knee injury and got into engineering but continued to play in various tournaments. The two of them regularly cheered each other on at provincials and the Olympics.
Glen, who lives in Edmonton, said he semi-retired from curling last year but was drafted by Jamie Koe of the Yellowknife Curling Club to play in a recent Brier qualifier. (Brier teams are geographically based, but each team is allowed one player from outside their region.) The team swept the qualifier and is now Team Northwest Territories at the Brier.
Marc said he joined Brad Jacobs’s squad out of Sault Ste. Marie about three years ago and is now at his third Brier tournament with them as Team Northern Ontario.
Marc said the Brier sees teams compete in an eight-game round-robin tournament, with the top teams advancing to playoffs and the finals. At stake is prize money, the Brier Tankard, and the chance to represent Canada at the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship this April in Las Vegas.
Marc said he and his teammates were eager to hit the ice together, having not played together since December, and that he had plenty of practice coming off of the Olympics. He predicted his team would reach the playoffs, but said they faced stiff competition from Brad Gushue’s St. John’s squad and Brendan Bottcher’s Team Canada.
Glen said his squad is a bit of a dark horse coming into the Brier, and he hopes to surprise a few teams with their performance.
“It’s going to be really cool to be in front of a hometown crowd,” he said.
Marc and Glen said they didn’t plan to exploit any sibling-specific knowledge they have of each other during the Brier.
“I think my mom would get a little bit upset,” Marc said.
“She told me to take it easy on him.”
While Marc and Glen had yet to make any bets on the outcome of their March 8 match, Marc said he might be in a must-win situation given that a big chunk of his family will be watching it.
“I can’t lose this one or I don’t think I’ll ever hear the end of it at the dinner table,” he joked.
Tickets to the Brier are $15 to $60. Visit curling.ca/2022brier for details.