Curling Builder - Inducted 2016
Warren Hansen made a lasting impact on the sport of curling for more than 40 years, as he brought forth many initiatives to make curling better for everyone involved. A former curler, Warren began working for the Canadian Curling Association (CCA) in 1974. He established the Silver Broom Curling School across Alberta and Canada and made trips to Europe and Asia. He also created a series of six instructional curling films – teaching how to curl and how to improve technique and strategy. During this same time, he worked with the CCA to develop and create levels 1, 2, & 3 of curling's Coaching Certification Program.
In 1983, Warren worked hand-in-hand with Ray Kingsmith to develop, produce, and present the proposal which brought curling as a demonstration sport to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games. Warren knew the image and perception of curling had to change for Olympic acceptance. Controversial at the time, he introduced dress codes, had teams wear the same uniforms, and asked the athletes to present a more healthy lifestyle and bring forth a more athletic image. His hard work in the 1980s led to curling becoming an official medal sport in 1998. Warren was named Director of Technical Operations for curling at the 1988 Games.
Warren Hansen's impact on the sport and the changes he made now seem limitless. Starting in 1974, he fought for the CCA to allow curlers to practice on the same sheet of ice they would be playing on. The change came about at the 1980 Brier. He was the key driving force behind going to four sheets of ice instead of five, bringing in the Page Playoff System, an officiating system, statistics system, and mixed doubles. In 1980, as the first national team leader for the Canadian Curling Association, he ensured that Canadian teams that competed at World Championships could focus on competition and not have to deal with the logistics of attending the event.
In 1986, he became Director of Event Operations for the Canadian Curling Association. He brought the Brier championship into NHL sized rinks - a common occurrence now but very much disagreed with at the time.
"When we put it into the Saddledome in Calgary in 1995, I was told,
'It will never work' and 'It's going to be a disaster'."
In Edmonton, five curling events over fourteen years drew more than 1.1 million fans to Rexall Place - an affirmation of Warren's decision to take the game to larger facilities. Warren brought many major curling events to Alberta, including seven Briers (1997, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2013, 2015), three Scotties Tournament of Hearts (2004, 2008, 2012), World Women’s (2006, 2012), World Men’s (2007), and the Olympic Trials (2009). He was the force behind the creation of the Canada Cup, the Continental Cup, Ford Hot Shots, and the development of the Season of Champions concept - which eventually resulted in more than 300 hours of live coverage annually on TSN.
Warren received numerous awards and accolades throughout the years. In 1964, he won a Brier championship while playing Second with Hector Gervais' team. As a player with the 1962-1964 Edmonton Huskies Football Canadian Championship teams, he was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 and the City of Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. Warren was made an Honourary Member of both the Pacific Coast Curling Association and the Saskatchewan Curling Association. He received the Joan Mead Builders Award for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in 2002. He was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame as a "Curler/Builder" and into the World Curling Hall of Fame as a Builder in 2016.