The Brier is probably the truest of any Canadian sporting championship. Twelve teams, representing each of the ten provinces, plus the Yukon/NWT and Northern Ontario, compete for the Brier Tankard. The Canadian men's curling championship began in 1927 in Toronto and has been contested each year since, with the exception of the war years (1943, 1944 and 1945). After being held in Toronto from 1927-1939, the Brier went ‘national' in 1940, staged in Winnipeg. It has been held in every province at least once and in 31 cities from coast-to-coast. Manitoba has won a leading 27 Briers, the last by skip Jeff Stoughton in 2011 in Regina; Alberta is next with 22 victories. Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Yukon/NWT have yet to win. More than 7,000 curlers attempt to qualify each year for the Brier through club, zone, district and eventually provincial championships, the latter taking place from late January through mid-February. Some of the provincial championships are sponsored...the Labatt Tankards (New Brunswick, Newfoundland/Labrador and PEI), Keith's Tankard (Nova Scotia), Kia Cup (Alberta), TSC Stores Tankard (Ontario), Dominion of Canada Championship (Northern Ontario), SaskTel Tankard (Saskatchewan) and Safeway Championship (Manitoba). Currently, the 12 Brier teams play a round robin, which concludes on Thursday. The playoff format is the Page System, whereby, after any tie-breakers are required to determine the first four teams, the first and second place teams meet in one playoff game, while the third and fourth place teams meet in another game, both on Friday. The winner of 1 vs 2 goes directly to Sunday evening's final. The loser meets the winner of 3 vs 4 in Saturday afternoon's semi-final. The semi-final winner then advances to the final as well.