Newfoundland’s own Kim Stockwood talks ‘Canadian’ creativity and Hockey Night/Day in Canada’s Ron MacLean shares his fondness for this place and its people
This province loves to cheer on it’s own, and in the world of hockey there’s much celebrating, cheering and bragging to be done.
Stockwood’s Hab Love
Singer/songwriter Kim Stockwood, grew up in Mount Pearl and was always a Canadiens fan, she begins.
“Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada is an amazing event that travels around the country every year bringing NHLers and the Stanley Cup to communities and to the people. When they asked me to come and play when it was held in Corner Brook, I said; of course!”
There was a catch, however; Stockwood was asked to write and perform a song about hockey.
“I grew up a tomboy in Mount Peal, and I was and still am a hockey fan. I called up my guitar player who has played with me for 20 years, Tim Bovaconti, and we went in the studio and had a great time with Canadian, a song about national pride.”
While many hockey fans filled the Summit Centre in Mount Pearl to watch the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Edmonton Oilers, others were there for the memories.
“Everyone has memories of hockey, of Hockey Night in Canada being on in the home, the song, the play-by-play. I was honoured to be asked to be part of something like that.”
While Stockwood won’t be there this year, she says fans are in good hands.
“Ron MacLean has been there many times and loves it, and Tara Slone will be there and is fantastic, so while I won’t be around they’ve honoured me by featuring my new song, Canadian. It’s about how we feel Canadian at certain points in our life, and it’s special because the first time I ever performed it was in Corner Brook last year during Rogers Hometown Hockey.”
Return to the Rock
Ron MacLean says returning to this place holds many memories for him. “Bob Cole is the main reason why I’d visit,” he begins, sharing that his first visit for a golf tournament was in 1988 and he came for six consecutive summers in a row.
“Bob would run me out to his home in Topsail and take me to Cape Spear and Signal Hill and Quidi Vidi. We would do all these little visits after golf and frolicking. He’s a dear friend and he’ll be on the broadcast and everyone will be thrilled to hear and see him. It’s been 50 years Bob’s been doing Hockey Night in Canada. He’s been a friend to everybody in this country.”
Joining MacLean at the event held Nov. 17-18 were NHL Alumni Nik Antropov and Teddy Purcell.
“Ryane Clowe is on the road with the Growlers unfortunately, but there’s so many great things happening. You don’t go back to someone’s house because you like the furniture. I’m coming back because of the people.”
In its fifth season of Hockey Day in Canada, MacLean says they’ve visited 100 tour stops. One fav? A visit made to Grand Falls-Windsor when the Cataracts had a memorable win. But then, every stop is special, he shares.
“This is a great two day celebration of the game and the stories. I think it’s beginning to find its legs with young people which has always been my dream. I wanted to go back to a time when you see a show that teaches you all about hockey and why it really is Canada’s game and what is special about it.”
MacLean says he anticipates Stockwood’s song will resonate with people across this country, though having it sung in this province is particularly special. He shares he heard her perform it at Woody Point for the first time.
“She was looking out at the water and I remember the pride, being back in Newfoundland. It’s a song about Canada and older Newfoundlanders know the question always was; am I a Newfoundlander in Canada or am I a Canadian from Newfoundland, as Alan Doyle would say. So it’s always fun when a Newfoundlander does a national song because it used to be such a hot debate.”
So many memories. “Bob Cole always says he got the greatest kick out of hearing Foster Hewitt say, hello Canada and hockey fans in the United States and Newfoundland. It was such a badge of honour to be separate and somehow special.”
But the best thing about hockey, he continues, is that it unites. “Generations get together; mom and the boys or dad and his daughter. I always hoped this was the way to take the game to the community and it seems to be working.”
No conversation with MacLean would be complete without asking about his Coach’s Corner comrade Don Cherry. He laughs.
“The last time I was in Newfoundland I ate a seal burger down in Quidi Vidi at Mallard Cottage and I made the mistake of telling Don on Hockey Night in Canada and all hell broke loose. So I’ll just say this; my return to the City of Legends region gets Don’s ‘seal’ of approval.”
For more and info on future visits visit Rogers Hometown Hockey on Facebook or visit sportsnet.ca