The first big event of the Hockey Day in Canada festivities featured a sold-out multi-music act at the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, Feb. 5. On the bill were Wesley Hardisty, the Bidiniband, Karen Novak, Tara Slone, Digawolf and Bryan Trottier.

Close to 300 people attended the music event, which has been happening every year since the 2011 Hockey Day in Canada in Whitehorse.

“Music and sport are intrinsically linked,” explained Jason Jackson, communications manager with Sportsnet. “With Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada personalities like Tara Slone and Bryan Trottier – who also happen to be incredibly gifted musicians- there is a natural fit to showcase their talents to the community and create a connection that goes beyond hockey. The Music of Hockey Day event also serves as an excellent way to showcase local musicians and incorporate a local flavour into the festivities.”

Ron MacLean provided the master of ceremonies at the event, which featured some storytelling by hockey greats including Wendel Clark, Colin Patterson, Lanny McDonald, Paul Coffey and Darcy Tucker.

The evening included a video presented by Rogers Sportsnet producer Mike Fleury with a featured written voiceover by Stephen Brunt and music by Tanya Tagaq.

MacLean also acknowledged Georges Erasmus for his contribution to the 4,000-page Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and implored him to be part of Saturday’s broadcast.

“What you did to lead the Dene to be president and national chief and set the tone for our conversation was unbelievable,” he said, thanking Erasmus for his work on the evolution of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.

Tara Slone belts out a tune with the Bidiniband in the background. She sang a song she wrote for her daughter Audrey.
Slone, left, receives a high-five from Ron MacLean after her performance. 

Juno nominated and northern artist Digawolf plays a song called Snowshoes. 

Evanka Osmak from Sportsnet, left, and NHL Hall of Famer Paul Coffey at NACC. Coffey commended his former teammates Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux with being great people who wanted to win. He also advised youth was to listen to the coach but also to have fun at the sport by working hard. 

Karen Novak, left, of Welders Daughter was also on the bill Wednesday night. With her to he right is her husband Attila “Novi” Novak, lead guitarist.
CBC Trailbreaker host Loren McGinnis shows off a Rankin Inuks sweater from his collection of northern jerseys.

Tara Slone, Ron MacLean and Lanny McDonald with the Stanley Cup, sing Stompin’ Tom Connors’ The Hockey Song. In the background are NHL Alumn Colin Patterson and CBC Trailbreaker’s Loren McGinnis.

Slone and Trottier were good enough sports to put down a few tunes at the Gold Range Bar and Hotel following the NACC concert.


Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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  1. I was dared to go up & ask Ron MacLean for his autograph several years ago while sitting in Gold Range. I did meet him & ask if he someday would come visit Cambridge Bay, got his autograph in which he stated ‘I will see if my side-kick Don Cherry be willing to come up with me’ -still waiting, sigh. It was a pleasure sitting & talking around with his wife having beer while listening to live music at Gold Range. I can’t recall when Lanny McDonald came up to Cambridge Bay along with 2 others -one being from Montreal Canadiens -my fav hockey team! I have met others in the late 80’s -Darcy Lowen, Brian or Brad Sutter & one other during the summer when I took my oldest son to attend Sylvan Lake for hockey school. Oh, Hockey Night in Canada is not the same anymore without Don Cherry!!