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Monday, February 1, 2010

Hockey Day in Canada

For the last ten years Canadians have celebrated the bond that ties us together...HOCKEY (of course) one day a year... which is called Hockey Day in Canada. (A play off of Hockey Night in Canada, you'll know that one if you are Canadian)

This year Stratford Ontario was chosen as the host community for Hockey Day in Canada. If any of you have noticed my feed you will know it says Stratford. However, I don't live in Stratford, I actually live about 10 minutes away in a smaller town. Nonetheless, Hockey Day in Canada was hosted in my own backyard and the community was excited.

Hockey Day in Canada began broadcasting at 12 noon on Saturday from the historic Allman Arena is Stratford. I have only been in this arena once and it is a throw back to many years ago. The arena has been preserved with it's wooden floors intact and bench seating. It has the the look and feel of a time that has been lost as we build bigger and better venues for sporting events. And, I think this was a great choice to be the backdrop of Hockey Day in Canada.

Canada has six NHL teams and all played against one another on Saturday (three games). They were held throughout the day so you could watch all three if you wished.

If you love NHL hockey you would be in heaven. But, my favourite part of Hockey Day in Canada is the community pride and spirit which Stratford put forth. You may or may not know, but Stratford is world-famous for their Stratford Festival, the world comes to see the Shakespeare plays which are put on . Going into Stratford in the late spring right through until mid-fall you are greeted with tour buses and at stop lights you wait for ages to get through with all the pedestrian traffic. In the winter though all these tourists are gone home and Stratford is again a town of 30 000 people.

On Saturday the people of Stratford embraced Hockey Day in Canada by getting out and enjoying what is right in their own backyard. A river runs through the town and in the summer people walk the paths by the river and admire the swans and ducks. But on Saturday neighbours and friends took their shovels and brooms to the river and cleared the snow off the ice, making skating rinks and ice-hockey rinks for the children to play.

And, that to me is what Hockey Day in Canada is all about. Sure, the Canadian NHLers arriving and the media arriving are a great boost to the local economy, but seeing a community come together and enjoy the day outdoors doing what Canada loves most, that to me is what Hockey Day in Canada is all about.

*photo taken by Dave Chidley/Canadian Press


fredamans said...

I live near you sorta in Hamilton... been to Stratford and London many many times.

Didn't you love the song by Alan Frew Saturday?? If you download it on Itunes the proceeds go to the military.

maggie said...

Where outside Stratford?!!! I lived in St. Mary's for 6 years...I'm in Burlington now(2 years).

Cascia said...

Sounds like fun, but I'm not a big hockey fan.

Teri said...

I have been hearing about this on the radio - sounds like a fun annual event for all!

Upstatemomof3 said...

First of all I am NOT Canadian and I know what Hockey Night in Canada is. :) ANd wow!! That sounds lie an incredibly awesome day. We would have gone if we were closer. :)

Me (aka Danielle) said...

I think Hockey is a great sport! How cool that you have a whole day dedicated to it!

Kristie said...

I wish I knew about that-I bet my husband would have loved it! (He needs to get a passport before we can travel across the bridge though.)

I didn't realize that you lived close to Stratford. I have been there once to see The Taming of the Shrew! :-)

blueviolet said...

I didn't realize what a huge deal it was!

Janet said...

Sounds like a whole lot of fun!

Yaya said...

Ah yes. Hockey and Canada are like peas and carrots!