Many of Canada’s biggest rock stars grew up dreaming about being a hockey player, and for one night a year they get that chance.
Tonight, some of the musicians in town for the Juno Awards will be facing off against NHL alumni for a charity hockey game at Thunderbird Arena to raise money for MusiCounts charity.
Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, who started the JunoCup six years ago, said hockey unites Canadians and by extension Canadian musicians.
Stompin’ Tom Connors, The Tragically Hip, Tom Cochrane, the Rheostatics and Kathleen Edwards have all written songs about hockey.
“Somehow hockey embodies a lot of the characteristics of what it’s like to be Canadian,” said Cuddy.
“(And) musicians and NHLers lead very similar lives (with) the travelling and playing (shows and games), and that creates a certain state of mind that we can share.”
Former Montreal Canadien Mark Napier, who is participating in his fourth Juno Cup, said there’s “mutual admiration” between musicians and hockey players.
He added that it’s “more than fair” to pit ex-NHlers against rockers, and said while the rivalry is intense, he still expects the NHLers to win Friday night.
• MusiCounts gives out grants to schools to buy musical instruments.
• The JunoCup takes place at 7 p.m. at UBC. Tickets are $14.99.