There’s a wee storm brewing over here in Canada over a much loved and recognised jingle that has opened the broadcast of NHL games on Saturday nights in Canada for 40 odd years.
You see “The Hockey Theme” (click play above to listen) composed by Vancouver resident Dolores Claman way back in 1968 and has been used by the CBC as their prime hockey broadcast anthem ever since, has been dropped following the expiration of it’s most recent licensing agreement at the end of the 2007-08 NHL season.
With Canadians being as fanatical about hockey as they are, the song, which has cost the CBC about $500 in licensing fees per game, has become like a second national anthem to most. Understandably then, the decision to opt out of renewing any sort of new licensing agreement has angered and disappointed hockey fans country-wide.
I guess in a bid to appease fans and essentially “give back” to the viewers who have made Hockey Night in Canada the success that it has become, the CBC has invited everyone to submit their own interpretations of a new anthem in a contest that will ultimately see someone walk away with $100,000 (CDN), and receive half of the royalties for public performances of the Theme with the other half being donated by CBC to minor league hockey.
All in all a pretty good PR exercise for the CBC I think.
There’s a running “gallery” of submissions available on the official “Anthem Challenge” website which you can browse, rate and comment on at your leisure. Now there’s hundreds if not thousands of submissions so far, and to be blatantly honest most of what I have listened to so far have been ordinary at best. But in a bid to save you, my readers, the time and effort required to browse through and find the gems in a sea of jingle mediocrity, I present to you what I consider to be 4 worthy contenders:
The Ultimate Game by Colin Oberst of Beaumont, Alberta
Game Revolution by Hari Sivan of London, Ontario
Coast to Coast by Doug Biggar of Lower Coverdale, New Brunswick
The Moment by Matthew P. Vecera of Kingsville, Ontario
Check them out, and let me know which one you like best in the voting poll. By all means if you find what you consider to be a worthy entrant, leave the link to the anthem in the comment section below.