A Mainstreet Research poll found that 54% of adult Canadians cannot name a single Canadian visual artist, living or dead. In contrast, the poll also found that 97% of adult Canadians can name at least three Canadian hockey players. Are we really so divorced from art a majority of us can't name Emily Carr, Tom Thomson, Jean-Paul Riopelle or Norval Morrisseau?
The stars seem to be aligning for the Toronto Maple Leafs as they head into their 100th anniversary season. The team won the NHL lottery and will have the first draft pick on Friday. In coach Mike Babcock, GM Lou Lamoriello and President Brendan Shanahan they have arguably the most impressive (and expensive) management cadre in NHL history.
When my grandmother was in her early 70s, her children and grandchildren quickly learned that something wasn't quite right. My grandfather had recently passed away and my grandmother was living alone in her house in Charlottetown. When we went to visit her, we were never sure if she would recognize us.
The common belief that new arenas and sports stadiums are slam-dunk wins for their billionaire owners and millionaire players, but big fat goose eggs for the local economy... Well, that could be dead wrong. A report not only suggests the opposite, but says such projects actually boost surrounding real estate values.
Canadian-based teams aren't very good. Despite league-leading attendance and legions of diehard fans, our teams seldom compare favourably with U.S.-based teams. What can we do in the meantime to maintain fan interest in our national game? The answer to our current dilemma: a playoff battle of the also-rans.
There is a serious prospect that none of the Canadian teams will make the National Hockey League playoffs, an issue that has been the object of a fair bit of discussion in the sports media. Last week hockey moved to the very center of cultural diplomacy when standing alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Barack Obama questioned Canada's hockey dominance by pointing out that the Stanley Cup was currently the propriety of Chicago, the President's home town.
Maybe we've lost sight of the forest for the trees, letting hockey become an industry. We should remember it's a game, and let kids play and learn through play. Bringing back some freedom into minor hockey, returning a sense of play to the game, will help develop creative skills and, in turn, help us win.
If you're like many travellers visiting a city, beyond taking in the usual tourist attractions, you probably enjoy wandering off the beaten path to get a better sense of the town. Although exploring different districts and hoods can be fun, what's an even bigger blast -- and a sure way of finding out what makes the locals tick -- is to attend a major league sporting event.