September 3, Kukla's Korner: The anthems are now with a selection jury of passionate hockey fans and music lovers, who will pare down the contenders to five finalists. Each of the final five anthems will be featured on The Hour nightly, at 11 pm, beginning on Monday September 29 through to Friday October 3.
Canadians will then get a closer look at the five finalists during CBC's Hockey Night in Canada Anthem Challenge - a full one-hour special on Saturday October 4. Following CBC's Hockey Night in Canada Anthem Challenge broadcast, round one of voting then opens up to the country, and closes on Oct. 7. Earlier that day, CBC'S Hockey Night in Canada presents its first doubleheader of the season as the NHL opens the 2008-09 season from Europe (New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning at 12 noon ET / Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators at 2:30 p.m. ET).
On Thursday, Oct. 9 during a special mid-week doubleheader (Toronto at Detroit / Calgary at Vancouver), CBC'S Hockey Night in Canada will announce the Top Two contestants. The second round of voting opens following the twin bill and continues to Oct. 10, as Canadians select the anthem that will become a part of hockey history. Canada's new, official hockey anthem will be revealed on Saturday, October 11, during CBC'S Hockey Night in Canada first traditional Saturday night doubleheader of the season, kicking off at 6:30 p.m. ET (Montreal at Toronto / Vancouver at Calgary).
Anthem finalists will receive first-rate production and recording guidance from multiple Juno Award-winning musical heavy hitter, Bob Rock and Gemini Award nominee and musical craftsman, Lou Pomanti. Rock has produced albums for some of the biggest artists of the past few decades including Metallica, Aerosmith, and Mötley Crue, as well as some of Canada's best: Payola$, The Tragically Hip, Bryan Adams and Michael Buble.
Pomanti will also bring his 20 years of experience in scoring, songwriting and performing to oversee a diverse network of Canadian jury members featuring 2008 Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup Champion Dan Cleary, Dallas Stars left-winger Sean Avery, Beverly Hills 90210 star Jason Priestly, Sloan guitarist Patrick Pentland, Our Lady Peace drummer Jeremy Taggart, President of EMI Music Canada Deane Cameron, President of Warner Music Canada Steve Kane and Senior Vice President of Nettwerk Management Pierre Tremblay - who will all work together to determine what songs will reach the final five.

Composer wants his work to be next hockey theme
Written by Administrator
By Gail Jansen Swift Current As a professional composer, vocalist and musician Michael Wiskar, a Swift Current native, has had a love affair with music which began with his first guitar lessons at age 11. It is a love affair that soon may reward Wiskar and his latest composition with a place forever etched in Canada’s Hockey history. He has entered a composition entitled Call of the Game into CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Anthem Challenge. “My Dad is a massive hockey fan, coaching and playing well into his sixties,” says Wiskar from his Vancouver home, where he now resides while attending Langara College. “Like most Dads of kids growing up in Swift Current, I’m sure he had dreams of his own and for me, of playing in the NHL. While I did play hockey when I was younger, I quit soon after I picked up my first guitar. “Writing an entry for the Anthem Challenge, kind of brings the whole music versus NHL thing back for me full circle. Music once took me away from hockey and now it’s bringing me back.” One of nearly 15,000 entries the CBC has received, Wiskar’s “Call of the Game” entry as described by Wiskar himself, is a slightly more modern version of the classic theme. “I wanted to bring up the testosterone level a bit and make it a little faster and more powerful.” “With the original theme every single note is memorable, I wanted to create something that would be just as memorable.” While his odds of winning may be literally a one in 15,000 chance, Wiskar says he was just happy to be a part of it all. He doesn’t envy the judges the task they have before them. “I’ve been on the website where all the songs are posted and listened to quite a few of them,” admits Wiskar. “Some of them are just song, not written as an anthem entry, just written maybe for the exposure they can get on the site — but some of them are written by friends of mine or other musicians I’ve worked with and a lot of them are really very good.” A close-knit community Wiskar says Canada’s music industry, like so many other Canadian endeavours is not a “hyper-competitive” one. “There’s a real feeling of camaraderie amongst musicians in Canada,” says Wiskar. “The Anthem website is almost like a Facebook for musicians.” Wiskar says he’s been seeing people posting on the site who he hasn’t spoken to for years, and has sent and received many friendly messages. “The Canadian music industry is really quite a small community, and this contest has brought a lot of us together again. It’s also brought out a lot of really good first-time musicians — something I think is good for the country as a whole.” Back at home, Wiskar’s parents, always supportive of their son’s musical endeavours, are hopeful yet realistic of Wiskar’s chances. “It would be so wonderful if he could win,” says mother Dot Wiskar, “but I realize the odds are against him.” Having listened to the piece herself, Dot adds, “Considering Michael’s been going to school full-time he’s been really pushed for time, but he still managed to pull this together because of how important it is to him.’ As for Wiskar himself, who like many other entrants have posted entries and are awaiting the final cut to five finalists by October 4th, there is a real fear his anthem may get lost amongst the multitude of entries. Just the fact there were so many entries, says to Wiskar exactly how important this song is to all Canadians. “It’s really a part of our identity as Canadians. Whoever wins this Challenge has some pretty huge shoes to fill.”

Edmonton Symphony to perform HNIC anthem entry
Last Updated: Sunday, August 31, 2008 | 3:43 PM ET Comments27Recommend49
CBC Sports
Hockey Night in Canada
With thousands of entries vying for the honour of becoming the new anthem for CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, setting yours apart is no easy task.

But one composer is about to get help from some very talented friends.

Edmonton's John Estacio will act as guest conductor when the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra performs his theme The Powerplay Fanfare as part of their Symphony Under the Sky Festival on Monday afternoon.

Estacio, 42, is a freelance composer and a former composer in residence with the ESO, which approached him about putting together an arrangement for their Labour Day show at the amphitheatre in Hawrelak Park.

"They found [the song] online after I posted it back in July," Estacio told CBCSports.ca. "They called me up and said, 'We really like your submission to the anthem challenge and we'd like to do an arrangement during our summer festival.'"

Winner unveiled on HNIC

Estacio's energetic 58-second instrumental was one of 11,455 entries submitted to Canada's Hockey Anthem Challenge as of Sunday afternoon, hours ahead of the 11:59 p.m. ET deadline.

Since the contest was launched on June 19, CBC Sports has received an eclectic array of pieces from across the country. They range from pop, punk, country and hip hop to classical, soul, funk and even heavy metal.

Most fall into the rock category, including a song called Hockey Rock, composed by legendary Canadian guitarist and songwriter Randy Bachman.

The "ratings," "recommendations" and "most viewed" portions of the contest website are just some of the factors judges will consider when selecting the semifinalists, who will be presented to the country and judged by a celebrity panel on a CBC network television special on Oct. 4.

Two finalists will face off at the beginning of the HNIC doubleheader on Thursday Oct. 9, with fans having the opportunity to vote for the winner.

The new theme will be unveiled two days later on the traditional Saturday broadcast of HNIC. The winning entry will receive $100,000 in cash and half of the ongoing performance royalties, with the other half going to Canadian minor league hockey.

'Different challenge' for pro composer

Estacio said he tried to give his tune a "patriotic" feel while modelling it after the fast pace of the game he "grew up with" as a youngster in Newmarket, Ont., just north of Toronto.

"One of my first memories is watching Hockey Night in Canada on television with my dad," Estacio said. "He's a big Leaf fan, so we watched the game every week.

"Like every other Canadian boy, I wanted to be the great Canadian hockey star. But as soon as I put my first skates on, I realized maybe I should stick with the piano."

Though he's made a career of composing music, Estacio said that creating a hockey anthem was a whole new game.

"I'm used to something a little longer, like a 10-minute or a 20-minute piece. I've written operas before, and those are two hours long, so you've got plenty of time to put out your ideas and develop them. But with something this short, it's like a haiku almost.

"It's an entirely different challenge."

Fans can continue to weigh in on submissions, posting reviews and ratings at the contest website CBCSports.ca/hockey/anthemchallenge.

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1,200 entries received for Hockey Anthem Challenge
Last Updated: Friday, July 18, 2008 | 1:14 PM ET Comments29Recommend58
CBC Sports

Hockey Night in Canada.
In less than a month, Canada's Hockey Anthem Challenge has yielded entries ranging from cats screeching to Canadian icons crooning, all in an effort to choose new theme music for Hockey Night in Canada.
Since the contest was launched on June 19, CBC Sports has received 1,200 entries from across Canada, including a wide array of musical styles. They range from pop, punk, country and hip hop to classical, soul, funk and even heavy metal.
Most fall into the rock category, with 543 entries as of Friday. Among those entries is Hockey Rock, composed by legendary Canadian guitarist and songwriter Randy Bachman.
In a category all to itself is Hockey Scores, submitted by Logan Aube of Aurora, Ont. It features crying babies, screeching cats and gunshots, but has become the most viewed and top-rated entry on the contest's website, with nearly 29,000 views. Discussion surrounding Hockey Scores has also spread to personal blogs and other news outlets.
But the entry's popularity might not ensure victory.
The "ratings," "recommendations" and "most viewed" portions of the contest website are just some of the factors judges will consider when selecting the contest semi-finalists, who will be presented to the country and judged by a celebrity panel on a CBC network television special on Oct. 4.
Two finalists will then face off at the beginning of the HNIC doubleheader on Thursday Oct. 9, with fans having the opportunity to vote for the winner.
The new theme will be unveiled two days later on the traditional Saturday broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada. The winning entry will receive $100,000 in cash and half of the ongoing performance royalties, with the other half going to Canadian minor league hockey.
The submission deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 31, but the number of entries so far has been music to the ears of CBC Sports executive director Scott Moore.
"The response from Canadians has been extraordinary. We couldn't be more pleased," said Moore. "As of this morning, the fact that we've received 1,200 submissions from coast to coast in such a short period of time exemplifies that this is truly a national competition and Canadians are thrilled about the opportunity to be a part of hockey history."
Fans can continue to weigh in on submissions, posting reviews and ratings at the contest website CBCSports.ca/hockey/anthemchallenge.

CBC Hockey Anthem Contest


When the CBC lost the rights to the Hockey Night In Canada anthem, I was sad. Terribly sad. The sadness I felt was intense, mind-blowing, and filled with all the stages of regret. (beat and cymbal crash) Oh, wait, that was that sex romp I had a few months back with those strippers from foreign countries I shouldn't really name for fear they may want to kidnap me and use me for breeding stock. Any-hoo...

The CBC came up with a brilliant plan to replace the theme song with a new one written by those Canadians with musical talent. I have been listening to a number of the entries on the CBC's Anthem Challenge and, I have to say, a whole lot of them are terrible but there are a bunch that are really good. Here is my pick of the bunch so far:

Going by popularity, the song above is the front-runner for the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada Anthem Challenge. Titled "Hockey Scores" and created by Logan Aube from Aurora, it is the most viewed, top rated, and most commented-on submission of over 1,000 themes entered thus far. Described by Aube as "a beautiful theme encompassing the heart of hockey," it is absolutely and irrefutably atrocious, a million times worse than the iconic Hockey Night in Canada theme that the CBC embarrassingly lost to CTV.

And that's sort of the point. Aube created "Hockey Scores" as a joke, then posted a thread in the Something Awful forums last Thursday, asking for the goons there to help make it popular. (There, he more honestly described the song as "mostly comprised of cat and sheep sounds, baby cries, and gunshots/explosions.") A week later, with a spectacular animation on YouTube and an advocacy group on Facebook to further the cause, "Hockey Scores" is dominating the competition: almost every other theme uploaded can't get a rating higher than two out of five, and commenters on Aube's theme—those not in on the joke—are understandably confused, distressed, and furious.

Sadly, Aube's submission almost certainly won't win the contest's $100,000 (plus 50% royalties) prize and serve as Hockey Night in Canada's next theme—semi-finalists, announced on October 4, are not selected solely by popularity and are vetted by a producer and judges—but it's certainly a valiant effort. Even the CBC seems to think so: when "Hockey Scores" was briefly taken down on July 12, the CBC sent an e-mail to Lowgain clarifying that the move was a mistake on the part of a third-party moderator, and that Aube should "expect no further trouble with your most excellent submission."

Thanks to Nik Broukhanski for the tip.

Edmonton Symphony to perform HNIC anthem entry
Last Updated: Sunday, August 31, 2008 | 3:43 PM ET Comments27Recommend49
CBC Sports
Hockey Night in Canada
With thousands of entries vying for the honour of becoming the new anthem for CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, setting yours apart is no easy task.

But one composer is about to get help from some very talented friends.

Edmonton's John Estacio will act as guest conductor when the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra performs his theme The Powerplay Fanfare as part of their Symphony Under the Sky Festival on Monday afternoon.

Estacio, 42, is a freelance composer and a former composer in residence with the ESO, which approached him about putting together an arrangement for their Labour Day show at the amphitheatre in Hawrelak Park.

"They found [the song] online after I posted it back in July," Estacio told CBCSports.ca. "They called me up and said, 'We really like your submission to the anthem challenge and we'd like to do an arrangement during our summer festival.'"

Winner unveiled on HNIC

Estacio's energetic 58-second instrumental was one of 11,455 entries submitted to Canada's Hockey Anthem Challenge as of Sunday afternoon, hours ahead of the 11:59 p.m. ET deadline.

Since the contest was launched on June 19, CBC Sports has received an eclectic array of pieces from across the country. They range from pop, punk, country and hip hop to classical, soul, funk and even heavy metal.

Most fall into the rock category, including a song called Hockey Rock, composed by legendary Canadian guitarist and songwriter Randy Bachman.

The "ratings," "recommendations" and "most viewed" portions of the contest website are just some of the factors judges will consider when selecting the semifinalists, who will be presented to the country and judged by a celebrity panel on a CBC network television special on Oct. 4.

Two finalists will face off at the beginning of the HNIC doubleheader on Thursday Oct. 9, with fans having the opportunity to vote for the winner.

The new theme will be unveiled two days later on the traditional Saturday broadcast of HNIC. The winning entry will receive $100,000 in cash and half of the ongoing performance royalties, with the other half going to Canadian minor league hockey.

'Different challenge' for pro composer

Estacio said he tried to give his tune a "patriotic" feel while modelling it after the fast pace of the game he "grew up with" as a youngster in Newmarket, Ont., just north of Toronto.

"One of my first memories is watching Hockey Night in Canada on television with my dad," Estacio said. "He's a big Leaf fan, so we watched the game every week.

"Like every other Canadian boy, I wanted to be the great Canadian hockey star. But as soon as I put my first skates on, I realized maybe I should stick with the piano."

Though he's made a career of composing music, Estacio said that creating a hockey anthem was a whole new game.

"I'm used to something a little longer, like a 10-minute or a 20-minute piece. I've written operas before, and those are two hours long, so you've got plenty of time to put out your ideas and develop them. But with something this short, it's like a haiku almost.

"It's an entirely different challenge."

Fans can continue to weigh in on submissions, posting reviews and ratings at the contest website CBCSports.ca/hockey/anthemchallenge.

Nearly 15,000 submissions for Hockey Night in Canada theme contest
Sep 3, 2008
TORONTO — The CBC received nearly 15,000 submissions in its quest to find a new theme song for "Hockey Night in Canada."
A total of 14,685 entries were submitted to the broadcaster's Anthem Challenge contest prior to the Aug. 31 deadline, CBC said Wednesday.
The network is holding the Canada-wide search after the rights to the iconic jingle that opened its weekly hockey broadcast for some 40 years were snapped up by CTV in June.
The entries are now with a panel of judges who will pare down the contenders to five finalists. Each of the final five songs will be featured CBC's "The Hour" the week of Sept. 29.
The five composers will then appear on a special hour-long program Oct. 4 after which Canadians will have a chance to vote for their favourite with two finalists being revealed at the beginning of the "Hockey Night in Canada" doubleheader on Oct. 9.
Fans will then have the opportunity to cast their vote for the winner. The new theme will be unveiled Oct. 11 during "Hockey Night in Canada."
The winning composition will receive $100,000 in cash and the songwriter will receive half of the ongoing performance royalties. The other half will go to minor league hockey in Canada.
Some of the entries can be heard at CBCSports.ca/anthemchallenge.

Hockey anthem a dream
'I really want to capture the essence of the old song,' says Shauna Sedola
Jeff Boyce, Daily News
Published: Tuesday, September 02, 2008
When you turn on Hockey Night in Canada this winter, you'll be grooving to the sound of a different beat.
After losing the rights to the iconic HNIC theme song, the CBC is challenging Canadians to create a new song to introduce our Saturday night passion.
With a chance for fantastic exposure, bragging rights and a $100,000 purse to the winner, it is no wonder why Nanaimo's Shauna Sedola has written and produced a rhythm of her own, 'Le Jeu - The Game'.

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Just 18 years old, the Nanaimo District Secondary School graduate has grown up playing such instruments as piano, guitar, drums and keyboard. Sedola has spent the past three summers studying world percussion in the United States with master percussionists such as Kalani and believes her song has a shot at being our nation's newest theme song.
"I really wanted to capture the essence of the old song, as it is really important and we all can recognize it. When we hear the song, we think Hockey Night in Canada," said Sedola.
When listening to her song, you can almost hear the rhythm of the original.
The exposure is Sedola's main concern, as she recently released her first album, the self-titled Shauna. As a first-year student at Vancouver Island University taking bachelor of jazz studies, Sedola realizes that anything to get an edge on the competition will help.
Though not an avid hockey fan herself, Sedola feels that her uncle would be most excited if she won, and would be elated herself if the nation knew her as the girl who wrote the theme song for Canada's past time.
The prize money would be secondary to Sedola, though she has a generous plan to donate a large portion of the money should she win the $100,000 prize.
Currently she is working on a project called the Different Drummer Foundation, founded by Kalani in Los Angeles, which helps underprivileged children overcome the struggles in their life through music.
Visit www.anthemchallenge.cbc.ca to place your vote for Shauna Sedola and help make Nanaimo a part of hockey history.
Voting begins Oct. 4, 2008
news@nanaimodailynews.com
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
We want to hear from you. Send your comments on this story to letters@nanaimodailynews.com. Letters must include your first and last names, your hometown and a daytime phone number.


© The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2008

Regina trio hoping for a Hockey Night hit
Derek Putz, Leader-Post
Published: Friday, September 12, 2008
REGINA -- Three Regina residents hope their music becomes a theme song for the nation.
They hope to see footage of hockey greats like Lemieux, Orr and Gretzky flash across the TV screen while their jingle plays.
They also hope to be $100,000 richer.

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Don Cherry
Ottawa Citizen files


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Elizabeth Raum, John Bidochka and Russ Oberthier are among 211 Saskatchewan entries competing in Canada's Hockey Anthem Challenge. The winner, who will be selected from among more than 11,000 entrants Canada-wide, will have their theme played during Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts on CBC, and receive a $100,000 grand prize reward.
Raum, a symphonic writer and composer with the Regina Symphony Orchestra, hopes her 59 years of musical experience will help her claim the prize.
Her submission, "Spirit on the Ice", is an orchestrated piece with a rap influence.
It is one of the top rated Saskatchewan entries and is garnering a lot of attention on the Web site anthemchallenge.cbc.ca.
"I wrote something that was very rhythmic in that way," Raum said. "O Canada is also in the piece."
She admitted that she's not the biggest sports fan in her family, but if she wins she just may become one.
"I think it would be fabulous to win," she said. "It would be really nice if I won and the Regina Symphony recorded it. (Conductor) Victor Sawa is a sports fan that would beat all sports fans, so he would be in seventh heaven ... I almost hope I win so Victor gets to conduct the hockey song."
Bidochka also has a wealth of musical experience. He has been involved with music since the age of five and he believes that his piece, "He Shoots/Score," has a good chance of winning.
"I was going for something fairly up tempo, something that sounded a little bit traditional, but tried to modernize it at the same time," he said. "Trying to put that many elements into a 30-second clip is pretty challenging."
Oberthier has been involved in music for 35 years. He believes that his theme song, "Let's Rock It Up Canada," better reflects the times.
"As far as hockey these days, it's a rock 'em sock 'em sport," said Oberthier, who also teaches guitar lessons for a living.
"It's changed since 40 years ago so I think the anthem should portray that. I'm trying to capture crowd participation and not only stress hockey but Canada as well."
The fame would be great, but what would these musicians do with the prize money?
Raum would set up a scholarship and make an endowment in her mother's name for music students. Bidochka would pay some bills, take his wife on a vacation and fund more music-related projects. And Oberthier would make sure to give a portion of it to the people who helped him, but otherwise continue to live a normal life.
Viewers can vote for their favourite of five semifinalists Oct. 4 on CBC, and again for the winner on Oct. 9. The winner will be revealed on Oct. 11 for the first Saturday night HNIC broadcast of the season. The winner's anthem will be played to start the program that night and will run for the rest of the hockey season and possibly beyond.
Almost every Canadian has heard Dolores Claman's "The Hockey Theme." It has been the feature theme song for HNIC broadcasts since 1968. The contract expired at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season and it was not renewed by CBC. Instead CTV bought the rights to the song and it will be played on TSN and RDS broadcasts this hockey season.
All anthems can be heard at anthemchallenge.cbc.ca.
dputz@leaderpost.canwest.com
Here are the Regina entries from top to bottom:
Russ Oberthier's "Let's Rock It Up Canada"; Elizabeth Raum's "Spirit on the Ice"; and John Bidochka's "He Shoots/Score"

Song contest inspires the area's composers
Ted Shaw, Windsor Star
Published: Saturday, September 13, 2008
The following is a list of songwriters with local connections who entered the CBC's hockey anthem challenge, in some cases several times, in no particular order. (If we missed your name, please send an e-mail to:
tshaw@thestar.canwest.com).
Windsor John Hurst Jr., Larry Thompson, Johnny Rocca, Scott Bastien, Adam Fox, Nicole Caputo, Beverly Harman, "Jonathan," Chris Bendo, Simon Pszczonak, Bori Afolabi, Derrick Brecka, Vic Bortolon, Glen Bacarro, Gerald M. French, Paul Poirier McIntyre, Line Stallard, Stephen Hereford, Ante Ujevic, Ted Latouf, Al Polachok, John Oleynik, Steve Laforet, Leon Hill, John Giroux, Lee Amlin, Deborah Cameron, Jay Bellacicco, Jeff Chamberlain, Jamie Mascola, Greg Cox, John DeMarco, Elizabeth Renaud, Tony Calabrese, Marcello Pizzo, Robert Palombo, "Farm Barn Bros.," Filip Premrl, Chuck Rees, Jim Odell, "Brad," Kingston Knudsen, "Voice of the Empire," "The Mayfliez," Jimmy Graham, Kevin Harris, Bret Alan, Joel Leighton, Ken Schneider, Alex Jeun, Edward Gary Grosse, Chris Reid, John Ofner, John Bianchi, Rick M., John Charles Benn, Allan McKenzie, Brigham H. Bartol, Brent Lee, Dave Carpenter, Tony Moser, Ian McClelland.

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LaSalle Michael Barresi, Rob Balint, Sherry Kornelsen, Chris Gignac, Michael Patrick, Christopher Rennie.
Amherstburg Nancy Loeffler-Caro, Dave Meloche, Tim Triolet, Ross Pooley, Scottie Sanger, John Palin.
Kingsville Phil Charrette, Jenn Knight, Chad Everaert, Matthew P. Vecera, Ryan Janzen, Philip Wilson.
Tecumseh Mark Rivard, Kyle Porto, Nathan Chamberland, Tyler Sasso, Christopher Windsor, Ken Hewer, Ryan Scott, Jeremy Bondy, Vernon MacKinnon.
St. Clair Beach Mark Hewer.
Harrow Tyson Brinacombe, Brian Leslie, Tim McDonald, Jon-Paul Zavitz.
McGregor Frank Mandler, Cory Millette, Nathan Himsl, "KZNB."
Essex Kale McMurren.
Woodslee Bill Drouillard, Brian Danter.
Belle River Herman E. Curry, Steve Sparkes, Tim Hick.
Wheatley Ray Tousignant, Jesse Goron.
Ruthven Craig Vasily.
Comber Justin Knight.
Leamington Dustyn Janzen.
Ex-Windsorites Mark Kersey, Julie Kryk, Chad Irschick, Les Sabina.


© The Windsor Star 2008

Composer wants his work to be next hockey theme
Written by Administrator
By Gail Jansen Swift Current As a professional composer, vocalist and musician Michael Wiskar, a Swift Current native, has had a love affair with music which began with his first guitar lessons at age 11. It is a love affair that soon may reward Wiskar and his latest composition with a place forever etched in Canada’s Hockey history. He has entered a composition entitled Call of the Game into CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Anthem Challenge. “My Dad is a massive hockey fan, coaching and playing well into his sixties,” says Wiskar from his Vancouver home, where he now resides while attending Langara College. “Like most Dads of kids growing up in Swift Current, I’m sure he had dreams of his own and for me, of playing in the NHL. While I did play hockey when I was younger, I quit soon after I picked up my first guitar. “Writing an entry for the Anthem Challenge, kind of brings the whole music versus NHL thing back for me full circle. Music once took me away from hockey and now it’s bringing me back.” One of nearly 15,000 entries the CBC has received, Wiskar’s “Call of the Game” entry as described by Wiskar himself, is a slightly more modern version of the classic theme. “I wanted to bring up the testosterone level a bit and make it a little faster and more powerful.” “With the original theme every single note is memorable, I wanted to create something that would be just as memorable.” While his odds of winning may be literally a one in 15,000 chance, Wiskar says he was just happy to be a part of it all. He doesn’t envy the judges the task they have before them. “I’ve been on the website where all the songs are posted and listened to quite a few of them,” admits Wiskar. “Some of them are just song, not written as an anthem entry, just written maybe for the exposure they can get on the site — but some of them are written by friends of mine or other musicians I’ve worked with and a lot of them are really very good.” A close-knit community Wiskar says Canada’s music industry, like so many other Canadian endeavours is not a “hyper-competitive” one. “There’s a real feeling of camaraderie amongst musicians in Canada,” says Wiskar. “The Anthem website is almost like a Facebook for musicians.” Wiskar says he’s been seeing people posting on the site who he hasn’t spoken to for years, and has sent and received many friendly messages. “The Canadian music industry is really quite a small community, and this contest has brought a lot of us together again. It’s also brought out a lot of really good first-time musicians — something I think is good for the country as a whole.” Back at home, Wiskar’s parents, always supportive of their son’s musical endeavours, are hopeful yet realistic of Wiskar’s chances. “It would be so wonderful if he could win,” says mother Dot Wiskar, “but I realize the odds are against him.” Having listened to the piece herself, Dot adds, “Considering Michael’s been going to school full-time he’s been really pushed for time, but he still managed to pull this together because of how important it is to him.’ As for Wiskar himself, who like many other entrants have posted entries and are awaiting the final cut to five finalists by October 4th, there is a real fear his anthem may get lost amongst the multitude of entries. Just the fact there were so many entries, says to Wiskar exactly how important this song is to all Canadians. “It’s really a part of our identity as Canadians. Whoever wins this Challenge has some pretty huge shoes to fill.”

Song contest inspires the area's composers
Ted Shaw, Windsor Star
Published: Saturday, September 13, 2008
The following is a list of songwriters with local connections who entered the CBC's hockey anthem challenge, in some cases several times, in no particular order. (If we missed your name, please send an e-mail to:
tshaw@thestar.canwest.com).
Windsor John Hurst Jr., Larry Thompson, Johnny Rocca, Scott Bastien, Adam Fox, Nicole Caputo, Beverly Harman, "Jonathan," Chris Bendo, Simon Pszczonak, Bori Afolabi, Derrick Brecka, Vic Bortolon, Glen Bacarro, Gerald M. French, Paul Poirier McIntyre, Line Stallard, Stephen Hereford, Ante Ujevic, Ted Latouf, Al Polachok, John Oleynik, Steve Laforet, Leon Hill, John Giroux, Lee Amlin, Deborah Cameron, Jay Bellacicco, Jeff Chamberlain, Jamie Mascola, Greg Cox, John DeMarco, Elizabeth Renaud, Tony Calabrese, Marcello Pizzo, Robert Palombo, "Farm Barn Bros.," Filip Premrl, Chuck Rees, Jim Odell, "Brad," Kingston Knudsen, "Voice of the Empire," "The Mayfliez," Jimmy Graham, Kevin Harris, Bret Alan, Joel Leighton, Ken Schneider, Alex Jeun, Edward Gary Grosse, Chris Reid, John Ofner, John Bianchi, Rick M., John Charles Benn, Allan McKenzie, Brigham H. Bartol, Brent Lee, Dave Carpenter, Tony Moser, Ian McClelland.

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LaSalle Michael Barresi, Rob Balint, Sherry Kornelsen, Chris Gignac, Michael Patrick, Christopher Rennie.
Amherstburg Nancy Loeffler-Caro, Dave Meloche, Tim Triolet, Ross Pooley, Scottie Sanger, John Palin.
Kingsville Phil Charrette, Jenn Knight, Chad Everaert, Matthew P. Vecera, Ryan Janzen, Philip Wilson.
Tecumseh Mark Rivard, Kyle Porto, Nathan Chamberland, Tyler Sasso, Christopher Windsor, Ken Hewer, Ryan Scott, Jeremy Bondy, Vernon MacKinnon.
St. Clair Beach Mark Hewer.
Harrow Tyson Brinacombe, Brian Leslie, Tim McDonald, Jon-Paul Zavitz.
McGregor Frank Mandler, Cory Millette, Nathan Himsl, "KZNB."
Essex Kale McMurren.
Woodslee Bill Drouillard, Brian Danter.
Belle River Herman E. Curry, Steve Sparkes, Tim Hick.
Wheatley Ray Tousignant, Jesse Goron.
Ruthven Craig Vasily.
Comber Justin Knight.
Leamington Dustyn Janzen.
Ex-Windsorites Mark Kersey, Julie Kryk, Chad Irschick, Les Sabina.


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