Spring by Kathryn White

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Hockey Night in Canada

It all started with a recent shopping trip I had with my daughter. We walked into a shop at the Mall because I was on the hunt for a jigsaw puzzle with a winter scene as I find it relaxing to puzzle during the long winter evenings. Although I didn't find the puzzle I was looking for, I did spot this game and fell in love with the scene on the cover of the box. I just had to know who the artist was, but no matter which way I turned the box, there was no signature or reference made to the artist. My daughter suggested that I do a google search when I came home. Google did not fail me. I love the artist's work! His winter scenes are nostalgic and bring back many memories of time past spent in the rink and on the pond.
I grew up on a farm, in a large family where there were enough of us to make a hockey team. I can remember in the winter going to the neighbour's apple orchard to play hockey on their cleared pond. All the neighbouring kids gathered together as we played many hockey games during the winter season.
We continued to play hockey long after moving out of the house as it was a tradition at family gatherings in the winter, we and our children would take along hockey sticks for a game or two. My daughter played for several years on a hockey team, so I became the proverbial hockey mom. I admit that I wasn't the best at it because I spent too much time talking to all the other moms, often missing some good plays as a result.
I am dedicating this post to memories of the past, to all the hockey fans out there, and mostly to my family, including my nephews Z&J who own this game and who play hard for their hockey teams.
I am sitting on the sidelines and cheering you boys on!
Pond Hockey-opoly is a game that brings back the memories of frozen feet, runny noses, fresh air and the way hockey was meant to be played! It has all the action of a traditional property trading game... along with some nifty stick-handling fun!
Ice hockey is considered Canada’s quintessential national sport and pastime by people all around the world. It is part of our identity as well as our heritage.
Stephan Harper, the current Prime Minister and huge hockey fan said this about the connection between Canada and hockey: "It's sometimes forgotten because Canadians are thought of as peace-loving and fair-minded and pleasant. Which we are. But that's not inconsistent with tough and aggressive and ambitious."
Those are his words, not mine as I don't endorse the aggression on ice.
I prefer to remember the street hockey and the pond hockey, but things have changed...
I did want to share my art discoveries with you, including a local artist who has lived in my area, and was known for his depiction of sports. In the winter on a typical Saturday Evening hockey is viewed in many homes throughout Canada as friends and family gather around to spend the evening cheering for their favourite team.

The following are done by D. R. Laird,
'Douglas was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1946. He became interested in art very early in life.His subjects include; landscape, nostalgia, still life, children and everyday activities. Douglas emigrated to Canada in 1965 and currently resides in Ontario.'
You can read more about him here.

'We are Canadian which means we are hockey people. The partners who make up Game On are, or have been, players, coaches, officials, and hockey parents in the Greater Toronto Area.'
You can view more of their wonderful artwork
The Spectator by Mary G. Smith

'Did you ever play pond hockey in the snow? Did you and your friends spend hours on the outdoor pad, emulating your heroes on the ice, all weekend long? This poster brings you back to those long-gone but never-forgotten days of youth. From the loving hand of noted Canadian winter-scene artist Mary G. Smith comes "The Spectator", featuring a family dog watching the boys play outdoor hockey on a snowy afternoon, braving the elements to get in another few minutes of play before dinner.'
You can view more of her work here
The last two are done by Ken Danby

Hockey captures the essence of Canadian experience in the New World.
In a land so inescapably and inhospitably cold, hockey is the chance of life,
and an affirmation that despite the deathly chill of winter we are alive.
~Stephen Leacock