Hockey town

By Jenn Watt

Published Oct. 10 2017

H aliburton’s particular brand of hockey obsession became apparent to me nearly four years ago on a cold night in January.

It was the premiere of the locally produced film There’s Something in the Water? which documented the Highlands’ history of attracting and inspiring hockey greats.

The filmmakers had come up with the creative idea of showing the film outside. In January.

It went just about the way you’d expect. Temperatures hit 40 below during the evening event. At a certain point I gave up even trying to talk to those around me as the cold had made my face numb and the tuque scarf and hood encasing my head muffled the sound of any response.

But as I paced the park elbowing my way through the crowd to the bonfire I noticed that despite the bitter cold people were smiling.

Happy to be out in the winter weather and even happier to be watching a film all about hockey the Haliburton audience was exactly what the filmmakers were describing – there certainly is something in the water.

This weekend Rogers Hometown Hockey will be coming to Haliburton Village for two days the second day corresponding with the Sportsnet broadcast of the Bruins v. Golden Knights game.

As you’ll read in this week’s special section on Hometown Hockey one of the hosts Ron MacLean is already well aware of the area and its deep ties to Canada’s game.

From hometown talent like Ron Stackhouse Bernie Nicholls Cody Hodgson and Matt Duchene to those who chose to make the area home such as Walt McKechnie and Scotty Morrison if you’re in Haliburton there’s never more than a couple of degrees of separation between you and a professional hockey player. (If you live in Dysart et al one of them might be your municipal councillor!)

On top of the hockey players themselves the area is well known for its Hockey Haven camp a fiercely competitive minor hockey league and pond hockey championships.

Clearly the Haliburton Highlands belongs on a national hockey broadcast.

Having Rogers Hometown Hockey come to the Highlands this week provides us with an opportunity to show the rest of Canada just how special this area is. There will be plenty of activities in the park both Saturday and Sunday. Organizers have done an incredible job lining up shuttles to keep our streets from overcrowding and ensuring there will be enough volunteers to make the weekend run smoothly.

If you’re in the area this weekend make sure you make your way down to Head Lake Park in Haliburton to have fun and be part of this special experience.