Now that Monday is here, we can get down to some serious business regarding hockey. Last night, the finalists in the "Hockey Night in Canada Anthem Challenge" were announced, and the five finalists have some pretty solid tunes. George Stroumboulopoulos (pronounced Strom-Bo-Lop-Po-Lus) profiled each of the candidates on his evening CBC talk show called The Hour, and the backgrounds for the finalists are diverse and varied. Let's take a look at the five songs that the CBC is considering for its flagship sports broadcast as chosen by producer Bob Rock.
Candidate #1: Gerry Mosby - Ice Warriors
CBC bio: "Hailing from Toronto, Ontario this professional composer submitted his 'Ice Warriors' song to the Anthem Challenge after hearing that his favourite Canadian artist, Randy Bachman, had made several entries. Making a career from writing music for television and radio, Mosby's guitar based submission has a melody and pace that Bob Rock really connected to."
Candidate #2: Robert Fraser Burke - Sticks To The Ice
CBC bio: "For thirteen year-old Toronto, Ontario native, Robert Fraser Burke, music has always been a part of is life. His mother is a music teacher, he sings in a choir, participates in the school band and has been playing piano for as long as he can remember. Robert’s composition was initially intended only for his friends to listen to, but on a summer vacation to PEI, his uncle heard the song and encouraged him to enter the Anthem Challenge. 'Sticks to the Ice' made for a simplistic memorable melody and a favourite of Bob Rock's."
Candidate #3: Graham McRae - Eleventh Hour
CBC bio: "Graham McRae has been an elementary school music teacher for over a decade and has only recently tried his hand at composing. Having found success with his submission entitled the 'Eleventh Hour', the Burnaby B.C. native often spending long nights fine tuning and agonizing over his entry. His dedication paid off as the simple and straightforward rock anthem appealed to Bob Rock."
Candidate #4: Christian St. Roch & Jimmy Tanaka - Let The Game Begin
CBC bio: "This duo from Chateauguay and Verdun, Quebec has spent their lives working with music, compiling long resumes in the field of writing and composition. Their most memorable work came from St. Roch's work on Montreal’s 1976 Olympic theme song. Their combined efforts resulted in 'Let the Game Begin' which has a traditional sound and style that resonated with Bob Rock."
Candidate #5: Colin Oberst - Canadian Gold
CBC bio: "This elementary school teacher from Beaumont, Alberta, is no stranger to the musical stage. Along with teaching the subject for the past 10 years, he is an avid music writer and a member of an Edmonton based band. Oberst submitted a total a total of five entries to the Anthem Challenge; one entitled 'Canadian Gold' possessed a Celtic flavour that Bob Rock found unique and memorable."
There are your five finalists in the contest. I'm not going to tell you who I voted for in order to remain impartial, but I really like one of these tunes a lot more than the other four.
If you'd like to vote on one of the potential Hockey Night In Canada themes, you can register with the CBC to vote online. Once you've logged in, vote away!
Alternatively, you can vote via text message for your favorite anthem by texting "the corresponding number for your favourite Anthem to 777 111". However, there is a 50¢-per-text charge for doing that. You can also vote by phone by calling 1-900-451-9999 and "press the number for your favourite anthem when prompted". Again, there is a $1-per-call charge for phoning in. My recommendation? Spend the time registering online, and vote that way.
The winner will be announced on Thursday night during the first North American telecast of Hockey Night In Canada, so get those votes in!
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!