CTV Inc. unveiled today its brand new recording of The Hockey Theme. Carefully restored with the respect deserved of a national icon, the new, classic rendition was recently recorded by 54 members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
For the first time in years, The Hockey Theme will once again be heard nationally in both French and English Canada when it is featured in the openings of NHL games on RDS (beginning Oct. 10) and TSN (beginning Oct. 14). Big, brassy and bold, the new recording revisits the original 1968 version and protects the legacy of "Canada's second national anthem" for years to come.
"There is absolutely no substitute for this national treasure," said Rick Brace, President, Revenue, Business Planning and Sports, CTV Inc. "We are thrilled to bring The Hockey Theme back to Canadians from coast-to-coast with a classic version that fully embraces the spirit of its original creation. We've taken great pride in blending the heritage of the song with the best digital technology available, creating a stunning rendition sure to resonate with hockey fans across the country."
Following CTV's acquisition of The Hockey Theme in June, the network commissioned a national public opinion survey by Nanos Research to explore more deeply the passionate association Canadians have to the song. The results were unequivocal: two in three Canadian hockey fans said they had a strong emotional attachment to the song, with Canadian NHL hockey fans valuing The Hockey Theme as much as the Peace Tower as a national symbol.*
As a result, it was determined that The Hockey Theme should be lovingly restored to its classic glory, using 21st century technology to make it better than ever before. Led by award-winning conductor Darren Fung, 54 elite members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra participated in an exhaustive and emotional two-day recording session earlier this month. Using cutting-edge digital technology, the orchestra recorded for hours on end in an effort to lay down the perfect track.
"I'm so grateful for the care that CTV has exercised in this first class restoration of the song," said composer Dolores Claman. "They have treated me as a member of their family. I'm so pleased to see that the song is now in the hands of people that cherish it."
Additionally, CTV Inc. brought on board Peter Houston, the original recording engineer of the song and a long-time collaborator of Ms. Claman, to consult during the mixing process. John Ciccone, music consultant and former administer of The Hockey Theme, was also involved at every stage in the process.
The result is a new rendition that evokes the historic sentiment of the song as well as the energy and spirit of Canada's national pastime. While preserving the warmth of the original 1968 recording, the new Hockey Theme is a powerful, modern surround sound recording which triumphantly says "Game On!"
For the first time in years, the song will be heard in both French and English Canada when it is used as part of a dynamic new opening graphics package for NHL games on RDS and TSN.
"Because it's an instrumental song, it's wonderfully bilingual," said Claman. "I'm so thrilled it will be heard across the country once again."
TSN will use The Hockey Theme for all NHL regular season and playoff games broadcast on the channel this season. Every NHL game on TSN this regular season will feature a Canadian team. RDS will use the song to open their broadcast of Montreal Canadiens games. The CTV Olympic Media Consortium will also utilize the song as part of its hockey coverage during the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
* Random representative telephone survey of 1,002 Canadians over the age of 18 was completed between June 23 and July 2, 2008.