Enjoy the Celly at “Hockey” at the Canadian Museum of History
Hockey. It is a love that is shared by many Canadians from coast to coast. Fans are glued to their sets, whether it is to watch their favourite team or Team Canada, to follow the action of this game. So much of Canada’s history is linked to this sport and has been a part of our nation’s 150 anniversary festivities. The Canadian Museum of History is combining their love of Canada and this beloved sport with a “celly” in their exhibit Hockey! The action runs from March 10 to October 9, 2017.
I brought my VPs along with me to take in all aspects of the game Hockey shares with visitors to this exhibit. There are eight zones of interest to be explored:
- From pond to area
- Game on!
- The team behind the team
- For the love of the game
- Those unforgettable moments
- Hockey Inc.
- Hockey makes headlines
- Passion for the game
Hockey displays 280 artifacts, a number of which have not been viewed in public before, that shows visitors how this sport have crossed cultural borders while becoming a part of Canada’s popular culture.
Jerseys, and Skates, and Gear! Oh, my!
Lovers of the game will really take a shine to the amount of authentic hockey paraphernalia is available to be viewed at Hockey. There are plenty of hockey jerseys, skates, uniforms, jackets, goalie masks on display. One of my favourite pieces to be seen in this exhibit is the fibreglass goalie mask Jacques Plante wore while tending goal for the New York Rangers in 1963. He said it felt lighter and cooler than the solid masks he had worn previously. I like it because the design is so awesome (his goalie mask is the one on the left).
I was really excited to see that women were not left out of this exhibit. There were so many pieces shown that were once donned by female hockey greats, both past and present that I had to show the VPs the roles these women played to the advancement of the sport. Hilda Ranscombe, a player for the Preston Rivuulettes in the 1930s, guided her team to four national championships in the jersey and skates below.
She helped to lead the way for women like Hailey Wickenheiser to tie up her skates and hit the ice. As captain of Team Canada in 2010, she sported this jersey to lead Team Canada to Olympic gold on home ice in Vancouver.
Behind the bench and beyond
Players were not the only ones who fans loved about hockey. Coaches and announcers helped to bring structure to the game and to keep fans aware of what was happening on the ice. One of my favourite National Hockey League (NHL) coaches featured in Hockey is Pat Burns. Going form cop to coach, he was one of the iconic figures who stood behind the bench for the Montréal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, and winning the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils.
Sportscasters and journalists are also a huge part of the game. When you can’t be where the action is taking place on the rink, these individuals become the eyes and ears of the game for fans. Hockey has a section for these unsung members of the game where they can pretend to call a game to see how it would feel to take on this role, and displays of some of hockey’s finest announcers.
From game to serious business
With the forming of professional hockey leagues, like the NHL, for many, hockey went from being for fun to being a business. Hockey, displayed some pieces of hockey history that I found fascinating! One of these artifacts was the Jacques Plante’s contract. It was fun to see what was part of a player’s contract many decades ago and how much he got paid to play professionally.
There are also items certain players put out with their face on it, an interactive wall for visitors to test their knowledge of the location of all of the NHL teams, and so much more!
Fan love at its finest
Yes, there are many people who have made hockey an amazing sport to play and watch, but it would be nowhere without the love and the support of its fans. This section was a favourite of many who visited this exhibit.From celebrities to super fans, there are odes to their love of this sport. I really loved the sweaters, jerseys and art work by fans that are displayed in Hockey for fans to check out. It lets you know how inspired they were by the game and how they wanted to express their love for it.
Even Canadian country music legend, Shania Twain let her love shine with her Canadiens-inpired outfit she wore when she hosted the 2003 Juno Awards.
The VPs fell in love with the table hockey game they were allowed to play with in the exhibit. Their competitive nature came out and it was game on as they tried to defeat each other on this rink.
Hockey is not only a hockey lover’s dream to visit, it is a chance for Canadians to learn more about why and how this game has captured the hearts of so many people. The history displayed and the memories shared by these artifacts in this exhibit are amazing and awe-inspiring. Hockey is an exhibit that is certainly worth a celly at the Canadian Museum of History!
Can’t get enough of Hockey? You are able to bring home a bit of what is found in this exhibit by purchasing Hockey, a souvenir catalogue that shares the best of what visitors can expect to experience on their visit to this part of the Museum. Readers can follow the evolution of this sport, from hockey being a fun game played outdoors to the area in Canada. Itching to have a copy of Hockey? Click here to purchase a copy!
Disclaimer: I received free admission to the Canadian Museum of History to visit Hockey in order to write this review. The views expressed are my own.