Toronto gets a monthly speaker series all about hockey
The Big Ice is a monthly speaker series featuring some of the hockey world's leading writers, broadcasters and commentators that aims to have intelligent and entertaining discussions about our national game.
The monthly speaker series began in October at the Garrison and is now set to continue at the community and arts centre 918 Bathurst. The series will continue monthly until the end of the hockey season with dates still to be confirmed.
This month's event brings together Sportsnet's Chris Johnston and TSN's Pierre LeBrun, among others. Speakers debate current topics in hockey, share stories of the game and offer both hockey fans the opportunity to have a different kind of hockey discussion.
Organizer Kevin Kennedy built on this summer's Pitch Talks, a similar series dedicated to baseball that featured lively discussion, consistently packed rooms and celebrated baseball personalities.
"Up until this year I freelanced for The Hockey News and would attend the morning skates regularly at the ACC," says Kennedy, who co-owns Tallboys Bar and is the founder of Swingman Live Entertainment Group.
"I'd overhear plenty of media talking amongst themselves about the hot topics of the day in a very candid way. I thought 'Man, THAT is interesting.' I wanted to create a peek behind that curtain. I wanted to create a platform that would allow broadcasters and writers a forum to give their opinion on subjects without interference/censorship from editors or producers."
The Big Ice puts a spin on typical hockey conversations: there's short presentations by speakers on current topics such as the rise of analytics in the game followed by a panel discussion hosted by Matt Brown of the Fan 590.
As the world of hockey and the stories that dominate it change weekly, discussions focus on these stories and how they will impact the future of the game. Finally, a Q & A session and informal mingling afterwards allow fans an opportunity to interact with speakers. Great Lakes Brewery will be serving cold tall cans to loosen everyone up as well.
Writing by Joshua Kloke. Photo by Jackman Chiu in the blogTO Flickr pool.
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