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Hockey - Jan 17, 2018

Q&A with Rogers Hometown Hockey’s Tara Slone

The show’s popular and multi-talented co-host talks about connecting with hockey fans across the country

Whether it was as lead singer of Juno-nominated band Joydrop or while travelling to different communities across Canada with the Rogers Hometown HockeyTM tour, Tara Slone enjoys any opportunity to connect with fans. In 2014, she became a reporter for Rogers Hometown Hockey. A year later, she was promoted to full-time co-host and is now in her fourth season working alongside hockey icon Ron MacLean. Her road to Rogers Hometown Hockey includes roles in several TV series, including La Femme Nikita. Starting in 2010, she spent five years hosting Breakfast Television Calgary, where she was honoured with the Alberta Film and Television Award for Best TV Host. Now as co-host of Rogers Hometown Hockey, she leaves no doubt about how it feels to be part of the popular cross-country tour that airs Sunday evenings on SportsnetTM. “It just continues to be a privilege,” she says. “I feel quite humbled.”

Connected recently caught up with the multi-talented Slone to talk about what makes Rogers Hometown Hockey the ultimate celebration of Canada’s great game, along with highlights from the current season.​

Connected: What stood out from this year’s first Rogers Hometown Hockey stop in Niagara Falls?

Tara Slone: Obviously, the backdrop was pretty ridiculous! There are so many beautiful and historic places to visit in the area. It was nice having (singer-songwriter) Tim Hicks perform. It’s always great to have a hometown music connection. And learning about (former NHL® star) Derek Sanderson. He has a really incredible story of resilience.

C: Has a particular visit stood out this season?

TS: Williams Lake, B.C. It’s a place that went through exceptional circumstances in the summer. This is a small city that is getting back up on its feet. The festival was packed. For me, it was all about the people. They were so happy for us to be there and we were so happy to be there. It was overwhelming. It’s a place that will always stand out for all of us.

C: Is there a common bond shared by the communities you travel to?

TS: When it comes to our show, a lot of the stories are seen through the lens of hockey, but they are universal stories – overcoming challenges and illnesses, following your dreams.

C: It must never get old seeing the families, fans young and old, coming out to celebrate our great game.

TS: The travel is a grind, but as soon as we’re on site meeting people and hearing their stories, you just can’t help but be buoyed by it.

C: What’s been notable for you so far this season?

TS: I don’t think it’s any more than any other season. We are always welcomed with such open arms. People give us gifts, they want to hug us – it’s a very reciprocal feeling. It blows me away.

For this year’s Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour schedule, news, stories, contests and more, visit hometownhockey.com.