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Basketball

Halifax Hot Dates in November

Gerry Dee

Gerry Dee returns to Halifax November 23rd.

Editor’s Choice:
November 23: Halifax teacher-cum-comedian Gerry Dee, gaining national fame for his CBC series Mr. D, brings his Life After Teaching tour back to his hometown, performing at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on University Avenue.

November 10: Young Parisian guitarist Thibault Cauvin performs French Stylings in the Saint Cecilia Concert Series. His repertoire ranges from Scarlatti to contemporary composers. 

November 10: One of the National Basketball League of Canada’s founding teams, the Halifax Rainmen return for another season of minor-pro hoops. The season begins with a visit from the Saint John Mill Rats. The Halifax Metro Centre on Duke Street hosts.

November 15: Popular Halifax rocker Matt Mays returns to his old stomping grounds, performing with The Meds at the Halifax Forum Multi-Purpose Centre.

November 17 to 18: Acclaimed jazz guitarist Jesse Cook brings the Blue Guitar Sessions to the Dalhousie Arts Centre on University Avenue.

November 23 to 24: Television personalities Alan Halsall (Tyrone Dobbs) and Andy Whyment (Kirk Sutherland) from the long-running British TV series Coronation Street appear live at Spatz Theatre.

November 30, December 1: Cape Breton singer/songwriter Jimmy Rankin joins Symphony Nova Scotia at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.


Hot Dates: Slam Dunk

The Harlem Globetrotters return to the Halifax Metro Centre.

Slapstick antics aside, the Harlem Globetrotters put on a pretty impressive display of athleticism. The “clown princes of basketball” return to the Halifax Metro Centre on April 14.
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Hoop Dreams

March is a slam dunk for basketball fans in Halifax

By Trevor J. Adams

If you’re a serious basketball fan, you picked a great month to visit Halifax. One of Canada’s top basketball events is returning to Halifax. The top men’s university teams in the country compete at the CIS Final 8 Men’s Basketball Championship from March 11 to 13. The Halifax Metro Centre on Duke Street hosts the action.

This will mark the return of the event to Halifax after a three-year hiatus. The city has a long and storied history with the high-profile national championship, hosting it from 1984 to 2007. “Atlantic University Sport is excited and proud to bring the Final 8 back to Halifax for 2011 and 2012,” says Phil Currie, executive director of Atlantic University Sport. “When we submitted our bid for the 2011 and 2012 events, we focused on the pride, the passion and the people who are the foundation of the event we have all grown to love.”

Attracting university alumni and fans from across the country, the event has a very sociable quality. “It really is like old-home week,” Currie says. “There are a lot of people who only see each other at the Final 8, so it makes things a lot of fun, really adds to the excitement and energy of the event.”

During the event, downtown restaurants and bars will be abuzz with activity. For sports fans, popular spots include the Split Crow on Granville Street, The Maxwell’s Plum on Sackville Street, the Halifax Alehouse on Brunswick Street, The Loose Cannon on Argyle Street and the Midtown Tavern on Grafton Street.

Organizers promise competitors and fans alike a big dose of Maritime hosptiality. “After three years away, the fans, volunteers and community are anxious to show the rest of the country that Halifax is still the university basketball capital of Canada,” says event chair John Patterson. TSN is televising the event nationally.

The weekend before the big tournament, the Metro Centre hosts the regional championship as well. Atlantic Canada’s top men’s basketball teams will for the AUS Men’s Basketball Championship, with the winner going on to the nationals.

And if all that isn’t enough, you’ll also find professional action at the Metro Centre throughout the spring. Nova Scotia’s only pro hoops team is the Halifax Rainmen. One of the Premier Basketball League’s most popular team, they’re currently in the thick of the playoff hunt.

Mid-Season Sports

Have new faces brought a winning attitude back to this city’s professional hockey and basketball teams? Find out for yourself as the Maple Leafs and Raptors seek to maintain their mid-season momentum at the Air Canada Centre.

BLADES OF STEEL
Vesa ToskalaYou could be forgiven for wondering why it’s so difficult to get tickets to a Toronto Maple Leafs home game. After all, the National Hockey League team—and Canada’s most valuable sports franchise—hasn’t exactly been burning up the ice in recent years. It’s no secret they haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967, and despite attracting some laudable talent, the squad has been shut out of the playoffs in each of the previous four seasons. Such inferiority prompted a high-profile executive change last year, with team owners installing prized hockey mind Brian Burke as general manager. An architect of recent Cup contenders the Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks, Burke is noted for preferring big, tough players, and this past summer made good on his reputation by signing workhorses like Mike Komisarek and Francois Beauchemin. You won’t be seeing these defensemen at the all-star game; they earn their pay not with fancy stickhandling, but with body checks and blocked shots. Phil Kessel, acquired from the Boston Bruins, has added some scoring, but halfway through the season it’s clear the team is still a star or two away from contending. From this vantage point, the 2009–10 Maple Leafs will not likely be remembered among the storied lineups of yesteryear, but Toronto’s rink rats and ice queens nevertheless continue to live and die by the fortunes of their blue-collar hockey heroes.

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Season of Changes

Can new faces bring a winning attitude back to this city’s professional hockey and basketball teams? Find out for yourself as the Maple Leafs and Raptors return to action at an Air Canada Centre that’s abuzz with anticipation.

Matt Stajan (photo by Graig Abel Photography).

Matt Stajan

BLADES OF STEEL
You could be forgiven for wondering why it’s so difficult to get tickets to a Toronto Maple Leafs home game. After all, the National Hockey League team—and Canada’s most valuable sports franchise—hasn’t exactly been burning up the ice in recent years. It’s no secret they haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967, and despite attracting some laudable talent, the squad has been shut out of the playoffs in each of the previous four seasons. Such inferiority prompted a high-profile executive change last year, with team owners installing prized hockey mind Brian Burke as general manager. An architect of recent Cup contenders the Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks, Burke is noted for preferring big, tough players, and this summer made good on his reputation by signing workhorses like Mike Komisarek, Garnet Exelby and Francois Beauchemin. You won’t be seeing these defensemen at the all-star game; they earn their pay not with fancy stickhandling, but with body checks and blocked shots. Lacking any true scoring stars, it’s unlikely the 2009–10 version of the Maple Leafs will be remembered among the storied lineups of yesteryear, but this city of rink rats and ice queens nevertheless lives and dies by the fortunes of its blue-collar hockey heroes.

(more…)