I first met Joey Kenward at the Pacific Coliseum four years ago when he was the voice of the Vancouver Giants. John set up the radio broadcast and Joey did production, the play-by-play, ran down to the locker rooms to do interviews between periods, then ran back up to the press box to call the rest of the game. Seeing how hard he continue to work for his career (and sports in this town) makes it rather fitting that he’s doing the Heart of a Canuck segments now for the Vancouver Canucks.
This summer Joey went out from behind the microphone and stepped in front of the camera. He attends practices, travels with the team, does interviews, provides commentary, and still finds time to fill in the radio play-by-play timeslot here and there. “I get to fill the viewers in on what happens to the team on a day-to-day basis and what’s happening with the team when we don’t see them at a rink,” Joey told me during a call I had with him this week. “Most people only see these guys as athletes. Now, we get to have a very ‘behind the scenes’ look at who these individuals are and see what got them to where they are.”
One of Joey’s first tasks when he signed on with the Canucks was to film the Heart of a Canuck segments with players as they visited their hometowns. The segments focused on a few core players who are North America-based. “It was really cool to walk around the former neighbourhood with the player, walk into their old rink where they laced ‘em up as a kid, and see the expressions on their faces as they talked about their past,” Joey said, reflecting on his visits to Smithers with Dan Hamhuis and Montreal with Alex Burrows.
The hometown visits will be broadcast during games throughout the season and you will probably be able to catch them on CanucksTV (on YouTube) once they air.
As for Joey, he is about to head out on the road with the team until they return to play the Rangers on October 18th.
He told me that the most recent filming they did was in the car with Daniel Sedin as he dropped his daughter off at school then headed to the rink. “What’s the player thinking about when he’s driving into work? What music does he listen to? What are some of the things they think about? It’s a chance for the viewer [and fan] to see the players outside of the rink environment.”
From our talk I gathered that Joey was pretty much settling into his dream job – and who could blame him. He’s come a long way since he did colour commentary in Kelowna or play-by-play for the Swift Current Broncos. “I’ve been very lucky and very privileged to have been given the opportunities I’ve had. Now I get more experience in front of the camera and this is a great chance to do what I love doing.”
A full 2:54 minute preview of this season’s Heart of a Canuck theme is now up on CanucksTV.