Tara Slone is a natural, there’s no other way to put it.
The inspiring hard working multitalented broadcaster certainly understands the magnitude of her role being the Co-Host of Rogers Hometown Hockey.
“It’s an immense privilege.”
“I don’t think Ron or I get through a weekend or even a day doing this job without feeling enormously grateful for the access we are given for the willingness that people offer their stories, they open their hearts and their lives to us, it’s mind-blowing,” confessed Slone.
Since it’s inception, Rogers Hometown Hockey has an unique way of tugging on the heart strings of every hockey community across Canada due in large part to both Slone and Ron MacLean’s chemistry and innate ability to weave captivating stories, certainly a gift obtained from the duo’s Maritime roots.
The impactful emotional weekly journey throughout small town Canada certainly isn’t lost on Slone. “Ron and I share a similar outlook on life. Vulnerability doesn’t frighten us,” admitted Slone.
“We tell a lot of sad stories and we encounter a lot of sadness and grief, but there’s always the converse element of that generally about support and people being lifted by community and loved ones.”
Slone’s inspiring journey in broadcasting started in Calgary when she Co-Hosted Breakfast Television, a position that lent itself to the same element of community connectivity and storytelling.
So did Slone ever anticipate her journey in the game of hockey?
“No I didn’t I see this coming,” Slone said of her prominent broadcast role.
“It’s not a stretch for me to be in the hockey world because I’ve always been intrigued by it. I’ve steered my way here on purpose, but I certainly never could have imagined for a role in hockey this emotionally fulfilling,” confessed Slone.
Slone’s unwavering commitment to connect with and showcase each community across the country is truly awe inspiring. “There’s never been a show like this, the show is a result of a collective crew zeitgeist,” stressed Slone.
Slone is fully aware of the importance of her position and being a role model for young women all across Canada.
“I’m definitely excited that young women can look at me and use me as a career example that they could achieve, it’s very humbling.”
From the lead singer of Joydrop, to auditioning for INXS, to being on regular guest on Michael Landsburg’s former show Off the Record, Slone has never shied away from the spotlight or speaking her mind.
“I’m a very opinionated person, but I think I have a strong ethical sense.”
“I think Ron and I share that. I’m so grateful that I have found a platform and a show that let’s me and us do that,” Slone added.
“It all started with Scott Moore, he’s no longer with the company, but he really let us steer the ship and never tried to interfere content wise. Our executive producer Allison Redmond is the same way,” Slone said proudly.
Slone admits it took a few years before the duo could tell ‘the exceptional’ stories, but feels grateful to have a platform.
“It did take a few years before we could talk about being a transgender person in hockey or person of colour or a women in the game or talk about mental illness in a way that may have not been addressed a lot up to that point,” Slone said.
“To my mind we are the first mainstream sports broadcast that do First Nation land acknowledgements in every territory we are in on the air.”
“We have been allowed to make statements like that and do what we think is right, luckily everyone has had a similar mindset.”
Slone now calls Toronto home, but her Maritime roots shine bright in every small community across Canada. “It’s when people open up to us, I think it’s the greatest privilege in the world.”
“When you can be present enough and open enough for someone to be real with you it’s an unbelievable thing. That happens in different ways and places, but the real hugs, smiles and tears all that stuff is a gift.”