Blue Rodeo co-founder Jim Cuddy is once again leading a team of musicians into the tenth annual Juno Cup, to be held at Mosaic Place April 19.
“The Juno Cup is a fun recreational (hockey) game where we have musicians versus NHLers,” Cuddy told the Times-Herald. “We’re lucky enough to have the NHL Alumni involved ... some of the players have come quite a few years.”
The cup is a charity game, the proceeds from which go toward the charity MusiCounts, which provides grants to Canadian schools in need of new instruments and sheet music, Cuddy said.
“It was a charity that needed a little bit of profile and so the Juno Cup game seemed to be a good thing,” said Cuddy. “It moves around, and it goes where the Junos go every year. MusiCounts wanted it to be known across Canada that these grants are available.”
“Musicians are always willing to do some charity work as long as they can understand the benefit of the charity,” he said.
Cuddy, who is captain of the musicians — or Rockers — will be squaring off against NHL alumni Mark Napier, Gary Roberts, Troy Crowder, Brad Dalgarno, and Mike Sillinger, amongst others.
His own team is largely unknown because, Cuddy said, the Rockers roster is flushed out with Juno nominees from year to year.
“Once the nominees for the Junos come out, we go from there. We usually just put it out there for whoever wants to play,” he said.
Though he couldn’t name anybody in particular because the nominees have not been decided, Cuddy could think of a rocker who would make a good fit.
“I’m pretty sure Billy Talent will get nominated (for a Juno) and Jon Gallant, their bass player, will be a pretty big feature — he’s a good hockey player,” said Cuddy.
Cuddy said he is looking forward to coming out to Moose Jaw for the big game.
“I here the breakdown there is great,” he said. “Plus, I don’t have a Moose Jaw Warriors jersey, and I collect WHL jerseys.”
Spending time with NHL alumni on the trip is also appealing, Cuddy said.
“One time we did it while the Junos were in Saskatoon, and we played (the Cup) in Prince Albert. It was about an hour drive, and that was the most fun part of it,” he said. “The musicians can hang out and talk, and on the way back there was a little jam, we drank some beer, and told some stories.”