As a promotion for the upcoming Pembroke Symphony Orchestra’s performance of The Hockey Sweater on Feb. 17, members of the group visited different locations to play part of their show. On Feb. 8, they came to the Petawawa Public Library to show the kids how amazing classical music can be. From left are Petawawa Public Library Children’s, Teen and Adult Programs Coordinator Katelyn Schubert and Pembroke Symphony Orchestra’s Laura Vokey, Cindy Nicholas, Pia-Leena Voorand, Bruce Chidley, Dale Tapp, Gordon Tapp and Conductor Mehdi Javanfar. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

PSO’s Winter Night to feature author Roch Carrier narrating The Hockey Sweater

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday February 15, 2018

When Kirsten Waymann, violinist and vice president of the Pembroke Symphony Orchestra, first saw Roch Carrier narrate his famous children’s book The Hockey Sweater, she knew that she had to have him visit Pembroke.

Not only is the city known for its love of hockey, but Carrier was so charismatic and had the most amazing way of delivering his story. After some deliberating between her and the 80-year old, he happily agreed to perform on Feb. 17. “It is such a treat,” said Waymann. “We hope we get a lot of audiences to enjoy this amazing experience.”

Festival Hall will welcome this uniquely Canadian show on Saturday, hosting both a French and English version.

The orchestral composition created by Abigail Richardson-Schulte already brings Carrier’s story to life, but having him in person will ensure the show is an unforgettable one, said Waymann.

The book itself has touched generations of readers and hockey fans. The Hockey Sweater was first published in 1979 and tells the story of a young Quebecois boy forced to wear a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey after his beloved Montreal Canadiens jersey wears out and the rival team’s shirt is mistakenly ordered by his mother. The youngster must endure ridicule at the hands of his friends for going against the grain.

The children’s book is based on Carrier’s own childhood and his obsession with the Habs and their star player Maurice “The Rocket” Richard. It is immensely relatable to fans of the sport as well as any child who was mocked for being different.

It was first turned into a short animated film, then put to music and recently it was made into a musical. Its multiple versions have allowed the story to reach even further into collective Canadian culture.

In addition to the 22-minute reading of The Hockey Sweater by Carrier, the orchestra will also be playing the Hockey Night in Canada theme song, the Skaters’ Waltz, two movements from the Lieutenant Kijé and the Metropolis Overture.

As a sneak peek, members of the orchestra have been performing samples of their show for the children at the Petawawa Public Library and Valour JK-12 School.

The orchestra would also like to thank the French school Board, Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario and L’école Equinox for their sponsorship.

Tickets can be purchased online at, in person or by calling 613-735-2182. They cost $20 for adults and children under 12 are $10.

The French show is at 5 p.m. and the English show is at 7 p.m. Copies of the book will also be available for purchase.