Two of B.C.’s front-line workers were given the spotlight on Wednesday night at the Vancouver Canucks’ home opener.
Victoria Groff, a registered nurse at B.C. Children’s Hospital, and her partner Chris Clute, a before-and-after school leader of the kid’s program at the YMCA, sang O Canada ahead of the game against the Montreal Canadiens.
The honour was part of the evening dedicated to those who have been working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were pretty nervous,” Clute said. “We made sure to practise in different situations, in the living room, in the hallway, in the car, in the streets sounding like crazy people.”
Groff said she has some experience singing in front of crowds as she has sung for the Vancouver Canadians baseball team, and Clute creates and produces his own music and is in a band.
They were asked a few weeks ago if they would like to sing for the Canucks and they jumped on the opportunity, not only to sing together but also to inspire children in the province.
With both Groff and Clute working with kids, they know first-hand how the pandemic has affected them.
“At the start of the pandemic it sure was hard for a lot of kids,” Clute said. “They weren’t able to see their friends. But the start of the school year was a pretty hectic time for me but also a very happy time for them because they got to see their school friends.”
The Canucks won Wednesday night after the game went to a shootout.
Bo Horvat scored the winner to give the Canucks a 6-5 victory over the Canadiens.
Horvat and Brock Boeser each had two goals and an assist for Vancouver (2-3-0) in regulation. Tyler Motte also scored for the Canucks, while J.T. Miller notched three assists.
Canucks goalie Braden Holtby stopped 31 of 36 shots through regulation and overtime.
— With files from The Canadian Press