Made in Siksika: Siksika Health Services’ Telly James Hunt new Calgary Hitmen In-arena Host

Telly James Hunt and predecessor Joe McFarland sharing a special time at their first and last games.

Telly Hunt has played an important role in his time at Siksika Health Services serving across multiple teams and as a friendly face in the community. More recently Telly has had the honor to join the Calgary Hitmen and the rest of Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) as the new In-arena host for our friends the Calgary Hitmen.

In his own words a Q and A with Telly.

1. So what’s your new role? What is the title, and what’s involved?

My role new role with the Calgary Hitmen is called the “In-Arena Host” which is part of the “Game Presentation” department,  I’m the guy that’s in the crowd, or in the “bowl” which is the “In-Arena” part and I’m a Host, so before puck drop, I tell the audience what kind of sponsor promos or games we will be playing that day and basically what they can expect from the game that includes fan participation.  I just usually say I’m the Hitmen Hype Man.

I am the Hitmen In-Arena Host for the Calgary Hitmen, so, I’m dedicated to all their home games.  However, sometimes life happens, and a host can’t be there for a game or two and host from other CSEC teams will fill in.  I’ve already filled in as a host for the Calgary Wranglers a couple times.

2. How’s it going so far? What do you enjoy about it?

Overall I think it’s going well.  I tend to be very hard on myself and I focus on every little mistake I make, however, there is a lot going on behind the scenes and can be fast paced so I’m trying not to let the mistakes get to me, because if I get stuck there, it will have a domino effect on everything else that’s to come.  So, learning how to forgive myself in the moment is a big lesson.

What I enjoy about it?  The Hitmen fans!  They’ve been very welcoming and encouraging to me.  I get to know the season ticket holders and it’s really cool to see the youth out there.  Sometimes, it might be their only event out and I like to think that the Game Presentation team helps to enhance their Hitmen game experience and that it’ll become a tradition to come out to games and when they become parents they bring their kids out to

Also, The team, of course!  I couldn’t do what I do without the Director, Stage Managers, and the Promo Team.  Shout out to Aaron, Maddie, Erica, Jill, Nic, Oscar, Maggie, Michael, Ashlyn, Laine, Astin, Farley and friends, the rest of the Game Presentation team upstairs and sorry to anyone I forgot.  But it’s a fun team to work with.

3. When/how can people come see you in your new role?

They can come to any Hitmen home game at the Scotiabank Saddledome.  I’m usually trying to figure out where I’m supposed to be so if you want to say hi when I’m walking by just call out my name.

4. Anything else you’d like to say about your new role?

I want to thank the Hitmen and the Calgary Sports & Entertainment Corporation for giving an unknown, like me, an opportunity to be the In-Arena host.  I think I got the practice from emceeing Siksika Health events so, of course thanks to Dr. Tyler White and Community Wellness for putting on the spot to do those things and really helping me cut me teeth.

I also want to say that I don’t think I’m a big deal, at all.  To me, I will always be that outcast from Siksika who never fit in and just sort of made his own way.  I’ve dealt with loss and know what it’s like out there for an indigenous person.  Through everything that’s happened I developed stage fright and a fear of public speaking which is why I haven’t done it in a few years, but I’m determined to overcome it.  So, I guess I want to encourage people to continue to build yourself up in a good way.  But it does require you to take steps and not wait for an opportunity to be handed to you.  Growing up people would make me feel like nothing, well, if I am nothing then that means if I can do you anyone can do it.

Remember, there’s blessing in every lesson and a lesson in every blessing. Eugene Brave Rock told me that. 

Siksika Health Services CEO Dr. Tyler White and Telly at his first game as host

Telly we wish you all the best in this new endeavor and are so grateful that you continue to be a part of our team.