Six years ago, John Guinan had open heart surgery. He credits the Nova Scotia Heart and Stroke Foundation for helping to keep his heart beating.

Guinan says an encounter with a Heart and Stroke volunteer gave him a new purpose.

“He left an impact on me, this 82-year-old man, a volunteer,” says Guinan. “I said ‘he's with this organization, I'll help this organization.’”

That's how Guinan got involved with the BMO Hockey Heroes weekend, held every year in Halifax to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

He organized a team that first year, and this year, there are three teams from Truro taking part.

In six years, Guinan himself has raised $60,000 and the Truro teams have raised more than $200,000.

“John's a very humble man. He will always give credit to others before he gives credit to himself,” says Vanessa Burns, with the Nova Scotia Heart and Stroke Foundation. “You know, John thinks of everything as a team. In fact, even the three teams from the Truro area do a lot of fundraising collectively.”

Each of the Truro players has a personal fundraising target of $1,000 and most of them surpass it. They give most of the credit to Guinan and his generous nature in the community.

“Well he's got a heart of gold. He's an organizer. He heads up everything and it doesn't matter if it's going to the bar or raising money for anything, just in general, he's just a great guy,” says Richie Crowell, teammate.

“I look up to John. He's the reason I got into the event. He's the reason why pretty much every single person from Truro got into the event. So, as far as I'm concerned, there's not a better guy that you should be giving this award to,” says Ashley MacKay, team three captain.

Guinan donates his talents to other causes in the community, including the YMCA, hospital, and the church. However, he has a special place in his heart for hockey and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“They did a very good job on me, they fixed me and I love the sport,” says Guinan. “If I can combine loving the sport and raising some money for a good cause, everybody wins.”

Congratulations to John Guinan, our Maritimer of the Month.


If you know someone deserving of our Maritimer of the Month award, we want to hear about it.

It doesn’t matter how old they are, the nature of the good deed they’ve done, or what part of the region they live in — we want your ideas!

Please send your nomination to:


Maritimer of the Month

P.O. Box 1653

Halifax, N.S.

B3J 2Z4