Saint John man gets thrill of a lifteme singing anthem at Calgary Flames game
Whether he's behind the hood of a vehicle at his auto shop, or behind the wheel, you're likely to hear Dan Joyce singing.
It's a passion he's become known for in Saint John over the years, with plenty of performances at local sports games.
When he's not singing, though, you might find him cheering on his favourite hockey team – the Calgary Flames – a team that recently helped his dream become a reality by inviting him to come and sing the national anthem live at the Saddledome.
"It was just an unbelievable feeling when you step out on the ice," says Joyce, "and I know the rink holds 18,300 people, I don't know how many people were there exactly but I couldn't see an empty seat – it was packed."
It was after he suffered a health setback – with the diagnosis of cancer of the esophagus – that his oldest son reached out to the team.
Joyce says at the time no one was allowed inside of the rink, so he ended up recording a video of him singing the national anthem at TD Station in Saint John.
"They played it at an NHL game … and it went over really well," says Joyce.
"George Canyon called me right after the showing and he said, 'listen, we loved it here, it was great – we want you to come back next year when the rink has people in it and you're feeling better, we'd like to get you to do it live right here at the Saddledome'."
In early November of this year, he was able to fly out to Calgary with his family and do exactly that – and was given a warm welcome by the audience.
"When I stepped on the ice, they screamed my name, they almost took the roof of the place," says Joyce.
"And as soon as I started to sing the anthem it was dead silent, it was just as quiet as a church and that lasted until I almost finished the last note of the anthem and the place just erupted again."
A dream come true for this Saint Johner and a once in a lifetime experience that he won't soon forget.
"There's always a silver lining in everything that happens to me," says Joyce, "so yeah, I'm a pretty lucky guy."