The Q For Everyone | Isabelle Germain’s many talents as impressive as her message
You name it, Isabelle Germain has not only done it, but done it well.
A love of the game (and a defiance to do what it took to play it herself as a little girl) played a pivotal role in her move to Halifax and Dalhousie University. Little did she know, after patrolling the blueline in the university ranks, Germain would embark on a path within the game that touched numerous aspects of hockey, while touching her in the process with many pronounced ups and downs.
It was during those university days that Germain had a chance encounter with Bell FibreOp TV sports personality Bill McLean, who convinced her to try her hand at broadcasting. Though having the chance to make her debut on the mic describing the action of her former Dalhousie squad certainly allowed a unique degree of comfort, it was obvious that she held a natural talent, not to mention an enjoyment, for calling games. She would continue with Bell after her schooling finished, working closely with McLean.
That partnership ended suddenly and tragically in November of 2015 when McLean took his own life. Shattered, Germain nonetheless completed that season’s slate of broadcast before stepping aside. Keeping her emotions in check for several years in front of all but her innermost support circle, McLean’s untimely death and the years it took for her to touch upon the anguish it caused has provided Germain with, among other things, a perspective on those struggling with mental health issues and an increased need to stay in close contact with friends and family as a means of support.
Eventually, Germain would reconnect with the broadcasting world as well. When Eastlink Community TV and current TSN broadcaster Kenzie Lalonde reached out, Germain was pulled back into life in front of the camera. This time, she hasn’t looked back.
Taking the reins from Lalonde as Eastlink’s primary play-by-play announcer for the Halifax Mooseheads, her passion for the game and professionalism is evident with every word. Those factors are no less on display in one of her other ventures, lead broadcaster for games of the PWHPA.
Germain’s work behind the mic isn’t limited to describing the play before her, however. This past holiday season saw her take a place on junior hockey’s biggest stage as the Public Address Announcer for all Halifax games at the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, a role she performed, not surprisingly, to many positive reviews.
Aside from these ventures, and just when one would have to think her time is completely spent, Germain finds time to do more. Her increasingly impressive resume includes work as a Team Lead with Hockey Nova Scotia and as a key organizer for the Jill Saulnier Foundation, which last year raised $60,000 at its golf event and is quickly becoming a highlight of the summer in the Maritimes.
Through it all, Germain has used her well-honed voice and experiences as a gay woman interacting within both the men’s and women’s games, at all levels and positions, to express her opinions on the state of the game and what we as a community within the sport could and should be doing to erase the negative aspects that continue to permeate hockey culture.
For Germain, one of the first steps is something that, on the surface, should be the easiest barrier to break but somehow remains an incredible challenge; stop making excuses. In her mind, this gesture will be a key which unlocks so much of the inequalities and unsafe situations the sport needs to eliminate.
Isabelle Germain has a lot to say. She also has a lot to give to the game. So long as she resolves to keep doing both of these things, the game and its culture can only improve.
Bill would be so proud.