Headliners announced for annual Brandon Wheat Kings’ Sportsman’s Dinner


Brandon, MB. – Two nationally known hockey broadcasters headline plans for the 2018 Brandon Wheat Kings’ Q Country Sportsman’s Dinner, presented by TELUS, scheduled for Thursday, Feburary 8th in the Keystone Centre’s UCT Pavillion.

Sportsnet’s John Shannon joins TSN’s Dennis Beyak as headliners for the event, which is held annually to raise money for the hockey club’s Scholarship Fund.

Joining them at this year’s dinner will be comedian Graham Chittenden of Brantford, Ontario.

Regarded as one of the industry’s brightest minds, Shannon has over thirty years of experience in overseeing the television production of regional and national National Hockey League games, including 23 Stanley Cup Finals.

Before joining the NHL and NHL Network in 2008, he served as Vice President of Programming and Executive Producer of MLSE, overseeing the launch, implementation and operation of Leafs TV and Rapters NBA TV.

Shannon, who joined the ranks of Rogers Sportsnet in 2009, spent six years as the executive producer of Hockey Night in Canada on CBC. As well, he’s been involved in the production of five Olympics, receiving an Emmy for his work on NBC’s coverage of hockey at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Born and raised in Winnipegosis, Manitoba, Beyak began his play by play career with the Western Canada Hockey League’s Flin Flon Bombers. In addition to providing play by play commentary for the Saskatoon Blades, Victoria Cougars and Seattle Thunderbirds, he served as the television play by play voice for both the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs, before returning to Manitoba when the Jets relocated from Atlanta.

A former general manager of both the Tri-City Americans and TBirds, Beyak was named the WHL’s Executive of the Year in 1989, after serving as chairman of Seattle’s successful bid to host the Memorial Cup.

This will be Beyak’s third appearance at the annual event and second since becoming the voice of the Jets in 2011.

Batting “clean-up” at February’s event will be one of Canada’s most exciting comedic performers.

A familiar face at the Just for Laughs festival, on television and on radio in programs such as Match Game and The Debaters, Chittenden has shared tours and stages with such stars as Howie Mandel, Andrea Martin and Louie Anderson to name a few.

Graham has appeared in numerous comedy specials, including his own on The Comedy Network and has also spent time as a host on MTV Canada. A talented writer, he currently works on a number of programs, ranging from Mr. D and Still Standing on CBC.

February’s dinner will be the 53rd in franchise history. The first was held in 1959 and featured former Blackhawk Bill Mosienko, all star pitcher “Lefty” Gomez and Father Athol Murray.

Tickets to this year’s event are $125 each and can be ordered by calling the Wheat Kings at (204) 726-3535. For more information on the event, its history as well as the WHL Scholarship Foundation, be sure to check out the club’s official website located at www.wheatkings.com