Q&A with Ottawa Senators In-Game host, Keara Johnston

Keara Johnston is working a job that all female sports journalists would die for. Keara is the in-game host for the red-hot Ottawa Senators. 

Keara has been in this position since 2019 when the previous in-game host, Lauren Fine, left the position. I was lucky enough to be able to chat with Keara and ask her a few questions about her job, her experience working with the Sens, advice she has for up and coming sports journalists, and asked the question all fans want to know… who’s her favourite senator!

What is your role with the Senators?

Keara is the in-game host for Ottawa home games. With the pandemic not letting fans in the building, this condensed season, Keara has hosted an online version of the show on the Ottawa Senators YouTube account. On the live show, Keara interviews various individuals within the Sens community and the greater Ottawa community, as well as interviewing current and former players. When the pandemic allows for fans to return to the Canadian Tire Center, she will be back conducting the show live during the game.

What is your favourite part about working with the Senators?

Keara’s favourite part of her position with the Senators is interacting with the lively and dedicated Ottawa fans. She enjoys the funny moments and all of the laughs that fill the Canadian Tire Center during the games when the arena is filled with fans. And, of course, just like the rest of us, she loves getting to watch the young Ottawa squad playing the league’s best! 

What has it been like working during the condensed NHL pandemic season? 

As expected, it’s been a challenging but also a extremely fun year for Keara! The Senators organization has transferred their in-game show to an online format which has been new for the organization! Keara stated that she has enjoyed the fact that she has been able to interact with Ottawa fans from all over the world! In a typical season when there’s fans in the CTC, in-game hosts only get to interact with the people in the building at the games but with the new online live show, Keara has been interacting with Senators fans from all over the world, instead of just fans who have the ability to travel to the games! 

Keara, also, touched on how amazing the Senators community is. The online community is a strong and loyal community that loves their squad. The community has railed around the team and the online show which Keara stated has made this condensed season special for all involved!

What has your hosting journey been like?

Keara started hosting sports games and public speaking during her university days.  She originally started hosting with Ottawa’s OHL team, the Ottawa 67’s, which she said was extremely beneficial! Keara stated that by working with the 67’s, she was able to make connections within the Ottawa sports community that led to more opportunities and volunteer opportunities that she said yes to! 

Do you have any advice for anyone who wishes to work in the sports media scene?

Connect and get involved! Keara said that social media is such a helpful tool for individuals who wish to work in the sports media scene. Social media makes it extremely easy for individuals to message individuals who are currently in the field and make connections within the area of sports media that one wishes to work in. Overall, Keara stated that the best thing one could do is use your social media platform to your advantage. LinkedIn messages, emails, posts on your social media platforms, and saying ‘yes’ to all of the opportunities that arose that she could  say ‘yes’ to!

With such a young and promising team being put together, who is your favourite Senator? 

When asked who her favourite player on the Senators was, Keara couldn’t pick just one! She highlighted many of the ‘young guns’, including Brady Tkachuk, Drake Batherson, Thomas Chabot, Tim Stützle, and Josh Norris. Keara loves watching the young players develop and play together as it’s always fast-paced and entertaining when they’re on the ice! 

I would like to thank Keara for being so open and for taking the time to chat with me about her role with the Senators! 

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