First of all in true Canadian fashion, please accept my apologies for not updating all of you on our Canada Day Ottawa experience sooner. Our whole trip has been a bit of a dream and I have needed to come down off this cloud, back to reality in order to blog!
Where should I start. Well – why not on waking up on Canada Day. We’re up bright and early, getting ready for our 8:30 am lobby call to sing O Canada at the official Flag-Raising ceremony on Parliament Hill. We’re combing our locks, pressing our flannels, singing our warm ups – and mid note, Laura announces we have received an email from the Snowbirds themselves! I shreek of course.
“We heard about your band and are hoping to catch your set, if you don’t see us, come find us int eh VIP tent later. We’ll have red golf shirts on!”
The Snowbirds are sheer absolute amazement for me. Skill I just don’t understand at it’s absolute best.
So with that quick heart start we piled in the NCC van and headed to the hill. We had plenty of time to take in the Changing of the Guard Ceremony and watch completely honoured as the Flag-Raising Ceremony took place. It was totally surreal to think that we would be singing the anthem after all of this. Emm quickly reminded us that the huge croud may sing along, which I hadn’t thought about.
We were all nervous but we didn’t talk about it. We all knew this was the one time the audience would not forgive us if we messed up. We weren’t singing the national anthem that day, we were singing THE national anthem. We didn’t realy talk about the pressure. We have a trust in each other that we will be there when needed, and we were. As Laura said later “It had to be a hat-trick”. We nailed our mixed language acapella version and the crowd didn’t sing. They respectfully stood on guard and listened, coming to a roaring cheer at the end. I don’t think we could have been more proud.
Here is the version of O Canada we performed. BTW several versions of O Canada are available for free download. Press “O Canada” above and follow the link directly to Soundcloud to do so. We are hoping you’ll play these at your schools and minor/major/hometown hockey games.
The second task of the day was to perform Space Oddity with Chris Hadfield and Joe Corcoran, the talented producer of Chris’s Space video that has been watched a few million times. Did you know that Emm also helped to coordinate that and played the piano?
We were able to have a rehearsal with Chris the day before, so we got our star struck jitters out then, but I wasn’t prepared for the sheer amount of folks who would be there. Here is a quick photo of the crowd.
Everything went off without a hitch and we were thrilled to be a part of this down to earth event.
We would like to extend a huge thank you to Glen Hallam for editing this official Space Oddity performance video together from several videos that were taken that day. Glen, this was really nice of you and we appreciate it so much. We have a little thank you coming your way.
At 8pm a pretty tired Trent Severn played our set at Major’s Hill Park. It was such an exciting day, and we used all the energy we had left to perform our show… but little did we know that it was going to get more exciting! Laura and I decided after our set to go find the Snowbirds, as they suggested, and give them each a copy of our CD (seeing as Freedon is a song for them and all).
Off to Parliament Hill we went, backstage passes in hand. We asked everyone we came across if they knew the whereabouts of the “VIP” tent and it was quite hard to find, as it was in front of the stage, not behind it – duh – lol. We spent a few moments taking in Metric, sitting on the stairs of the hill watching 100,000 people in front of us. A moment I will never forget.
When it was time for fireworks we had the best seat in the house – the back of Parliament Hill. After a spectacle of lights like I’ve never seen, we turned around, and lo and behold I found one! A Snowbird! He graciously rounded up all 10 birds and posed for a photo on the Hill with Laura and I. Big thanks to my friend Dirk Kuig for snapping this shot.
What an ending to THE perfect Trent Severn Canada Day.