Community Papers

Canada Day concert gets people dancing

The crowd at Burnaby's first free Canada Day concert may not have been as large as expected, but Dave Ellenwood, the city's director of parks and recreation, said it was still such a success it will likely be back next year.

Ellenwood said by the time headliners Spirit of the West took the stage at Swangard Stadium about 3,000 people were in the grandstand and dancing on the running track in front the stage. The city had planned to cap attendance at 4,200.

The show also featured local roots rockers Dustin Bentall and the Smokes and indie award winners Dear Rouge. The evening was capped with a fireworks display.

Ellenwood said judging from the smiles on faces in the audience as well as the musicians, the concert hit all the right notes.

"It was great to be able to do something directly and just for fun," said Ellenwood. "For the first year, it was a great success."

Ellenwood said he was especially pleased by the broad range of people at the show, from families with infants wearing protective headphones to seniors as old as 93 years-old. He said that was even noted by a member of Spirit of the West.

"That's exactly what we were trying to do," said Ellenwood of creating a Canada Day event that would appeal to anyone, as well as complement the city's daytime celebrations at Burnaby Village Museum and Edmonds Park. "Everyone gets a bit of a different experience from this, it's timeless."

Ellenwood said as word spreads about the good time enjoyed by those who were at this year's inaugural event, it will only grow in the future.

"The prospects of building the crowd after the first year are good," he said.


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