Her glowing heart will shine on Canada Day

“When you’re singing O Canada, if your heart isn’t glowing, you’re doing it wrong — especially by the time you get to that line.”

Cassandra Cavalli should know.

The 28-year-old singer-actress has been belting out the national anthem at sporting events in Langley for the past year.

If you’ve been in the stands at a Langley Rivermen hockey game or a Thunder lacrosse game in the past 12 months, you’ve likely heard her perform.

And on Tuesday, July 1, she’ll get the chance to do it again in front of thousands at the annual Canada Day celebration at Willoughby Community Park, as the winner of The Times’ Sing Your Heart Out competition.

Although she received $300 in gift certificates from local businesses as part of her prize, it was the opportunity to sing for the crowd on Canada Day that prompted her to enter.

Cavalli, who was born and raised in Langley, has been singing since she was about four years old.

She’s never had a lesson, she said. Instead, her instruction came from beautiful fictional characters with golden voices.

“Disney princesses taught me to sing,” laughed Cavalli.

In 2012, she placed third in the Langley Has Talent competition, performing the Eagles hit, Desperado.

Stepping onto the stage at Christian Life Assembly two years ago brought her out of her shell, she said.

“I was too shy. I wanted to get back into acting, but I had gotten used to not taking risks.

“I wanted to face that fear — and singing was my greatest fear.”

Though she has no aspirations to become a professional singer or a recording artist, Cavalli enjoys performing at sporting events and would love to one day sing the national anthem at Canucks or Lions games.

On July 1, she will be on the main stage at Willoughby Community Park sometime between 4:30 and 5 p.m.

“I am very thankful to those who supported me in the contest,” she said.

“I hope everyone will have glowing hearts.”

For the first time this year, the Canada Day committee has joined forces with International Day celebrations and Tourism Langley for a four-day party at Willoughby Community Park.

The first two days, June 28 and 29 will be dedicated to fun sporting competition in a range of activities, from bocce to lacrosse and soccer, presented by Tourism Langley.

Canada Day/International Festivities begin in earnest on Monday, June 30 at 3 p.m. with entertainment on the mainstage that runs until 10:30 p.m.

The next day, celebration picks up at 11 a.m. and continues until 10:45 p.m. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m.

Fort Langley, the birthplace of B.C., will also once again host a Canada Day celebration on July 1.

The event goes all day, at venues all over the village. Entertainment will include a presentation of Bard in the Valley’s summer 2014 production of Julius Caesar in front of the historic yellow community hall, as well as pioneer games at the Langley Centennial Museum.

The Master of Ceremonies this year at the main stage in the 2014 Fort Langley Canada Day Celebrations will be Professor Douglas Fraser. Fraser is a jazz and blues musician and vocalist who will also be performing the opening and closing set this year in Fort Langley.

He is a musicologist, a professor of musical history and historian, and he will be delighting the audience with vintage material on banjo and tenor guitar in a style that has made him a standout performer at festivals all over North America.

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