Canada Day party in Abbotsford

Diverse lineup to entertain all at Canada 150 celebration

A birthday this big deserves a weekend celebration!

An impressive evening entertainment lineup has been booked for this year’s Canada Day celebrations in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday kicking off on June 30.

This year’s Canada Day celebrations, sponsored by Prospera Credit Union, and with grant funding received from the federal government under the Celebration and Commemoration Program, will be full of new and exciting entertainers including Her Brothers, Saint Soldier, Sister Says, and The Ballantynes.

This year also marks the first time that the event has been organized by the Abbotsford Arts Council, the same organization that has brought the Fraser Valley Concert Series (formerly Envision Concert Series) and Jam in Jubilee.

Kassandra Clack opens the lineup, at 6 p.m. Clack, from Abbotsford, is an energetic country artist and is quickly becoming an up-and-comer.

Following Clack will be Aldergrove-based band Her Brothers. In 2015, they were the first and only band to win the title of Langley has Talent, this honour led them to an opportunity to perform on the WE DAY Stage at Rogers Arena as well as Mighty Peace Day in Alberta. The name Her Brothers, refers to their sense of justice towards not only two of the members’ own sister, but towards all women, an issue which they became acutely aware of while on a humanitarian trip to southeast Asia.

Abbotsford Indo-Canadian rapper Saint Soldier will also be performing on the main stage this year. Saint Soldier was born in Punjab, India, and immigrated to Canada as a young child in the mid 1980s. He has been performing for several years in the Lower Mainland, released his first of several recordings in 2010, and won at last year’s Fraser Valley Music Awards in the hip-hop category. His music discusses social issues facing south Asian youth of his generation, as well as youth of other backgrounds.

Performing next will be Thistle Dew, a folk vocal trio from Abbotsford. Using ukelele and guitar they bring music from several eras and styles in beautiful three-part harmonies.

Next on the stage is Sister Says, a soulful indie pop group based out of Vancouver fronted by mixed Haida-Tsimshian siblings Gillian and Robert Thomson. They’ve performed in B.C., Ontario, Manitoba and Beijing at the likes of the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Kaslo Jazz Etc. Festival, Edge of the World Music Festival in Haida Gwaii, Canadian Music Week in Toronto, and many more.

Headlining the event at 9 p.m. are The Ballantynes, a Vancouver six-piece inspired by 1960s soul and garage music. They were named last year by The Georgia Straight as one of Vancouver’s best bands. Their 2015 debut album, Dark Drives, Life Signs, was acclaimed by Exclaim! magazine for its “driving snare rolls, awe-inducing organs and positive vibes”. The fireworks display will begin immediately after their performance.

The afternoon entertainment lineup from 1 to 5 p.m. will consist of several community and cultural performances, including singing, First Nations drumming, and dancing styles from ballroom to bhangra.

Along with the annual Canada Day celebrations on July 1, the City of Abbotsford is also planning two more great events to celebrate Canada150, including a kick off celebration at Exhibition Park on June 30th and a ‘Live Symphony Orchestra’ directed by Calvin Dyck on August 10 at Mill Lake.

On June 30, producer Calvin Dyck has put together an entertaining lineup to kick off the Canada Day weekend celebration, including 3 choirs, orchestra, dancers, skippers, drummers and more:

• The Pacific Mennonite Children’s Choir will be performing Karl Jenkins’ tribal “Dos a Dos” complete with choreography and orchestral accompaniment as well as a world premiere of “O Canada, the Place We All Call Home”, composed by Abbotsford’s own Joyce Janzen.

• The National Champions, Abbotsford Skipping Sensations, will be skipping to the famous “Can Can” and the sensational Sionnaine Irish Dancers will be performing “Lord of the Dance” and “Call to the Dance” made famous by the Leahy Family.

• The Valley Festival Singers led by Dr. Joel Tranquilla will perform works by 4 Canadian composers, and the May Day Choir will perform 3 songs: ‘Heroes’, ‘Pompeii’, and ‘Lost Boy’.

• The 15 piece Korean Drummers of Abbotsford will knock your socks off, and you don’t want to miss the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra’s latest choreographed number – “Tango Jealousy” complete with bright red dresses and great moves.

• 11 year old composer Rafael Brisebois, who won a national composition contest will present his newest piece for orchestra entitled “Hemlock Valley/Sasquatch Mountain”, and to top it off there will be an appearance by an acrobatic sensation; a hula hoop contortionist, performing to music from Cirque du Soleil.

Don’t miss this special concert at Rotary Stadium in celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday on Friday, June 30 at 6 p.m.

These Canada150 initiatives in Abbotsford are possible due to the $45,000 grant received from the federal government under the Celebration and Commemoration Program Canada 150 Fund. This grant is provided to help Abbotsford celebrate Canada150.

“This year’s Canada Day festivities will be memorable for us all, as we celebrate our nation’s 150th anniversary. I often reflect on how fortunate we are to live in such a great country, a country that celebrates our diversity and uniqueness. What better way to honour our great country than to showcase our region’s diverse array of local entertainers. This lineup truly embodies our country’s multicultural character, and I look forward to celebrating our national heritage with the entire community this year,” said Henry Braun, Mayor, City of Abbotsford.

Aldergrove Star