A birthday this big deserves a weekend celebration.
An impressive evening entertainment lineup has been booked for this year’s Canada Day celebrations at Exhibition Park in Abbotsford in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday.
This year’s Canada Day celebrations, sponsored by Prospera Credit Union and with grant funding received from the federal government, will be full of 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 of Abbotsford gets things started at 6 p.m. Clack 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.
Rapper Saint Soldier of Abbotsford also performs 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 and fronted by mixed Haida-Tsimshian siblings Gillian and Robert Thomson.
They have 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 band 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.