The Pacific Mennonite Children’s Choir is among the groups performing in Abbotsford at Canada Day weekend kick-off celebrations on June 30 at Exhibition Park.

The Pacific Mennonite Children’s Choir is among the groups performing in Abbotsford at Canada Day weekend kick-off celebrations on June 30 at Exhibition Park.

CANADA DAY: Kickoff event at Exhibition Park

Evening of entertainment on Friday, June 30 leads off weekend celebration

Abbotsford kicks of a weekend of Canada Day celebrations with a special night of entertainment on Friday, June 30 at Exhibition Park.

Producer Calvin Dyck has put together an entertaining lineup, including three choirs, an orchestra, dancers, skippers, drummers and more, starting at 6 p.m.

• The Pacific Mennonite Children’s Choir will perform 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.

• National champions Abbotsford Skipping Sensations will skip to the famous Can Can, and the Sionnaine Irish Dancers will perform 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 four Canadian composers, and the May Day Choir will perform 3 songs: Heroes, Pompeii, and Lost Boy.

• The 15-piece Korean Drummers of Abbotsford will perform.

• The Abbotsford Youth Orchestra will present its 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 there will be an appearance by an acrobatic sensation and a hula hoop contortionist, performing to music from Cirque du Soleil.

“This year’s Canada Day festivities will be memorable for us all, as we celebrate our nation’s 150th anniversary,” said Mayor Henry Braun.

“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.”

The festivities continue on July 1 at Exhibition Park. (See separate story for full entertainment lineup.)

The City of Abbotsford also celebrates Canada150 on Aug. 10 with a Live Symphony Orchestra directed by Calvin Dyck at Mill Lake Park.