I just got in last night from a marathon 24-hrs up, as I traveled to Ottawa to participate in the Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill. It was a fantastic time performing for lots of amazing people and some of the biggest crowds I’ve had this year to date!
Since I had so much fun last year, but I didn’t have a lot of time to spare (what with Pride being this weekend as well), I ended up taking an over-nighter greyhound bus into the city and got to work as soon as I arrived. It proved to be the best plan and I will most likely do the same thing in future years.
Ottawa is such a great city to perform in; the regular street is easy and even during the weekdays, the vibe is the same as a festival. It’s definitely a welcome change from the grind and grueling atmosphere of Toronto. And hey, nobody celebrates Canada Day better than Ottawans getting drunk on Parliament Hill!
It proved to be an interesting Canada Day for me, as a Torontonian. Last weekened, the G20 summit was held in Toronto, grounding me for two days amidst the turmoil of protests-turned-riots, and a great divide emerged between the citizens and our police. Many of my friends spent Canada Day patriotically marching in a protest demanding an independent inquiry to be conducted on our police force; while I feel as though I should have been marching alongside my friends, I chose to spend Canada Day celebrating my freedom to give shows in our capital city and my freedom to make people smile and laugh, a freedom that was temporarily suspended from me during the G20 weekend.
Canada is not perfect–especially, not now though growing conservative trends like the passing of Bill C-32 which was quietly passed while the G20 took our local media’s headlines–but Torontonians proved this week that they are not passive. It is also interesting to see how many people in my age demographic actually care about issues such as these that affect all of us. Canada Day, to me, was a time to celebrate the rights that we do have, and to reflect upon the rights that we are in danger of losing and to remember that it is always a constant balance between being grateful and being critical and to always, always love your country so much that you will speak up for what you believe in, even if your city is full of riot cops.
Quite frankly, I can’t think of anything more patriotic.