It’s the day after Canada Day At Canada Place and I’m still smiling. Emceeing the Coast Capital Savings Stage at Jack Poole Plaza was such a fantastic experience. We had such a great line-up of bands that it kept everyone grooving through a real 5 star celebration. Among the highlights for me was The Washboard Union, a 6 piece outlaw bluegrass band that has been blazing through the big music festival circuit over the last three months. They are great guys with a unique take on a southern style groove. Also Santa Lucia, a top-notch Latin funk band, got the crowds moving in the plaza. The front of the stage got packed with girls with stars in their eyes when The Boom Booms hit the stage.
These young guys are the real deal. Synchronized dance moves, and sound that make it impossible not to move with them. They had a fantastic, infectious energy that brought the excitement to new heights.
In between acts, it was my job to keep the crowds happy and fill in a bit of the down time. It was a blast playing our mini-game shows: “Famous Canadians: Who Am I?”, “Battle of the Sexes: Do You Know Your Country?” (men vs. women, if you didn’t get that from the title) and our version of “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader”. Of course, along with the entertainment filler, there’s load of sponsors to thanks, info updates & safety announcements -while always keeping one eye backstage to see if the next act is ready to go.
At the same time, comedy veteran and fellow Character Guy was bringing his unique and razor-sharp wit to Celebration Stage in Vancouver Convention Centre West. A great day for Gary, riffing with the audience and the backstage crew as well. Also at the same time, our friends from Chameleon Entertainment were being inundated for photo opts with their amazing “living statue” characters.
By 6:00, our stage’s headliner, Biff Naked, The Princess of Punk, was ready to perform. I’m so impressed with her. She was cool under pressure, absolutely charming and left it all on the stage. She also has an innate ability to hype the crowed and get them rocking, but at the same time create an atmosphere of acceptance and love that brings the crowd together. The crowd rocked out to her 40 minute set and when the Coast Capital Stage program was finally over, everyone had truly celebrated Canada’s 146th birthday the way we should: laughing and dancing with our fellow Canadians!