After his engagement fell apart, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald didn’t really know what to do with the rings.
Eventually, the Calgary-based musician came up with the idea to give away the two wedding bands and engagement ring as part of a contest.
“I almost got married a couple of years ago and still had the rings,” Fitzgerald told the Now on Monday, four days prior to playing Surrey’s Canada Day event on Friday (July 1).
“I thought selling them at the pawn shop would cheapen the whole experience, so I wanted to do something positive with them.”
Close to 400 contest entrants submitted love letters online. With the entry deadline over since June 17, Fitzgerald, along with bandmates, friends and family, will begin reading them all next week.
The contest winner will get the rings hand-delivered to them by Fitzgerald, who will also perform at the couple’s wedding.
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“I can’t help but think that giving these rings away will be a fresh start,” Fitzgerald wrote in a post at Treasureislandrecs.com.
“Giving a couple these rings will allow me to get behind the bond they’ve created, our little community supporting them on their big day.”
So far, Fitzgerald is pleased with how people have responded to his unique contest.
“There’s so much content out there now, with videos and songs, that the way to reach people now, to have a real connection with them, is to be honest with people.”
Fitzgerald’s heartbreak of 2014 is evident on his most recent album, called “I Want to Make It With You” and released earlier this year.
On Canada Day in Cloverdale, his acoustic folk-soul sounds will be heard at Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre for about an hour, starting at 7:30 p.m.
Other performers at Surrey’s July 1 party include Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, The Dudes, a Heroes of Rock tribute band, EnKarma with Vancity Bhangra, Tony Barton and Tracy Neff as Johnny Cash and June Carter, Pat Chessell Band, Dirty Mike and the Boys, among others.
See the full list of performers, attractions and activities at Surrey.ca/canadaday.