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Surrey, let your Canada Day pride shine

It's not bragging if it's true: tens of thousands of Surrey residents are going to raise a little hell on Canada Day, thanks to legendary rock band, Trooper.
Trooper headlines Surrey Canada Day 2011.

It's not bragging if it's true: tens of thousands of Surreyites are going to raise a little hell on Canada Day, thanks to legendary rock band, Trooper.

For those not in the know, Trooper is responsible for some of the nation’s best-loved and most singable songs, from the uniquely Canadian call to action, “Raise a Little Hell,” to the ultimate ode to a sunny afternoon on the nation’s rainy Wet Coast, “We’re Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time)”.

Surrey’s July 1 festivities are Western Canada’s largest Canada Day celebration, drawing more than 100,000 people to the Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre at 176 St. and 64 Ave. for a free, day-long event filled with live music, family-friendly activities, food, and cultural events, capped off with a fireworks display, all hosted by the City of Surrey.

This year, things get an extra blast of patriotic jet fuel: Mr. O Canada himself, opera singer Mark Donnelly, will be on hand to sing the national anthem at 8:35 p.m., just before Trooper takes the stage.

Donnelly is famous outside the concert hall for his unabashedly patriotic rendition of O Canada at Canucks home games – and for his ability to get the crowd to sing along. So, heck yeah, Surrey, let your Canada Day pride shine.

The 2011 music lineup celebrates the best in Canadian talent, from local and up-and-coming performers to nationally-known classic rockers and cultural dancers.

Along with Trooper, headliners include Harlequin, another classic Canadian band that produced a string of radio-friendly hits in the 1980s, including “Innocence” and “I Did if for Love.”

Pop singer Elise Estrada is a Juno nominee and TV star, while The Latency is a young trio from Maple Ridge. Their song “Tonight, I Love You,” was featured on TV’s Degrassi.

Big River – A Johnny Cash Tribute, features singer David Pittet, who’s building a growing reputation for his uncanny vocal resemblance to the original Man in Black.

Other Mainstage performers include the Korean Traditional Arts Society, and First Nations performers The Wild Moccasin Dancers, featuring dancer Shyama-Priya along with classically-trained cellist and electronic artist Cris Derksen, who also appeared at Surrey Winterfest earlier this year.

Club DJs The Freshest DJ Collective will also inject themselves into the proceedings at various points in the day.

Children’s performers Music with Marnie, GoGo Bonkers!, Captain Canada, and juggler Mike Battie are also on hand for Surrey Canada Day.

Be sure to check out the exceptionally strong talent at the second stage, where the top 20 artists in the 2011 Peak Performance Project will perform live on Canada Day.

Those rising stars include Vancouver’s Jasper Sloan Yip and Surrey’s The Oh Wells.

The contest is a professional development program to help foster new artists embarking on a music career. Past participants have included Juno winners Said the Whale and Cloverdale/Langley’s The Left.

Other attractions include amusement rides, interactive games and bouncy castles for the kids.

This year there are also freestyle motocross shows at 2:15 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.

The official opening ceremonies with Mayor Dianne Watts and council is at 1:30 p.m. Fireworks are at 10:15 p.m.

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