Canada Day in Barrhaven

With larger than usual crowds and the significant increase in security this year, I thought it would be a good idea to check out one of the other local events and avoid the crush of people Downtown.  If the news reports are accurate about the long lines, large crowds and buses that were stuck in traffic for more than an hour, it’s a good thing I chose another option.

This year I chose to attend the event in Barrhaven as two bands I’ve been following (Arms of the Girl and Rebecca Noelle) were playing on stage and the headliners, Alter Ego, looked like a really fun, high energy, non-stop showband.  Yes, it rained (a lot) and yes, the grounds turned to a total mud pit, but I was prepared as the Thursday night at Jazz Festival wasn’t much different and I’ve amassed some decent rain gear over the past 5 years.   What made it even better was ample free parking nearby and frequent shuttle buses that made it very easy to get to and from the site. Needless to say, I had a fantastic time (until the thunderstorm rolled in).

I’ve been following Arms of the Girl for a while and was excited to finally hear them play live.  I was not disappointed.  They brought their brand of Blues/Rock (mostly Rock) and played a great mix of their own material and covers of iconic Canadian bands to celebrate Canada Day.  With any luck, I’ll see them on-stage again in future concerts/festivals.

Rebecca Noelle was next on stage with her brand of R&B/Soul and was just as captivating as the first time I saw her perform.  There is a reason she did so well in La Voix this year.  She has a great command of the stage, interacts well with the audience, has an amazing voice and a fantastic band to make it a complete package.  I still have her rendition of Come Of Age playing through my head this morning and I’m sure that will happen again when I see her again at Bluesfest on July 9th.

The final act of the night was Alter Ego and their rain-shortened performance was amazing.  When they say there are 60 costume changes in a set, they are not kidding.  What they don’t say is how much talent each singer brings to the stage.  I’m going to have to watch for a future show in the area so I can see their entire act.

The only downside to the day was the storm that rolled in.  If it had just heavy rain, I probably would have stayed to see the fireworks started, but when I saw lightening in the distance, I decided to pack up early (I really do not like being caught in a wet, open field during lightning) instead of waiting to see if the sky would clear.  At least I managed to catch some of the Blackburn Hamlet fireworks from a distance as well as watching the CBC live stream of the ones on Parliament Hill.  Next year I will certainly be looking to the smaller events, such as Orleans and Barrhaven, as a great alternative to the big event Downtown.  Well done to all the organizers and volunteers who made the Barrhaven event a success, despite all the rain and mud!


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