The Trans Canada Trail, the country spanning highway for our country’s hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, celebrated their official cross-Canada connection as The Great Trail with over 200 events across the country on August 26. But no event was bigger than at Ottawa’s Major’s Hill Park; immediately across the Rideau Canal from Parliament Hill.
Hosted by broadcaster Valerie Pringle and actor Michael Mancini; the event offered people the opportunity to “portage” one of the beautiful Hudson’s Bay canvas-wrapped canoes, explore Ottawa’s fabulous selection of food trucks, and enjoy live music courtesy of a legend of Canada’s music industry and Ottawa’s diverse music scene.
Kicking things off was Voices of Praise Gospel Choir, Ottawa’s premiere gospel choir who got the relaxed crowd moving and grooving in the midday sun. Inuit throat singers, Nukariik, shared stories and meaning behind their traditional sound. Rising hip-hop star, Cody Coyote, introduced traditional dancers to not only the stage but also to the field when the dancers pumped up the crowd. Kimberly Sundstrum brought her bright, joyful acoustic songs. Peppered throughout the performances, were presentations by Governor General, David Johnston, Ottawa Center MP and Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna; as well as a presentation of $1 million from Hudson’s Bay to the Trans Canada Trail, who created their Grand Portage line and event series to benefit the Great Trail during Canada’s 150th year.
Closing out the show was a performance by Steven Page. The former Barenaked Ladies frontman was joined by Halifax cellist, Kevin Fox, and Odds lead singer and songwriter, Craig Northey; and performed a selection of songs that spanned his solo work, and his work with his former band. The audience was warm and sang at the top of their lungs to the clear Canadian classic Page himself penned 25 years ago.
It was a beautiful day that highlighted the best and best and brightest Ottawa and the country has to offer and celebrated the newest connection the brings us all together.
For more photos from The Great Trail, head to our Facebook page!
Born and raised with thoughts and aspirations of becoming a famous bassist in Sarnia, ON; Emily Plunkett now lives in Gatineau, QC, and considers National Capital Region home sweet home. A product of the Beatles, MuchMusic and the Southwestern Ontario summer festival circuit (circa 2000), her interest and love in concert photography came almost completely by accident when her journalism program at Algonquin College required courses in photojournalism (and she quickly realized that photos taken at concerts using a DSLR are enormously better than ones she was taking on a point-and-shoot she bought for a trip to England). She is extremely proud of the fact she has seen Sloan in some form or another 25 times.