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Let’s get the part-eh started!

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By: Dana Michell

WHAT: Canada Day Concerts

WHERE: Crab Shack, Dusty’s, Buffalo Bill’s, Boot Pub

WHEN: Monday and Tuesday, June 30 and July 1

Who doesn’t love public holidays, ‘eh? Especially in the summer, and mid week, and when it’s a birthday. How many more excuses do you need to party?

How about the fact that there’s a plethora of performances in the Great White North’s honour all over the Village and Creekside from Canada’s Birthday eve right through to the wee morning of July 2, when the 2010 Winter Olympics host city will finally be announced.

June 30

First up on the nation’s anniversary agenda is a tribute show on Monday June 30 for one of Canada’s most beloved bands — The Tragically Hip. There’s no better way to ring in the Maple Leaf’s massive day than with a few heartfelt anthems from Bobby, Johnny, Paul and the two Gords. Okay so the legends themselves won’t be here, but in their place are five hard-working guys who are really into the Hip’s music.

As tribute acts go, Totally Hip pays attention to detail. Michael Heagle is a young Gord Downie with a voice and energy bound to capture any audience. Then there's Mike Burley who not only does a mean impression of Bobby Baker's gritty riffs, but his hair is pretty much the same length. No wigs there, every inch of it’s Burley.

Rhythm guitarist Shaun McLellan strikes a chord as Paul Langlois while Bassist Pat Rufallo rocks the low end with bass lines à la Sinclair. Last but not least is Patrick Sharp who cuts a serious groove on drums done the Johnny Fay way – rock solid, that is.

In just over a year as the Totally Hip, these talented musicians have already taken their act to tiny towns from Vancouver to Montreal, and this summer they are off to Newfoundland. Their authentic reputation is spreading fast with some fans even mistaking them for the real deal.

"We did this one gig in Fernie where this guy from New Zealand came up and told us how much he loves us and that he had all our albums. That was pretty flattering but we set him straight none the less," said McLellan. Expect all your Tragically Hip tributes, including "New Orleans Is Sinking", "Locked In The Trunk Of A Car" and "Blow At High Dough".

July 1

On Canada Day, July 1, don’t cha dare miss making it down to the Shack where live music will be playing from noon ‘til late. Plain ol’ Pete, Guitar Doug, Pete and Chad, Wes Makepeace, The Totally Hip and WDC will all be performing throughout the day. Call the Crab Shack for the full schedule on 604-932-4451.

You could always head over to Creekside and catch the Hairfarmers hoe down at Dusty’s, which is opening its doors for summer the first time in 38 years. With an outdoor BBQ and beer bash to be proud of, the Creek will be grilling from lunchtime onwards, with the party anthems kicking in at 5 p.m. as only the hairy duo of Guitar Greg and Grateful Greg can kick them.

Free s’mores and marshmallow roasting for the kids.

Buffalo Bill’s is handing the basement over to Whistler’s bad boys of rock, the Dave Crowley Band. In true Canadian form, these local lords of darkness will be consuming copious cans and causing ear crushing chaos with their full metal assault from 9 p.m.

On Tuesday morning, make sure you hit the recovery party — the 2010 Olympic Bid Decision Day. Starting at 7 a.m. there’ll be a pancake breakfast in the Village Square, followed by a live broadcast from Prague around 8:30 a.m. Join Olympians and Paralympians, past and present, plus the many locals who have worked so hard on the dream as they wait for the IOC’s decision.

The Oh Canada Day Quiz

We asked some of Whistler’s musicians performing on this special day what it means to be Canadian, and what music true Canadians should have in their collection. Here are their responses:

1. What does Canada Day mean to you?

Pete from WDC: The appreciation in the eyes of 200 people throwing their arms around each other, singing the national anthem.

Chad from WDC: It’s my parents’ anniversary so that’s quite a party in our family. But I think mostly I just appreciate having a day off. Kind of, oh wait, I’m playing in my band that night.

Guitar Doug: Here comes summer.

Grateful Greg: It’s an excellent day off for all Canadians to get together and behave like Canadians — you know, drink loads of beer and party like hell.

Dave from The Crowley Band : Another excuse to get drunk.

Sean from Totally Hip: Paying homage to our forefathers who founded this great nation with some good Canadian kick ass rock n’ roll.

Wes Makepeace: It’s right when the sun starts rolling in and I start coaching snowboarding on the glacier — it’s a good mix.

2. I am Canadian because…:

Pete: Obviously, I'm hung like a moose.

Chad: We’re always taking pot shots at ourselves.

Doug: The skiing in Thailand sucks.

Greg: I was born & raised here on the West Coast, have lived here my whole life, and there's no place else I'd rather be.

Dave: I’d rather watch the NHL draft than a baseball game.

Sean: I say "eh" a lot, eh?

Wes: My birth certificate says so.

3. What song sums up Canada best?

Pete : Kim Mitchell’s "Might As Well Go For A Soda".

Chad: "The Ballad of Wendel Clark" by The Rheostatics.

Doug : Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi".

Greg: "Helpless" by Neil Young – if you don't know why, check it out.

Dave: "Pass Me Another Eskimo" by Day-Glo Abortions.

Sean: Our national anthem, "Oh Canada".

Wes : 50 Cent’s "It’s your birthday". I’ve been hearing that a lot lately.

Canada’s best musical export is…:

Pete: Avril Lavigne. Get her as far away from here as possible.

Chad: No question, it’s Daniel Lanois who produced all those great U2 albums and Bob Dylan albums and Neil Young albums and a countless number of his own. He does exactly what Canadians do – guide things behind the scene without a fuss.

Doug: Joni Mitchell and the band RUSH – no explanation needed.

Greg: I'd have to say RUSH because they have stayed in Canada, and always kicked serious musical butt.

Dave: Steppin’ Wolf. The drummer is amazing and their lead singer’s blind - an incredible band.

Sean: Definitely the Tragically Hip because their songs have a lot of Canadian content in their lyrics and their style and sound stand alone.

Wes: Neil Young. He does his own thing. He sings beautiful music but is still a bad ass.

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