One of northern B.C.'s most acclaimed musicians is getting the top Canada Day job in the nation. Dayna Manning of Fort St. John will, with her trio Trent Severn, be singing the national anthem on Parliament Hill for Canada's official flag raising on Dominion Day.
According to Manning, the maple sugar flowing in their veins won't stop there. Once they are done vocally launching the nation's birthday, that will be followed by a duet with astronaut Chris Hadfield that afternoon. The band will then play a full set at Major Hill's Park at 8 p.m.
Hadfield became Canada's highest-ranking musician in a literal sense by doing duets with Barenaked Ladies and David Bowie from his commander's chair on the international space station earlier this year. He also listened in on an internet broadcast of a Trent Severn concert as he orbited the earth and couldn't resist calling down to say hello during the event. Now they get to meet on terra firma.
Trent Severn is quickly becoming a national touchstone band after releasing their first album last year. Each song had a particular criteria for making the album: it had to showcase something Canadian.
The group bond formed between three well known Canadian musicians who had solo careers of their own. Manning is a past Juno Award nominee and two-tour Lilith Fair veteran. Emm Gryner used to be a member of David Bowie's touring band, has several solo albums to her credit and had a role in the hit film One Week opposite Joshua Jackson, plus three Juno nominations. Laura C. Bates is a fiddle chanteuse with four national tours under her belt, and jazz/folk pedigrees in her repertoire.
Together they are getting comparisons to an all-female Crosby, Still, Nash and Young, to Simon and Garfunkel, to Spirit of the West and many other power-vocal modern folk units.
This national bow in Ottawa also signals a goodbye for Manning, a northern B.C. resident for the past eight years. She grew up in Stratford, Ontario.
"I wanted to let everyone officially know that I am moving to Calgary in August," she said. "I'm really looking forward to a new adventure and living in a big city again. I am going to miss the people of Fort St. John dearly, and am so thankful for the way these northern winds have shaped me and my life."