Central Alberta’s singing cowboy Ivan Daines could have another sleeper hit on his hands.
The indie artist and Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall-of-Famer, who wrote a song about the Fort McMurray wildfire that was played on radio across the country, has now turned now his lyrical talents to Canada’s 150th birthday.
His toe-tapping tune, Yes, I Am Canadian, comes complete with verses about the country’s history, diversity and inclusive spirit.
It’s getting decent play on Olds radio, and in virtually every province, said Daines. There’s even a French-Canadian version that includes verses sung in the country’s other official language by Alberta Cajun singer Crystal Plamondon.
“I think it’s great … It’s so Canadian. I think it’s spectacular!” said Plamondon.
“I’m very honoured it’s getting a good reception,” said Daines, a Red Deer resident, who recorded the song in Calgary earlier this year with producer/engineer Don Kletke.
Daines wanted to go back in time, lyrically, to Jacques Cartier’s exploration of the St. Lawrence River. But although the song is patriotic, it doesn’t gloss over the fact this county has “troubles” we’re all working to overcome.
Besides attempting to reconcile with the First Nations people, Daines said many Canadians are struggling to accept aspects of recent immigration. But differences of opinion are bound to happen in a nation that accepts people from all over the world, with various customs and beliefs, he added.
In the end, “we come together. We are all Canadian.”
Daines recalls competing in college rodeo in California when Canada turned 100 in 1967, but wanting to be at the rodeo at Expo 67 in Montreal instead.
The cowboy poet, and former saddle bronc champ, decided to mark Canada’s 150th birthday with a song because it’s the last major national anniversary in his lifetime. “I won’t be recording on Canada’s 200th birthday!”
He’ll be singing the national anthem to open the Ponoka Stampede on July 1 and 2, however, and will also entertain in the arts show area following the rodeo. On the evening of June 30, Daines will be entertaining at the Innisfail Historic Site.
Plamondon will be entertaining on Canada Day in Calgary, performing at 7:20 p.m. at the Riverfront Avenue stage, right before Michael Bernard Fitzgerald and Tegan and Sara.
Their song, Yes, I Am Canadian is on YouTube.