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Tune into County musicians’ virtual Canada Day celebrations

There will be no parades in the County this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but virtual celebrations abound.

Prince Edward County musicians are bringing joy to Canada Day celebrations virtually this year.

Sam Hirst

Beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 1 the chimes at Picton United Church will be heard throughout the town and online as musician and music teacher Sam Hirst rings in Canada Day in Picton, playing requests for uplifting songs on the chimes at Picton United Church.

‘The Chimes, They are a Changing’ will be heard throughout Picton, and will also be livestreamed from inside the church. Watch at:  the Picton United Church Facebook page here:

As that concert ends, another begins as County musicians through Back Forty Productions will provide the day’s main event for this year’s Canada Day festivities, online.

Caleb and Megan Hutton, of  Instant Rivalry

Back Forty’s Caleb and Megan Hutton (best known as the award-winning duo, Instant Rivalry) have pulled together a great line up of entertainers to perform live-stream concerts from noon to 5p.m. at: The acts will also be broadcast on 99.3 County FM radio.

Musical acts include Instant Rivalry, 62 South, The Reasons, Moon Sugar, The Frere Brothers and more.

The Huttons have been providing music to the county on Canada Day for more than a decade.

“This year will not be an exception,” said Megan. “We have lined up musical acts and guest appearances from local celebrities for a five-hour live broadcast that will encompass all corners of the County.”

Back Forty Productions prides itself as one of the world’s only solar-powered recording studios, based in Prince Edward County. Soon after COVID-19 pandemic lock down in March, they began live-streaming and since have hosted more than 25 events from their studio.

At 4:30 p.m., there will be a special broadcast (online and the radio) of ‘O Canada’, and County residents are encouraged to sing along from their porches, in their homes or wherever they find themselves on Canada Day.

A special song and video, ‘We Are One’ is also to debut on the broadcast and then is to be available at .

The song was written by Jason McCoy of The Road Hammers and Jim Payetta and they issued a challenge to the world to record the song and make it their own.

“Caleb received a message from Jason about recording it. After hearing the song, we fell in love with it and knew we had to do something special with it. We wanted to bring together local musicians during these unprecedented times. So, we chose an array of artists from multiple genres rock, country, jazz, to gospel,” said Megan.

She notes Sam Hirst was a great help adding sign language to the video, and also for being the choir director.

Other musicians include Peter Rea, Bill Wood, Dan Dayton, Jamie Pounder, Lenni Stewart, the Kitchen Family, the Frere Brothers, Craig Foster, Archie Busker, Ruggie Vanta, Telegraph Narrows, Kim Inch, Michael Farrell, Benni Vander, and even Caleb’s children joined in. All proceeds from the song go to the COVID 19 relief fund.

Meanwhile, an inspiring bilingual song by former County resident Jeanette Arsenault resurfaces as cities and organizations across the nation sign on to feature ‘This is My Canada / Mon cher Canada’ in their virtual celebrations.

The song was transformed into a music video in 2017, written, performed and supported by ‘Dream Team Canada’ including recording artis who are winners of six Grammy and 13 Juno awards.

Watch the video on YouTube by clicking here:

To end the day, the Government of Canada is offering augmented reality fireworks available on smart phones and tablets.

At 10 pm, local time, point your smart phone or tablet to the night sky and a three-minute show displaying 3D fireworks will begin. The augmented reality experience is designed to offer the same visual and sound effects as a real fireworks display.

Users will be asked to allow access to their camera and other device features in order to use this augmented reality application. If you do not wish to allow this access, you can see the video montage by clicking here: and with described video by clicking here:

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