It’s clear skies ahead as Canadian folk hero Valdy admires the scenery of B.C.’s northern lake district.
Driving along with longtime friend, and touring partner, Gary Fjellgaard between gigs in Burns Lake and Prince George, the cell phone crackles to a stop while the boys park dutifully on the side of the road to chat.
Valdy is, as usual, in a jovial mood as he speaks about his upcoming tour with Fjellgaard in the Okanagan. It’s The Contenders’ 11th annual sojourn through the valley to celebrate George Ryga Week in B.C., and Valdy wouldn’t miss it for the world –– even for an induction into the Order of Canada.
Yes, it’s true, the man who sang that venerable hit Play Me a Rock ‘n’ Roll Song is finally being recognized by his country.
“They offered to do the ceremony in November, but I asked if it could be pushed to April because I was going to be doing this tour in the Okanagan, and I like to honour my commitments,” said Valdy.
After 40-odd years of making music in this country, Fjellgaard says that’s just one of the reasons the Order of Canada should have been bestowed on his mate years ago.
“I’m just pleased as punch for him,” he said. “Years ago when we were touring together, (former PM Brian) Mulroney got the Order of Canada. I was thinking then that Valdy should be getting it, not this guy who gave us the GST and Free Trade. (Valdy) is a part of the very fabric of Canada. He travels back and forth bringing along a beautiful profile of this country. I’ve never heard anyone utter a bad word about Valdy.”
A centre-piece of Canada’s honours system, the Order recognizes a lifetime of outstanding achievement and dedication to the community and nation. To Valdy it’s a catalyst on what has been a long-standing career.
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Source: Vernon Morning Star
Author: Kristin Froneman