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CANUCKS ANTHEM SINGER CANNED BY TEAM OWNER AFTER AGREEING TO PERFORM AT RALLY

Vancouver Canucks singer Mark Donnelly has confirmed that he will sing O Canada Saturday at a Downtown Vancouver rally in protest of COVID-19 restrictions. After hearing about it, Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini made it clear he was no longer an employee of the team.

B.C. Christmas Freedom Rally 2020 is set to happen Saturday afternoon outside the Vancouver Art Gallery. It is the same location many other anti-mask rallies have been held throughout the pandemic, often drawing both anti-mask and anti-vaccine advocates, along with conspiracy theorists and other far right figures.

This particular rally, which is set to have a march at 1:30 pm, along with an onstage singalong, is seasonally inspired. An event poster shared by organizer Ryan Kulbaba on Facebook says the following: “We oppose government orders and will gather for the holidays!”

Residents of British Columbia have been told by government to stay home for the time being, and have also put in a mask mandate. On top of that, they are also asking residents to avoid social gatherings of all sizes as they look to slow down the second wave of COVID-19.

Donnelly doesn’t seem to mind the potential negative press he will receive, and has no problems singing the national anthem for the event.

“I sing ‘O Canada’ as a sign of unity and strength for all Canadians,” Donnelly said. “The true north strong and free.”

After hearing about the story from the Vancouver Sun, Aquilini sent out a Tweet ensuring everyone was aware that Donnelly had belted out his last anthem at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.


There is a very mixed response to Aquilini's Tweet, as has been the case with masks in general since the COVID-19 pandemic got underway in North America near the beginning of 2020. It is one of, if not the most divisive issue in the U.S. and Canada at the moment.



This isn’t the first time Donnelly has performed at controversial venues. In 2012, he sang O Canada at an anti-abortion rally on the steps of the VAG. He is known by many for a clip that went viral during a BCHL hockey game years ago, where he decided to skate around while singing the national anthem, a decision that he likely regretted almost immediately.


COLTON PANKIW
DECEMBER 4, 2020  (19H24)
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