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Dana Asher stands with the Canadian flag
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06/16/02 - London Free Press

Canadians urged to voice patriotism

By Deirdre Healey -- Free Press Reporter

If 30 million people sang O Canada at the same time, would the United States hear?

A 24 year-old from Maple Ridge, B.C., thinks they could.

Dana Asher is trying to get the entire country to sing the national anthem July 1 at noon Pacific standard time (3 p.m. EST).

"Many people live along the border, so if we all sing at the same time, I think the States could hear us," Asher said.

Frustrated by Canadians' lack of patriotism, Asher started her campaign last year.

"People should take the time to appreciate how lucky we are," she said. "It's two minutes out of their entire lives and they can do it wherever they are."

She wants Canadians to out do Americans' July 4 celebration and this might do it.

Last year, she camped at Long Beach on Vancouver Island and about 40 people gathered to sing.

"It was an amazing feeling of pride knowing that more people might be out there singing at the same time."

This year, Asher is doing more networking.

She has sent out more than 200 e-mails to newspapers, television and radio stations and done a couple of interviews.

She has also e-mailed federal Heritage Minister Sheila Copps, visited with her area MP and sent four letters to the manager of the Vancouver Canucks inviting the National Hockey League team to come out and sing with her.

"A week before, I am going to photocopy flyers and my friends will help hand them out and stick them in windshields," she said.

Asher will be singing her heart out at Maple Ridge park this Canada Day.

"Its the biggest place I can think of where there is lots of parking in case lots of people come."

She is considering moving the time to 1 p.m. PST because of responses she has received that noon is too early.

Asher hopes her campaign will eventually be a Canadian tradition.

"It may take a couple of years to get it to happen. But I am going to keep doing it until it works or until people get annoyed with me, whichever comes first."

© 2002 London Free Press

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