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Dana Asher stands with the Canadian flag
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By Tom Barnes

A few years back, Dana Asher started tuning into Vancouver talk radio host Rafe Mair's morning show to learn more about Canadian politics and to better help her firmly place her finger on pulse of our nation.

But to her dismay what she found reverberating from her speakers was not a healthy dialogue focused on bettering the country, but a constant banter of negativity - a forecast of doom and gloom.

"People had so much anger for the country. No one ever called (Mair's show) to say 'we have a great country.' It was frustrating," Asher explains.

"People were just concerned with the bad stuff."

Asher then began to compare our country with our American neighbours to south, and she noticed that while our soil might run parallel to one another, our patriotic enthusiasm, however, did not.

Undeterred, the admirably energetic 24-year-old Maple Ridge Woman, lit out to bring a little positive energy and unity to our home and native land, focusing her sights on Canada Day.

But how do you go about uniting the second largest country in the world all in one day?

Her idea: have everyone across the country sing the national anthem at exactly the same time.Simple eh'?

"It just came into my head. I said: 'wouldn't it be great if we sang all at the same time' I thought it would be so cool," She says.

The first time Asher tried the national anthem nationaly it ended up being more of a regional affair, with around 40 of her friends belting out the tune over the sound of the pounding surf in Toffino, on Vancouver Island's West Coast.

But for this year she knew if she wanted to take her idea nationwide she'd have to be more organized.

Thus begun an aggressive promotion campaign that included - but wasn't limited to - hitting up all the major newspapers nation-wide for some coverage (her story has appeared in the National Post), setting up a web site, lobbying to heritage minister Sheila Copps for support, and calling Canucks general manager Brian Burke to see if he could lend a few of his players to come out on July 1 and sing (if anyone knows how to sing O Canada it'll be a professional hockey player).

Now that the ball is rolling, eventually, AAnd already on line for this year's sing along is a group from London, Ontario, who'll be banding together sing at 3 p.m. out east in order to keep time with the pacific singers, and another troupe from Edmonton are ready to go at 1 p.m. for the same reason.

sher says she'd like to see her Sing for Canada at high noon concept become as enshrined in Canada Day celebrations as a moment of silence is on Remembrance Day.

To take part in this years Sing for Canada sing along be at Maple Ridge Park at 12:00 p.m. Monday July 1.

For more information see Asher's web site at

© 2002 Maple Ridge Times

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