Canada's the second biggest country in the world. But you know what? It doesn't feel that way to me. When I go from town to town and city to city in this great country of ours, playing festivals and meeting fans, it feels like the greatest little town on earth. You know the kind of place I mean. A place probably a lot like where you grew up if you were lucky. Or maybe a place a lot like Sudbury, where I’m from. Full of families. Of new neighbours and old friendships and hard workers and carefree kids and small businesses and union workers and caregivers and volunteers.
Community is what Canada is about. People living next door to one another and working together—whether it was your neighbour helping you clear land 200 years ago, or donating money to help the people of Fort McMurray a few months ago. And nowhere was that sense of community more evident to me than at the Last Bikers Reunion in New Liskeard, Ontario, on Canada Day. Man—what a ride!
The Bikers Reunion was started 15 years ago by an amazing guy called Barry Phippen. He wanted to raise money for local families affected by cancer. So he started up this family-friendly event where people could come together and listen to music, eat good food, enjoy the weather and just be part of this crazy time along with 25,000 other folks. Because there’s nothing better than doing something for a good cause and having a blast while you’re doing it. Barry is one of the most humble guys I've ever met, by the way—full of gratitude for the volunteers that made the event possible year after year. Your community probably has someone like him too. Someone who just inspires other people and helps make the world a better place.
So thanks to Barry and his team of volunteers. What an event it was!
My band and I pulled into our campground spot late on the night of June 30, and you could already feel the energy in the air. So many people around just chatting, comparing travel times, admiring bikes, getting to know one another. In fact, one nice couple, Judie and Charlie Martin, took me, my wife Terri and my daughter Olivia on an evening cruise around Lake Temiskaming. Beautiful. That's the kind of good people you meet up there. Just willing to share what they've got.