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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Opera singer Ben Heppner, folk musician Roy Forbes and soul singer Tonye Aganaba will be appearing on the CBC Television concert special “Outta Dawson” this weekend.

The three musicians, who all hail from Dawson Creek, performed together for the first time in Gastown, Vancouver last February. The CBC will be airing footage of that concert on Saturday evening.

“There is no ‘Dawson Creek sound’,” said Forbes. “The three of us are very different. But the fact that [Dawson Creek] had a little something to do with all three of us is pretty interesting. There’s more stuff going up there as well that people don’t know about.”

Heppner and Aganaba both name church and school as the places they first began their careers. “The drama teacher twisted my arm to sing at the Christmas concert to the school,” explained Heppner. “I was scared spitless because I didn’t sing the stuff that they were used to hearing — the modern, popular stuff.”

“I’m not going to mince words here. I really didn’t enjoy it at first,” said Aganaba, who goes by her first name on stage. “I had a hard time settling in. I had a hard time finding the right crew of people to hang out with. Where I found my place in Dawson Creek was amongst the musical kids, the choir kids, the musical theatre kids.”

Heppner would go on to become one of Canada’s most renowned opera singers. The Dawson Creek native performed ‘O Canada’ at the closing ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. Four years later, Heppner sang the Olympic Hymn at the 2010 Winter Olympics closing ceremonies in Vancouver. Tonye even remembers seeing Ben Heppner’s picture up on the wall of her high school,”We don’t have a lot of heroes in Dawson Creek. Hopefully my picture is going to be there one day.”

As for the performance, Heppner added during an interview with the CBC prior to the concert in February,”I didn’t grow up singing opera, so I have these other roots in me and I think that’s kind of the way with a lot of people. I’m adaptable. Roy and Tonye are adaptable. We’ll see how it turns out. We don’t know yet, do we?”

Outta Dawson airs on CBC Television this Saturday, September 23rd, at 7:00 p.m.

Story courtesy CBC News:

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