Nelly Furtado's O Canada at NBA All-Star game draws praise from Sask. flute maker

A handcrafted indigenous flute made in Saskatoon was played by Tony Duncan alongside Nelly Furtado's controversial rendition of O Canada at the NBA All-Star game Sunday. Flute maker Richard Dubé loved her performance.

Indigenous flute made in Saskatoon played by Tony Duncan alongside Nelly Furtado's vocal

Nelly Furtado's rendition of O Canada went over well at the Air Canada Centre, but not so much on Twitter. (John Rieti/CBC)

A handmade indigenous flute crafted by Saskatoon's Richard Dubé made its way from the prairies to Ontario for Sunday's NBA All-Star game in Toronto.

Native American flutist, Tony Duncan, played the musical instrument alongside Nelly Furtado's highly criticized and unconventional rendition of O Canada.

"I loved it," said Dubé. "I really enjoyed the performance. I know there was a bit of a kerfuffle there because Nelly Furtado changed the melody a little bit, but that's being a musical artist."
Richard Dubé spent a total of 24 hours making the flute played during the Canadian national anthem at the NBA All-Star game. (Richard Dubé )

Dubé and his family caught the live televised performance during their vacation in Banff, Alta.

"The kids were really excited — they're teenagers so not as excited as my wife and I."

He said the Twitter backlash following the performance took away from the overall performance.

"Social media tends to be a spot for negativity a lot of the time," Dubé said. "People will tend to slam something more than they will praise something."

But in the end, Dubé said despite the negative criticism it was just exciting to see what he calls his "indigenous flute" being played.

"It was cool to see it on a big stage like that and being played so beautifully."

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