New Brunswick

Canada Day marks first time Measha Brueggergosman performs at Officers' Square

Juno award winner, Measha Brueggergosman will perform at Officers' Square in Fredericton for the first time on Canada Day.

Measha Brueggergosman performs at Officers' Square for the first time on Canada Day

Juno-winning opera singer Measha Brueggergosman practices Saturday morning before her big performance in Officers' Square for Canada 150. (Elizabeth Fraser/CBC)

Juno-winning opera singer Measha Brueggergosman has performed all around the world, including a recent showing for Queen Elizabeth and members of the Royal Family at Westminster Abbey. But Canada Day marks the first time she's ever performed at Officers' Square in her hometown of Fredericton.

"I have sung for the Queen before but I've never sung at Officers' Square, I can't decide which is more significant," said Brueggergosman, who grew up in Fredericton's Nashwaaksis area.

Brueggergosman will be performing Saturday night to commemorate 150 years of Confederation.

She took to the stage early Saturday for one last sound check before the big night. Even that warm-up performance attracted dozens of people, who came to get a glimpse of the local celebrity.  

"Frederictonians know there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing," said  Brueggergosman, who recently celebrated her 40th birthday. "They can party."  

Dreams coming true

When she was in high school, Brueggergosman remembers getting up on stage and dancing at a Christian hip hop rap group concert, in front of the Soldiers' Barracks in downtown Fredericton.

"I thought, someday again, I'll be back here and enjoying this," she said, admitting she's a bit nervous for Saturday night's performance. "It is not insignificant coming to your hometown and having real pride of place."   

Brueggergosman, who will be spending the afternoon watching Netflix from her hotel room and ordering take out from The Diplomat, said she's hopeful her fans will enjoy the evening performance. 

"Whether it's the Queen, or recording for Howard Shore, or being here in Officers' Square, people smell the aroma that you give off," she said.

Canada 150, 'a balance'

But while she's excited to celebrate Canada 150, she said it's also an important time to commemorate and educate Canadians about things they can improve on.

 'I know how important it is to stay connected.'- Measha Brueggergosman

"We have to consider the people for whom this is not a day of celebration, whether it's our First Nations people or the people who feel underrepresented by this country," she said. "It doesn't mean we can't celebrate the fact that we've won the lottery by being born in this country." 

But "for better or for worse," she said Canadians can work from a place of triumph. 

"I think it's a very Canadian trait, it's a very Maritime trait, to celebrate what is good, to focus on the positive," she said. "There's a balance."

Fredericton Pride

These days, Brueggergosman doesn't have a lot of time to sit still.

She is going on three tours, one of which is with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. She also has a book expected to come out in the fall.

But whenever she can, Brueggergosman loves coming to her hometown, where she continues to feel a deep connection with both her family and fans.

Measha Brueggergosman's dream of performing at Officers' Square, is finally coming true. (Elizabeth Fraser/CBC)

"It's a really great thing to come from Fredericton and sometimes Frederictonians don't know that," she said. "I know how important it is to stay connected."

The singer said she's grateful for New Brunswick's capital city, which has always shown its loyalty to her over the years.

"[Tonight] I'm fully present for them," she said.