TRURO, N.S. - As a supporter of Canada’s armed forces, George Canyon was thrilled to learn he would be performing at Truro’s Royal Canadian Legion.
“That put a grin on my face,” he said. “I feel it’s a big honour to be playing there.
“A lot of legions are closing and it’s important to promote them.”
Canyon will be performing in Truro, as part of his Made in Canada Tour, during Nova Scotia Music Week.
“It worked out perfectly,” he said. “It’s been a while since I’ve played in the area, so getting to come home and start the tour, playing in Pictou (at the deCoste Performing Arts Centre) and then Truro, is great.”
Canyon grew up in Hopewell, Pictou County, and currently lives south of Calgary. As well as recording albums, touring, acting and serving as the official anthem singer for the Calgary Flames.
Canyon, who was born Frederick George Lays, changed his name to avoid any possible legal issues with the Lay’s snack company.
“Canyon was just a strong kind of country name,” he said.
He shot to fame in 2004, when he was the runner-up on Nashville Star – an American reality television singing competition. Since, he has performed around the world and won many music awards. He has recorded 12 albums, and acted in television and film, and on stage.
“I fell into acting,” he said. “I was on the Trailer Park Boys, and that led into Heartland and movies.
“I had a cameo in Grease: The Musical this year, and that was a new experience. It was terrifying the first night, but it was amazing.”
Canyon is promoting his latest record and working on a new one, which will be out next year.
During his trip to Nova Scotia, he’ll have the opportunity to spend some time with his son, who is studying business at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish.
He also has a daughter, who graduated from school this year and is considering career path.
“Never, in a million years, would I have dreamed I’d be doing the things I’m doing today – and I dream a lot,” he said. “The good Lord has taken me places and shown me things that are amazing, and I’m very grateful.”
His Truro show takes place at the legion on Nov. 2, at 9 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are no longer available, but entry will be by pay at the door, subject to capacity.
Canyon will perform at the deCoste Entertainment Centre on Nov. 1. Tickets for that show have sold.
Canyon encourages those living with diabetes to pursue their dreams
Canyon fully understands the impacts of living with diabetes.
“It affected my life in a big way, physiologically and psychologically,” said Canyon, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 14.
“It made me feel ostracized at times. I was at a party with my buddies and they had cake, but I had an apple.
“I chose to embrace and take control of it, which was the biggest thing for me.”
Canyon’s father, who was chief technician at the Aberdeen Hospital lab in New Glasgow, recognized the signs, so his parents were prepared for the diagnosis.
Canyon is the national spokesman for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In 2009, he started the ‘Sky’s Not the Limit’ program, to encourage youngsters with diabetes to pursue their dreams.
Canyon, a former Air Cadet, who considered becoming a pilot in the Air Force, achieved one of his dreams in 2016 when he was given medical classification that allowed him to obtain a private pilot’s license.