BY TRACEY DUGUAY
Two years ago High Holy Days was the opening act for headliner Treble Charger at the Science North Canada Day celebrations.
A lot has changed since then, as theyÂ?re now the feature performers, not the opening act.
As well, the alternative rock band just signed a worldwide recording contract with Roadrunner Records, the same company that represents Juno Award winning band, Nickelback.
Their debut album All My Real Friends is due for release in early 2004.
Â?I think the biggest thing about it is that it still doesnÂ?t feel realÂ?feels like another step along the way,Â? says lead vocalist Marc Arcand about the contract.
However, bassist Jeremy Galda says it gives the band more credibility and legitimacy than just being another unsigned indie band on the circuit.
High Holy Days also signed with The Agency Group, a respected booking group based in Toronto. Now that they donÂ?t need to find their own gigs, the band can spend more time writing and recording music.
Â?We write all our music all the time,Â? says guitarist Billy MacGregor. He explains itÂ?s better that way because they make more money and own the property rights to the music.
High Holy Days members Arcand, 25, MacGregor, 22, Galda, 24 and drummer Jay Guindon, 26, have been writing, recording and playing together since 1998.
For the most part, their parents have supported their decision to be rock stars rather than follow a more traditional path.
Galda says his parents were a little Â?skepticalÂ? when he quit his computer science studies at university to take up with the band, but theyÂ?re OK with the decision now.
At the Land of the Lakes Festival this weekend, High Holy Days will share the stage with Our Lady Peace, Sam Roberts, Swollen Members and more.
The band then heads to Sudbury for Canada Day celebrations at Science North. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the annual event sponsored by the science centre, Q92 and First General Services.
There will be family activities and entertainment all day starting around noon. A $3 button gets guests into the PeteÂ?s Rental ChildrenÂ?s Activity Tent from 12:30 to 5 pm.
The button also serves as admission to the Inco Cavern to see the Sudbury Modular Railway Club.
As well, there will be a variety of vendors and artists displaying their wares and talents throughout the grounds of Science North during the day. Child Find will be offering free fingerprinting for children and information on how to prevent child abductions.
Starting at 12:15 to 4:15 pm, there will be family entertainment on the main stage including World Rhythm and Music, Elaine Carlson, Notorious, NÂ?Swakamok drummers, Leather & Jeans and Witness. In the evening, from 7 to 10:30 pm, Jeff Wiseman and the SmokinÂ? Jackets, Terra Cain and High Holy Days take over the main stage. All outdoor performances are free.
Inside Science North, take advantage of the Canada Day Dangerous Dinosaurs Special. The Dangerous Dinosaurs: the Great Hunters exhibit and Dino Island Virtual Voyages Adventure Ride will only cost $5 (plus GST).
The IMAX Theatre and Virtual Voyages Adventure Rides are open until 9 pm. Enjoy China: The Panda Adventure and Journey into Amazing Caves on the giant five-storey IMAX screen. The science centre is open from 9 am to 6 pm.
End a day of fun with the spectacular fireworks display over Ramsey Lake starting at 10:30 pm.
Parking is available in the science centre parking lot until 3 pm. After 3 pm, Sudbury Transit will run a shuttle service every 30 minutes from PoultonÂ?s Independent Grocer and from the downtown city terminal from 11:45 am to midnight. Cost is $1 return.
Sudbury Regional Police remind motorists that vehicles parked in prohibited areas, grassed areas, sidewalks or those obstructing driveways or intersections will be ticketed or towed.
Other activities around the city on Canada Day include festivities sponsored by the Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association in the Sudbury Arena starting at 9 am.
There will be exotic food and crafts, ethnic performances, door prizes, community service awards, a Canada Day birthday cake and special activities for children.
The City of Greater Sudbury Police Services Pipe Band starts the day off with a parade from Memorial Park at 9:50 am. From 10 to 11 am, there will be a rendition of the national anthem in English and French along with the presentation of the community service awards. The food booths and bar open at 11 am with continuous entertainment until 5 pm.
Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for seniors and youth.