‘Anne Murray Day’ attracts fans from around the world to Springhill, N.S.
Anne Murray fans from around the world gathered in her hometown of Springhill, N.S. on Saturday to mark 30 years of the museum honouring the multi-award winning singer.
Saturday was considered ‘Anne Murray Day’ in the small community in western Nova Scotia, as the population swelled thanks to an influx of fans who travelled from near and far to meet the woman herself.
A VIP meet and greet was part of a weekend celebration that marked the 30-year anniversary of the Anne Murray Centre, which opened July 28, 1989 on Springhill’s Main Street.
“I can’t believe that it’s lasted 30 years, but here it is,” exclaimed Murray.
The centre has welcomed nearly 500,000 visitors over the past three decades. Inside, a tribute to Murray’s rise to fame, complete with Grammy’s, Gold Records and artifacts showcasing a more than 40 year career of memorable music.
“One of the times I remember most of all was when I was in Las Vegas and I looked out my window at my picture on a billboard. And across the street was Frank Sinatra. And I thought ‘No, it can’t be, it’s just me!’,” reminisced Murray, who became the first Canadian female solo signer to reach #1 on the U.S. charts for her 1970 song ‘Snowbird’.
On Saturday, the reach of the music of ‘Canada’s Snowbird’ was proven in Springhill, as 200 people gathered for a chance to take a photo and share a few words with the community’s claim to fame.
“This was a picture taken on opening day at the Anne Murray Centre, with Anne and all of her family,” explained Springhill resident Rosemary Rise.
33 U.S. states were represented by fans like Linda Jenney, who brought a signed guitar all the way from Pennsylvania.
“I brought it two years ago, and Anne signed it for me and played some songs with her brother. I’m hoping maybe she’ll do a little sing-a-long today,” explained Jenney.
Some journeyed to Springhill from much farther locations such as Australia and Thailand.
“I have a really crappy singing voice, but I don’t have to change my voice in order to sing anything of hers- not that I sound as good as she does!” joked Australian Mary Rose Chapman.
“I’m from Bangkok, Thailand, and I love Anne Murray,” said Sirisun Na Ranong who says she discovered the four-time Grammy award winner’s music three years ago from a music streaming service.
Events continue through Sunday, giving fans more chances to meet and greet the Canadian icon.
“When a person can sing a song with such heart and soul, it touches your heart and soul, and it’s done so for a lifetime for me,” explains Truro resident Todd Canton.
While Murray lives in Ontario, she says returning to Nova Scotia is a homecoming of sorts to the long career she officially retired from eleven years ago.
“There are people here that I remember seeing in audiences from the early 1970s, and they’re still here, and I’m blessed to have such fans,” says Murray.
Fans which would say the same about having Anne Murray, and her timeless music, which clearly continues to resonate with fans from far and wide.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Heidi Petracek.