Although in Canada state funerals have been held only for politicians, one P.E.I. man believes that Canadian icon Stompin' Tom Connors deserves one for contributing to Canadian culture. Kenneth McGrath has created a petition at change.org, which has 804 supporters so far.
"Stompin' Tom is an example from our musical industry of an artist who remained outspokenly and proudly Canadian," said McGrath. "His appeal spanned geography and political sensibilities as he focused on aspects of Canadian life, traditions, and folklore that we can all identify with. A state funeral in honour of one of our great cultural icons would demonstrate this reality in a symbolic and dignified manner."
However, that may not be necessary. Stompin' Tom helped plan his own memorial in the two weeks before his death, so a state funeral is unlikely.
A private memorial will take place on Tuesday, followed by a public event on Wednesday to take place in the Peterborough Memorial Centre. The Memorial Centre is a hockey arena, making it a fitting venue to say goodbye to the man best remembered for "The Hockey Song."
Wednesday's memorial will be attended by former governor general Adrienne Clarkson and Peterborough mayor Daryl Bennett, among other well-known names. It will also feature performances by Canadian artists like J.P. Cormier and Dave Gunning.