Canucks’ anthem singer speaks out over COVID guidelines

Mark Donnelly, who has been the anthem singer for the Vancouver Canucks NHL hockey team since 2001, performs O Canada at a protest against measures taken by public health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19, in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Mark Donnelly, who has been the anthem singer for the Vancouver Canucks NHL hockey group since 2001, performs O Canada at a protest towards measures taken by public well being authorities to curb the unfold of COVID-19, in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck


VANCOUVER – The favored singer of O Canada on the Vancouver Canucks hockey video games says he knew he may lose his job for standing up towards what he describes because the “tyranny” of COVID-19 restrictions.

Mark Donnelly sang the anthem at an occasion referred to as the Christmas Freedom Rally in Vancouver on Saturday, the place a whole lot of individuals protested restrictions imposed by B.C.’s provincial well being officer.

Vancouver Canucks proprietor Francesco Aquilini tweeted late Friday that Donnelly was now the previous Canucks anthem singer, adopted by the hashtag #wearamask.


Donnelly informed the group, lots of whom weren’t carrying masks or social distancing, that he determined to sing as a result of he questions the “draconian lockdown protocols.”

“What was initially offered as 15-day hunkering down dash for the widespread good has changed into a 10-month marathon from hell, the place the end line is continually being moved additional into the space,” he mentioned.

He mentioned he does not assume well being officers have completed a cost-benefit evaluation wanting on the harms of the restrictions in contrast with stopping the unfold of COVID-19.


“As somebody recognized for singing our nice nationwide anthem, I am standing up towards what I really feel is tyranny, plain and easy,” he mentioned to applause and cheers from the group.

Donnelly mentioned his firing is censorship by an establishment that he is adopted for 50 years and been publicly related to since 2001.

“Sports activities figures, entertainers, politicians, et cetera, can stand for something so long as it helps the narrative. You may assist rioting, looting, destructions of livelihoods and repute, however take a place towards the narrative and you might be worthy of exile or worse.”


Donnelly mentioned he hasn’t had direct contact with Aquilini or the Canucks and if he’s now not with the group, a telephone name would have been a extra respectful approach to discover out his causes for collaborating within the rally.

He had hoped the possession and administration of the Canucks would have had the “braveness to assist the liberty to specific science-based place that’s for the higher good of the nation,” he mentioned.

Nobody from the Canucks responded to a request for remark.


The protesters then took to the streets in a march.

Vancouver police spokeswoman Tania Visintin mentioned police have to train discretion with giant teams of protesters violating public well being orders, saying public security is the precedence.

She mentioned mass arrests or ticketing might escalate an already tense state of affairs.


“This place doesn’t mechanically assure anybody particular privileges at a protest. The underside line is people who find themselves contravening the general public well being order, they could possibly be issued a ticket. Officers are utilizing discretion with every state of affairs that arises.”

B.C. well being officer Dr. Bonnie Henry mentioned final month that she has “no time for individuals who consider that carrying a masks in some way makes them in poor health or is an indication of lack of freedom.”

As a substitute, she mentioned carrying a masks is about respect for many who struggling via the pandemic collectively.


This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Dec. 5, 2020.

–with information from Information 1130.