Opening up her little Black Book 

Jully Black wants to show the world what it means to be Canadian


Who: Jully Black

When: Saturday, Feb. 20, 4:15 p.m.

Where: Village Square Stage

Cost: Free!

Jully Black is no stranger to the Whistler stage - she's performed here many times before, the last time to mark the one-year countdown to the Olympic Games, in fact.

But this time, performing to a crowd of thousands who are here for the Olympics, the experience will be very special.

"It means that I'm part of the DNA and the blueprint of this country and for me, with this month being black history month, it has a little bit more meaning for me, as a black woman born in Canada... to be part of the Olympics in our country, that's big, all the way around," Black said.

Being asked to perform at the Olympics is a dream come true for this second-generation Canadian citizen, born to a Jamaican immigrant.

"Moms are so honest, especially when they're first generation," Black said, laughing and feigning a Jamaican accent. "She's like, 'I wanted to see you sing that national anthem! But I'm so proud.'

"For her, can you imagine the sacrifice of leaving her birth country and coming here to raise all her kids... and her sacrifice wasn't in vain."

The Toronto-based Black was also invited to perform before the opening ceremonies in Vancouver and attend the big event afterwards, a performance she describes as "pretty insane."

She points out that it's been more than 20 years since the Olympics were last held on Canadian soil.

"Which means that I was 11 or something, or 10 - like wow - as a 32-year-old I can now say to my grandkids and kids one day it was something that I was able to be a part of."

At the opening ceremonies, the talented musician had a chance to meet aboriginal people from all across the country who were part of the Games, including the designer of the medals.

"To me, it's the one place I would say that the world's hearts are beating as one," Black reflected. "Even though it's competitive, when you see a country come out and you even know somebody from Brazil, you think of that friend. Or if you know somebody that's from Greece, you think of that friend. So even though we're Canadian, I think because we're so multicultural, the Olympics mean something maybe a little more special to those of us here who can appreciate how diverse our country is."

Black recently made the difficult decision to postpone her Canadian tour for The Black Book, opting to take a bit of downtime to make music and "rejuvenate."

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