This year, as in many years, I put myself down as ‘available to work’ on Canada Day. Why not? It’s a stat, so more $, plus I can be on a boat on the peaceful sea instead of fighting the bazillions of people descending on every event space in town. So, I got scheduled to work. Then, I discovered that multiple friends’ bands and/or just bands I dig (sometimes both!) were playing in a variety of places around the Lower Mainland. Initially, I thought this is going to be a pretty difficult decision. But, on a double-trip work day on the boats, there was no way I was going to make it back downtown in time for the Canada Place stuff, never mind anywhere else in town…. but wouldn’t you know, my ol’ buds in Wintersleep were playing right here in Steveston, and I only knew about it because of a bus stop poster! I’d be able to hop off even the latest of boats and stroll half a block away to where they were set up at an oddly-located stage in one of the pay parking lots on First Ave, right behind the Prickly Pear garden centre. They day before, I’d managed to catch up with them for soundcheck and sorted out how and who and when I’d be able to wrangle slightly more *official* access to shoot the following night (thanks, ladies!), since I wasn’t there in any sort of publication-representing capacity, being uncertain of my arrival time. It all worked out beautifully – we had lots of whales relatively close to look at in the afternoon, time for a couple of beers in the office with my coworkers, and then rolled easily next door with a colleague and friend to hobnob a bit and wait for the show. A kind of sparse parking lot crowd grew into a dense mass of fans by the time Wintersleep hit the stage, and the energy and cheer seemed high as they played through a succinct, best-of kind of set. Afterwards we had an utterly perfect view of the fireworks from the stage, and a delightful evening was had by all.