NEW YORK – There will be no shortage of pomp and circumstance for the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ on February 20 at McMahon Stadium in Calgary. Billed as a celebration of hockey's Canadian roots, the outdoor contest between the Montreal Canadiens® and host Calgary Flames® will include musical performances from indie rock band Tokyo Police Club, country crooners Paul Brandt and Thompson Square and a flyover by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds Air Demonstration Team, the NHL announced today. A highlight of the pre-game festivities will be the debut of "NHL Heritage Classic Fanfare," an original orchestral piece composed specifically for the Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ and played when the Flames and the Canadiens take the field for the game. Calgary's own Allegiance Elite drumline will provide percussion accompaniment.
Paul Brandt -- Canadian anthem
Juno-award winning country musician and Calgary native Paul Brandt will perform the Canadian national anthem. Raised in the small Alberta town of Airdrie, his debut single, "My Heart Has a History," hit No. 5 in 1996 and his next release 'I DO' went to No. 1, making him the first Canadian male country artist to reach the Billboard Top 10 in the U.S. since Hank Snow in 1974. Brandt has the most awards for a Canadian male country artist in history, racking up eight career Juno Awards, including six Best Country Male Vocalist honors. In June 2011, he will host the new CMT series, BUILD IT FORWARD. His new album is set to launch in mid-2011.
Thompson Square -- U.S. anthem
Chart-topping husband-and-wife country duo Thompson Square will perform the U.S. anthem prior to the game. Oklahoma-born Keifer Thompson and Alabama native Shawna Thompson each set aside promising solo careers to join forces as a duo, combining classic country and rock influences to forge a sound that is thoroughly modern but built on the bedrock of tradition. The group's new single, "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not," from its debut album, Thompson Square (Stoney Creek Records), is currently No. 14 on the American country radio charts and climbing the charts in Canada.
After the performance of the Canadian anthem, the Canadian Forces Snowbirds Air Demonstration Team will fly over McMahon Stadium in salute of Canadian troops overseas and around the world watching the game. A Canadian icon for the past four decades, the Snowbirds have performed at some of Canada's most patriotic and memorable events including Canada Day on Parliament Hill, the Calgary Winter Olympics and the Queen's Royal Visits.
Allegiance Elite is heralded as one of Canada's top marching bands. Founded in 1985, the Calgary-based program has captured first place honors at every major competition available for marching bands in Canada for more than 20 years.
Tokyo Police Club -- 1st intermission performance
Tokyo Police Club will perform during the first intermission. The Canadian foursome -- David Monks (vocals and bass), Josh Hook (guitar), Greg Alsop (drums), and Graham Wright (keyboards and percussion) -- formed in 2005 and released the debut EP A Lesson In Crime the following year to instant and universal acclaim. A few world tours later, Tokyo Police Club's first full length album, Elephant Shell (Mean Beard/Universal) was released in April 2008. Their sophomore album Champ (Dine Alone Records) was released in June 2010 and is enjoying similar acclaim. The band is currently on tour in the U.S. and will return to Canada for a national tour in March and April.