Photographer: Ziyaad Haniff Location: Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto Date: July 2, 2017 "I remember being sorely disappointed the first time I heard the mononym, “Drake”. During an exceptionally-mundane field trip to my future high school, a teacher tried to win us over by pandering to our hip, young minds; she told us “Drake” performed there a year prior. Upon learning this was not Drake Bell (of “Drake & Josh” fame), I dismissed the unknown artist, thinking I would never hear from the imposter again. But as the years went by – and my album purchases began to fund the rapper’s Bridal Path home – I grew to appreciate the successful Canadian’s perseverance. Last year, I was thankfully in attendance to see Drake captivate Nathan Phillips Square during Toronto’s Canada 150 celebrations. Despite his surprise appearance, the sea of Canadians stayed true to their nature: considerate and respectful of each other’s space. Rather than an opportunity to try and see the “6 God” up close, it was a moment where you could join your neighbours in commemorating homegrown talent. As a Canadian, it was a celebration of self; a testament to the possibilities found in a country as nurturing as ours. The performance came to a close, and alongside Drake and his OVO labelmates, we watched fireworks light up City Hall; appropriately scored by a Carly Rae Jepsen song. While a remarkably-Canadian scene, it also became an unforgettable memory, and a reminder of what we could accomplish when we band together." Print Size: 11x14 Framed: Yes

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