The pride of northern B.C., singer-songwriter Mark Perry has been writing songs about living in his hometown of Smithers and rural northwestern B.C. since he recorded his first album with Roy Forbes and Shari Ulrich back in the mid-90s. His 13th album, Northwest, is set for release later this year and the first single ‘Golden Spruce’ is out today on all digital streaming platforms.
‘Golden Spruce’ is about the legendary story of Grant Hadwin, who felled Kiidk’yaas (also known as “the Golden Spruce”), a Sitka Spruce tree located on the Haida Gwaii archipelago and considered sacred by the Haida people.
“In January 1997, Grant Hadwin, a Canadian forester, fell a 300-year-old tree on Haida Gwaii,” said Perry, in a news release. “It’s unique colour, appearance, and size made it a celebrated and valued tree, and was considered sacred by many Haida people. Grant did it to bring attention to the decimation of the massive old-growth forests. It provoked a lot of mixed emotions, far and wide. On February 13 of that same year, he left from Prince Rupert in his kayak, headed towards Masset for his court appearance. During the 100 km trip over, he disappeared. In the early 2000s, Alaskan coast patrol still considered him a missing person of interest.”
Perry is hoping his new single will shine some light on the importance of preserving old-growth forests in B.C.
“Some of the trees being harvested on Vancouver Island are over 1,000 years old,” he said. “They are irreplaceable. I think we have to ask ourselves as British Columbians, are we so desperate for timber supply?”
A dozen albums strong, Mark Perry is deeply loved in Canada for his good-humoured and thought-provoking performances that get festival audiences up on their feet and make theatre crowds feel like they’re in his living room. He sweeps you up in emotional and animated tales of sinking ferries, rising rivers, NHL dreams, or buying a car for “two cords of wood and 24 beer”. Towns dying, towns being born, small planes going down – Perry draws us in to reflect and laugh as he pays tribute to real characters and events in rural Canada.
Mark Perry’s new single ‘Golden Spruce’ is available now on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes, and other digital retailers and streaming services worldwide. For more info, please visit markperry.ca