Canadian musician Laura Gillespie and Mission band Topaz will be touring the province in Snowbird

A tribute to Anne Murray

Laura Gillespie joined by Mission band Topaz for April 4 show

Canadian musician Laura Gillespie will be taking on a new role as she tours the province later this month.

While singing and playing music is nothing new for the Nova Scotia native, Gillespie will be playing the part of iconic Canadian singer Anne Murray. This is the first time Gillespie has put together a tribute show and is looking forward to portraying one of her all-time favourite musicians.

“I love Anne,” Gillespie said to The Record. “I was brought up with her music and I think she’s fantastic.”

Gillespie, whose mother was a huge fan of Murray’s, has been singing songs like Snowbird, Danny’s Song, and You Needed Me since she was a young girl.

Gillespie has been singing for 25 years, and has been a part of a number of different bands touring the world. But Gillespie got reacquainted with Murray’s music after her mom passed away.

“I found a box of CDs in a drawer,” Gillespie explained. “I started getting into songs I’ve never heard before.”

She played them over and over again. She relished in the up front vocals and how every word could be heard.

Now at age 47, Gillespie is bringing Murray’s music to her West Coast fans again.

“We start with her later hits, then move back in time to the beginning when it all started,” said Gillespie about the show, which is coming to Mission’s Clarke Theatre April 4. “I’ve learned so much about [Murray] and her accomplishments just doing the show.”

Murray was an icon who led the way for many female musicians in Canada, Gillespie explained. “She was so humble about it.”

Murray won 24 Junos and four Grammy awards over the course of her 40-year career. Murray announced she was retiring and toured for the last time in 2007.

The tribute show has been a labour of love for Gillespie, who has tried to look and sound like Murray as much as possible. There will be video footage of Murray and other great images, said Gillespie. “It will bring back a lot of memories for people.”

Gillespie will be touring with a Mission band called Topaz.

“We’ve been rehearsing for a while,” noted Gillespie. “We’ve been working hard at it and are all set to head out.”

Topaz has been together since 1980 and is one of the longest-lasting bands on record.

The five-member band made up up John Fultz, Gerry Hlookoof, Jerry Brown, Scott Boyes and Vikki Evans have been supporting many local charities and benefits.

The Anne Murray tribute show, called Snowbird, comes to Mission on April 4. The Clarke Theatre is located at 33700 Prentis St. The show starts at 7 p.m. For more info call 604-820-3961 or visit snowbirdannemurraytribute.com.

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