Frank Therrien, the man that sang the national anthem at last weekend's Stampeder football game with his hat on, shows he knows the right way to sing it as he holds his hat (that he made himself) over his heart in SW Calgary, Alberta on July 4,2012. (QMI Agency/STUART DRYDEN)
CALGARY - Singing the national anthem on Canada Day in his baseball cap was an unfortunate oversight and he never intended to offend anyone, says the voice behind the act.
Frank Therrien, a singer-songwriter who recently moved to Calgary from Quebec, was asked to sing O Canada at Sunday's game between the Stampeders and the Montreal Alouettes as he was organizing a group trip to see the game through the non-profit organization he works for.
An aspiring pop-country artist, Therrien said wearing a cap is part of his "farm boy" image and makes him less self-conscious about thinning hair and he didn't think about the fact his stage look wouldn't pair well with the anthem.
"I never took the time to think about taking my hat off," he said. "I understand, of course. I'm sorry if I did insult some people.
"I really apologize to every Canadian."
Therrien said he informed football officials in advance what he would be wearing and no one mentioned anything about not wearing a hat.
The entire presentation got off to a rocky start, said Therrien, adding he was supposed to be introduced and then begin singing after a signal from TSN.
However, the signal from the broadcaster came before he was introduced and, flustered, he broke into O Canada, he said.
For several seconds, there was no sound and when it did come on, it took a bit longer to compose himself, said Therrien.
"It was the first time I was singing in front of a big crowd like this," he said. "If people can try to be in the shoes of the anthem singer, it's not so easy."
Therrien said he's still waiting for an explanation on the miscommunication and technical difficulties.
Despite the string of bad luck, he said he still received a lot of compliments on his performance and was thrilled to see people singing along and applauding.
Therrien said he'll continue singing, but has learned a valuable lesson.
"I will sing again, but if it's the anthem, I will take my hat off," he said.