Growing up in Ottawa, Remigio Pereira remembers coming downtown to Parliament Hill to join in the Canada Day festivities.
"I used to come to the Hill and watch fireworks and be part of the mass of people coming down Wellington," said Pereira.
Although the last time he went was 2001, he continued to follow coverage on television, he said.
Wednesday, the Ottawa native returned to the Hill — but as a performer — when the Canadian Tenors took the Canada Day stage.
"It feels really good," Pereira told Metro Wednesday. "I love coming back here. It's a great feeling to be back in Ottawa. I recognize the streets, and I feel like I recognize the people."
The Canadian Tenors — Pereira, Port McNeil's Clifton Murray, Toronto's Victor Micallef and Vancouver's Fraser Walters — have performed their eclectic blend of Classical and contemporary pop all over the world, from the Tel Aviv Opera house, where they shared the stage with Andrea Bocelli, Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Coliseum with David Foster and Friends, to the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, where they headlined at One Night Live show with Sting and Sheryl Crow.
They've played for Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Prince Edward and Princess Sophie.
But there's no place like home.
"We're Canadian, and the opportunity to sing for the Governor General and all the people on the Hill is so inspiring," said Murray. "You recharge your Canadian patriotic batteries and feel proud when you sing in front of a sea of red and white flags."
Although the group has travelled all over the world, Canada will always be home for Murray.
"Canada is the most beautiful place on Earth," he said. "To be able to represent Canada and sing the anthem... is a gift," he said.
Next up is a 70-city tour of the United States and a Christmas album, which comes on the heels of their debut offering — now gold in Canada.