When a Mi’kmaq rendition of the Beatles classic Blackbird went viral last month, 16-year-old Mi’kmaq singer Emma Stevens said her dream was for Paul McCartney to hear it — but little did she know that, just a few weeks later, she and her teacher Carter Chiasson would get a private meeting with the music icon.
But that’s exactly what happened on Saturday night in Vancouver, where McCartney was playing a show at BC Place Stadium.
According to Chiasson, his brother had “emailed the right person and said the right things and all of a sudden we had an invitation.” Before long they had plane tickets booked, concert tickets arranged, and plans to meet Paul McCartney backstage before the show.
They waited in a room with roughly 50 other people — mostly family members of McCartney’s band — and then were taken into a room where they got a few minutes to talk privately with McCartney.
The pair presented McCartney with a Mi’kmaq medallion that was made by Cape Breton artist Vivian Googoo and gifted to them by Assembly of First Nations regional chief Morley Googoo. On it is the image of a blackbird.
They also got to share a few personal thoughts. “I said, ‘I know you hear this all the time, but it’s an honour to meet you,'” recounted Chiasson, on the phone from the Vancouver airport Sunday evening. “And then Paul said, ‘I really love your version. I’m going to be nervous singing my version tonight, your version is so beautiful.'”