Favourite sunrises of famous Canadians, from Fogo Island, Nfld. to Tofino, B.C. (2024)

Follow the sun with Felix Auger-Aliassime, Elisapie, Tom Green, Wab Kinew and Canada's first Olympic surfer in this mini graphic novel for Canada Day

Author of the article:

Jeff McIntyre, Special to National Post

Published Jun 27, 2024Last updated Jun 27, 20243 minute read

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Lying off the northeast coast of Newfoundland, Fogo Island is sometimes called one of the far corners of the earth. And just off the coast of that outer island lie the rocky cliffs and mostly abandoned fishing cabins of Little Fogo Island. From the Fogo Island Inn, above the harbour, is one of the first places in Canada to catch a spectacular sunrise.

On the opposite side of the country, one of the last places to catch a great Canadian sunrise as the golden globe arcs from east to west is in Tofino, British Columbia, on the western coast of Vancouver Island. Sanoa Olin, Canada’s first Olympic surfer, who was born and raised in Tofino, gives the inside scoop on the best viewing spot: head to Lennard Island, by the lighthouse, and watch the sun rise over the mountains that fall into the Pacific Ocean.

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There are plenty of places in Canada celebrated for their sunrises — Banff, Alberta, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, Parliament Hill in the nation’s capital, to name a few. But the beauty of a sunrise is you don’t have to go anywhere special. Just wake up early.

You won’t be alone. Join famous Canadian early risers Felix Auger-Alliassime, Elisapie, Tom Green, Wab Kinew and super-surfer Olin on a sunrise tour across the country by graphic novelist Jeff McIntyre in this special Canada Day collaboration with Postmedia.

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Favourite sunrises of famous Canadians, from Fogo Island, Nfld. to Tofino, B.C. (4)

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Favourite sunrises of famous Canadians, from Fogo Island, Nfld. to Tofino, B.C. (5)

Jeff McIntyre, graphic novelist

A vivid storyteller, McIntyre recently released his debut graphic novel Salmon Run, Book 1, the first in a series that tackles mental health through a rock’n’roll road trip. Currently on his own cross-Canada road tour in his 1985 Buick LeSabre, McIntyre has seen plenty of glorious sunrises. “It’s been a wild few weeks.”

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Favourite sunrises of famous Canadians, from Fogo Island, Nfld. to Tofino, B.C. (6)

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Favourite sunrises of famous Canadians, from Fogo Island, Nfld. to Tofino, B.C. (7)

Felix Auger-Aliassime, tennis champion

From the French Open at Roland-Garros in Paris to Wimbledon at the All-England Club, the world’s No. 18 ranked tennis star will be headed to his second Olympics Games for Team Canada. He’ll be back on the clay courts at Roland-Garros aiming for the podium from July 27-Aug. 4. Then, finally, home to his Montreal sunrises . FAA, as he’s known, may only be 23, but he’s been immortalized in his hometown with a large mural on the wall of Montreal’s IGA stadium, where he’ll be playing in the National Bank Canadian Open, Aug. 3-12.

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Elisapie, Inuk singer, songwriter

Inuk musician Elisapie has come a long way from her hometown of Salluit, a tiny Inuit community in northern Quebec, where the sun shines for about 20 hours a day in summer. Elisapie won a Juno in Halifax in March, then was honoured with her portrait on a Canadian stamp on June 21, Indigenous Peoples Day. On tour this summer, she played at the Ottawa Jazz Festival on June 25, and is playing the Quebec City Festival (July 8), Edmonton Folk Festival (Aug. 9), Blossoms and Bones Music Festival in New Mexico (Sept. 13-14), then New York and Toronto (Nov. 8).

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Tom Green, comedian

Returning to Canada in 2021 from Los Angeles, the comedian, actor and podcaster landed in the unlikeliest of places — a farm somewhere in eastern Ontario. He’s not saying exactly where, but you can catch glimpses of it on his Instagram feed. Aside from appearances on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Green is working on a new Prime video project featuring — what else? — his life down on the farm.

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Favourite sunrises of famous Canadians, from Fogo Island, Nfld. to Tofino, B.C. (12)

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Favourite sunrises of famous Canadians, from Fogo Island, Nfld. to Tofino, B.C. (13)

Wab Kinew, Premier of Manitoba

In October 2023, Wab Kinew was elected premier of Manitoba, becoming the first Canadian premier of First Nations (Anishinaabe) decent. Kinew has been leader of the provincial NDP party since 2017, a television journalist, university administrator — and a rapper. The early riser has sparked an orange New Democrat movement that is gaining momentum across the province — Winnipeg just saw its first NDP win in a riding that has been held by Conservatives for four decades.

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Sanoa Olin, Olympic surfer

Olin grew up in a surfing family just down the road from Tofino’s famous Cox Beach. Introduced to surfing as a toddler, she got her first surfboard at age six. This summer, at age 18, she becomes Canada’s first Olympic surfer, with shortboard surfing debuting at the 2024 Games. Watchers will be in for a thrill — the surfing event (July 27-Aug 5) is being held in Tahiti French Polynesia at the infamous Teahupo’o wave, a mammoth offshore break over coral reefs. Olin says she loves the adventure of the sport and the way surfing connects her to the ocean and nature. Dawn patrol — catching early morning sets of waves — lifts her up and onward.

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