Discover Burlington Ontario

Exciting Music, Theatre, Dance, Comedy coming to Burlington

by Pam Belgrade

Once again this year we were fortunate to be invited to the season launch hosted by Burlington Performing Arts Centre.   This is one of my favorite annual events as we get a sneak peak at next year’s line-up of performers plus it is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy dinner before the show at one of the great local eateries.  This year my friend Janice from the Waterfront Hotel joined me for preshow dinner at Table 34 (right across from our Visitor Information Centre), where we shared a delicious sausage, zucchini and olive pizza over a glass of wine.  We had a window seat where we could people watch and take in the fabulous lake view on a sunny spring evening.

When we arrived at the theatre there was an exciting buzz in the air with the lobby full of patrons anxiously awaiting the bell to take their seats.  We enjoyed the pre-show entertainment, chatted with friends and colleagues and then joined our Board treasurer Nancy in her second row seats.


Quartetto Gelato

This year the new Executive Director Suzanne and Programming Manager Costin tag teamed to enthusiastically introduce and give personal insights about the 76 artists/companies on the playbill.  We were also treated to two amazing performances during the evening, first a lively set by multi-instrumentalists Quartetto Gelato followed later by Juno award winning blues singer Crystal Shawanda.


Crystal Shawanda

Upon entering the theatre attendees received an order form and I mine is already highlighted with numerous must-see acts.  So, I have the perfect solution for family gift ideas in one easy step (hint, hint!):

Here are my performance picks depending on various interests:

Get Nostaglic


April Wine

Like to take a walk down memory lane?  I know I am dating myself but here are a few acts popular in my younger days that seem to only get better with age.

  • April Wine – I rocked on to this at a high school dance back in the day.
  • Los Lobos – Flash back to the 80’s and their hit La Bomba never fails to get you humming along.  They play everything from rock, blues, country, folk to latin.
  • Downchild Blues Band – A favorite performer at Ribfest this band has been around for 45 years and recently won a Juno proving they still have it!

On the Lighter Side

If you enjoy comedy shows, there are many choices this year including some internationally reknowned acts and several geared to family audiences.

  • Aga-BOOM – During the preview it looked like so much fun, I am going to take my niece to see this wild and zanny interactive performance by former Cirque Du Soleil performers.
  • Menopause the Musical – We actually organized a bus trip to see this in Toronto several years ago so it is great to see it appearing at home.  Get ready for lots of belly laughs – a wonderful girls night out!
  • Just for Laughs Road Show – Always very popular here in Burlington, you will want to get your tickets early.  I missed this in April so I am glad it is returning and if my friend’s son Graham Chittenden is on the ticket again I am there!

The World Comes to Burlington


Shanghai Acrobats

Here are some international acts that celebrate culture across the globe.

Dance Like Noones Watching

With so many different types of dance featured this year it may even inspire me to take some lessons.

  •  Rhythm of the DanceOne of the most popular Irish step dance shows in the world.  The closest I may get to Ireland.
  • Nutcracker State Ballet of RussiaEvery year I say I am going to see the Nutcracker and I miss out because I wait too long and tickets are sold out. With 3 shows this year I hope to make it happen.
  • Kaha:wi Dance Theatre-The Honouring – This show tells the story of First Nations warriors involvement in the War of 1812.  We would be the 51st state without them.  

Little Big Shots

  • The Next Generation Leahy –Leahy performed for a previous BPAC season launch and brought some of their children on stage and they were unbelievably talented
  • Vienna School Boys Choir – Famed choir known all over the world for their sweet voices, if only I was half as talented when I sang in the school and church choir!

genNext I’m Not!


Confessions of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl

Hate to admit it but this list will appeal to my son’s generation rather than mine but if I don’t embarrass him too much I could tag along (lol).

A few new things you will notice when you check out the brochure is that pricing is all-in this year – listed performances include all fees and taxes.  If you attend 4 or more shows from the presenting season you can save $5 off each ticket, a great deal!  Tickets go on sale starting May 24 and if previous years are any indication several of the performances sell out quickly.  The entire 2016/2017 performance listing can be found at or you can pick up one at the box office or our visitor centre or check out the 2016-17 Season Launch BPAC listing. To keep current on what is happening, I suggest that you sign up for their Enewsletter so you don’t miss out.  Remember to check the website regularly as there will be new performances added throughout the year.

Watch for a future blog on summer entertainment including a new summer series on the outdoor stage at the Performing Arts Centre.

tourburlgirl and fan!

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