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Exciting New Entertainment at Burlington Performing Arts Centre

by Pam Belgrade

An evening our staff team always looks forward to is attending the season launch for the Burlington Performing Arts Centre (BPAC).  This is the eighth season and it is a thrill to hear who will be showcased right in our own backyard so we can plan our social calendars.

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Canadian comedian Elvira Kurt who kept the audience entertained and enthusiastically introduced various performers.  This year the evening started off with an amusing video of new Executive Director Tammy Fox and Board Chair Rick Burgess lamenting over how to top the record setting past season programmed by Brian McCurdy.  We think that they need not have worried as the upcoming season has a great mix of music, dance, theatre, comedy and it will be hard to choose what to attend.

One of the highlights of the night was the announcement that Helen Zdriluk the Founder, Owner, and Artistic Director of Centre Stage Theatre Productions, Burlington, Inc., an intergenerational community theatre and school was inducted into the Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s Hall of Fame.  Helen was a drama teacher at Burlington Central High School and taught Dramatic Arts at Brock University.  Helen passed away on April 26, 2017 and the beautiful award designed by local stained glass artist Teresa Seaton, was accepted on Helen’s behalf by her husband, Jerry Zdriluk.

Throughout the launch we were treated to four live performances giving us a glimpse of what audiences can expect and all of the acts were amazing!  We loved the musical performances of  Indigenous contemporary folk band Twin Flames, pianist Andrew Burashko from Art of Time Ensemble, and hip-hop artist and creator of the ‘Unauthorized Biography Series’ Shaun Boothe.  Plus the MC comedian Elvira Kurt who willl be performing in Girls Nite Out did a standup segment and had the audience in stitches.

Being in the tourism business we were pleased to see two festivals happening over the next few months.  The FREE Humber Jazz Fest is returning for two days on Saturday August 11 & Sunday August 12, rain or shine.  Performances include two time JUNO nominated musician Shirantha Beddage Quintet, blues, soul and R&B powerhouse Elise Legrow, soulful singer Coco Love Alcorn and Mike Downes Quartet featuring four top award winning musicians.

As part of Culture Days festivites on Saturday Sept 29 and Sunday Sept 30, BPAC is hosting the Cultural Diversity Festival sponsored by the City of Burlington.  Not only will there be an exciting and diverse line-up of performers, there are also free workshops, lectures and events that celebrate inclusivity.  Included in a series of free and ticketed events will be Ali Hassan’s Muslim Interrupted, and a cast of new Canadians in Enana Dance Theatre’s Julia Domna. Stay tuned for more details.

A group of us are really looking forward to seeing Thank You For Being a Friend – The Ultimate Golden Girls Experience which is a hilarious live action puppet show featuring Miami’s most famous senior citizens.  Also on our wish list for Christmas is John McDermott with Special Guest Dala and the Next Generation Leahy Christmas (all under the age of 16).  Some of the other famous acts we are contemplating include, song and dance man Tony Danza, Canadian performers Cowboy Junkies, strange animal Gowan and Jim Cuddy Band (Blue Rodeo frontman).

There are lots of wonderful performances planned so refer to the full 2018/2019 Presenting Season line-up schedule at BurlingtonPac.ca.  Tickets are on sale now in person, by phone at 905-681-6000 or online at BurlingtonPac.ca

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