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New Season Announced at Performing Arts Centre

by Pam Belgrade

Once again our team was fortunate to be in the audience for the launch of the seventh season of the Burlington Performing Arts Centre (BPAC).  It is always a thrill to hear who will be showcased and when the lights went down you could have heard a pin drop.

Sneak Peak at Performances

Heather BambrickThis year they had a different approach to the evening, with BPAC’s Ty Howie being the MC /talk show host.  Ty invited various performers and BPAC staff to chat on stage about the season.  We were treated to three live performances scheduled throughout the evening who gave us an insiders view about the various performers by fellow musicians.

The first performance was by Juno nominated jazz vocalist and broadcaster (JazzFM 91) Heather Bambrick who wowed the crowd with her set and amazing ensemble.  Heather gave us a great overview of some of the other talented jazz artists on the calendar.A night at the Opera

Then opera singer Julie Nesrallah (host of CBC Radio 2 Tempo program) mesmorized the crowd performing Bixet’s Carmen.  In February 2018 she will be part of group which includes soprano Lauren Margison, tenor Richard Margison and bass-baritone Gary Relyea celebrating opera’s greatest arias and duets titled A Night at the Opera.

Slocan RamblersThe final act of the evening was by bluegrass band The Slocan Ramblers who had us taping our toes to their lively songs.  They will be back next January for a evening performance in the Community Studio Theatre.


Hall of Fame Award

One of the highlights of the night was Canada’s Musical Ambassadors the Burlington Teen Tour Band (BTTB) being inducted into the Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s Hall of Fame.  Celebrating their 70th anniversary this year, the band has contributed to the musical and personal development of thousands of youth. The band has helped put Burlington on the map by performing at countless Burlington events and across the world for heads of state and royalty. (Recognized with the Tourism Ambassador Award in 2014). The beautiful award was designed by local stained glass artist Teresa Seaton.  Congrats to all the BTTB members, alumni and staff!

Tourism Top Picks

I asked the staff and board members of Tourism Burlington who attended the launch to indicate their top 3 picks of the performances they would like to attend next season:

Sally Fitz-Gibbon – Visitor Services, Tourism BurlingtonJann Arden

  • I was thrilled to see Jann Arden was coming on October 12.  Not only do I enjoy her songs, her intellectual,  bubbly personality,  terrific sense of humour,  as seen often in interviews and on the Rick Mercer Show, this performance has all the ingredients for providing a  terrific evening of entertainment.
  • A Passage to Bollywood on November 24 would be another choice.   (What two shows in a week?  But it’s just downtown Burlington, no travelling and easy parking).   Okay, somewhat of a surprising pick for me, but after seeing the Marigold Hotel films, I just know this would be fun, colourful, energetic, humorous,  even romantic at times.  It would be one of those ‘leave all your troubles and stresses at home’ and just come and have a good, fun time!  I can see us leaving this show happy all over.
  • It’s birthday time in February and I’d love to take my grandkids to The Gruffalo on February 11.  A fun musical for all kids four and up – songs, laughter and yes, a little scary in parts but  alls well that ends well and this one promises to be fun for us all.  It will be tough for me to watch the show or the smiles on their faces!

Erths Dinosaur ZooKelly Harris – Special Projects, Tourism Burlington

  • Liv On I have always been a big fan of Olivia Newton John! Also, I had heard about this show previously and have heard one of the songs and the 3 women together sing beautifully (Olivia, Amy Sky and Beth Nielsen Chapman). Show looks very inspirational – look forward to taking my Mom.
  • Gordon Lightfoot – He is a Canadian legend! Who doesn’t like him and what a treat to be able to see him in beautiful Burlington on Remembrance Day.
  • Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live – I have a 6 year old nephew who LOVES Dinosaurs. This looks like a great show for kids as it is very realistic yet fun and engaging at the same time!

Dave Whale, Board Member Tourism Burlington and producer of Live & Local Music SeriesLivON

  • Jann Arden:  A fantastic singer songwriter with entertaining stories and a fantastic sense of humour. She never disappoints.
  • Liv On: Amy Sky, Olivia Newton John and Beth Nielson Chapman – three amazing singer songwriters who have all had great success in their careers but they have also had heartbreak and hardship. This should be a great show – empowering and uplifting.
  • Just For Laughs Roadshow: Never disappoints. Just for Laughs always select a diverse group of talented comedians for this tour.

Pam Belgrade – ED, Tourism Burlington

The list I created is of the acts that most intrigued me, things a little out of my usual preferences so I am looking forward to checking them out. 

  • The Tale of a Town – Canada – this multimedia presentation features personal stories about Main st. Canada and will include interviews of locals in downtown Burlington plus will have surprise appearances by local notables. I love surprises, am a proud Canadian and am interested in hearing local tales so this will be a fun winter outing. You might even see me hanging around Brant St. in February hoping to be discovered!
  • Machine de Cirque – Vox Pop – The clip shown at the launch looked so fun and quirky that I can’t wait to see this show. What a terrific way to perk up a Monday evening. 
  • Men of the Deeps – Every year I say I am going to go to a Christmas show at BPAC and I haven’t gotten to one yet, so this is the year. It is scheduled for the last week of November so it isn’t so close to the Christmas rush.  This choir from Cape Breton will surely get me in the spirit and warning if you sit near me, I tend to sing along.

There are lots of other wonderful performances planned so refer to the full 2017/2018 Presenting Season line-up schedule at  Tickets go on sale to the public May 24, 2017.  Order in person, by phone at 905-681-6000 or online at 


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