Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wiggle and Giggle with Saskatchewan’s Queen of the Swing-Set Scene

Singing with Sylvia Will Charm Toddlers, Preschoolers, Kindergartners, and Their Adults on January 23

Sylvia Chave says that she started singing the day she was born. She’s all grown up now (with four grown-up children of her own) and she is thrilled to be able to share her music with youngsters all over the country.  Sylvia’s original songs stick in your head like bubble gum in your hair. Her lyrics offer an enlightening kid’s-eye view on significant issues of this day and age such as: blankie blues, napaphobia, snoring fathers, and cookie-cutting techniques. She answers age-old questions like: Why do bees go buzz? Is it possible to be quiet while your baby brother naps? and, How is it that Mama always knows best? If you have a child in your life who is under the age of six then you simply cannot miss Singing with Sylvia at Horizon Stage on Monday, January 23 at 10 a.m.

A concert by Sylvia is energetic and interactive. She has a knack for keeping little ones on their feet and dancing to the beat. With more costume changes than a toilet-training toddler Sylvia can go from pretty princess to bearded pirate in 4.5 seconds. Her travelling “Transformation Station” is jam-packed with vibrant creations that transport her, and her audiences, into a colourful world of make-believe. Whether dressed as a tropical calypso dancer with a tutti-frutti hat or a polka-dancing bohemian with a pizza on her head, Sylvia’s performances are fresh and funny!

Sylvia’s offbeat characters and unbridled love of performing weaves a special magic that allows her to create an amazing rapport with her young audiences.  Of course, the fact that she is just a tad off-center herself is a real bonus, because when she’s on stage, you’re never quite sure where this journey of laughter will take you.  Sylvia’s voice is an amazing instrument that she uses to create the haunting howls of a ghost, the gruff bark of a no nonsense pirate, the high pitched cackle of a chatty crow, and other wonderful characters.  Exuberant, original, and engaging, she leads her audiences in loud raucous choruses then hushes them with whisper and soothes them with the smooth liquid tones of a lullaby.

Born in Ontario, Sylvia moved to Saskatchewan after earning a degree in English from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. As she raised her family she ran a daycare, was a librarian and a Teacher’s Assistant. But the performing bug nipped at her heels, and as her children grew older she began to follow her dream, first with the children’s duo Prairie Patch in the 1990s and now on her own. She pulls many of her song ideas from her own childhood and her children’s childhoods.

Two out of three people with peanut butter and jelly moustaches agree that Sylvia Chave is a superstar. So get ready to wiggle, giggle, and have some fun with a room full of little ones at Horizon Stage’s 2017 Munchkin Matinee - Singing with Sylvia - on Monday, January 23. Tickets are just $12 for adults and $6 for children and seniors, and group discounts are available for daycares, preschools, playschools, and kindergarten classes. Tickets may be purchased at the City Hall Ticket Centre (315 Jespersen Ave), by phone at 780-962-8995 or 1-888-655-9090, and online through Ticketpro.ca


Monday, January 09, 2017

Vancouver’s Axis Theatre Company Reinvents a Classic Fairy Tale

Hamelin, A New Fable, Teaches Kids About Keeping Promises, Courage, and Cooperation   

Some modern children are so plugged in, busy, or programmed that they miss out on other valuable life experiences. Horizon Stage’s Family Matinee Series offers quality entertainment for 4 - 12 year olds that the adults in their life will enjoy as well. And the second performance in their 16/17 Family Series is no exception. Axis Theatre’s Hamelin, A New Fable on Sunday, January 22, is full of catchy tunes, funny jokes, and it teaches important life lessons to boot!

In 13th century Germany, Medieval Hamelin Town is way too big for its lederhosen. Governed by a spoiled Mayor, his Mommy, and stuffy corporate types who have no interest in its hard-working townsfolk, the town is primed to learn some significant lessons in life from 10-year-old twins Celeste and Ralph. When it seems that no one, other than their Opa Johannes, ever keeps their word, our heroes come up with a plan to make the grown-ups wake up and smell the strudel. After ridiculous new taxes render their tight-knit family homeless and desperate for help, they encounter a hapless “Minstrel”, a flute that has seen better days and of course, lots and lots of rats! With surprising plot twists,Hamelin, A New Fable, is a comedic, heart-tugging musical retelling of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, using masks and puppets in Axis Theatre’s unique physical theatre style.          

Vancouver’s Axis Theatre Company has been performing in theatres and schools across North America and around the world for 40+ years. Enriching curriculum and drawing children into stories, they encourage young people to explore and appreciate shared community values and ideas in new and interesting ways. Their 57 original works have earned 17 Jessie Richardson Awards, A Betty Mitchell Award, and a Drama Desk Nomination for Unique Theatrical Experience.

Winner of a 2015 Jessie Richardson Award for Design Concept and Execution, Hamelin, A New Fable teaches kids about keeping promises versus breaking them, bullying and greed, courage, cooperation, and honor. The themes in the production support an understanding of the importance of contributing to community, solving problems in a peaceful way, defending human rights, and exercising democratic rights and responsibilities.

So spend a cozy afternoon soaking in some valuable culture with your family at Horizon Stage on Sunday, January 22. Free pre-show crafts and activities start at 1 p.m. and the hour-long performance starts at 2 p.m. Tickets are an affordable $12 for all ages and may be purchased at the City Hall Ticket Centre (315 Jespersen Ave), by phone at 780-962-8995 or 1-888-655-9090, and online through Ticketpro.ca.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Enjoy Christmas Favourites From Bing to Bocelli

The Nostalgic Ken Lavigne Christmas Radio Road Show Promises Audiences Music, Magic, and Merriment

Ken Lavigne has charmed his way into the hearts of concert-goers across North America with his exciting blend of classical tenor sound and modern style. A founding member of The Canadian Tenors and co-founder of the tenor trio ROMANZA, he has been touring and recording solo since 2008. Since performing at Carnegie Hall in 2009, Lavigne has worked extensively with famed LA producer David Foster and performed for Prince Charles. Now Ken is celebrating the holidays and bringing his popular Ken Lavigne Christmas Radio Road Show to Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove on Saturday, December 10 for two performances: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Music, merriment and magic will fill the air at the Christmas Radio Road Show as Ken takes a loving look back to the great radio shows of old. You will be transported with this nostalgic and enchanting musical tour through the 1940s and golden age of radio with Ken's band and special guests Alison MacDonald and Daniel James White.  Audiences will enjoy traditional and modern Christmas tunes like “What Child Is This”, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”, “Christmas in Killarney” and many more favourites, bringing you the best from Bing Crosby to Andrea Bocelli!  Let Ken’s luscious, silken honey tenor vocals and hilarious stories fill you with the joy and spirit of the holiday season!

Embrace the magic and add a little “Fa la la la la” to your life; come and see The Ken Lavigne Christmas Radio Road Show at Horizon Stage on Saturday, December 10. A limited number of seats are available for the 7:30 p.m. performances but there is still an excellent selection for the 2 p.m. matinee. Tickets are $40 for adults and $35 for students and seniors and may be purchased at the City Hall Ticket Centre (315 Jespersen Ave), by phone at 780-962-8995 or 1-888-655-9090, and online at ticketpro.ca.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

The Eastern Belles Weave Sweet Harmonies with Their Magical Voices

East Coast Folk and Roots Music by three of P.E.I.’s Finest Singer-Songwriters at Horizon Stage on November 27

Sit quietly in a darkened theatre and let some of the sweetest harmonies that you have ever heard wash over you. Listen as The Eastern Belles’ stunningly beautiful voices stand powerfully alone then join together to create vocal magic. Catherine MacLellan, Ashley Condon and Meaghan Blanchard are award-winning songwriters who have toured extensively as solo acts. Each has developed her own large fan-base and helped put their home province of Prince Edward Island on the big musical map. But, when they come together as The Eastern Belles to sing and write songs, there’s a chemistry that cannot be denied. Enjoy the Eastern Belles Up Close and Personal at Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove on Sunday, November 27 at 7:30 p.m.

“The Island” is where Catherine, Ashley, and Meaghan have chosen to live and create while pursuing their musical careers, and it is where the idea for them touring together was first formed. Their shared a love of old country, folk and Americana music made the collaboration a natural fit. Growing up on an island of 134,000 people produces a fishing boat-load of tales that these ladies are happy to share. An Eastern Belles concert is a night of solo and trio performances, interwoven with stories and playful banter.

Catherine MacLellan has been a perennial fixture at the top of Canada’s Roots Music charts since releasing her first album in 2004. She has received praise from both domestic and international media, won a Canadian Folk Music Award and a Juno Award. Catherine’s sweet tones weave gracefully throughout pensive lyrics that ponder relatable internal dilemmas—balancing work and family, love blooming and fading away, and evaluating one’s own personal strength.

With two Canadian Folk Music Award nominations and multiple P.E.I. Music Awards, Ashley Condon has been winning audiences over with her larger-than-life stage presence and down-to-earth charm. Raised between two potato fields, she is the grandchild of Bill Leblanc, a Canadian country music pioneer who once spent the night in jail with Hank Snow. Ashley has release two albums and is celebrated for her ability to make audiences feel as though they are sitting cozily in her living room.

Meaghan Blanchard draws a lot of her inspiration for performing and songwriting from her grandparents and the memories of the Saturday night dances at the community hall where she heard them play. It was by sitting side stage at her grandmother’s performances that she also came to know and love some of the greatest female country singers of our time; Tammy Wynette, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton are huge influences on her music even to this day. Meaghan has released three albums, won two East Coast Music Awards and six Music P.E.I. Awards.

Experience folk and roots music at its best, delivered in an intimate setting by three of the finest singer-songwriters that Eastern Canada has to offer. Don’t miss The Eastern Belles at Horizon Stage on Sunday, November 27. Tickets are just $35 for adults and $30 for students and seniors and may be purchased at the City Hall Ticket Centre (315 Jespersen Ave), by phone at 780-962-8995 or 1-888-655-9090, and online through ticketpro.ca.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Intimate and Unplugged East Coast Folk Music

Get Up Close and Personal with Séan McCann at Horizon Stage on November 19

Séan McCann’s love for Newfoundland and Labrador folk songs shot him to international fame as a founding member of Canadian super-group Great Big Sea. After 20 years with the band, millions of albums sold, countless hit songs, and record-breaking tours around the world, he realized that he had to stop. While he believes that music is meant to connect, heal, and bring happiness, Séan was slowly losing his own way, so he left the band and started over. He is now touring the country as a solo artist in intimate venues where he can sincerely connect with his audience in the way he always hoped to—face to face. Don’t miss the only Edmonton-area stop on Séan McCann’s current tour, at Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove on Saturday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m.

In January 2014 Séan released his first post-Great Big Sea album. Produced by Joel Plaskett, Help Your Self is the sound of a man facing his demons and ultimately overcoming them. The songs helped him deal with his own issues of addiction and abuse and showed him how to find strength in pain. He found himself using music as therapy; working with people who face physical, mental, and addiction challenges.  Séan has also become a sought-after speaker; trying to help others to help themselves find light through the darkness.

Séan’s journey to find his own peace, love, and happiness continues through his music. His newest work, You Know I Love You, is a happy collection of songs sung by a man intent on sharing his joy directly with you. His world has changed. Today the only thing left between Séan’s music and those who wish to share it, is a cellphone or a computer. Despite how small social media has made the world, and how it has included all of us into the same conversation with a simple hashtag, the basic human quest for a connection to something real is too difficult to fit in just 140 characters. Luckily, through the years of technological advancement and subsequent social change, two universal energies remain constant— Music and Love.

Connect with Séan McCann Up Close and Personal at Horizon Stage on November 19. Tickets are just $35 for adults and $30 for students and seniors and may be purchased at the City Hall Ticket Centre (315 Jespersen Ave), by phone at 780-962-8995 or 1-888-655-9090, and online through ticketpro.ca.

“It truly is a joy to see Séan McCann live, [where] he can interact directly with his fans like he never could at a show with 10,000 people.” – The Review

Jake’s Gift is Deeply Moving and Profoundly Personal

Multi-Award Winning Play about the Legacy of Remembrance Returns to Horizon Stage on November 18

Jake’s Gift is a multi-award winning Canadian play about a World War II veteran’s reluctant return to Normandy, France, for the 60th Anniversary of the D-Day landings. While revisiting the shores of Juno beach, Jake encounters Isabelle, a precocious 10-year-old from the local village. Isabelle’s inquisitive nature and charm challenge the old soldier to confront some long-ignored ghosts – most notably the war-time death of his eldest brother, Chester, a once promising young musician. Jake’s Gift is about the legacy of remembrance and it makes the story behind one soldier’s grave deeply personal. Extend your Remembrance Day celebration and experience Jake’s Gift at Horizon Stage on Friday, November 18.

In June 2004, Julia Mackey traveled to Normandy, France, for the 60th anniversary of D-Day. It was one of the most moving and powerful experiences of her life. During that week long journey, Julia interviewed dozens of Canadian, British and American WWII veterans who had returned for the ceremonies. The stories they shared with Julia and her own life-long interest in Remembrance Day inspired the development of Jake’s Gift.  She also drew inspiration from the grave of a real Canadian soldier buried in Bény-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery when creating the character of Chester.

Since 2007 Jake’s Gift has played at festivals and theatres in over 220 communities across Canada, including Edmonton (2008, 2010 & 2013) and Spruce Grove (2011). They have toured internationally to Washington State, the United Kingdom, and to Normandy, France, for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day in June 2014. The 2016/17 Season marks the start of their 10th year of touring, and Juno Productions and Jake’s Gift continue to garner awards and rave reviews whether playing in small rural towns or big city centers.

Surprisingly funny and profoundly moving, Jake’s Gift pays tribute to an important part of Canadian history. Don’t miss Jake’s Gift at Horizon Stage on Friday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are just $35 for adults and $30 for students and seniors and may be purchased at the City Hall Ticket Centre (315 Jespersen Ave), by phone at 780-962-8995 or 1-888-655-9090, and online through ticketpro.ca


★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “Jake’s Gift.  Mark it down. Get your tickets right away.”
– Colin Maclean, Edmonton Sun

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “Julia Mackey is an eminently watchable actor and her transformation
 between characters are stunning and nuanced.” – Bryan Birtles, Vue Weekly

“Jake’s Gift is as near a perfect play as I’ve ever seen.”
– Jackie Flanagan, Alberta Views Magazine

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

They’re Not Your Average Classical Trio

Joe Trio Promises to Play Classical, Popular, Jazz, and Rock Tunes at Horizon Stage November 15

Joe Trio never wants to be thought of as an ‘average’ classical trio. They strive for diversity, versatility, humour, and unpredictability in everything that they do and their live concerts are no exception. Their repertoire consists of the classics – from Haydn to Shostakovich - new works by contemporary composers, and their own arrangements of popular, jazz, and rock tunes. And they're not afraid to mix together so many styles of music into a single piece that it makes your head spin. More than virtuosi, the Trio's members are fantastic performers who engage the audience in a way few classical musicians can. Witty, charming, and tremendously talented, Joe Trio leaves their audiences with a new appreciation for classical music. Enjoy Joe Trio’s classical concert with a twist at Horizon Stage on Tuesday, November 15.

Trio members Cameron Wilson (violin), Charles Inkman (cello) and Allen Stiles (piano) are all accomplished musicians from the Vancouver area. Since forming Joe Trio in 1989 they have presented hundreds of concerts throughout Canada and the United States. They have recorded three CDs, been nominated for a West Coast Music Award, and toured BC and Alberta with CBC storyteller Stuart McLean.

Violinist Cameron Wilson is member the gypsy jazz quartet Van Django, the Hard Rubber Orchestra, Pastiche, Mariachi Del Sol, and Tambura Rasa. His cSupernatural Noir, wrote the score for the 2014 short film The Mary Contest, and was recently commissioned by Chicago’s Lyrebird Ensemble to write a jazz inspired work for flute and harp.
ompositions and arrangements have been performed by symphony orchestras and ensembles across North America. Cameron co-wrote the film noir opera

Charles Inkman has been playing cello since he was eight. He has a Bachelor of Music Degree in performance from the University of British Columbia, is a long-standing member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and teaches at the VSO School of Music. He is also the music director and conductor for the North Shore Chamber Orchestra. Charles has recorded for movies and television, performed in Broadway musicals, and played with John Denver, Frank Sinatra Jr. and Brian Wilson.
Allen Stiles plays with the contemporary music ensemble Standing Wave and is a founding member of The Little Chamber Music Series That Could Society. He holds a Masters Degree in piano performance from UBC. Allen currently teaches at the Langley and Richmond schools of music and the the Douglas College Community School.

Spend an unpredictable, fun, and music-filled evening with Joe Trio at Horizon Stage on November 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults and $30 for students and seniors and may be purchased at the City Hall Ticket Centre (315 Jespersen Ave), by phone at 780-962-8995 or 1-888-655-9090, and online through ticktpro.ca.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Edmonton Taiko Duo Will be Drumming up Fun in Spruce Grove

Booming Tree Taiko Launches Horizon Stage’s 16/17 Family Matinee Series

Taiko drumming is a powerful example of stamina and endurance. Dynamic drum beats celebrate the strength and power of the human form. Founded by Gregory Shimizu and Twilla MacLeod, Booming Tree Taiko is an Edmonton-based contemporary drum duo that specializes in taiko, the art of Japanese drumming. Their spectacular, high energy performances thrill and delight audiences of all ages. Experience the joy and wonder of taiko for yourself at Horizon Stage on Saturday, November 5.

Performing as a duo for seven years Greg and Twilla have wowed audiences at the Edmonton Fringe Festival, the Kaliedo Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, Nextfest, The Works, Edmonton’s Heritage Festival, the Calgary Stampede, and many other events across our province. They have toured to Ottawa, Los Angeles, Virginia Beach, and Toronto, and have collaborated with ProCoro, Viter Ukrainian Dance and Choir, National Stiltwalkers of Canada, Hong de Lion Dancers, VibeTribe Gypsy Circus, Kita No Taiko, and many other arts and cultural organizations. Their song ‘Heart-Beat-Boom’ provides the sound track to a Travel Alberta commercial.

Booming Tree Taiko’s Family Matinee concert at Horizon Stage will be full of spectacular drumming. It will take kids on a music-filled journey into the history of taiko, teaching about the important role that taiko plays in Japanese culture and how it is used in theatre, combat, and religion. Free pre-show crafts and activities start at 1 p.m. and the hour-long performance starts at 2 p.m. Rumor has it some lucky audience members may even get to play along!

Horizon Stage’s 16/17 Family Matinee Series is affordable family-friendly entertainment. All three shows are perfect for 4 - 12 year olds and their grown-ups. This season’s matinees include Booming Tree Taiko on November 5, Axis Theatre Company’s Hamelin, A New Fable on January 22, and Mr. Fish’s Super Circus Stuff on April 29. Our three-show Family Matinee Packages include one ticket per show, cost $30 per person, and are available until November 5. Single tickets are just $12 per person regardless of age.

So spend an afternoon, or three, with your family at Horizon Stage. Tickets may be purchased at the City Hall Ticket Centre (315 Jespersen Ave), by phone at 780-962-8995 or 1-888-655-9090, and online though Ticketpro.ca.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fans of Gritty, Hard-Edged Rock and Roots Music Will Fall in Love

Spend the Night with Terra Lightfoot at Horizon Stage on October 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Called a cross between Joan Jett and Bob Seger, Terra Lightfoot is a Canadian rock goddess on the rise. Her original music fuses hard-edged rock with roots, blues, soul, and jazz. From slow-burning ballads to gritty rock numbers, Terra’s songs tap into raw emotions: love, lust, loneliness, and temptation and her husky voice and stellar guitar skills will blow your mind! Don’t miss the chance to see Terra Lightfoot Up Close and Personal when she makes a stop at Horizon Stage on Friday, October 14 at 7:30 p.m.

On stages in France, Germany, the UK, the US, and across Canada, Terra Lightfoot has been wowing audiences for years.  She has performed alongside the likes of Emmylou Harris, Gordon Lightfoot, Ron Sexsmith, Grace Potter, Betty LaVette, Randy Bachman, The Sadies, and Daniel Lanois. Edmonton audiences couldn’t get enough of her when she opened for Blue Rodeo at the Jubilee Auditorium last January.

When writing and recording her 2015 album, Every Time My Mind Runs Wild, Lightfoot set out to push her limits as a performer and challenge herself creatively. Where her 2011 self-titled debut album had slower, softer songs and a subdued vibe, her new album crackles with immediacy and demands attention. While holed up with headphones and a stack of vintage pop and rock albums, she pulled apart songwriting mechanics, mastered tonic chords and middle-eights, and learned to craft memorably sticky choruses. She spent weeks honing her new songs - working and reworking them until they were taut and lean. And the results have her fans, and many in the Canadian music industry, standing up and taking notice.

Lightfoot’s musical and song-writing influences include roots groundbreakers Maybelle Carter and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, blues legends Leadbelly and Lightnin’ Hopkins, soul greats Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, and jazz titans Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. And she magically melds their sounds together to create her own unique, remarkable results.

Rock ‘n’ Roll the night away with Terra Lightfoot at Horizon Stage on October 14. Tickets are $35 for adults and $30 for students and seniors and may be purchased at the City Hall Ticket Centre (315 Jespersen Ave), by phone at 780-962-8995 or 1-888-655-9090, and online through Ticketpro.ca.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

A Paul Simon Tribute Concert Experience Like No Other

Hang onto your seats because we’re Going to Graceland on September 17

Graceland is American musician Paul Simon’s most successful studio album. It has been praised by critics and public alike, won the 1987 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and sold over sixteen million copies world-wide. The recording features an eclectic mixture of musical styles, including pop, rock, a cappella, zydeco, isicathamiya, and mbaqanga. It includes collaborations with many South African musicians and groups, particularly Ladysmith Black Mambazo, as well as prominent North American artists Linda Ronstadt and Los Lobos. Tracks include such popular songs as “Graceland”, “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” and “You Can Call Me Al”.  Now, Edmonton-area Paul Simon fans can experience Going to Graceland, a pivotal concert experience that includes covers of all eleven album tracks along with some of Simon’s other hit singles, at Horizon Stage on Saturday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Released in August 1986, Graceland transcended racial and cultural barriers. It was a bridge between cultures, genres and continents, and a global launching pad for the musicians whose popularity been suppressed under South Africa’s white-run apartheid rule. Rolling Stone Magazine called it "lovely, daring and accomplished” and The Village Voice said that it was "a tremendously engaging and inspired piece of work”.  In the past 30 years it has continued to influence, and be covered by, a wide variety of singers and bands, and in 2012 it placed 71st on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

In Going to Graceland a nine-piece group of Edmonton-based musicians have deconstructed and recreated Simon’s genius-level compositions to make them their own. Starting as an idea for a New Year’s show, this amazing tribute concert has been selling out venues around the province. It has allowed band members to connect with audiences of many ages and share the album that they all grew up hearing their parents play for the first time in 1986.

The current Going to Graceland ensemble consists of Neil MacDonald (lead vocals and guitar), Jason Kodie (accordion, keyboards, and vocals), Nathan Carroll (guitar and vocals), Thom Golub (bass), Lindsey Walker (vocals and keyboard), Chris Budnarchuk (drums and vocals), Ben McNab (percussion), Brock Tyler (trumpet and vocals), and Laura Craig (saxophone).

Spend a Saturday night experiencing and enjoying some of the best music of the 1980s at Horizon Stage on September 17. Tickets for Going to Graceland are $40 for adults and $35 for students and seniors and may be purchased at the City Hall Ticket Centre (315 Jespersen Ave), by phone at 780-962-8995 or 1-888-655-9090, and online at Ticketpro.ca.