Monday, March 13, 2017

Hot and Spicy New Orleans Style Rockin’ Roots and Bayou Blues

Gary Comeau and the Voodoo Allstars Bring an Original Blend of Cajun and Zydeco-Influenced Music to Horizon Stage

“Take the rhythm of the Maritime Acadian music, season it with Louisiana zydeco blues and, add a twist of Highway 61-era Dylan, serve it up with great showmanship, and you’ve got a potent musical cocktail that will have your head spinning and your feet dancing." This is an apt description of a Gary Comeau and the Voodoo Allstars concert. These hot and spicy swamp kings from Canada’s west coast have been electrifying audiences across British Columbia with their original brand of swamp, roots, and bayou blues and they’re looking forward to energizing everyone at Horizon Stage on Friday, April 7.

 Lead singer Gary Comeau is a songwriter and musician with unusual diversity and talent. Playing a range of instruments, including guitar, mandolin, fiddle, accordion, and piano, he delivers originally crafted, high-energy, New Orleans-style rockin’ roots and blues. Although Gary’s own roots are French-Acadian, he was born and raised in Nova Scotia, his soul seems to have taken a long and inspiring detour through Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta enroute to his current home in Vancouver. And while Gary may not necessarily consider himself to be a Cajun or zydeco artist per se, those styles have certainly influenced the music he has written and recorded over the years.

Between 1997 and 2004 Gary released four CDs. More recently he and the Voodoo Allstars released One Night Only - a recording of their February 2016 concert at the Dream Café in Penticton, BC.  Gary’s talents have also caught the attention of the film industry with songs like "Marianne" being featured in the Paramount film Double Jeopardy (1999) and "I Think About You All the Time” being part of the The Wild Guys (2004) soundtrack.

Gary Comeau is an authentic minstrel and a genuine character with a top hat and a penchant for colourful clothing. His Voodoo Allstars are a close-knit, highly experienced group of first-class musicians. Drummer Chris Nordquist, bassist Rob Becker, guitarist/slide guitarist Tim Hersey, and saxist/percussionist Jerry Cook are well-known for their chops in Vancouver’s music community. They have all worked consistently with Comeau for years and know how to follow the merest blink of his eye. When not working as the five-piece Voodoo Allstars, Gary, Tim, and Chris also perform as the hybrid blues and roots band Cannery Row, who had crowds up and dancing at Spruce Grove’s 2015 Canada Day Celebration.

Join us for a night of invigorating music and entertainment by Gary Comeau and the Voodoo Allstars at Horizon Stage on Friday, April 7 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 Ticketpro.ca.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Harp and Violin Blend Together Beautifully and Battle Artistically

Duo Milot & Bareil’s Unique Concert Pairs Their Instruments Together Then Pits Them Against Each Other 


A couple on stage and in life, harpist Valérie Milot and violinist Antoine Bareil’s performances are marked by exceptional artistry and intimate connection. With custom arrangements and transcription by Antoine, their unique concerts highlight the similarities and the differences between two musicians and their instruments. While some works pair harp and violin as a beautifully intertwined duo, others pit them in an artistic battle of virtuosity. Valérie and Antoine also take time to explain their instruments, tell stories about the music, and share anecdotes about their own experiences. Experience the smooth, sweet, and sizzling sounds and stories of Duo Milot & Bareil at Horizon Stage on Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Valérie and Antoine were each awarded the prestigious Prix Avec Grande Distinction after completing their studies at the Conservatoire de Musique de Trois-Rivières. Valérie won the Prix d’Europe scholarship and went on to perfect her art in New York, while Antoine pursued his studies at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg in Austria.

Duo Milot & Bareil have collaborated on several critically acclaimed recordings including Old Friends – A Classical Tribute to Simon & Garfunkel (2011) and Around Christmas (2012). They have participated in numerous radio broadcasts together and regularly collaborate with a variety of other artists. Horizon Stage audiences will remember Antoine from his 2009 show, Soaring Strings, with cellist Sébastien Lépine, which was an introduction to 20th century classical music for younger audiences that came complete with a light show!

In addition to her busy schedule with Duo Milot & Bareil, Valerie has an active career as a soloist and chamber musician. She is regularly invited to perform with orchestras internationally, particularly in Switzerland, Brazil, and France. Introduced to music when she was very young, Valérie studied the piano for several years before choosing the harp at age ten. She has been teaching at her alma matter - Trois-Riviéres Conservatories of Music - since 2015 and has recorded 7 albums in total. In her latest solo work, Orbis, she pushes the boundaries of her style by marrying music and digital art.

Antoine has performed in more than a dozen countries. He has been a member of Quartango since 2009 and the concertmaster of the Laval Symphony Orchestra since 2013, and he plays regularly with Les Violons du Roy, a French-Canadian chamber orchestra based in Québec City. Antoine has also written music for some National Film Board of Canada short films. A versatile musician, he can be heard on fifty albums of varied styles. He has won several awards, including a Juno for Best Instrumental Album for Encuentro by Quartango. Antoine plays on a violin made by Vuillaume with a bow made by Voirin, courtesy of Canimex.

Allow Duo Milot & Bareil to enchant, enlighten, engage, and entertain you with their beautiful music and fascinating narratives at Horizon Stage on Saturday, April 1. 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.

Milot’s touch on the strings is effortless. She conjures both harp and notes away. They vanish on her fingertips. What pours out is pure musical perception.” - The Chronicle Herald 

“[A] beautiful couple… masters both in their discipline, they were on stage relaxed, visibly determined to distill pleasure and share it with us. No one of the two protagonists, violinist or harpist, was the star in this concert. On the contrary, it was in turn that they were the prime contractor, supported and accompanied by the other.
- The Journal of Citizens 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hypnosis Comedy Show is Exciting, Energetic, and Empowering

Wayne Lee’s Show at Horizon Stage on March 11 is a ‘Must See’ for Anyone who Enjoys the Art of Laughter

Wayne Lee is one of the hottest hypnosis comedy acts in Canada today. As a career hypnotist and keynote speaker, Wayne Lee is mesmerizing, charismatic, and funny. A former Canadian amateur wrestling champion and school teacher, Wayne’s passion for his career is evident the moment he takes the stage. Every presentation is unforgettable, filled with non-stop laughter and inspiration that allows people to explore the depths of their imaginations, break through their fears, and live with more joy, freedom, and love. After two wonderful sold out shows in 2012, Horizon Stage is delighted bring Wayne Lee back to Spruce Grove on Saturday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m.

Wayne Lee’s entry into the world of entertainment happened more by accident than design. After a chronic injury ended his promising wrestling career he found that teaching in a classroom setting wasn’t fulfilling him enough. So Wayne harnessed his own passion and potential! He took a childhood interest in magic, and a fascination with hypnotism, and honed them into a stellar show that continues to delight audiences at a wide variety of venues including nightclubs, theatres, casinos, fund-raisers, conventions, trade shows, private, corporate, and special events.

Over the years, Wayne has used hypnosis to entertain, excite, and mesmerize thousands of audiences across North America. He has performed over 2500 shows, hypnotizing over 25,000 people to explore the limits of their imagination, dance outrageously, and even act like celebrities! Wayne has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs and was recognized as Entertainer of the Year for 2008 at the 2008 Canadian Events Industry Awards.

What does it mean to “Live the Laughter”? With Wayne Lee it means a highly interactive show that is as unique as it is hilarious. It means gut-splitting laughter and improbable scenes acted out by audience members no longer inhibited by their fears. Wayne invites members of the audience to explore their creativity, engage their passion, and experience increased group synergy – all while having fun! Wayne helps people out of their comfort zone and inspires them to truly become the performer they are meant to be. But there is no pressure - audience members can choose to sit back, watch, and be entertained OR they may decide to join Wayne on stage and become part the production.

Wayne Lee captivates and charms his audiences, then envelops them in magic of the moment with outrageously funny results. He has acquired life-long fans, including individuals who became the stars of the shows they came to see. Wayne’s shows are always clean, classy, and tasteful and he gives each participant a life-changing suggestion that will help them achieve any personal or professional goal.

Spend an enlightening evening with Wayne Lee at Horizon Stage on Saturday, March 11 and learn that the mind really IS capable of leading us anywhere... 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.

“Wayne Lee’s amazing hypnotic skills continue to mesmerize and entertain our audiences year after year.”
- Edmonton K-Days

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Soulful Jazz with a Vintage Feel and a Modern Twist

Rich, Sultry, and Sweet - Alberta’s Own Ellen Doty performs at Horizon Stage - Friday, February 24

Ellen Doty is a soulful Canadian vocalist and songwriter with a world-class voice. Her nostalgic sound is rooted in jazz, but seamlessly incorporates elements of other genres including folk and pop and adds a modern twist as well. A true storyteller whose works are intimate and personal, Ellen’s immense talent for lyrics is complemented by her stunning vocals. Rich, sultry, and sweet, Ellen’s voice draws listeners in and takes them on an unforgettable journey. Horizon Stage is pleased to present Ellen Doty on Friday, February 24, at 7:30 p.m.

Originally from Okotoks, Alberta, Ellen has been performing since age five. She studied jazz at Carleton University before taking a detour to the University of Calgary where, thinking that she should “probably have a real job”, she decided to take geology. But geology didn’t pan out and Ellen left school in her third year to return to a career in music - and she’s thankful she did as she now can’t imagine doing anything else.

Since returning to music Ellen has had the opportunity to work with many of her jazz heroes including Al Kay, Pat Labarbera, Bobby Shew, Dave Mancini and PJ Perry. In 2013, she received the ‘Outstanding Soloist’ award from the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Idaho and she completed an artist residency for Collaborative Song-Writing at the prestigious Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. After releasing two singles, “Live at the Station” (2012) and “That's Love” (2013), she received an album production grant in May 2013 from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

Ellen’s first full-length album, Gold, broke the top ten on several Canadian jazz charts and received critical acclaim. The media called it “an immediate, handmade, warm-hearted statement” and “sweet ’n’ sunny crossover jazz-pop” and said that her “voice honey-coats every word it sings.” The record featured ten of Ellen's original compositions, and a piece by Toronto songwriter Kyle Zavitz. Co-writers also included Oliver Miguel, Josh Crowhurst, Conrad Good, and Danny Michel.

After considerable support from fans and an overwhelming response to a crowd-funding campaign, Ellen embarked on a thirty city, forty-six stop cross-Canada tour from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Victoria, BC. She thoroughly enchanted audiences across the country with her show stopping performances. After opening for Grammy-winner Gregory Porter at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary in 2016, she has been touring with award-winning saxophonist Eli Bennett and her long-time collaborator Josh Crowhurst.

Ellen released an emotional single titled "Just So You Know" in April 2015 after the loss of a dear friend. She is currently working on her sophomore album which is set for release in 2017. She has had the opportunity to collaborate and song-write with a number of noteworthy artists for the project including Juno-winner Justin Rutledge, Danny Vacon, Andy Stochansky, and Davide Direnzo.

With an honesty and warmth that sets her apart, Ellen Doty is clearly an emerging Canadian talent. Catch her at Horizon Stage on Friday, February 24 so that you can someday say “I saw her when…” 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.

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Story About Family, Figuring Out Where You Come From, And Finding Your Way

Award-Winning Author Ivan Coyote presents Kraft Singles for Everyone at Horizon Stage on February 22


Ivan Coyote’s Kraft Singles for Everyone is a heart-felt and heartbreaking performance about figuring out where you come from and finding your way. It touches on subjects such as being an ex-Catholic queer and the dynamics of small town big families, and leaves us asking ourselves what we truly inherit from the blood that runs in our veins. Horizon Stage is excited to present Kraft Singles for Everyone on Wednesday, February 22, at 7:30 p.m.
Born and raised in a large Irish Catholic family in Whitehorse, Ivan Coyote learned the craft of storytelling while gathering around their grandmother’s kitchen table on long northern winter nights. Ivan’s work tackles the difficult subjects of family, class, gender identity, and social justice with the silver tongue of a master storyteller, an eye for the beauty found in what makes us all human, and an ear for the hilarity of life and love. Ivan’s first love is telling stories to a live audience, and they have become an audience favourite at writers’, storytelling, poetry, spoken word, and music festivals from Anchorage to Amsterdam.

Ivan began performing spoken word in 1992. They are the award-winning author of nine collections of short stories, one novel, a collection of essays, three screenplays and three CDs including the 2007 ReLit Award winning Bow Grip, a short story collection for young adults called One In Every Crowd, and 2016’s Tomboy’s Guide to Survival.  Coyote regularly combines storytelling and music and has worked with a number of musicians including Veda Hille, Dan Mangan and Rae Spoon. Coyote has been a columnist for the gay magazines Xtra! and Xtra! West for a number of years and a writer-in-residence at numerous organizations.

In November 2015 Coyote did a TED talk in Vancouver entitled "We All Need a Safe Place to Pee," where they discussed the need for gender neutral bathrooms in all public places. In 2016, they delivered the Florence Bird Lecture at Carleton University titled "Neither, Nor: How to Circumnavigate the Gender Binary in Seven Thousand Easy Steps". Ivan also visits schools and has been doing so for fifteen years - telling stories that encourage talking and motivating students and staff to take action to foster safety and social justice in hallways, gymnasiums, and classrooms.

Spend an evening Up Close and Personal with Ivan Coyote on Wednesday, February 22. Seating is general admission with the lobby opening at 6:30 p.m., theatre doors at 7:15 p.m. and the performance starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are just $25 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 at ticketpro.ca.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Revolutionary and Innovative Illusions Performed By Master Magicians

OUTERBRIDGE: Clockwork Mysteries "Grand Masters of Illusions” Will Wow Audience at Horizon Stage on February 11


A professionally orchestrated theatrical production with over twenty custom-designed illusions and world-class lighting and set design, OUTERBRIDGE: Clockwork Mysteries “Grand Masters of Illusion” is a high-energy magical adventure for both adult and family audiences. Recognized as one of the most creative and dynamic shows of its kind, critics have hailed Ted and Marion Outerbridge as “the most successful magicians in Canada” and “champions of magic”. Now these expert magicians are bringing their groundbreaking illusions back to Horizon Stage on Saturday, February 11 at 7:30 p.m.

As the largest and most successful touring illusion show in the country, Clockwork Mysteries has received both the 2011 Award of Excellence from Ontario Contact and the 2010 Touring Artist of the Year award from the B.C. Touring Council. This innovative production takes its audience on a bizarre and fascinating journey through time. Within seconds of taking the stage, the Outerbridges fuse their revolutionary illusions with split-second artistry and hold viewers spellbound.

With the help of an elaborate Victorian time machine, performers and spectators travel back in time together. The audience is invited into a mysterious clock tower equipped with a variety of timekeeping devices. They become part of a race against time, experience time accelerating and slowing down, and participate in predicting the contents of a time capsule. Keeping their audience enthralled from the first astonishing illusion to the spectacular finale, the Outerbridges create an experience that far exceeds the expectations of the observer.

Performing professionally since 1982, Ted Outerbridge has done everything from materializing Fortune 500 executives, to consulting for Cirque du Soleil, to creating the magic for the movie Switching Channels starring Kathleen Turner and Christopher Reeve. He has made over 100 television appearances, from Much Music to The Discovery Channel’s Mystery Hunters, and on his own TV special Magic with Ted Outerbridge. Ted’s dry sense of humor has resulted in return bookings at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, his charisma has led to repeat appearances on Princess Cruise ships, and his mastery of the art of grand illusion has enabled him to perform at the SkyDome in Toronto as well as on televised pre-game shows for the National Hockey League.

Marion joined Ted’s show as a dancer and lead assistant in 1999. She quickly became an integral part of the production, eventually becoming Ted’s partner, on and off the stage, when they married in 2006. Marion has performed the world over and speaks five languages fluently. A dancer in constant demand, she has performed in numerous North American productions from Nostalgie to We’ve Got Magic and Country 2000. In 1999 Marion made her film debut in The Whole Nine Yards with Bruce Willis and has since appeared in numerous film and television productions including Barney’s Version with Dustin Hoffman and White House Down with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx.

The Outerbridges last wowed audiences at Horizon Stage in 2010 with Magical Moments in Time. Prepare to be taken on another magical journey through time by these “Grand Masters of Illusion” on Saturday, February 11. 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. Fun for everyone - we recommend this show for anyone age six or older who is ready to be mystified, amazed, and astounded

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

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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.