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Soundtrack to Summer 2017, this Sunday

By Celina Ip

Jim Cuddy opens the Niagara Concerts season Saturday at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls. PHOTO: Postmedia

Jim Cuddy opens the Niagara Concerts season Saturday at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls. PHOTO: Postmedia

Petawawa will have the honour of closing off the ‘soundtrack of summer 2017 ‘ with a free concert on Sept. 17.


Since June, music lovers in 22 communities across the province have been treated to the Ontario Government’s free ONtour series, in celebration of Ontario's 150th and to provide the soundtrack to summer 2017. The live, free concert series has featured 50 of Ontario’s – and Canada’s – brightest musical talents.

On Sept. 17, beginning at 5:15 p.m., the ONtour concert will be making the final stop on their tour when they hit the Evergreen Stage at Petawawa’s Centennial Park.

Serving as the finale to the soundtrack of Summer 2017, the free show will showcase the musical talents of The Jim Cuddy Band, Stef Paquette, Jessica Mitchell, and Meghan Patrick.

The night will close off with with The Jim Cuddy Band – led by Cuddy, a well-known Canadian solo artist and lead singer of Blue Rodeo.

According to Cuddy, their set will feature a number of Blue Rodeo songs that will include a unique touch from their band’s violinist.

“This band does Blue Rodeo songs a little differently because we have a violinist so that mixes it up a little bit,” said Cuddy. “She's a really amazing player and my little secret weapon. People are always surprised that they haven’t heard of her, or if they’ve heard of her they haven’t seen her play. There will be a really amazing violin solo in ‘5 Days in May’.”

For Cuddy, this will be his third time playing a show in Petawawa – with his last visit being nearly 10 years ago.

Cuddy expressed that Petawawa remains a special place for him, as it helped him to reconnect with a long-lost friend.

“A long time ago when I was younger, I went out west and lived in the mountains for a year where I met my good friend Leo LaBine. I lost touch with him after a few years but I knew that he had family in Petawawa. So the first time that we played in Petawawa, probably 15 or 20 years ago, I said from the stage 'I have a friend that I've lost touch with, does anybody know Leo LaBine?’ And somebody did know Leo LaBine and actually got me in touch with Leo – who had moved to Sacramento in the States. Ever since then, I've been in touch with Leo and we're good friends.”

Cuddy added that he’s looking forward to revisiting Petawawa and being a part of the ONtour concert that is sure to be a great night that will unite the community through the power of music.

“We play at places where there is a lot of resource-based jobs, places where there's a lot of financial-based jobs and places like Petawawa where there’s a lot of military. But at a concert, everybody is kind of a civilian for that night. It's nice for everybody to take off whatever hat they wear during the day and just listen to music, have a nice time and hopefully it'll be a good night,” said Cuddy.

Further to the free concert, the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 National Flag Tour will be making a stop that evening at the show.

Travelling as far east as Gander, Newfoundland and west to Comox, British Columbia, the 37- day Invictus Games Toronto 2017 National Flag Tour will connect Canadians from all parts of the country, and allow individuals across the nation to show their support to the troops participating at this year’s games.

“The National Flag Tour aims to engage the hearts and minds of all Canadians by inviting them to participate as Flagbearers and to attend stops along the tour,” said Michael Burns, CEO of Invictus Games Toronto 2017, in a press release. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for 150 Canadians to stand alongside our military community and witness how the transformative power of sport helps our wounded warriors.”

On Sept. 17, at the ONtour concert, representatives will be on-site with a flag that well-wishers can sign with personal messages for presentation later to Games competitors. 

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