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BEYRIES. Photo by Fany Ducharme.

NAC Presents announces its first 50 shows for Fall 2017

By John McDonald on May 13, 2017





The Southam Hall stage will host Diana Krall, Bruce Cockburn, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, guitarist Jesse Cook, and to celebrate the holidays, Jann Arden.

Another beloved Christmas special is back this year by popular demand; The Good Lovelies will be performing their holiday show in the Theatre on November 25.

When we last spoke with NAC Presents Executive Director Heather Gibson, she explained that the new program would move from the singer-songwriter focus of past seasons.

“I’m expanding that to a focus on song. A good song should not be defined by the genre. So, you’ll see hip hop and roots. Less compositional work. Some country. A good complement of local acts. It will be much less focused on roots singer-songwriters.”

On this, she has delivered. The line-up is diverse with much to discover.

Artists such as Sarah Slean, three-time Juno winner David FranceyCatherine MacLellan, Gadelle (Acadian kitchen music from PEI), and blues/jazz vocalist Shakura S’Aida will play the intimate Studio.

The Francophone music scene is represented by a vibrant range of talented performers including Kevin Parent, Klô Pelgag, Pierre Kwenders (R&B to futuristic hip hop), Sally Folk, and Philippe B.

Also appearing this Fall will be WhitehorseAhi (pronounced “eye” and possessing a voice like gravel on silk), William Prince (Contemporary Roots Album of the Year Juno winner), Skydiggers, country singer Jessica Mitchell, Tomi Swick, and Anishinaabe musician Leonard Sumner.

Fridays at the Fourth

Fridays at the Fourth is another initiative being announced. This is a weekly concert series in the revitalized Fourth Stage. Tickets will be $15 ($10 for students).

“This series is dedicated to local and touring emerging artists. Hopefully, we’ve priced this series at a level that people are able to come out and discover new music,” Heather told apt613 when the new line-up was revealed.

“I think that we have a responsibility to help develop Canadian acts early on. Maybe we will move the marker on what is emerging.”

“It’s an opportunity for audiences to enjoy new music each and every Friday. It’s also an opportunity for acts to appear at the NAC. I think that we have a responsibility to help develop Canadian acts early on. Maybe we will move the marker on what is emerging. Some of these acts were little known when I booked them three months ago. They have since been noticed. Ahi, for instance, now has nearly 700,000 Spotify plays for one of his songs.”

For Fridays at the Fourth, the Fourth Stage will open early so people can drop in for a drink after work, or come early for the show, with the performance starting at 8:30 pm.

BLAKDENIM (hip-hop, funk, rock and soul fusion) kicks off F@F. Others appearing include Kayla Luky (reminiscent of Miss Loretta and Dolly, but with a style all her own), Tomato/Tomato (traditional Folk, Bluegrass, Blues and Swing with an interesting twist), Rebecca Noelle, and Émile Bilodeau.

“I hope that in these first 50 concerts, people will see what they have come to expect of NAC Presents.”

Having joined the NAC team in September 2016, this is Heather’s first programming of the venerable event.

“I hope that in these first 50 concerts, people will see what they have come to expect of NAC Presents. It’s an honour to be able to program such a wide variety of established and emerging Canadian acts in genres ranging from blues to funk, folk to rock.”

More highlights from the lineup:

  • Sarah MacDougall – 10/10
  • Forward Music Group Revue – 10/14
  • BEYRIES – 11/01
  • Catriona Sturton – 11/10
  • Nomadic Massive – 11/17
  • Iskwé – 11/23
  • Pony Girl – 12/02
  • Miguel De Armas – 12/06
  • Her Harbour – 12/16

For the full lineup visit

Tickets go on sale on Monday, May 15 at 10am, and are available: In person at the Satellite Box Office (54 Queen Street), at all Ticketmaster outlets, by telephone 1-888-991-2787 (ARTS), and online at For the first time, the series will offer music-lovers the chance to buy a package of concerts. Save 10% when buying three or more shows.