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The Northern Pikes celebrate three decades of music with the Big Blue Sky 30th Anniversary Tour


Coming to the Fredericton Playhouse on Friday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m., Canadian rock band The Northern Pikes will perform as part of their Big Blue Sky 30th Anniversary Tour.

Formed in Saskatoon in 1984, The Northern Pikes released their first major label album Big Blue Sky 30 years ago in 1987. Featuring hit singles like “Teenland,” “Things I Do For Money” and “Dancing in a Danceclub,” this release allowed them to reach a national and international audience.

Consisting of bassist Jay Semko, guitarist Bryan Potvin, drummer Don Schmidt and special guest Kevin Kane of The Grapes of Wrath, the band will perform new music while also celebrating their classic songs. The Northern Pikes are touring the country to perform the album that launched a career spanning three decades, along with some of their greatest hits, including “She Ain’t Pretty,” “Girl with a Problem,” “Kiss Me You Fool,” and many more.

Tickets for The Northern Pikes are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at


The Tale of a Town – Canada celebrates diversity by bringing our country’s stories to the stage

26. Tale of a TownOn Thursday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m., FIXT POINT returns to the Playhouse with The Tale of a Town – Canada as part of the Canada 150 Performance Series.

In 2014, FIXT POINT brought their storymobile to Fredericton, and in collaboration with the Fredericton Playhouse, the theatre and media company gathered stories through interviews with community stakeholders, local heroes, business owners and residents. The resulting Tale of a Town story of Fredericton was then presented to the community through a special performance installation in a downtown storefront.

Now, The Tale of a Town returns with a live stage show featuring a local choir led by choral director Michael Doherty, and stories from main streets and downtowns across Canada. This multimedia performance is a project meant to actively engage with thousands of Canadians, and to celebrate our diversity. The Tale of a Town is a participatory initiative that strives to give voice to how, together, we can create a more inclusive Canada.

This performance is part of the Fredericton Playhouse’s Canada 150 Performance Series, which celebrates the milestone of our country’s 150th anniversary of confederation with multidisciplinary performances that reflect Canada’s vibrant performing arts landscape.

Tickets for The Tale of a Town – Canada are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre explores the experiences of indigenous women in Re-Quickening

25. Kahawi

On Thursday, September 28 at 7:30 p.m., Kaha:wi Dance Theatre will return to the Fredericton Playhouse to perform Re-Quickening as part of the Canada 150 Performance Series.

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre is one of Canada’s leading contemporary dance companies, recognized for its seamless fusing of indigenous and contemporary dance into a compelling choreographic vision. Internationally renowned for artistic excellence, innovation and collaboration, the company electrifies audiences around the globe.

Through bold imagery, sound and embodied indigenous narratives, Re-Quickening is a reaffirmation of life and the sovereignty of female voice and body. It touches on themes of dislocation from land, the history of violence against indigenous women, residential schools and more.

This is the first performance in the Fredericton Playhouse’s Canada 150 Performance Series, which celebrates the milestone of our country’s 150th anniversary of confederation with multidisciplinary performances that reflect Canada’s vibrant performing arts landscape.

In addition to this performance, the Playhouse is pleased to present two Experience More! activities. On Wednesday, September 27 at 7 p.m. Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s Founding Artistic Director Santee Smith will lead a Contemporary Indigenous Dance Primer at the Playhouse. This primer will provide an introduction for non-indigenous people to better understand indigenous people and culture through contemporary dance. There is no cost to attend, and no experience is required. In addition, following the performance of Re-Quickening on September 28, ticketholders are invited to stay for a free Conversation with Santee Smith.

Tickets for Kaha:wi Dance Theatre are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at

Experience More! at the Fredericton Playhouse


The Fredericton Playhouse is excited to present our Spotlight Series, Kidstage Series and a special Canada 150 Performance Series in 2017-2018. Between the three series, we’ll be presenting 31 world-class performances in music, dance, theatre, circus and comedy. In addition to these shows, the Playhouse also offers an Experience More! program, which consists of innovative workshops and activities designed to enrich your performing arts experience. This season, we are thrilled to offer 12 Experience More! activities, beginning later this month.

We’re pleased to offer several opportunities to learn more about the artists in our series through a number of free post-show talks. Join us for A Conversation with Santee Smith following Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s performance; A Conversation with Dulcinea Langfelder after Victoria; and A Conversation with Patrick Keating to follow Inside/Out.

This season features a number of fun food and drink events, starting with a Wines of France Tasting prior to Paris – The Show. We’re looking forward to a Scotch Whisky Tasting with Frank Scott before Breabach and Old Man Luedecke’s performance, as well as an Indian Dining Experience, in association with A Passage to Bollywood.

The Playhouse will offer a couple of valuable learning opportunities as part of the Experience More! program, including a Contemporary Indigenous Dance Primer offered in conjunction with Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, which will help non-indigenous participants better understand indigenous culture and people through contemporary dance. The series also features a workshop called Improving Communication for Caregivers provided in association with Victoria, which will explore art as a way to heal patients as well as their caregivers.

Children and their families are invited to join us for two events associated with Kidstage Series performances. As part of Manxmouse: The Mouse Who Knew No Fear, we’re offering a Storytime and Make Your Own Manxmouse activity. We’ll also have an Interactive Reading associated with Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s performance of Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.

Those looking for a hands-on performance experience may be interested in our workshop selection. We’re hosting a Repertory Masterclass for Dancers led by a member of Toronto Dance Theatre, as well as a Performance Workshop that will allow participants of all skill levels to learn about stage presence, instrumental imitation and vocal percussion from a cappella group Cadence.

Many Experience More! activities are offered free of charge, while others have a nominal registration fee. Please note that some programs may require pre-registration, and venues vary.

For more information on the Experience More! program, and for a complete listing of activities and events, please visit

Location is key for new performing arts centre

Location, location, location. It is probably the most important aspect of any new building endeavor.

Last November, Mayor Mike O’Brien announced during his state of the city address that the City would be providing a specific site for a new regional performing arts centre. The site is located on the riverfront land at the foot of York Street, along the south side of St. Anne Point Drive. This location is currently the York Street surface parking lot. This announcement has understandably raised certain questions within the community.


This aerial shot shows the parking lot where the new performing arts centre will be located.

The decision to locate the new performing arts centre in this area was based on a great deal of research that explored a number of possible options within the downtown core, and we at the Fredericton Playhouse feel the existing parking lot is an excellent choice.

Building the new performing arts centre on this site will play a key role in realizing a bold new vision for downtown Fredericton’s relationship to the riverfront. As described in the City Centre Plan released in 2015, developing this area will transform St. Anne Point Drive from a suburban highway that separates the downtown from the St. John River into a boulevard that provides beautiful views and easy access to the city’s most valuable natural asset.

Of course, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed as we move forward with designing and building the performing arts centre at this location. Perhaps most importantly is the reality that the site is prone to high water during the spring freshet. Because of this, the facility will be designed and engineered to address this reality.

There are a number of recent projects in the downtown area that have dealt with the issue of possible flooding through modern design and engineering. For example, buildings can be “built to flood” by raising them above water levels, or can be “flood proofed” so groundwater can move around the foundation without entering the building. Several such options will be taken into account once the design of the building is underway.

We know Fredericton residents are concerned about how the project will affect parking, both for the new performing arts centre, and for the entire downtown. Using a portion of the existing parking lot will undoubtedly affect the availability of parking in that section of the downtown core.

The City is currently working on developing a new parking strategy for the downtown, which will provide a better understanding of whether new lots or structures are needed. Planning and designing the new performing arts centre will certainly take parking into account.

The fact that the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival temporarily uses a portion of the site each year is another factor that has been taken into consideration. Since the new permanent performing arts centre is likely to occupy part of the property used by the five-day music festival, the City will work with the festival organizers to find alternate locations or configurations for its tents.

Following the announcement that the Province of New Brunswick will construct a new courthouse in downtown Fredericton, many people have wondered whether the current Justice Building will be repurposed to be incorporated into the new performing arts centre.

While the building does not have the capacity to accommodate the performing arts centre within it, its location adjacent to the site does warrant a discussion about how it might be able to complement the project.

As more details about the location of the new performing arts centre become known, we expect residents to have further valid questions. We intend to take all of these concerns into account, with the ultimate goal of developing a well-built, easily accessible performing arts centre that can serve our community for many years to come.

Greg MacFarlane is the Vice-President of Fredericton Playhouse Inc.’s Board of Directors.

The Canada 150 Performance Series celebrates a milestone anniversary

In 2017, Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of confederation, a pivotal milestone for our country, which allows us to connect with our past, celebrate who we are today, honour our exceptional achievements and build a legacy for tomorrow. To recognize this occasion, the Fredericton Playhouse is presenting a special Canada 150 Performance Series!

Thanks to the support of our funding partners, all tickets in this series will be $18.67 to mark the year of confederation. Read on to learn more about each of the four shows included in the series. Tickets are on sale now for all performances.

Re-Quickening photo credit David Hou (4)

Kaha:wi Dance Theatre: Re-QuickeningThursday, September 28. Kaha:wi Dance Theatre is one of Canada’s leading contemporary dance companies, recognized for for its seamless fusing of Indigenous and contemporary dance. In Re-Quickening, the company reaffirms life and the importance of the female voice and body. It touches on themes of dislocation from land, the history of violence against Indigenous women, residential schools and more.


The Tale of a Town – Canada: FIXT POINTThursday, October 5. FIXT POINT returns with The Tale of a Town, following up on their 2014 visit to Fredericton. During their previous visit, the theatre and media company gathered stories to create The Tale of a Town – Fredericton, presented in a special performance installation. This time, we’ll be treated to a live stage show, featuring a local choir and stories from main streets and down towns across Canada.

FSO 2016-04-03

Fredericton Symphony Orchestra: WWI in Film and Music: Battle of the Somme; Original Documentary with New Music by Laura RossiMonday, November 6. The Fredericton Symphony Orchestra will give a special performance of a musical score by Laura Rossi, presented in conjunction with the 1916 documentary film The Battle of the Somme. This score will give greater meaning and depth to the wartime footage featured in the film,  which remains one of the most successful documentaries ever made, and has influenced the past 100 years of documentary filmmaking.


Breabach and Old Man Luedecke: Special Double Bill ConcertThursday, November 9. Five piece Scottish band Breabach joins forces with Chester, N.S.’s Old Man Ludecke for a double bill performance. Breabach delivers a thrilling brand of contemporary folk music that has earned them international recognition on the world and roots music scene. Their energetic performance embodies the Scottish sound that greatly influences music from Canada’s East Coat. Old Man Luedecke has a cunning lyrical flair, tenderly pushing the boundaries of storytelling with a unique mix of folk, bluegrass and pop hooks. This Juno-winning performer creates songs that are playful, coy and soul-warming.

2017-18 Season Has Something for Every Taste and Curiosity

Last month at the Fredericton Playhouse, we announced our 2017-2018 Spotlight Series lineup, which includes 24 world class performances. With full-price tickets set to go on sale at the end of this week, it’s an exciting and busy time for our organization.

The Spotlight Series is our flagship program, featuring professional performances in music, theatre, comedy and dance from a wide range of different genres. Diversity is a cornerstone of this series, which is why we always aim to include classical, contemporary and traditional performances, ranging from large-scale productions to small, intimate shows.

In addition to this annual series, we’re pleased to present a special Canada 150 Performance Series this season. This fall, we’ll present four shows as part of this multidisciplinary series, marking a pivotal moment in our history with performances that reflect Canada’s vibrant performing arts landscape.

This series includes Re-Quickening, a performance by leading contemporary indigenous company Kaha:wi Dance Theatre; the return of FIXT POINT with a live stage show of The Tale of a Town – Canada; the Fredericton Symphony Orchestra performing a musical score in conjunction with the 1916 documentary The Battle of the Somme; and a double bill concert with Nova Scotia’s Old Man Luedecke and Scotland’s Breabach, representing a sound that greatly influences music from the East Coast of Canada. All tickets in this series will be $18.67 to mark the year of confederation.

The Spotlight Series will continue to celebrate Canadian talent with musicians like Bill and Joel Plaskett, a dance performance by contemporary dance company Toronto Dance Theatre, and even a cirque show by Quebec-based group Flip FabriQue.


Bill and Joel Plaskett will perform on October 26

We’re always looking for opportunities to partner with other local organizations, and this year we’re looking forward to working with groups like Centre communautaire Sainte Anne to present the aforementioned Flip FabriQue, and with the Association of Indo-Canadians to once again present a special celebration of Diwali. The Playhouse will also continue to partner with Fredericton FROSTival to present several performances during the months of January and February.

One of the goals of the Spotlight Series is to bring the world to Fredericton, and this year we have performers hailing from a number of far-flung locations, including Navdhara India Dance Theatre’s performance A Passage to Bollywood; Paris – The Show, a theatrical and musical tribute to post-war French songs; Ô-Celli, a group of eight skilled cellists from Belgium; and Call Mr. Robeson, a one-man show about actor, singer and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson, performed by UK-based Tayo Aluko.

We want the performing arts to be accessible to everyone in our community, regardless of any barriers they may face, which is why this season we decided to expand our Pay What You Will ticket pricing idea. This program has been offered successfully on a couple of shows each year for the last two seasons. It was introduced both to reduce barriers, and to encourage our patrons to take a chance on artists with whom they may not be familiar

This season, Pay What You Will pricing will be available on two Spotlight Series performances – Nunavut-based band The Jerry Cans, and one-man play Inside/Out. It will also be offered for all three performances in the 2017-2018 Kidstage Series: DuffleBag Theatre’s Cinderella, Manxmouse: The Mouse Who Knew No Fear by Netherlands-based Theatergroep Kwatta, and Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s performance of Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.

If you plan to attend more than one show this season, I recommend contacting our box office to become a Spotlight Member. For a low annual membership fee, members receive discounts on Spotlight Series performances, as well as discounts on our partner series, including Theatre New Brunswick, Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada, Symphony New Brunswick and New Brunswick Country Showcase performances.

Perhaps the best reason to become a member is to get first access to seats. While full-price tickets won’t go on sale to non-members until July 28, our members can purchase tickets and select their preferred seats now for all Spotlight, Kidstage, and Canada 150 series performances.

I hope to see you at the Playhouse when our Spotlight Series begins this September. Whatever type of performance you’re interested in, I’m confident we have something that will capture your interest and imagination.

Tim Yerxa is the Executive Director of the Fredericton Playhouse.