MORRISBURG – Sandra Whitworth, president of the all volunteer board of directors of the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage, is very pleased to announce that their outstanding concert series will be returning to Upper Canada Playhouse in 2022.
“We are very excited to be back,”Whitworth said in an interview with The Leader. “Our season is a little compressed for next year, six shows instead of our usual eight, but we are just happy to be able to present an actual season. And all six shows are real headliners. Audiences are going to enjoy them very much.”
Due to COVID shut downs, the SLAS had to cancel its 2021 concert series. This 2022 series of live performances is returning to the Playhouse, following all the Playhouse mandates regarding the health and safety for both performers and audience.
“We don’t want to overwhelm either the Playhouse or the audience,” Whitworth explained. “We want everyone to feel completely safe. And the Playhouse, under Donnie Bowes, is thoughtfully and very carefully run. The biggest thing is that we will be able to weather this coming year even at a reduced audience capacity. The music can still continue. On line shows, no matter how good, always seem to me just a little sad,” she said, “because both the performers and the audience miss that energy and excitement that you get with a live show. Our musicians are definitely looking forward to the live stage again too.”
To maintain safety protocols, and to ensure that tracking records are in place (per government regulations), the SLAS will only be selling tickets on line for all the 2022 shows at the SLAS website. No hard copy tickets will be available anywhere. “We are doing this to be as “touchless” as possible,” Whitworth explained. “We are also doing this so we can reach everyone if (let’s pray this doesn’t happen!) further postponements become necessary.”
The 2022 season will be bookended by the two performers whose scheduled concerts had to be cancelled when COVID restrictions were implemented. Because these shows were nearly sold out at the time, the SLAS is honouring the original ticket holders, some of whom bought their tickets in person. As a result, at this point, there will be no new tickets available for either the concert January 29th with Hawksley Workman or the May 7th concert by the Good Lovelies. Should any of these original ticket holders desire a refund, they should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Intimate Acoustics Showcases, which normally introduce and highlight six or seven new performers at a time, will have to be put on hold at least for now, although Whitworth promises this popular event will return eventually.
What a fantastic and varied line up of talent is coming to the Stage in 2022.
Hawksley Workman “eclectic and quirky, a poetic songwriter and an energetic performer” starts the season. The Juno award winner combines folk, chart pop and irrepressible cabaret and will electrify the audience. Opening for Workman’s January 29th concert will be Mikhail Laxton, whose voice Whitworth describes as “stunning,” an up and coming artist who will thrill the crowd.
Coming to the stage February 19 are the fiddling, step-dancing siblings The Fitzgeralds (Tom,Kerry and Julie). Ottawa born, this dynamic trio are three time Canadian Grandmaster Fiddle Champions, and will bring an incredible, and thrilling combination of Celtic, jazz, bluegrass and pop to their performance.
Whitehorse explodes on the stage on March 5. Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet bring their unique, ever-changing sound – “folk to full-blown rock band” – to the Stage. Juno nominees, they combine “guitar wizardry and magnetic harmonies.”
“Bluesy and rocking at the same time,” Leela Gilday will present a concert of powerful music “right from the heart,” on April 9. A passionate singer/songwriter, this Juno award-winning Dene artist sings of the Northern forces that have shaped her, sharing her stories and her incredible vocals with all listeners.
Shakura S’Aida, who thrilled audiences at the Stone Crop Acres Winery earlier year, is bringing her stunning, and sometimes “scorching vocal style” to the SLAS on April 23. Runner up at the renowned International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2008, originally lead singer with Kaleefah, this versatile artist will share memorable interpretations of classic jazz and blues standards, and of her own original works.
Rounding out the season, on May 7, the Good Lovelies, honoured with nine critically acclaimed musical releases and a Juno Award, are guaranteed to thrill the audience. Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Susan Passmore – “guitar-wielding songwriters, queens of goose-bump raising three part harmonies” – are electrifying performers with a huge world-wide fan base. Opening for this final show will be Evangeline Gentle, native of Scotland, with a voice that is “rich, sweet and lush.”
SLAS board members Sandra Whitworth, Tony McCadden, Amanda Spink, Derek Hunter and Eric Pietersma are pleased to be able to offer fans an outstanding 2022 season of incredible musical performances. As Sandra Whitworth said, “These musicians are very keen to get back before live audiences. We know the magic is returning.”