Luke Bryan asks What Makes You Country

What Makes You Country Tour – BC Place Stadium – October 13, 2018

This weekend, Luke Bryan‘s What Makes You Country Tour made a stop at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.  The country superstar packed the tour with 4 other support acts, making it like a six hour country festival.  The dinner hour audience was warmed up by Carly Pearce, then Jon Pardi took the stage. In between sets, DJ Rock kept audiences energized and dancing.

Sam Hunt

Once Sam Hunt took the stage, the audience was filling the seats and the energy was filling BC Place to the roof.  The Georgia-born singer-songwriter was welcomed to the stage with a roar, in all-black outfit and ballcap, his swagger gave a hip-hop/pop vibe. Hunt led a singalong as he played his hits “Downtown’s Dead”, “Take Your Time”, “Body Like A Backroad”, “House Party”, and a mid-set Honky Tonk tribute to those country star he grew up listening to; Brooks & Dunn, The Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks.  His easy country/rock style has crossover appeal and he worked the audience to make sure everyone was on the Sam Hunt bandwagon.

Luke Bryan

The stadium was packed and roaring as headliner Luke Bryan took the stage with “Country Girl (Shake is for me)” which definitely prompted a lot of Vancouver girls, and guys, to shake it for him.  The affable platinum-selling country superstar worked the whole stage reaching as many of the audience he could.  While it was noticeable that something was troubling Luke, and he mentioned suffering from local allergies, his vocals didn’t seem troubled at all. His charm and energy shone throughout the set, high-energy tracks balanced with sweet acoustic ballads. After a rousing cover of Alabama’s “Mountain Music”, Bryan slowed it down with the audience favourite “Drink A Beer”. “Play It Again” and appropriate for Vancouver “Rain Is A Good Thing” closed out the main set.

Audience Fave: Drink A Beer

Even for those of us who didn’t attend the whole 6 hours of performances,  Sam Hunt and Luke Bryan alone definitely left the audience satisfied.  The What Make You Country Tour has just two more dates, wrapping up nearly a year’s worth of shows, in Rochester and Detroit.


Music on Main brings Modulus Festival 2018

Music on Main invites you to immerse yourself in the 2018 Modulus Festival from November 2 – 6, 2018.

Acclaimed music and sounds will fill The Roundhouse, The Post at 750 and CBC Studio 700 over the five day festival. A collaborative festival, Modulus brings together other Arts organizations from near and far to mount the series of great events. DOXA, Coastal Jazz, Western Front Music, Standing Wave, NOW Society, Driftwood Percussion, Montreal’s Suoni Per Il Popolo, France’s Ensemble Variances and Britain’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival all contribute to Modulus.

Evening and afternoon performances bring concerts, talks, films and even a kitchen party to the stages.  Covering jazz, percussion, classical,  chamber music and more, featured events include a night of music and video with acclaimed pianist Eve Egoyan including Nicole Lizée’s “glitch” inspired piece David Lynch Etudes, a world premiere by Nicole Lizée performed by flutist Claire Marchand and harpist Albertina Chan, composer and vocalist Laura Bowler.

Modulus Festival begins Friday, November 2 at 8pm running to Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at The Roundhouse, The Post at 750 and CBC Studio 700. Events are free and/or ticketed, visit for more details and to purchase tickets.

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden

Be prepared to be serenaded under the moonlight by local musicians and artists at the 2018 Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.  Tomorrow, Friday September 21st, will find The Garden filled with musical performances, Hanfu dress-up, mooncake demonstrations, wishing lanterns, and much more for everyone to enjoy.

At last year’s festival, visitors were introduced to the Four Arts of the Chinese scholars (music, Chinese chess, calligraphy, and painting). Beginning with music this year, each future festival will feature one of the Arts disciplines.

In Chinese culture, music is seen as an expression of the perfect harmony between the Earth, human beings, and the heavens above. Under the celestial and transcendent power of the moon, many ancient Chinese scholars composed music and poetry that united families and friends. At the 2018 Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, visitors will get to experience the connection between music and the moon, whose eternal nature inspired Chinese artistic tradition. The Garden welcomes friends, family, and loved ones to sample mooncakes, release wishing lanterns, and enjoy the various musical activities and performances celebrating the second largest festival in the Chinese calendar.

Highlights of the 2018 Mid-Autumn Moon Festival include:

Music Performance by Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble:
Chinese instrumentalist Jirong Huang (erhu) and other members of the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble opens the festival with a musical performance.

Chinese Musical Instrument Petting Zoo:
Hands-on learning about how different Chinese instruments work with the members of the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble.

Music Performance by VSO Azalea Chinese Ensemble:
Enjoy a live Chinese musical performance by the Azalea Chinese Ensemble from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music.

Music Under the Moon Contest:
Watch the two finalists rock act Son of James, and multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Pai.  The audience will vote for their favourite to help determine the winner of the Music Under the Moon Contest

Mooncake Demo:
Throughout the evening the whole family can learn how to make mooncakes and sample the traditional festive cakes.

Magic with Rod Chow:
Magician Rod Chow mesmerizes the audience with his award-winning magic tricks.

Gong Fu Cha Tea Tastings:
Enjoy a cup of tea served in the traditional Chinese way, and learn about the art of tea tasting from one of the garden’s tea presenters.

Hanfu Photo Booth and Guzheng Music Performance:
Have your photo taken with members of the Hanfu Club, who will be dressed in the traditional outfits of the Han Chinese people, while enjoying a guzheng musical performances by Sandy Qi.

Drum Decorating:
Purchase and paint a hand-held spinning drum, and get inspired by the unique music and instruments featured in the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.

The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival takes place, rain* or shine, from 5:30pm – 9:30pm at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, 578 Carrall Street,
Details, entertainment schedule and tickets are available online at Eventbrite:

*In event of rain, the festival will take place indoors amongst the Garden’s classical halls, beautifully covered pavilions, and sheltered walkways.

Explore the Globe at Richmond World Festival

Richmond World Festival Main Stage

In one week , the Richmond World Festival returns to Minoru Park in Richmond, running August 31-Sept 1, 2018. The fourth annual, free pubic festival brings two days of arts, culture, entertainment and food from around the globe to the family-friendly outdoor event.

Richmond World Festival has something for everyone.  The spectacular line-up on the festival’s nine live stages includes a wide array of musical performers from near and far.  The Main Stage features internationally known Canadian pop acts, like Lights, Magic!, and Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine plus other musicians from all corners of the world.

Global Village

While on the Global Village Stages find multicultural acts from the world of dance, spoken word and more. Bamboo Theatre features the Vancouver Cantonese Opera Society. Your Kontinent Digital Carnival, features a collaboration between interdisciplinary artist Terrance Houle and award-winning video artist Lisa Birke.

Kids World

The Culinary Stage and Food Truck Zone introduces flavours and taste experiences from everywhere to your palate.  Kids World makes sure that sure everyone in the family is entertained. Between eating, dancing and listening to some great music, do a bit of shopping for unique and handmade wares in the Artisan Market.

For the full line-up and schedule of artists and performers, visit

Festival of Flavours Food Zone

Entry to Richmond World Festival is free of charge, with all activities taking place at Minoru Park and the adjacent Richmond Cultural Centre Plaza. The site is open Friday, August 31 from 4:00pm to 10:00pm and Saturday, September 1from 11:00am to 10:00pm.

Tyrant Studios Summer Lounge Series – August Lineup

Seven Tyrant Theatre’s Summer Lounge Series continues through August at Tyrant Studios, the newly opened theatre, lounge & fully-licensed bar, located above the historic Penthouse Nightclub.  

All summer long, the Summer Lounge Series brings a variety of music and comedy shows each Friday and Saturday night.  

Friday Jazz is a weekly live Jazz show and bar, then Saturday’s The Comic Strip brings weekly comedy show featuring three top comedians plus special guests.

The line up for August’s Summer Lounge Series lineup includes;


Friday August 3rd:  Mike Van Eyes with Guests
Mike Van Eyes is Vancouver’s premiere boogie woogie rock ‘n’ roll piano player.  

Juno Award Winner Russel Sholberg plays Friday Jazz August 10

Friday August 10th: The Russell Sholberg Trio
Juno Award winning bassist Russell Sholberg plays an acoustic jazz set with his trio covering a range of classics and contemporary jazz originals.

Friday August 17th: The David Hodgson Trio 
David Hodgson is a Toronto based Jazz musician and a recent winner of the Fraser MacPherson Jazz Fund award.   

Friday August 24th: Kevin Romain and special guests
Drummer and composer Kevin Romain has established himself as one of the most in-demand drummers in Vancouver’s creative music scene. 

Friday August 31st: Tim Sars Trio + Kevin Romain Trio
A double bill led by two of Vancouver’s most in-demand Jazz musicians.
Tim Sars Trio:
The Tim Sars Trio has a vast book of music, from New Orleans Jazz, swing, funk, and originals.
Kevin Romain Trio:
Kevin Romain has garnered acclaim as a unique voice on the drum set.


Charlie Demers Headlines The Comic Strip August 11

Each Saturday The Comic Strip showcases three of the best stand-up comedians in Vancouver.  Hosted by David Thomas Newham and Dave Harris.  

Saturday August 4th:
Abdul Aziz and Harris Anderson with Headliner Yumi Nagashima

Saturday August 11th:
Ryan Gunther and Mikey Dubs, with Headliner Charlie Demers 

Katie Ellen Humphries stands up at The Comic Strip August 18

Saturday August 18th:
Katie-Ellen Humphries and Levi McCachen with Headliner Simon King  

Saturday August 25th:
Jacob Samuel and Sam Tonning with Headliner Kevin Banner


Doors open for all shows at 9pm with showtimes at 9:30.
Friday Jazz shows run until midnight. The Comic Strip main stand-up pros’ show, runs until 11:00PM, then a free “open mic” comedy session welcomes aspiring comics follows from 11:30PM to 1:30AM.

For more information, performer bios and tickets, visit


Where to watch Honda Celebration of Light 2018

The 2018 Honda Celebration of Light is upon us and expected to bring more than a million spectators to the shores of English Bay July 28th (South Africa), August 1st (Sweden) and 4th (South Korea). This year the teams must all incorporate the same theme – Love – into their competition entry.

The audience gathers early around English Bay Beach and Kits Beach, to watch the live performances at the Honda Zone, Z-Fest and Second Beach Park Stages or the Red Bull Air Show.

If standing amongst the masses to witness the fireworks spectacular isn’t your cup of tea, and you don’t have a friend with a balcony view of the fireworks barge in English Bay, a boat to take you out on the waters or a flight above the city to look down to the Celebration, here are a few other spots that will give you another unique outlook on the Celebration of Light.

The Honda Celebration of Light ticketed spectator spots offer guests front and centre views of the action from;

View from Keg Lounge

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar Lounge – a VIP 19+ lounge, located on the roof of the Bathhouse Roof at English Bay including live music, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres

Concord Lounge at the Inukshuk – the closest water-side view of the fireworks from the lounge surrounding the Inukshuk with DJ, buffet and cocktails.

The YVR Observation Deck – reserved-seating bleachers with dedicated cash bar and food services

YVR Business Class Cabanas – are almost all sold out for the chance to take your private party hosting up a notch with a private cabana for 24, limited numbers are available for August 4th only.

A couple of other special spots around over in Kits to watch are:

Vancouver Maritime Museum presents Fire & Light Fireworks Night, a fundraiser and entertaining evening on the VMM’s exclusive patio at Vanier Park, filled with food, wine, fireworks, performances by ABRA-Cadabra : an Abba tribute band, plus silent and live auctions.

Bard on the Beach offers Bard-B-Q and Fireworks : a special night, watch a performance of As You Like It or Timon of Athens then stay for a Salmon BBQ by Emelle’s Catering, visit the PIXSTAR photo booth, enjoy music by Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band and, of course, watch the fireworks from the Bard Village.

While reservations this close may be hard to come by restaurants ringing English Bay also offer great vantage points;

Cactus Club Cafe – English Bay
The Boathouse – English Bay & Kits Beach
Hook Seabar – English Bay
The Three Brits Pub – English Bay
Avocado Bay – West End
Bayside Lounge – West End
Beach Bay Cafe & Patio – West End
The Sylvia Hotel – West End

Prince of Whales Whale Watching is also offering 2 hour cruise packages to enjoy the fireworks from the water,  limited tickets still available online.

Wherever you end up watching the Honda Celebration of Lights, may it light up your night! 

The 2018 Polaris Music Prize Short List Is Revealed

This week, the Polaris Music Prize, presented by CBC Music, has unveiled the 10 albums on the 2018 Short List.


Selected from the previously announced 40 album Long List, the 2018 Polaris Music Prize Short List is:

  • Alvvays – Antisocialites
  • Jean-Michel Blais – Dans ma main
  • Daniel Caesar – Freudian
  • Jeremy Dutcher – Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
  • Pierre Kwenders – MAKANDA at the End of Space, the Beginning of Time
  • Hubert Lenoir – Darlène
  • Partner – In Search Of Lost Time
  • Snotty Nose Rez Kids – The Average Savage
  • U.S. Girls – In A Poem Unlimited
  • Weaves – Wide Open
Polaris Music Prize Short List Albums

“Many jurors expressed their difficulty narrowing down their ballots. The diligence that went into their listening and consideration produced an incredible Short List,” said Polaris jury foreperson Katherine Duncan. “These 10 titles traverse language and culture and highlight the beauty and richness of Canada’s musical life in 2018.”

The announcement took place at CBC Broadcasting Centre in Toronto, ON and was announced by CBC Music Morning host and Polaris juror Raina Douris. Douris will also host the Polaris Music Prize Gala, which will be held at The Carlu in Toronto in September.

The Polaris Music Prize awards $50,000 to the artist who creates the Canadian Album of the Year, (released between June 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018), judged solely on artistic merit, without consideration for genre or record sales. Additionally, the nine other nominated acts whose albums make the 2018 Short List will receive $3,000 each courtesy of Slaight Music. The Grand Jury, consisting of eleven music journalist, bloggers & broadcasters, convenes on the night of the Gala to select the Polaris Music Prize winner, watch the show and winner announcement live-streamed at on September 17, 2018.