Music’s in the Air in Niagara-on-the-Lake

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Summer 2016 is shaping up to be a musical extravaganza here in Niagara-on-the-Lake. And with so many wineries located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, it’s no wonder they take the lead when it comes to organizing crowd-pleasing entertainment venues, concerts and festivals throughout the summer season. Nothing captures “summer” in Niagara-on-the-Lake better than a combination of award-winning wine, tasty treats and outdoor concerts in the vineyards. Here are some musical experiences you don’t want to miss this summer:


Party in the vineyards at Peller Estates:

Head over to Peller Estates on Victoria Day Weekend (May 21, 22 and 23) in Niagara-on-the-Lake to join in the fun at the ultimate backyard bash. This year’s three-day event features delicious food served by a vast array of food trucks, award-winning wine and live entertainment. Enjoy a night market and music under the stars (for 19+ years of age) on Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22, from 6 to 11 p.m. Then on Monday, May 23, all ages are welcome for some family fun and live entertainment from noon to 5 p.m. This event sells out every year, so be sure to buy your tickets early online or by calling 1-888-673-5537, ext 2.

Party in the vineyards at Peller.
Party in the vineyards at Peller.


Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Amphitheatre Presents

Jackson-Briggs has announced its 2016 summer concert season, happening from June 9 to September 9. The intimate 500-seat open-air venue will host a sparkling all-Canadian roster of musical talent, including the Sam Roberts Band on June 9, 19 and 11; charismatic Steven Page on June 17; powerhouse couple Whitehorse on June 18; the Jim Cuddy Band on July 2 and 3; blues crooner Colin James on July 8; Raine Maida and Chantal Kreviazuk on July 9; 54•40 Unplugged on July 15; Rootstock featuring Moe Berg, Chris Murphy, Craig Northey and Steven Page on July 16; Alan Doyle & The Beautiful Gypsies on July 22 and 23; Stars on August 12; songwriter Dan Mangan on August 13; Bruce Cockburn on August 19; singer-songwriter Royal Wood with Jazz singer Emilie-Claire Barlow and the Niagara Symphony Orchestra on August 20; The Trews on September 2; the Bahamas on September 3 and Arkells on September 9.

In addition to the concerts, patrons can choose to indulge in an exclusive four-course Barrel Cellar Dinner at the winery for CDN$90 (plus performance tickets) or enjoy the BBQ at Inniskillin, its sister winery, for CDN$65 (plus performance tickets) at select concerts. Buy tickets online or call 1-866-589-4637, ext. 2.

Head over to Jackson-Triggs for outdoor performances.
Head over to Jackson-Triggs for outdoor performances.


Music Niagara’s 2016 Summer Festival

Then, on Sunday, June 5, Music Niagara launches its 18th year of hosting magnificent music and entertainment in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Dubbed “The Big Night,” this event takes place in the Rectory garden at St. Mark’s Church on Byron Street and promises an evening of great music, wonderful food, silent auctions and general glee and merriment for all. It all begins with a reception at 5:45 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are CN$150/person and can be purchased online, by calling 905-468-5566 or by emailing

All in all, 40 concerts and events, ranging from a free community preview on June 19 to two original and entertaining concert-picnics, are planned. Here’s a sampling of what’s in store for you at Music Niagara this summer:

The Music Niagara Festival runs from June 19 to August 19.
The Music Niagara Festival runs from June 19 to August 19.

On July 16, the festival season opens with the Syrène Saxophone Quartet. Upcoming performances include a tribute to Hank Williams on July 22; the great Canadian piano duo Anagnoson & Kinton on July 24; the Duke Ellington Jazz Concert with Jim Campbell and friends on August 5; jazz pianist Dick Hyman on August 12; the Niagara Symphony Orchestra on August 13; and many more. Check out the schedule for free performances in Simcoe Park. Our particular favourite is the spectacular outdoor show put on by The Karakoro Drums of Japan. For a full schedule, visit Music Niagara. Purchase tickets at the Shaw Festival Box Office. You can save 15% on all tickets purchased before June 1 or 20% when buying four or more concerts while a six-pack costs CDN$195. Call 905-468-2172 or 1-800-511-7429 to reserve your seats.


Musicals Take Centre Stage at the Shaw

First, there’s the classic favourite, Alice in Wonderland, with live performances scheduled from April 27 to October 16. Delight in the stunning visuals and theatrical magic as you meet the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the Mock Turtle and the Queen of Hearts and watch Alice try to make sense of this world of grown-up nonsense. It promises to be a magical, musical experience for adults and children alike!

The stage is set for a Shaw Festival performance at the beautiful Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-lake.
The stage is set at the beautiful Festival Theatre.

Then, from July 17 to October 19, there’s Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Recommended for ages 14+, this darkly comic and brilliantly unsettling tale is one of Sondheim’s most celebrated musicals. Why not book a day of wine touring with Grape Escape Wine Tour and receive an exclusive Promo Code to enjoy $39 tickets to a performance of Sweeney Todd? That’s about a 50% saving off regular pricing! You can also upgrade to $49 Gold Seating, if you wish.

For a full calendar of this summer’s stage productions, visit the Shaw Festival.

And this is only a sample of what’s planned. Stay tuned for more musical events, such as Hillebrand’s Jazz and Blues concerts, scheduled for Niagara-on-the-Lake.


Posted by Donna S. Vieira, Owner of Globetrotters B&B/Gallery in Niagara-on-the-Lake.