The Canadian Blues—15th Annual Thunder Bay Blues Festival

By Tiffany Jarva

Over 300 bands from around the world have performed at Thunder Bay’s Blues Festival. This year watch for the much-anticipated all-Canadian lineup. “It spans our country’s geography from Nanaimo, B.C. to Halifax, N.S.,” explains Ken Wright from the Thunder Bay Blues Society. Veteran blues performers like Jack de Keyzer, Downchild (one of the world’s best jump blues bands, according to Wright), and David Gogo will be performing alongside dynamic newcomers such as Terra Lightfoot and Devin Cuddy, and five of our favourite local bands.

When: July 8-10, 2016

Where: Thunder Bay, ON

Headliners: Three classic, not-to-be-missed headliners: Tom Cochrane (with Red Rider), Colin James, and Burton Cummings

Cost: Weekend Pass: $109; Single Tickets: $69

What not to miss: Dawn Tyler Watson—a tremendous vocalist, backed by the six-piece Ben Racine Band. Also, you don’t want to miss The Devin Cuddy Band

The Vibe: Where committed blues junkies meet “outdoor shag” beer guzzlers, and everything in between

Where to Stay: Prince Arthur Hotel (because it’s right there!)

Food: The diversity and sophistication of the food on-site grows every year

Insider Tip:  This event is often all about the mighty lawn chair, and arriving early. Shake things up and consider roaming and dancing a little more often. Remember: no smoking and no “selfie sticks” on-site

Photo by Donna Wright

Photo by Donna Wright

 

Local Flavour: James Boraski & Momentary Evolution (JB&ME)
“It’s tremendously exciting to be playing on the Friday night,” says local musician James Boraski. “It’s an honour to be selected twice in the last three years, especially given the talent across the region.” In 2015, James Boraski & Momentary Evolution (which also features the vocals and percussion of Boraski’s wife Connie) were inducted into the American Heritage Blues Hall of Fame. “I think the festival is a huge economic draw to the region, and musically it’s an incredible opportunity to see what Canada has to offer,” he says. JB & ME are the second act to perform during this year’s Blues Fest. “I think it’s a big responsibility to help Camden Blues warm up the crowd on. It really helps to set the vibe.”

 

 

Thunder Bay Blues Festival Schedule

Friday July 8, 2016

Start Time End Time Performer
9:30 pm 11:00 pm

Tom Cochrane with Red Rider

7:45 pm 9:00 pm

Serena Ryder

6:30  pm 7:30 pm

Gowan

5:15 pm 6:15 pm

James Boraski & MomentaryEvolution

4:00  pm 5:00 pm

Camden Blues

Thunder Bay Blues Festival

Saturday July 9, 2016

Start Time End Time Performer
9:30 pm 11:00 pm

Colin James

7:45 pm 9:00 pm

Jonas & The Massive Attraction

6:15 pm 7:15 pm

Downchild Blues Band

5:00 pm 6:00 pm

David Gogo

3:45 pm 4:45 pm

Steve Hill

2:30 pm 3:30 pm

Carson Downey Band

1:15 pm 2:15 pm

Terra Lightfoot

12:00 pm 1:00 pm

Loose Cannon

Thunder Bay Blues Festival

Sunday July 10, 2016

Start Time End Time Performer
9:30 pm 11:00 pm

Burton Cummings

7:45 pm 9:00 pm

April Wine

6:15 pm 7:15 pm

Jack De Keyzer

5:00 pm 6:00 pm

Dawn Tyler Watson

3:45 pm 4:45 pm

Steve Strongman

2:30 pm 3:30 pm

The Devin Cuddy Band

1:15 pm 2:15 pm

The Chain

12:00 pm 1:00 pm

The Roosters