The R.H. Channing Auditorium stage will play host to a family affair next month, as two talented Canadian rock musicians - one an established legend, the other an up-and-comer - come to Flin Flon for one night only.
The arts council has put pen to paper on a show that will bring Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy and Toronto musician Sam Polley to the R.H. Channing Auditorium. The two performers will each play Jan. 11 at the hall, with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available online at Showpass and at the Uptown Emporium.
Flin Flon’s show was made possible after the arts council applied, along with two other Manitoba communities, for a grant through the federal Department of Canadian Heritage’s Re-Engaging Audiences Fund (REAF). The council received a similar grant from the department for this fall’s performance by the Ivan Flett Memorial Dancers from Winnipeg. Support was also provided by the Manitoba Arts Network, which the arts council has worked with extensively in the past.
“There are three communities that applied for the grant, and we are one of them,” said Flin Flon Arts Council cultural coordinator Crystal Kolt. Kolt also mentioned Killarney and Minnedosa as communities that also applied through the grant.
Cuddy is a solo musician best known as the frontman, lead guitarist and one of the main songwriters behind the band Blue Rodeo. Formed in 1984, the band has since become one of Canada’s most successful rock groups, publishing 16 studio albums, almost 60 singles, four live albums and being certified platinum by Music Canada a whopping 29 times. The group has received five Juno Awards as group of the year and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2012.
Cuddy also performs with other groups, including the Jim Cuddy Band, and has produced five solo albums.
Cuddy will take to the stage with Polley, his youngest son and a talented frontman in his own right. Polley is the lead vocalist and guitarist for the band Sam Polley and the Old Tomorrows and has led the band since 2017, combining vintage rock-and-roll stylings with touches of country, Motown, rockabilly and other offshoots. The band released their first album, Time Forgot, in 2020.
Kolt said that legal i’s needed to be dotted and t’s needed to be crossed until late last week. The announcement of the show was found online by Flin Flon-area arts enthusiasts, despite the council never formally announcing the show would take place. Kolt confirmed the leak Dec. 12, saying that the show was fully organized and ready to go next month.
“Right now, I think we’re all ready to go. We were ready to get all the contracts signed and we’ve been kind of low-key about this - we couldn’t formally do anything,” Kolt said.
Ten days after Cuddy and Polley grace the stage, the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra will be in Flin Flon playing a cabaret-style performance at the hall. The arts council is hosting a two-for-one ticket sale for the shows, allowing showgoers to buy tickets for both events at a reduced price. A third show, this time featuring the Manitoba Theatre Centre, will also come to the hall not long after.