There is nothing quite like the anticipation of waiting for a live stage show to start: the lights dim and a hush falls over the crowd in anticipation of the first note of a song or artist to appear. The energy is electric … and then the performance, filled with hair-raising moments so mesmerizing many forget to breathe, begins. As the curtain rises on a new season of exceptional artistic experiences at The Arden Theatre in St. Albert, audiences will be transported to a special destination where family, friends and complete strangers can share in an experience that brings reflection, joy, and connection to the lives of its residents and greater community. Through skillful performances and conversations with some of the greatest artists and minds in Canada and abroad, audiences will, even for the briefest of moments, escape the hustle and bustle of life and re-engage in the present moment. These are the experiences that cannot be duplicated and the moments City of St. Albert Cultural Services professional programming presenter, Neil LeGrandeur, kept in mind when planning the 2017-2018 season. “This season offers a wide array of live performances that will fill your heart and feed your soul,” says LeGrandeur. “When I began planning the upcoming season, I wanted to ensure we had a mix of recognizable artists with proven track records at our theatre and new artists that I believe our patrons will rave about in the future … these are some of the most outstanding artists in Canada and the world.” Earning a reputation as one of the best venues in Canada over the past 30 years, the theatre continues to host the finest in national and international programming. From musicians, performers, speakers, and filmmakers who were born and raised in Alberta to internationally renowned artists, an impressive 33 shows make up the new Arden Theatre season themed Yours To Discover. The Steeldrivers return to St. Albert with music from their latest album The Muscle Shoals Recordings, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart and earned the Nashville group a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album. Two-time Canadian Country Music Awards’ Roots Artist of the Year winner, Lindi Ortega, as well as contemporary Americana master and one of the “100 greatest living songwriters” Josh Ritter will spin stories and inspire crowds with musical mastery. Also making a name for himself is Manitoba-born William Prince, whose rich tunes and raw emotion have not only earned him a Western Canadian Music Award for Aboriginal Artist of the Year in 2016, but also a Juno Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year for Earthly Days in 2017. “It’s been a big year for William. His deep baritone voice, heartfelt lyrics and the gift of storytelling make his show one not to be missed,” explains LeGrandeur. “Calgarian Michael Bernard Fitzgerald is also one of Canada’s fastest rising stars,” he says. “Michael’s natural charisma allows him to effortlessly connect to fans as he did when opening for Bryan Adams on his 2017 U.K. tour.” Michael will debut music from his upcoming 2018 album at The Arden Theatre in December. This season, LeGrandeur is also pleased to welcome back audience favourites Port Cities, Fortunate Ones, The Small Glories, Alex*Cuba and The Ennis Sisters as well as introduce fresh faces to the stage: Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, AHI, Birds of Chicago, Vishtèn, Jadea Kelly and Sweet Alibi, Lisa Loeb, The East Pointers and Kobo Town. In addition to a great lineup of music audiences can also take in Nashville Hurricane, a one-man masterpiece from Edmonton Fringe Festival legend Chase Padgett (6 Guitars), as well as a screening of the Edmonton-made documentary I Got Rhythm: The Science of Song from CBC’s The Nature of Things, which also includes an exclusive question-and-answer session with director and producer Connie Edwards. Three engaging speakers: Terry O’Reilly, marketing master and host of CBC’s Under the Influence, Frank Warren, creator of the cultural phenomenon PostSecret: The Show, and journalist Amanda Lindhout, author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, A House in the Sky, are also among this season’s offerings. For those who prefer an afternoon performance, The Arden Theatre’s matinee series is back with three captivating shows at St. Albert Community Hall. And for the littlest theatre-goer awaits five family-friendly shows, including two specifically designed for babies and tots. Be moved by the incredible world of arts and culture at The Arden Theatre – it’s Yours To Discover. More information can be found at ardentheatre.com. https://youtu.be/NpSZriA6sLk
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