• By: Keith Whittier

Ottawa Stakes Its Claim as a Destination for Big Music Acts

Every summer, Ottawa is host to the RBC Bluesfest which never disappoints (this year’s entertainment being no exception). With this gaining traction, more and more artists are choosing to include Ottawa in their international tours instead of by-passing it on their way from Toronto to Montreal. These past few months of 2014 alone, the Canadian Tire Centre (CTC) has hosted some of the hottest acts in music — and their lineup is only getting hotter!

Sir Elton John graced its stage on February 13th to a sold out show with fans of all ages singing along to his numerous iconic songs. Sitting at his piano in his blinged-out blazer, John captivated his audience with this obvious talent, belting out everything from “Tiny Dancer” to “Benny and the Jets” (our personal favourite). For almost two-and-a-half hours, he crooned to the audience’s enthusiastic approval, as people sang along to hits off his latest album, The Diving Board, as well as classic favourites. The Rocket Man proved that he has not lost his touch or ability to bring a crowd to their feet.

Blue Rodeo
Blue Rodeo

On Valentine’s Day, Blue Rodeo made their annual trip to the capital to share some love. The Canadian rock band, fronted by Jim Cuddy, is touring to promote their latest album, In Our Nature. The band performs at the CTC every Valentine’s Day, providing a great way to make a tradition out of enjoying their music. Not only was the night one for romance but for family, as the opening act featured Cuddy’s son, Devin, fronting his own band, The Devin Cuddy Band.


Having won numerous awards including both Grammys and Junos, Arcade Fire lived up to the hype with their performance March 14. For their Reflektor tour, the band performs under a pseudo-ceiling of hexagon shaped mirrors, with one of the lead singers, Régine Chassagne, decked out in metallics and sequins as well as a rotating human disco ball. Some songs were split between two stages: the main stage and a smaller stage near the zamboni entrance with members of the band running back and forth between the two as well as a power ballad where lead singers and real-life couple Win Butler and Chassagne stood on opposite stages and sang to one another.  Not only did Arcade Fire deliver an exciting show but went above and beyond the expectations of their devoted fans.

Still to come to the CTC is Justin Timberlake with his 20/20 tour on July 22. Tickets are still available at Capital Tickets.

This only names a few of the incredibly gifted acts that have made Ottawa a destination for their performances. Among others are Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line, who performed in February as well as living legend, Cher in April. With all this talent coming to the capital, it can only foreshadow more great things to come. One thing is certain, Ottawa is staking its claim in the music game — and rightfully so!

Justin Timberlake