River Run Centre features crowd-thrilling favourites and award-winning performers
GUELPH, ON September 14, 2023 – Guelph’s River Run Centre sits on the banks of the Speed River in the heart of historic downtown Guelph. Delivering a broad range of live entertainment for all ages and genres, the theatre is the perfect destination for in- and out-of-town visitors. In its 2023-24 RESOUNDING season, sponsored by Richardson Wealth, the City’s premier performing arts centre presents more than 30 shows in eight curated series featuring shows for the family, side-splitting comedy, and some of Canada’s best music.
A favourite venue for local performers, River Run Centre features state-of-the-art sound which delights the most seasoned international artists. “We never tire of hearing from the best performers in the industry how thrilled they are to play in our space,” beams Bill Nuhn, Manager of Theatres and Civic Events. With incredible sound in an intimate theatre presenting ballet, comedy, music, and more, River Run Centre delivers something for everyone.
The 2023-24 RESOUNDING season features eight artistic series:
The GuelphToday.com Comedy Series brings welcome laughs to the stage and on October 19, one of Canada’s most beloved comedians returns to kick off the season. Shaun Majumder has kept fans laughing for over 20 years and promises to delight with another show of sharp wit and slice-of-life comedy. On February 3, Girls Nite Out returns with an all-female cast for laugh-out-loud standup and improv featuring the award-winning Elvira Kurt, Jennine Profeta, Diana Frances, and Karen Parker. Not just for girls, this night of improvised hilarity is quickly becoming a fan favourite at River Run Centre. Next in the series are Gary Pearson (Corner Gas and MAD TV Writer) and Geri Hall (This Hour Has 22 Mins, and One More Time) with Middle Raged on February 24, exploring – through their own lens of hilarity – what it means to be middle aged. If you can’t relate yet, you’ll be able to relate soon to this glorious age sandwiched between the youth of innocence and age of wisdom. On April 26, Just For Laughs Road Show returns. With touring acts from the renowned Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, this lineup regularly features the cream of the crop and often sells out before the touring comics are announced. The GuelphToday.com Comedy Series has quickly become one of River Run Centre’s most popular lineups, featuring international fan favourites to thrill local audiences.
Another returning favourite is The Wooly Family Series, curated to deliver theatrical experiences equally enjoyable for children, grandparents, and everyone in between. On October 22, Frankenstein – A Living Comic Book, delivers an innovative, multimedia spin on the classic novel. On January 3, Chris Funk: Redefining Wonder blends magic, comedy, and music to leave audiences delightfully bewildered. On January 21, JUNO Award-winning children’s performers Splash’N Boots return with heartfelt, catchy songs fostering inclusion and healthy self-expression. A larger-than-life, educational experience comes to the Main Stage on March 16, with two showings of Erth’s DINOSAUR ZOO LIVE™. This up-close-and-personal encounter is a unique experience with life-sized puppetry and stunning visual effects. The Wooly Family Series offers thoughtful entertainment in each production, encouraging creative thinking and learning for children at all ages.
Borealis Music Series, presented in the Studio Theatre, offers an intimate musical experience for audiences and artists. This season, Canadian folk legend Valdy returns on October 26. With over 40 years and 14 albums of music, Valdy is a musical storytelling master, captivating fans with heartfelt songs and engaging live shows. On February 22, Guy Davis delivers true blues in an artful performance paying homage to the genre’s greats. The very next night, on February 23, Matt Zaddy brings his new blend of award-winning folk-rock, R&B, and vibrant vocal harmony to the stage. Borealis Music Series features artists devoted to the craft of music-making through singing, songwriting, and storytelling.
The newly minted Sleeman-Spring Mill Music Series features a broad range of some of the most exciting Canadian and international music. On November 2, King of Canadian Country Dean Brody hits the Main Stage for an intimate acoustic event taking audiences on a journey through his incredible musical career. On December 2, Men of the Deeps: Christmas in the Mine, delivers a touching performance of heartfelt holiday tunes from Cape Breton’s coal miners’ chorus, accompanied by internationally renowned fiddler, Colin Grant. On December 7, Canada’s Arctic Rose returns with Susan Aglukark’s ᐅᐱᓐᓇᖅ (Upinnaq) Christmas Tour. With Christmas songs in Inuktitut and English, this magical evening features the music and storytelling of Inuit culture. On February 1, JUNO nominees and Canadian Folk Music Award Winners, Sultans of String, bring Walking Through the Fire to the stage. An inspiring collaboration with award-winning First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists, this performance honours the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. On February 10, these Canadian rockers return to celebrate their iconic, platinum-selling debut album with The Trews – House of Ill Fame 20th Anniversary Tour. Playing the iconic album from top to bottom, including other hits and fan favourites, The Trews – known for their energetic performances – are set to deliver a live show not to be missed. On March 22, another classic Canadian band celebrates the anniversary of an iconic recording: Big Sugar brings a theatrical presentation of their deluxe vinyl, Five Hundred Pounds. Fans of the band can rest assured that even in a theatre setting, frontman Gordie Johnson promises “a Big Sugar rock and roll show!” The very next night, Canada’s Celtic Rock Warriors, the Mudmen take the stage on March 23. With bagpipes, drums, and a raucous spirit, the Mudmen’s live shows have earned a reputation for fun, musical parties. On April 5, the International Roots ’n’ Blues Kitchen Party keeps the celebratory theme going with Charlie A’Court, Lloyd Spiegel, and Suzie Vinnick. With over 60 international awards, these three celebrated soloists bring their personal friendships and expert musicianship to the stage for an unforgettable evening of talent, jaw-dropping guitar chops, hilarious stage banter, and collaborative spirit. The Sleeman-Spring Mill Music Series delivers a broad range of genres and artists with the commonality of uniting people through their music.
New this year, the Miijidaa Music Series celebrates Canada’s rich cultural mosaic. On November 9 and 10, local activist, singer-songwriter, playwright, and author James Gordon delivers his brand of songwriting wit with meaningful messages woven throughout. Gordon is an active performer and community member, drawing fans of all ages with his relevant reflections. On December 1, spine-tingling vocalist iskwē delivers a myriad of sounds, blurring lines between genres and drawing upon her Cree Métis roots. This JUNO Award winner was recently named “one of the most powerful performers in the country” by CBC and promises an equally powerful performance in the intimate Studio Theatre. On December 17, fan favourites return with Boreal’s Songs for a Snowy Season, filled with beautiful harmonies and heartwarming songs about Canadian wintertime traditions. Award-winning singer-songwriters Tannis Slimmon, Katherine Wheatley, and Angie Nussey come together onstage with cherished classics and original songs. Another holiday classic returns on December 22 with A Very Charlie Brown Concert, featuring the beloved soundtrack from A Charlie Brown Christmas, performed by jazz trio Adam Bowman, Duncan Wilson, and Taylor Wagler, accompanied by children’s choir, The Kingsbury Music Singers. In the new year, on February 9, one of the season’s most locally anticipated artists D’eve Archer delivers a fresh take on classic R&B. A captivating performer with a powerful voice and superb musicianship, Archer expertly plays with harmonies delighting fans of all genres. Miijidaa Music Series features an array of Canadian artists, each with strong roots in their own cultures.
Park Eatery Kinderconcerts are perfectly kinder sized for children aged five and under to experience live, professional music. Members of Guelph Symphony Orchestra introduce the magical world of music and instruments in these child-friendly, hands-on events featuring storytelling and classical compositions. On November 18, sweets and sugar plum fairies swirl through Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker; on February 3, the fable of The Lion and the Mouse is set to a score inspired by Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn; and on March 23, The Sword in the Violin Case delights with the music of Saint-Georges de Chevalier. With 30-minute performances on Saturday mornings, Park Eatery Kinderconcerts are perfectly suited to fit toddlers’ schedules of snack time and naps.
River Run Centre’s Showcase Series presents performance types unique from its other artistic series. This season, the eclectic lineup features ballet, an on-stage interview, and a thrilling urban circus. On January 14, Ballet Jörgen tells the tale of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s literary classic with Anne of Green Gables – The Ballet®. Come for the conversation and music on February 8, as a storyteller of a different sort sits down in the Studio Theatre when Cameron Smillie interviews Canadian rock legend and lead singer of Coney Hatch and The Guess Who during In Conversation with Carl Dixon. On May 8, for those who prefer something with a little more rev, 360 ALLSTARS promises to deliver a satisfying rush of adrenaline with breakdancing, basketball tricks, BMX biking, and more. The Showcase Series offers a wide mix of programming for broad audiences, delivering unexpected theatrical experiences.
Finally, the newly announced Magic Music Now Series delivers the hottest acts and award winners. On April 7, iconic Canadian duo Tegan and Sara bring the Not Tonight tour to the Main Stage. The evening is a contoured acoustic storytelling showcasing the 2002 album, If It Was You, and featuring a collection of some of their other most beloved songs. Magic Music Now delivers exciting and iconic Canadian pop.
Single seats are available at various price points, with tickets for adults, patrons over 60, under 30, and for children 14 and under on select shows. Subscribe & Save offers a 20% discount on four or more shows, and new this season, Sliding Scale pricing is available on three select shows. For more information and tickets, visit River Run Centre Box Office at 35 Woolwich Street, Guelph, or call 519-763-3000. Details and tickets are also available at riverrun.ca.
Richardson Wealth is proud to be the returning 2023-24 Season Sponsor, supporting and advocating for the enrichment of arts and culture in the City of Guelph. River Run Centre also gratefully acknowledges show sponsor Knar Jewellery and series sponsors Sleeman Breweries, Spring Mill Distillery, Borealis Grille & Bar, The Wooly Pub, Miijidaa Café + Bistro, Park Eatery, GuelphToday.com, and Magic 106.1. Thank you to returning program funders, Platters Catering & Events, Linamar, and TD Bank. Delta Hotels Guelph Conference Centre and Red Car Service provide accommodation and transportation support, and several media sponsors help spread the word, including GuelphToday.com, Magic 106.1, 1460 CJOY, Guelph Mercury Tribune, and TOQUE Magazine. River Run Centre is funded in part by the Government of Canada, Ontario Arts Council, and the SOCAN Foundation, and supported by many generous donors.
Kasia Rusiniak | Program Manager, Development and Marketing River Run Centre | City of Guelph 519-837-5662 extension 2589 [email protected]