State of the Arts: Sudbury’s entertainment scene heating up

That includes a Reney Ray concert on June 25

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There is simply no shortage of arts excitement as we move into summer. So many options; so little time.

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Annie Jr: June 21–25: The Biggest Little Theatre Company (BLTC) presents “Annie Jr” at the Centennial Arena in Hanmer from June 21–25. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts. Annie is determined to find her parents who abandoned her years before at an orphanage run by the mean-spirited Miss Hannigan.

The 75-minute production, which features over more than youths aged 6–16 years, plays June 21–23 at 6:30 p.m., June 24 at noon, and June 24–25 at 3 p.m. General admission tickets are $16 (taxes included) and can be purchased from BLTC’S website.

Double celebrations: June 22–24: Celebrate Pride Month and St-Jean Baptiste with Alex Tétreault’s new play “Nickel City Fifs,” playing June 22–24 at 7:30 p.m. at Zigs Bar (54 Elgin St.) in a coproduction with Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario (TNO).

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The story takes place in the bar itself, where a young queer thirsting for freedom and community experiences a coming-of-age like no other. Tétreault says, “Don’t fear change … Leave all your preconceived ideas outside and let’s together dream of a beautiful, rainbow-coloured future for all.”

All performances are sold out, though folks are encouraged to try their luck at the door. June 24th’s performance also comes with English-language Surtitles.

Emerging Artists Showcase June 22: On June 22 at 7 p.m., the Sudbury Theatre Centre is playing host to Jazz Sudbury’s Emerging Artist Showcase, an evening featuring three remarkable musicians. The showcase provides a platform for rising musicians to shine in front of a passionate local audience and industry professionals. This one-night-only event offers a diverse range of genres for audiences of all ages.

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The evening begins with an energetic and soul-stirring performance by the Madeleine Ertel Duo. The spotlight then shifts to the drummer, producer and teacher, Michaël Filion, and his powerhouse ensemble. It closes with Jacob Valois and his group. Valois is known for his ability to create sonic landscapes that transport listeners and leave audiences mesmerized

“We are thrilled to bring together these three extraordinary musical groups for the Emerging Artist Showcase,” says artistic director Allan Walsh. Tickets are available at the door. For more information, visit

Indie Cinema 5000: June 22 – Organized by Sudbury Indie Cinema Co-op, the Indie Cinema 5000 is a social event with a fundraising component. Starting at 6:30 p.m. on June 22, this fun evening welcomes all community members and supporters to dress in flashy Indie style … or not. Everyone will enjoy the silent auction, delicious hors d’oeuvres, and cash bar. A mystery film premiere will also be screened at 8 p.m. Indie 5000’s fundraising goal is, of course, $5,000.

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Thursday Jazz at the Night Owl Speakeasy: Starting June 22: James Dorland presents Thursday Night Jazz at The Night Owl Speakeasy on Elgin Street. The weekly musical guests are nothing short of outstanding with many coming from Toronto for their one-night-only feature.

On June 22, enjoy Zak Martel; June 29, Lorne Lofsky; July 6, Kevin Turcotte; July 13, Nathan Hiltz; July 20, Noam Lemish; and the list goes on right until September 28. What a heck of a great lineup.

Each performance starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are available on Eventbrite for $20. If you’ve never been to the Night Owl, it’s about time. This series of performances is supported by Jazz Sudbury.

Guided Mural Tours: Starting June 24: Beautiful murals provide a downtown feast for the eye with close to 30 art installations, curated by the Up Here Festival, and a guided walking tour on June 24 is the best way to discover some beautiful works. The walking tour begins next to the mural of the Bear and Moose in front of the YMCA (140 Durham St.) and lasts roughly 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

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Additional tours will take place monthly during the summer. If you can’t make it out, the festival’s official smartphone app allows you to choose your own adventure in a self-guided tour.

Up Here Festival Tickets and Passports: Aug. 18-20: Speaking of Up Here, Festival Passports and tickets are now on sale. There is an array of outstanding music to choose from at the Festival’s 9th edition, taking place Aug. 18–20. Take it all in with a full festival passport for only $125, of which only a limited number are available.

Musical offerings include Braids with their positively mesmerizing art pop, backed by a string ensemble. Chicago’s Ric Wilson also returns with his unparalleled hip hop and an unbelievably energetic performance with a full band. There’s more hip hop via Boogey The Beat, who blends traditional Indigenous songs with modern electronic beats. Debby Friday’s surreal electro-pop takes the stage with U.S. Girls’ experimental pop for a perfect dance night. And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

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Passports offer priority access to all concerts and allow holders to skip the line at the bar on the main festival site.

Iona Reed Trio: June 25: Finnish ancestry or not, it’s a party. Juhannus 2023 on June 25 is a fun-filled afternoon at the Beaver Lake Cultural Club just west of Sudbury. The Summer Festival includes homemade pulla, bread and cookies, door prizes, spot dances, and an art display. The incredible Iona Reed Trio is featured, worth the drive alone. For tickets, call 705-866-1506. Adults are $20 with children’s tickets only $5. Doors open at 1:00 p.m.

Reney Ray Concert: June 25: Open and natural, musical performer Reney Ray arrives in Sudbury on June 25 from Val-Rita in Northern Ontario. She’s a frank, sensitive multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter who delivers country-infused pop-folk with a sincerity that sometimes soothes, sometimes hits hard but never fails to win the audience over. Voted Francophone Songwriter of the Year at the 2022 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Ray writes and sings with her heart on her sleeve.

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Presented by La Slague and St-Jean Sudbury, tickets for this 7 p.m. concert are available at the Place des Arts Box Office.

Sunday Nights at Bell Park: Starting June 25: A reminder that every Sunday evening at Bell Park at 7 p.m. the Peter Schneider Concert Series, a weekly free concert at the gazebo. Grab a lawn chair and head on down. Kicking off the series on June 25 is the folk-rock band Chanelle Albert & the Easy Company, followed by Seven + One, a family acoustic trio playing folk and soft rock, on July 2. Presented by the City of Greater Sudbury.

Northern Lights Festival Boreal: July 7–9: Do you have your tickets yet? If not, why not? It’s a smorgasbord of incredible music for three days only.

Last month’s first lineup announcement was met with great excitement from the community and included names, such as The Strumbellas, Sloan, Zachary Richard, Mountain City Four, Martha Wainwright, Fast Romantics, TEKE::TEKE, Korea Town Acid, Valdy, FemBots, The Soul Motivators, Lloyd Spiegel, Kalàscima ft. Andrea Ramolo, Stef Paquette (symphonic), Ammoye, Laura Niquay, Brock Zeman, Adrian Sutherland, Sarah Craig Trio, + more. Check it all out at and grab your tickets.

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Jersey Boys: Starting July 7: It’ll be hard not to sing along with the songs in “Jersey Boys” co-presented by YES Theatre and Sudbury Theatre Centre (STC) July 7-Aug. 5.

“Jersey Boys” takes the audience behind the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons to discover the secret of a 40-year friendship as the foursome work their way from the streets of New Jersey to the heights of stardom.

Tickets are available online or from the Sudbury Theatre Centre Box Office (170 Shaughnessy St.) and cost $50 for adults and $35 for youth.

State of the Arts is a bimonthly article presented by the Sudbury Arts Council.

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