Wingham Town Hall Theatre - Winter Offerings
For many years, Wingham was a rural cultural hot spot with a grand tradition of live and broadcast musical performances. The homegrown phenomenon of CKNX and its Barn Dance brought musicians from far and wide to the streets of Wingham. In the days when the little town was known as Nashville North, many great musicians performed at the Town Hall Theatre on Josephine St. Years passed, and the theatre gradually fell into a state of disrepair. A group of dedicated townspeople came together to save their theatre, devoting time, skills and effort to the much needed restoration project. The hope was that the revitalized venue would bring the music back to town.
Even though that hope had to be put on hold during the pandemic, the theatre finally did reopen. Since then, acts like country music star George Fox and comedian Shaun Majumder have graced the stage in Wingham, performing each time to a packed house.
In 2024, two bands with prairie roots will be coming to the theatre - an evening spent listening to either one of them is a a perfect way to celebrate the impending end of winter. The first band is High Valley, who will be bringing their “Small Town, Small Somethin’” tour to the Town Hall Theatre on Feb 28. High Valley is a country bluegrass band that hails from the small Mennonite community of Blumenort, Alberta. From small town beginnings, the band has gone on to record hit songs like “Make You Mine” and great albums like “Country Line.” High Valley has received awards from the Academy of Country Music, the Canadian Country Music Association, and the Gospel Music Association of Canada. Most recently, their 2023 album “Way Back” was nominated for the Juno Country Music Award of the Year.
Beyond their superb musicianship, what makes High Valley really stand out are their timeless, heartfelt lyricism and forthright attitude, a far cry from the kind of country music you hear on the radio these days. Songs like “Grew Up on That,” and “Small Town Somethin’” are showcases of the rural way of life, hearkening back to a simpler time. They are a perfect fit for the Town Hall Theatre, and are sure to be a big hit with the town!
On March 15, Wingham will be treated to a performance by Saskatoon, Saskatchewan’s favourite rock band, The Sheepdogs! Their catchy hooks and funky rhythms have landed them on the cover of Rolling Stone, and netted the band multiple Juno awards, including Rock Album of the Year. Their songs have been featured on the soundtrack of shows like Sons of Anarchy and Shameless. The band has also performed at flagship festivals like Coachella, Bonaroo, and Lucknow’s Music in the Fields. Their bold sound blends together a lot of different influences - sometimes a bit Led Zeppelin, sometimes a little Grand Funk Railroad, but the end result is always something that sounds unmistakably like The Sheepdogs. Rock enthusiasts of all ages have fallen in love with their energetic contributions to rock music - the band has a habit of making new fans everywhere they go - and they’ve toured all over the world, so that’s a lot of fans!
It’s heartening to see high quality performers like High Valley and The Sheepdogs being booked at the Town Hall so consistently. Wingham’s most venerable venue almost certainly has a bright future, with a lot of stellar shows to come! Tickets for both these shows are available from the Town Hall Theatre’s website. (winghamtownhalltheatre.ca) 274 Josephine St., Wingham