A railway-themed musical evening on Aug. 26 at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre theatre is the newest event in the growing line-up of Canada 150 events in Smiths Falls.
Trainfest After Dark, to be held following a day of hands-on activities for visitors to the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario, will get under way at the theatre in the former Rideau Canal Museum at 7 p.m.
Organizers are planning a mix of storytellers and musicians to highlight the history of the railway and its importance to Smiths Falls. Confirmed performers include Moncton, New Brunswick-based songwriter Jared Lutes, and Lanark County musical duo the Jimmy Tri-Tone Band.
Jared Lutes is a 17-year veteran of both stage and studio, who has produced five albums. His songs have been featured on network TV and in feature film, and he has won both regional and international awards.
The Jimmy Tri-Tone Band is a folk-rock duo made up of James Walters on guitar and Randelle Ashley on bass and keyboards, both originally from Almonte, and now based in White Lake. The duo recently completed a second tour to the east coast and produced a full-length album, This Long, Lonesome Highway.
Trainfest After Dark is part of the ongoing Smiths Falls On the Roll Canada 150 music series, co-funded by the Town of Smiths Falls and a federal government grant.
The On the Roll series began in March with a special performance by Celtic band Seventh Town at Heritage House Museum. In a presentation to Smiths Falls town councillors on April 10, town Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator Ingrid Bron said the series “brings live performances to a number of community events, including the Healthy Living Festival and Paddlefest, happening over the same weekend this year in June, and later this summer the Rolling Thunder Car Show, Race the Runway, and Trainfest.”
Several summer events will feature performances by the Canada 150 Youth Choir, under the direction of Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute music and arts teacher Kristine MacLaren.
In May, on a date to be determined, the Algonquins of Ontario will host a pow wow in partnership with SFDCI, Parks Canada, and the town of Smiths Falls.
Other confirmed events in the On the Roll series include:
- May 20, Smiths Falls Legion, performance by Eddy & the Stingrays;
- June 17, Healthy Living Festival in downtown Smiths Falls featuring Aboriginal Experiences;
- June 17 (6-9 p.m.), Music in the Park at Lower Reach Park featuring The British Invasion;
- June 18, Rideau Paddlefest at Lower Reach Park, with music by the Canada 150 Youth Choir, Bytown Bluegrass, and Peter Dawson;
- June 24, Highland on the Rideau featuring the Gordon Pipe Band;
- June 25, Irish Ceilidh and Picnic at Heritage House Museum, featuring Seventh Town;
- June 27, South Winds Voyageur Canoe Brigade and Cultural Celebration at Centennial Park, featuring music by the History Buffs;
- June 28, Golf Tournament and Irish Homestead Dinner and Dance at Smiths Falls Golf & Country Club, featuring music by Freddy Dixon, and A Beatles Tribute;
- June 30, Music at Station Theatre, featuring the Steel City Rovers;
- July 1, Canada Day celebrations at Lower Reach Park, featuring Ottawa Valley Opry, Maria Hawkins, Andy Mason, and the Canada 150 Youth Choir;
- July 14-16, Rideau Rendezvous Motorcycle Rally, featuring music by Poetic Justice.
This article first appeared in the May issue of Hometown News.