June 28 - Aug 31
Queen Victoria Park, Niagara Falls
The Niagara Stage
Niagara Parks presents The Niagara Stage
The Niagara Stage returns. Presented by Niagara Parks with support from Polaris Music Prize, every Saturday throughout the summer at our scenic Queen Victoria Place, the Niagara Stage Concert Series draws from the long list of diverse Canadian musical talent that has been awarded, recognized, and listed by the prestigious Canadian Polaris Music Prize across its history. Enjoy a spectrum of sounds, styles, talent, and culture as vast as Canada itself.
Concerts take place at the Polaris Music Stage outside Queen Victoria Place Restaurant 8pm-10pm. Please note that some acts begin later, check the individuals artist for details.
Traveling from Toronto?
Getting to the brink of the falls from Toronto just got a whole lot easier. The GO Niagara Seasonal Train service runs weekends throughout the summer months and includes a round-trip GO Train ticket and two-day access to WEGO. New this year, enjoy extended access into Niagara-on-the-Lake during your stay.
Looking for more music at Niagara Parks? Back again for 2019, the Summer Music Series brings with it an exciting lineup of talent on the stage at Queen Victoria Place, starting June 28. Enjoy local musicians from a variety of genres, from classic rock to country on Fridays, Sundays and holiday Mondays until September 2.
June 28 • 8pm
Recently named a Member of the Order of Canada, experimental vocalist and artist, Tanya Tagaq won the Polaris Prize for best Canadian album in 2014. Her newest album, Retribution, has her once again on the Polaris Music Prize short list.
Born in the Arctic, Tagaq’s music isn’t like anything you’ve heard before. Unnerving and exquisite, her unique vocal expression may be rooted in Inuit throat singing but her music has as much to do with electronica, industrial and metal influences as it does with traditional culture.
The “Inuk punk” is best known for drawing an audience while delivering fearsome, elemental performances that are visceral and physical, heaving, breathing and very much “alive”.
A survivor of Canada’s Residential School System, Tagaq’s uses the power of her voice to bring awareness to women’s issues, human rights and climate change.
"Tagaq projects sounds that carry the imprint of the body’s secret contours and recesses, delving far beyond personal utterance, out beyond human identity, to summon voices from the flesh cavity haunts of animal spirits and primal energies."
July 1 • 8:45pm
Originally from Newmarket, Ontario, Georgas released her most recent album “For Evelyn”, named after her grandmother, setting the stage for her most ambitious and personal Indie-pop record yet.
Along with its dreamy soundscape of fuzzy, wistful horns Georgas’ sweet-sounding voice begins as a whisper that ascends layer-upon-layer, against a sparse backdrop of drums.
The album’s sonic landscape shifts between tracks that prompt solo dance parties to poignant and introspective songs. The record explores a variety of effects that alternate between playful, suggestive, funky, and foreboding which adds depth to Georgas’ compositions.
In 2011, Georgas took home the Emerging Artist of the Year at XM’s Verge Music Awards as well as Solo Artist of the Year at the Sirius/XM-sponsored Indies. Then, in June 2013 the artist won Pop Recording of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards.
"With its rich sonic landscape and Georgas' confident lyrics, For Evelyn is a great record, but perhaps more importantly, it also shows that Georgas is getting better and better with each release."
July 6 • 8pm
Described as a gentle-voiced singer/songwriter with a knack for weather melodies and subtly observed lyrics, Doug Paisley carved out a quiet following among Americana audiences who favored a literary bent in the 2010s. Paisley spent the previous decade playing in a variety of bluegrass bands, but his solo works were acclaimed for their intimacy, particularly his 2010 breakthrough record “Constant Companion”.
After a series of studio sessions, Paisley completed and released his fourth album last year called “Starter Home” described by Toronto-based NOW Magazine as “country music for intellectuals.”
Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Paisley was drawn to the Beatles as a kid, introduced to Bob Dylan by his father and, as he matured began to gravitate toward old-time country and bluegrass.
"It’s rare to find a Canadian, male contemporary country musician this sincere and devoid of clichés, but Paisley is known for infusing depth into straightforward-sounding music."
Jul 13 • 8pm
A Canadian singer-songwriter, Castle was born in Toronto and raised in Mississauga and Orangeville.
She recently released her fifth full-length album "Angels of Death", her second for Idée Fixe (Canada) and first for Paradise of Bachelors (USA and the rest of the world).
The album has been described as a sublime meditation on morality, memory and grief while highlighting the power and dimension of Castle’s voice.
"Angels of Death" casts a series of spells against forgetting and finality, in the form of mystic-minimalist country-soul torch songs about writing, time travel, and spectral visitations.
Castle wrote and recorded this breathtaking follow-up to her acclaimed record, "Pink City" (2014) in a 19th century church near the shores of Lake Erie, where her family also lived and experienced a constellation of losses that inhabit these bruised musings.
"A collection of probing reflections over music that gets directly to the heart, without trying too hard to do so…It’s a meditation on something we never desire but always receive"
Jul 20 • 8:30pm
Elliott Brood is a three-piece Folk-Rock Alt Country band based in Hamilton, Canada. Mark Sasso, Casey Laforet and Stephen Pitkin are the talent behind a brand of fuzzed-up roots music that creates a captivating, and frenetic live performance. Their energy electrified the band’s five previous critically acclaimed records.
Their style has been called everything from ‘blackgrass’ to ‘death country,’ but those descriptions don’t capture the transcendent heights of their unique approach to roots music.
In the Fall of 2017, the band released their sixth full-length studio album “Ghost Gardens”. The album was inspired when the band found demo songs they wrote early in their career. A forgotten and misplaced hard drive was discovered sitting in an old suitcase in a garage. The recordings were demos and rough pencil sketches of song lyrics and melody ideas.
"Ghost Gardens is a complex layering and melding of country, bluegrass, folk, and rock to form a musical tapestry that is equally beautiful and bleak."
Tanika Charles & The Wonderfuls
Jul 27 • 8pm
Since emerging on the international scene in 2017 with her debut “Soul Run”, Tanika Charles has revealed herself to be one of the best kept secrets in soul music. Both on and off stage, Toronto-based Charles presents an immutable charm, at times endearingly abrasive and honest in her vulnerabilities.
Charles’ sophomore album “The Gumption” was released in May, continuing her tradition of marrying classic soul with modern production styles. Across a dozen songs, Charles addresses moments of vindication, uncertain love, forbidden fruit and the state of the world today.
“It’s a little more mature,” Charles says about the album. “It’s not feeling guilty about being up front, not being afraid to address situations that aren’t comfortable for me. I’m comfortable in my skin now in a way I never was before.”
Backed by her band The Wonderfuls, Charles has embarked on five tours since the release of “Soul Run”.
"I heard Tanika Charles and it just reminded me of that Beastie Boys deep funk, raw soul era. "
Aug 3 • 8pm
Bridging cross-cultural aesthetics while exploring her own struggle to both fit into and, breakaway from modern Western archetypes has been an important part of iskwē’s artistic vision since the release of her WCMA nominated self-titled debut album in late 2013.
Her lead single “Nobody Knows,” captivated audiences by turning a stark spotlight on the more than 1200 missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.
The Cree-Irish Toronto singer was unafraid to challenge the convictions of her detractors by honouring her heritage to create a politically charged record. She blends soulful, breathlessly delivered lyrics about loss, healing and empowerment with a sonic palette that takes its cue from the shadowy atmospherics of the 1990s Bristol sound.
“I feel this gravitational pull towards gritty and bottom-heavy sounds mixed with jazz-styled vocals on top,” iskwē told The Silhouette, a student-run newspaper at McMaster University.
"A mesmerizing alt-electronic pop singer who tells it like it is, calling out injustice and recounting the hard and shameful truths about non-Indigenous people's treatment of Indigenous Peoples in Canada."
Milk & Bone
Aug 10 • 8:45pm
Montreal’s Milk & Bone (Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin) create melodies that are both dreamy and harrowing.
Made up of electronic textures and layered synths, Lafond-Beaulne and Poliquin’s sonic universe distinguishes itself from the electro-pop genre thanks to their perfectly-paired vocal colours. Their mesmerizing harmonies explore the darker aspects of love, friendship and lust. Their tightly-knit bond, palpable in their creative process and throughout the album, is a key part of their live shows.
Milk & Bone's second debut album “Deception Bay” was long-listed for the 2018 Polaris Music Prize and won the band several honours, including 2019 Juno Awards Electronic Album of the Year, 2019 Indie Awards Electronic/Dance Artist or Group of the Year, and 2018 GAMIQ Artist of the Year and nomination for Pop Album of the Year.
"Milk & Bone explores new soundscapes. They channel 80’s nostalgia using sharp synths and pumping bass and sing lyrics that are both heartbreaking and empowering."
Aug 17 • 8pm
Founded and fronted by émigré Trinidadian songwriter Drew Gonsalves, Kobo Town’s music has been described as “an intoxicating blend of lilting calypsonian wit, dancehall reggae and trombone-heavy brass” and, a “unique, transnational composite of rhythm, poetry and activist journalism.”
From their home in Toronto, the JUNO-nominated group has brought their distinct calypso-inspired sound to audiences across the world, from Port-of-Spain to Paris and from Montreal to Malaysia. At once brooding and joyous, intensely poetic and highly danceable, Gonsalves' songs betray deep roots in Caribbean folk music, while the band delivers them with an indomitable energy that has earned them a considerable following.
The most recent record “Where the Galleon Sank”, is filled with buoyant music that stimulates both body and mind; propulsive, infectious grooves are juxtaposed with incisive lyrics that expose human folly and our tendency to repeat our mistakes.
"This album represents the diversity in Trinidad’s cultural history, its musical make-up, and as any good calypso album should, comments pertinently on situations that affect the natives to the Islands."
The Fred Eaglesmith Road Show feat. Tif Ginn
Aug 24 • 8pm
Fred Eaglesmith can talk to you about almost anything. Chances are, he’s had that car, tractor, job, relationship, idea, and hat. One thing is certain, throughout his life and experiences, Eaglesmith has an undeniable gift for writing a song.
Eaglesmith is a veteran of the music industry with 42 years on-the-road, 22 studio albums and countless stories
After years touring the United States, Canada, and Europe, having his songs covered by some of the biggest names in music, and appearing on “The Late Show with David Letterman” – the enigmatic, countrified, Rock n’ Roll troubadour, is carrying on with musical wife Tif Ginn; a gutsy, amazing singer and a transcendent songwriter who has spent most of her life touring and playing music.
Ginn’s impressive, sultry vocals and glorious harmonies with Eaglesmith, along with her multiple instrument additions to the show will have you awe-inspired.
"Standard boasts some of the saddest songs this always-glaringly-honest writer has ever dropped. It’s a spartan, honest masterpiece of a record."
Great Lake Swimmers
Aug 31 • 8:45pm
Originally from Wainfleet, Ontario the Toronto-based band built around folk-rock songs recently celebrated their 15th anniversary.
Last year, the band, led by singer-songwriter Tony Dekker released their seventh record “The Waves, The Wake”, a metaphor for the future ahead with the past trailing behind. On this album, Dekker decided to challenge himself by writing new music without any acoustic guitar which has always been his instrumental mainstay. Instead, the band incorporated new sounds such as the harp, the lute, the pipe organ, woodwind instruments, congas and marimbas along with more familiar tones from the banjo, the piano and a 12-string electric guitar.
Great Lake Swimmers have been nominated twice for JUNO awards, have been shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Prize and, won a Canadian Indie Award for Favourite Folk/Roots Artist/Group.
"The Waves, The Wake is a beautiful achievement, rife with rich and varied instrumentation and textures, engaging vocals, and bittersweet, poignant lyrics."