Big Sugar play at the Port Theatre on Wednesday.

Big Sugar play at the Port Theatre on Wednesday.

Band focused on helping others

Big Sugar performs on Wednesday.

Ever since it formed back in the late ’80s, reggae-blues-rock band Big Sugar has always stuck to what it does best.

Whatever it wants.

“We still just do whatever we want creatively,” frontman Gordie Johnson said.

On Wednesday (March 11), Big Sugar will be performing at the Port Theatre. Its stop in the Harbour City is one of the last stops on a lengthy tour that began in Parry Sound, Ont.

“We always enjoy Nanaimo,” Johnson said. “Any time our shows are on the Island is a highlight for us.”

Big Sugar’s set at the Port Theatre will be an acoustic only and will include multiple songs from its record, Yard Style, which was released last year.

Johnson said that creating Yard Style was very natural process that has been extremely rewarding.

“There were no real challenges. These are all people who have played together for decades but never all at the same time.”

Before heading out on tour in January, Big Sugar teamed up with World Vision Canada and came up with a unique way to sponsor an entire village in Ethiopia. The idea was that while on tour, they would encourage their fans to sponsor a child, with the hopes that enough people would sign up to sponsor the entire village.

“Halfway through the tour we already got one entire village of kids in school,” he said. “Our fans sponsored an entire village and so now we get to choose another village, which is just amazing.”

Big Sugar has picked another village in Ethiopia and has already received plenty of sign-ups.

“Every night we are getting a dozen kids sponsored at our merch table by our fans,” Johnson said. “We would rather they did that than just buy our shirts and our records. We don’t want you to just buy our stuff, but sponsor these kids and put them in school.”

Big Sugar performs at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 and are available at the Port Theatre box office or online at

arts@nanaimobulletin.comFollow @npescod on Twitter


Just Posted

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Nanaimo artist Melissa Anderson has paintings on display at White Rabbit Coffee Co. for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter showcases coastal Island views in first exhibit in two years

Melissa Anderson presents ‘Seascapes’ oil painting exhibit at White Rabbit Coffee Co.

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

Regional District of Nanaimo is looking to repair sewage pipe in the Hammond Bay Road area, which was corroded by gas. (Black Press file)
Corroded sewer pipe along Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay Road will cost $5.5 million to fix

Pipe replacement and reinforcement part of $6.9-million infrastructure project

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read