Harlequin performs at the Port Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 24. (Photo courtesy Charlene Gauld)

Canadian classic rockers Harlequin come to Port Theatre

Winnipeg band making its first West Coast appearance since last summer

When Canadian rockers Harlequin started winding down operations in the late ’80s following a string of successful studio albums, lead singer George Belanger chose to step forward to keep the group’s name alive.

“We all had young families then and travelling was really a problem for everyone,” Belanger said.

“To be away from your family for eight months of the year is very taxing so at that moment in time I really had to think hard and the thing I thought about the most was, how do you throw something away that you love so much?”

When George Belanger was young, his father would walk around the house singing and playing music by artists like Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and Ella Fitzgerald. Even though those singers were years past their prime, they continued recording and performing and remained a part of the elder Belanger’s inner soundtrack.

“I thought, well, why shouldn’t my generation be any different? We grew up with a soundtrack and I think we’ll continue with that soundtrack for as long as we live,” Belanger said.

“So I thought, well, I’ll just continue because no matter what the record company tells me about demographics and things changing, I think there will always be classic rock because when you grow up with classic rock or whatever genre, certainly you broaden your horizons, you find newer things to love, but you don’t throw away the stuff that you really love.”

Belanger continued with Harlequin touring with a changing lineup when he felt like it, free from the anxiety of having people “breathing down my neck, cracking the whip and telling me what to do.” In 2007 the band released its first album in more than 20 years, the aptly titled Waking the Jester.

On Feb. 24 Harlequin is coming to the Port Theatre. It’s the group’s first West Coast appearance since performing at the Rock Ambleside Park 2017 festival in August with fellow Canadian classic rock acts the Stampeders and Platinum Blonde.

Now Belanger said he’s seeing fans bring their children and grandchildren to Harlequin concerts, which makes him reflect on the role he’s had in so many people’s lives.

“You don’t realize how much you’ve affected people and I honour that now because I know how other bands affected me and now I think back, ‘Well, why should it be any different?’” he said.

“I respected the Beatles because they were great writers and innovative and it was the soundtrack of my childhood and I always admired those artists and I guess people are doing the same thing with me, but on a smaller scale for sure. But it’s the same type of thing.”

WHAT’S ON … Harlequin performs at the Port Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. All seats $55.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Tom Petty tribute artist from Nanaimo to perform at the Queen’s

Dave Danylchuk is debuting new touring band Perfectly Petty this week

Nanaimo RCMP seek suspect after armed robbery of gas station

Alleged incident occurred Sunday night at Uplands Drive and Turner Road

Nanaimo school trustees will vote on pay increase

School district business committee recommends raise to offset new tax laws

Truck convoy honouring Nanaimo boy who died after being struck by vehicle

Trucks left from Victoria and others joined along the way up the Island

Nanaimo women look for forward steps at march

Nanaimo Women March On held downtown on Saturday

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Woman offers luxury Alberta home for just $25 and a flair for the written word

Alla Wagner ran into health problems, which forced her to list the 5,000-square-foot estate at market value

46% of Canadians $200 or less away from financial insolvency: poll

45% cent of those surveyed say they will need to go further into debt to pay their living and family expenses

Vancouver Island to get its first publicly funded dementia village

Campus planned for Comox encourages independent activity, freedom to move

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

Reflections of Ladysmith: The Art of Michael Dean

Work, place and people are inseparable for Vancouver Island painter

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Most Read