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

Seventy-three-year-old Nanaimo cyclist raises money for hospice programs

Angeline Krueger will ride 200 kilometres with her daughter to raise cash 2018 in Cycle of Life Tour

Final arguments made at tent city hearing, court won’t rule immediately

Lawyer says City of Nanaimo is concerned occupants would consume hand sanitizer

Discontent City argues that it’s keeping occupants safe

Hearing continuing today, July 18, at B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

Ex-Nanaimo man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Abbotsford music festival

James Allen Redden, 50, found guilty of three charges

NRE will sell its land, plans for a new depot there are ‘over’

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange board decides to sell Kenworth Road property

Nanaimo Concert Band to perform at Maffeo Sutton Park

Group will play marches, swing and show tunes at free evening concert

After cave rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

On Wednesday evening, the boys and coach were released from hospital

Gymnastics sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Most Read