Singer John McDermott performs in Nanaimo Sunday (Oct. 20) as part of his 20th anniversary tour.

Singer John McDermott performs in Nanaimo Sunday (Oct. 20) as part of his 20th anniversary tour.

Platinum anniversary

NANAIMO – John McDermott celebrates 20 years in front of audiences around the world

After more than 20 years in front of audiences, performing never gets old for John McDermott.

“It’s even more fun,” McDermott said. “We have more stories to tell.”

McDermott performs at the Port Theatre on Sunday (Oct. 20) as part of his 20th anniversary tour. It was that long ago that the internationally recognized singer took the stage in Halifax for the first time with his own band.

From there, he went on to record 25 albums and tour the world, earning fans throughout the globe with his engaging and intimate style.

Part of the secret to his happiness performing is to constantly change the music and the set list for each show.

“We change it up every night,” McDermott said. “We do something different every night.”

It’s given him a unique relationship with his audience, which has become in some cases like old friends. The towns and cities he visited over the past 20 years he is returning to.

He established such a loyal following in part because of his engagement with fans. When building a list of songs from his 25 albums for this tour, he asked his fans for their two favourite songs – he’s whittled his catalogue down to about 50 that he plays from.

“We know we’re going to be playing a lot of favourites,” he said.

One surprise from that request came the popularity of his song Daughter of Mine, a melody about a father-daughter dance at a wedding.

“I never thought it would have the appeal that it does,” McDermott said.

Many of those favourites will also appear in a new box set of albums he is releasing as part of the 20th anniversary. Included in that, though, are two new releases. McDermott said he completed another this week, and expects a more traditional album to be released in the spring.

He might be celebrating 20 years of music history, but McDermott is looking ahead to 20 more. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $47.50. Please call 250-754-8550 or visit