New venue, same purpose for Light of Day Festival

The first Light of Day Canada Festival had 400 people in a small auditorium in Niagara Falls. 

More than a decade –and a pandemic — later, this year’s event will take place over two nights, online, and will feature the likes of Tom Morello, Steve Earle, Jake Clemons, Ron James, Wayne Kramer, Rusty Young and several dozen others. 

The 12th Annual Light of Day Canada Online Festival is scheduled for February 19 and 20, with ticket options available for one or both nights, all from the comfort of your living room. 

The Light of Day Festival helps raise funds for research into Parkinson’s disease and cancer, raising more than $500,000 in the meantime. 

Last year’s show, to be headlined by Tom Hicks, was postponed but the team remained committed to putting on a great show. “We decided to do a virtual show with a mix of live and pre-recorded performances,” says Dave Rotella, the organization’s president. “The response by the artists was so positive and overwhelming, that’s what led to adding a second night. Our first show in 2007 was at the old NFCVI auditorium in Niagara Falls. While the shows have grown since then, our main goal has always been the same: To raise money for Parkinson’s disease and cancer, for both research and care.”  

There are ticket options for the shows: $25 for one night or $40 for both. Tickets can be purchased here. 

Not familiar with Light of Day Canada? 

The first year, there were two shows: One in Niagara Falls and another in Toronto. “The success of the shows and the enthusiasm and support of the two communities helped expand the show to larger venues and eventually to Hamilton Halifax, Kingston and London — and now online,” the organization says. 

The highest-attended show to date was in 2015, but the show has always drawn top talent: performers have included Blue Rodeo, Ron Sexsmith, Sam Roberts Band, Willie Nile, The Trews, Paul Langlois of the Tragically Hip and Tom Wilson, and the event has been hosted by such stars as Vincent Pastore of The Sopranos and the late Rowdy Roddy Piper. 

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

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