Barrie will ring in the new year this holiday season with the Sam Roberts Band. In partnership with ROCK 95 and 107.5 KOOL FM, the Juno Award-winning Canadian band will headline this year’s Downtown Countdown on New Year’s Eve.
“With alt-rock anthems like Brother Down, Don’t Walk Away Eileen and Where Have All the Good People Gone, the Barrie New Year’s Eve show is the place to be,” said Arin Donnelly, city community events coordinator.
Roberts, who hails from Montreal, and his five-member band have released six albums, including We Were Born In A Flame, released in 2018. The popular Sam Roberts Band has won five MuchMusic Video Awards and its list of performances include the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, Ottawa Canada Day celebrations, as well as NHL and CFL events.
This year’s Downtown Countdown in Barrie will also include Skye Wallace, a classically-trained singer with East Coast roots, who discovered punk rock in her youth. Her newest album, Something Wicked, was listed as one of Vancouver Weekly’s best albums in 2016.
There’s also something for the young and young at heart as four-time Juno Award winner Fred Penner will be on the downtown stage. Penner, with 40 years of performing under his belt, has established himself as a fundamental part of the family entertainment scene in North America. A four-time recipient of the Parents’ Choice Award, Penner has aimed to make a positive difference through his videos, books, speaking engagements and television appearances, including starring in 12 seasons of Fred Penner’s Place on CBC.
Also making an appearance will be Barrie band, Cousin Jack. Every year the City of Barrie invites local bands to submit their music for the opportunity to perform on the Downtown Countdown stage and Cousin Jack was selected from more than 30 submissions this year. The alternative rock trio is currently working on their debut EP.
This year’s free celebration outside city hall, at downtown Barrie, also includes skating at the rink, horse-drawn wagon rides, roaming street performers, food vendors, fun family activities and two fireworks displays. The festivities get underway at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31.