By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
One of Canada’s most popular annual Christmas concerts is making its return to Oshawa for two shows this weekend.
The Barra MacNeils, a family musical group from Cape Breton Island, is bringing their East Coast Christmas to the Regent Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 14.
They are playing a matinee at 3 p.m. and an evening show later at 7:30 p.m.
Group member Stewart MacNeil said he was very pleased to see the need for a second show, noting the evening concert is “pretty much sold out.”
The group released its aptly named “The Christmas Album” 20 years ago, and has been embarking on the annual holiday tour since.
“The Christmas Album” was critically acclaimed, with The Globe & Mail naming it “one of the best five Christmas albums of all time.”
Stewart says the annual East Coast Christmas tour has become just as beloved as the album that spawned it.
“A lot of people like to make it an annual part of their holiday season, and a lot of people say it just gets them in the holiday spirit,” Stewart notes.
Over the past two decades, the Barra MacNeils have released two more holiday albums, and the show will feature songs from all three.
In addition to the music, Stewart says he believes people who attend the show really enjoy the stories the MacNeils share of their Christmases growing up.
He said on Cape Breton Island, Christmas is very much a time for visiting both family and friends, and “impromptu music.”
“It’s just a time of people letting things go, and people really just enjoying themselves,” he says.
Through the stories shared during the concert, Stewart says fans can really connect with the MacNeils, both as an act and as a family.
He is excited to be coming back to Oshawa’s Regent Theatre, calling it a “gorgeous venue.”
“It sounds great in there, and the sight lines are great,” he said.
Tickets for the show are $57.50 and can be purchased at regenttheatre.ca or at the box office at 50 King St. E. In Oshawa.