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Bringing Christmas cheer to Oshawa

Heather Rankin has been performing on stage since the 1990s, when she was part of a group including her sisters Raylene and Cookie. She will be bringing her solo act to the Regent Theatre on Dec. 7.

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Canadian songstress Heather Rankin is looking to bring the holiday spirit to Oshawa with her Picture Perfect Christmas Show.

Hitting the stage at the Regent Theatre on Dec. 7, Rankin will perform holiday songs from her 2017 album, Imagine, as well as other Christmas classics.

She will also be performing songs from the Christmas album she recorded with her sisters, Raylene and Cookie, more than 20 years ago.

“I travel with a trio of fabulous musicians from Nova Scotia, a stand up bass, a piano, and guitar,” explains Rankin. “I include in my set some of the songs I’ve sang with the Rankin Family back in the 90s, a couple of my own songs, some of which are Christmas songs, and a number of traditional carols, and couple that I recorded with my sisters.”

Rankin tells the Oshawa Express she was inspired in part to do the show by her overwhelming fondness for the holiday season.

“I love Christmas and I love Christmas music, and I grew up singing in a choir with my sisters… then in the late 1990s I recorded a Christmas album with Cookie and Raylene, and we went out every year touring,” she explains. “But when that was no longer available to me, I needed to find a way to do it on my own, so I recorded my first solo Christmas record.”

Aside from being without her sisters while recording and performing today, Rankin explains it is different because she now bears the brunt of the responsibility.

“When I was a kid I didn’t put too much thought into it, it was kind of an automatic thing where you just got up and did our thing,” she explains. “Now I carry all of the responsibility, because when you’re one of the youngest of 12, you don’t really control much, you’re really just a follower.”

She says now she is 100 per cent in control and has all of the responsibility.

“[That] means all the stress as well,” she quips.

Rankin hasn’t been to Oshawa as a solo artist, but thinks she may have performed here at one point.

“Back in the 90s the family would have performed there… but we’re talking 25 years ago,” she says. “I’m looking forward to taking my [solo] music to Oshawa because I haven’t been there yet, and I think people will enjoy what I do, especially this time of the year.”

Audiences can not only expect a number of Christmas songs, but also a number of stories.

“I talk quite a bit about growing up in a large family – I’m the 11th of 12 kids – so, lots of great memories and good stories. Other than that it’s an opportunity to go out and get into the spirit of the season.”

Rankin notes she usually goes out after the show to meet fans.

“If people stick around, I’ll go out and say hello, and sort of try to get to know people a little bit face-to-face,” she adds. “Sometimes I do it in between sets, and sometimes I do it after the show.”

Rankin hits the stage on Dec. 7 at 8 p.m., and tickets are available at