Famous Chemainus singer Ken Lavigne’s Christmas shows had become a holiday tradition on the Island in pre-COVID times.
Now that restrictions have been lifted, everyone is looking forward to the return of those shows. But there’s only been time to schedule one on the Island this year as Lavigne has taken full advantage of a busier schedule of performances again than the last two years.
The lone Island show of Lavigne’s Snowballs & Mistletoe, with special guests Festival Brass and singer Kristina Helene, will be at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre on Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Lavigne is on the road doing a series of shows, Three Knights with a Tenor and a Little Mistletoe, in Alberta communities. He was in Slave Lake, Alberta when contacted by the Courier Monday.
“The show in Nanaimo is special among the shows I’m doing right now,” he said. “We’re doing some Christmas stuff as well, some of my touring shows. We are all getting into the Christmas spirit.”
Lavigne started his current tour in early October with a total of 20 stops on the agenda.
“It’s all been broken up,” he explained. “Four weeks off and back at it here in November.”
Lavigne had five shows left as of Monday before returning to the Island on Dec. 6. Then, it’ll be into rehearsal on Dec. 7 for the Dec. 9 show.
“It’s go, go, go,” conceded Lavigne.
He always looks forward to getting on stage and delivering the best performance possible.
“I do get into it,” Lavigne said. “There’s always moments of anxiety. Will this all come together as I planned it two months ago? But it always does.”
Having the Festival Brass and Helene along for the performance will make the yuletide even brighter.
“All our musicians are absolutely stellar,” said Lavigne.
“We performed together in a bunch of different capacities,” he added of the Festival Brass. “They are also members of the Victoria Symphony and fantastic performers around Vancouver Island in their own right. With Christmas, you have to have some sort of brass.”
As for Helene, Lavigne said she’s a very accomplished jazz singer and vocalist.
“I’m going to accompany her on a number of duets. It’s good to have that vocal variety there.”
Lavigne will treat the audiences to favourites such as Jingle Bells, Let It Snow, Adeste Fideles and O Holy Night. In addition, he will share a new arrangement of O Come, O Come Emmanuel, adding drama and intensity with cinematic scope to the heartfelt urgency of the piece.
Go to www.porttheatre.com for ticket availability or call 250-754-8550.