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“It’s not really Christmas until McDermott sings.” - The Toronto Star


Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy ... The First Couple of contemporary Celtic music.


IT’S A TRADITION!


The holiday season is full of treasured traditions; gathering with family, gift giving, sharing a meal and sharing a song.


Niagara residents have regularly welcomed select artists during the holiday season who came to be like extended members of the family. The nearly perennial return of John McDermott, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy have rivaled some of your favourite holiday gatherings - and even some of the best kitchen dance parties!


Our community has been dreaming of a dedicated facility for the performing arts for many years, and the time has come for us to move in. The housing may be shiny and new, but it won’t take long to feel at home.


John McDermott feels at home too, adding “I view coming back to St. Catharines as being among friends more than anything else.”


Programming and Marketing Manager, Sara Palmieri feels strongly that the inaugural season at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre should


“consist of past favourites and new discoveries. We’ve curated a season based on the variables of high quality and wide variety. John, Natalie, Donnell and their families match all those criteria.”


For Donnell Leahy and Natalie MacMaster, it’s all about family and their children. That’s why their Christmas show is not just a show, but as Leahy puts it, “a celebration.”


“I don’t want to be away from the kids” says Leahy, “and Natalie says coming out to play is like a day at the spa.” He adds it is great to have their kids safe on stage with them for the show.


While other performers might prefer their favourite food and drinks in their backstage space, the Leahy clan requires a playroom for the children and apple juice. Such is life on the road for a musical family.


And Leahy is certainly no stranger to touring with family.


At McDermott’s record-setting number of appearances at Brock, he brought his musical family plus hand-selected special guests. This year, McDermott will be joined by Jason Fowler, Maury Lafoy, Coco Love Alcorn and Niagara’s own Mark Lalama.


41 CENTRESTAGE


Family. Tradition. Music. What more could you ask for to help celebrate the holiday season?


- Michael Chess FirstOntarioPAC.ca


Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy’s Christmas Celebration Partridge Hall MEMBERS: $46.75 REGULAR: $55 2:30PM + 7:30PM Sat 5 Dec


John McDermott Family Christmas Partridge Hall MEMBERS: $44.20 REGULAR: $52 7:30PM Thurs 17 Dec


#niagara


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