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Celebrate Canada's musical greatness with Sudbury's own Leisa Way

'Oh Canada, We Sing for Thee!' comes out in time for country's 150th birthday

Leisa Way said she's always excited when she has the chance to perform at Sudbury Theatre Centre.

That's not surprising, given her connection to STC. A Copper Cliff girl, Way spent a good chunk of her teens at the theatre, doing 13 shows there between the ages of 13 and 19.

Way even turned the sod for the STC building (which opened in 1982) in her Dorothy costume — she was cast in the theatre's production of “Wizard of Oz” as a young teen.

Those early days became the foundation for the more than three decades Way has spent on the stage, which notably includes a six-season stint as Anne in “Anne of Green Gables” at the Charlottetown Festival in PEI.

“If I'm lucky enough to have the chance to come up to work in my home theatre, I feel so blessed,” said Way, now 51.

She returns to STC March 24 and 25 with a group of musicians dubbed the Wayward Wind Band with their “Oh Canada, We Sing for Thee!” show. 

Her latest show features the music of Canadian greats including Gordon Lightfoot, Anne Murray, Celine Dion, Michael Buble, Shania Twain, Stompin' Tom Connors, Buffy Ste. Marie, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and more.

She's booked more than 80 performances of the show from coast-to-coast in 2017.

Way has previously done shows celebrating the music of Peggy Lee, Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton, among others, a few of which she also brought to STC. 

She said she loves creating and performing in shows she's passionate about, something she's been doing for a decade.

“It covers every genre of music,” Way said. “In two hours, we take everybody on a rockin' musical journey through the history of music in Canada.”

She said she has some fantastic musicians performing alongside her, and one of the industry's greats did the arrangement — the Academy Award-nominated Bruce Ley.

The show comes in time for Canada's 150th birthday.

It not only includes music, but fun facts about Canada, and jokes about the little things that make us Canadian — wearing snowsuits under Halloween costumes, for example.

“I have the power to make an audience feel like it's going to explode from pride,” Way said. “This is my purpose with my show. Just to put smiles on faces and make people feel so proud during this very special Canada 150 year.”

The show runs at 7:30 p.m. at STC on both March 24 and 25. Tickets cost $35.50 each. Visit the theatre centre's website for tickets and more information.


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Heidi Ulrichsen

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