Let’s go to the Ex! The Canadian National Exhibition, a.k.a. the CNE, is on and for eighteen days. It’s your chance to get your fix of games, rides, food and most importantly, live performances.

For those that don’t know, the CNE is a longstanding Canadian tradition, taking place at Exhibition Place every year for the final three weeks of summer. It’s almost as old as Canada itself- while Canada celebrates 150 years the CNE is celebrating 139! Since 1879, the CNE has been the leading platform for innovations in technology, agriculture and entertainment.

The list of stars that have graced The Bandshell stage at the CNE is almost innumerable. Built in 1936, this Art-Deco inspired concert venue has welcomed Louis Armstrong, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, The Guess Who and Sonny & Cher, just to name a few. People have flocked to the stage since its conception.

Visitors at the Bandshell, 1963. Via CNE Heritage.

This year, the CNE has ramped up the musical acts for Canada’s 150th, with a little something for everyone. Burton Cummings performed opening night on August 18th, followed by Sam Roberts Band on the 19th. Keifer Sutherland performed on the 20th, and Colin James on the 22nd.

If you’ve missed out on these acts, have no fear! There are plenty more in store for the rest of the fair (the CNE runs until Labour Day weekend on September 4th).

Here are some performances we recommend you catch before the end of the Exhibition!

August 25th– I Mother Earth & The Watchmen

This Canadian alternative rock combination is guaranteed to bring high energy. Both bands have been around since the 1990s, so get ready for some alternative nostalgia!

August 29th– The Sheepdogs

Hailing from Saskatoon, this band brings back that good ol’ rock’n’roll. Firmly rooted in the rock tradition, this band will transport you back to the seventies. Hit singles include “I Don’t Know,” and “Feeling Good.”

August 30th– Shawn Hook

This B.C. native has recently released a single with none other than “High School Musical” sweetheart Vanessa Hudgens, “Reminding Me.” Bachelor Nation may also recognize his single “Sound of Your Heart,” which was used in commercials for Season 20 (Ben Higgins).

September 1st– Brett Kissel

This Canadian country boy from Flat Lake Alberta is the perfect choice for those with post Boots & Hearts Festival blues.

September 2nd– USS

This alternative duo represents Toronto’s west end (Parkdale), and their grunge sound will definitely give you Nirvana hipster vibes.

September 3rd– A Tribe Called Red

The last performance of the fair, this band is an iconic staple in the Canadian music scene. Blending various musical genres into an electronic sound, this First Nations influenced band is the perfect way to top off the CNE experience.

For more information on the musical performances at the 2017 CNE, visit their website here.

Let us know in the comments which musical performances you’re excited to see this year!


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