Manitoba Rocks: WSO Collaborates with Local Bands for Exciting Concert during JUNO Week

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Top: Imaginary Cities with the WSO on Canada Day (Photo: J.Senft Photography) Bottom: Royal Canoe (Photo: Delf Gravert)

The Centennial Concert Hall is ready to rock for JUNO Week

The venerable Winnipeg institution, which is most often home to great orchestral works and ballets, will be taken over by Manitoba Rocks, a special event featuring four of Manitoba's most buzzed about rock and pop outfits for in unique collaboration with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Running in association with JUNOfest, March 28-30, audiences have three chances to take in the spectacle. 

Taking the stage will be a diverse collection of homegrown talent, including soul/pop outfit Imaginary Cities, hip hop act The Lytics, JUNO-winning roots quintet Nathan Music Co., and 2014 JUNO nominee Royal Canoe

While the latter three bands have shared the stage with the WSO before for short but wildly popular Canada Day collaborations at The Forks in previous years, this Royal Canoe's first time working with the WSO. The experimental outfit, which is up for the JUNO for Alternative Album of the Year for its full-length debut, Today We're Believers, has worked with string arrangements before, but never on this scale. 

"It's quite an honour to get to share the stage with a full orchestra and even more surreal to have them playing these songs we wrote in our dingy practice space with us," says Royal Canoe's front man, Matt Peters. "The arrangements that have been written for this performance are really exceptional and we can't wait to hear what an orchestra sounds like performing them."

Peters and his crew aren't the only ones excited about the event. The WSO's music director, Alexander Mickelthwaite, is enthusiastic about the upcoming concerts. 

“I’m excited to part of JUNO Week and have the opportunity to have fun and rock with Manitoba’s best local talent,” says the maestro. 

Manitoba Rocks is just one of the many exciting events taking place in Winnipeg during the JUNOS. JUNOfest along will welcome over 100 bands into more than a dozen Winnipeg venues for a two-nights multi-genre music festival, plus many (many) more concerts and events.

Visit our Live Music Calendar for the complete rundown of music events and download our free Manitoba Live concert-finding app for iOS to stay connected.

Manitoba Rocks runs March 28 and 29 at 8pm with a 2pm matinee on March 30. Tickets start at $27 and are available at and WSO box office and The first 25 JUNOfest wristband will get in free. 

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