Live music returns to Rivercity Stage in Campbell River – Campbell River Mirror


After two years of forced hiatus, the Highway 19 concert series is set to return with three concerts in March and April at the Rivercity Stage.

The series was created by Lucas Schuller in 2019 to bring national-level touring artists to Campbell River to perform at the intimate 96-seat theater at 1080 Hemlock Street.

“From the moment I stepped foot in that room, I wanted to see live music there,” Schuller said. “It’s such a large size where every seat is so close to the performers, it’s almost like a house concert, but you have the comforts, amenities and presentation of a concert hall.”

The series included six memorable concerts in 2019 spanning genres from indie-pop and bluegrass to traditional folk and Latin jazz, and was set to continue into 2020 when the pandemic hit, canceling a planned chamber music performance in March and putting other plans on hold so far.

Highway 19 Concerts is relaunching with three award-winning and world-traveling artists, two and a half of whom live in British Columbia but have never performed in Campbell River.

It all begins Friday, March 4 with the vocal ensemble Musica Intima, a chamber choir without a conductor that is instead led by the exceptional musicality of each singer and their commitment to bringing to life new works by Canadians, composers under -represented and beautiful and unusual arrangements of popular songs. The ensemble has released 10 recordings, won two Junos and has commissioned 20 new works from composers, many of which will be performed at the Rivercity Stage.

On Thursday, March 31, singer-songwriter Suzie Ungerleider, formerly known as Oh Susanna, takes the stage accompanied by electric guitar ace Paul Pigat. In 2021, the American-born, Canadian-raised artist released the 10th album of her stellar career, but My Name is Suzie Ungerleider is the first under her birth name. The new album features her signature storytelling, strong melodic sense and powerfully honest voice, but with a new and mature honesty that emerged with 2017’s highly personal love letter to Vancouver, A Girl in Teen City.

Two weeks later, on Sunday April 10, the public will be treated to an intimate concert by Big Little Lions, the duo made up of Helen Austin from Vancouver Island and Paul Otten from Ohio. The two formed Big Little Lions in 2014 and have since created infectious folk-pop songs, racking up awards, nominations, accolades and numerous radio shows. Although they live on opposite sides of a closed border, the pandemic has not slowed their productivity, and they are very happy to appear together on stage again in front of a live audience.

Highway 19 Concerts continues to encourage and welcome families and young people to all concerts and is offering free tickets for kids accompanied by a paying adult and $5 tickets for teens, by emailing hwy19concerts

With current public health orders in place, Rivercity Stage is limited to 50% capacity, so tickets are limited. Masks are mandatory when not actively eating or drinking, and anyone 12 and older must show proof of vaccination to attend. Tickets for all shows are available at the Tidemark box office by phone, online or in person.

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