June 17th, 2019

Year in Review: Laughs, music and more music in 2016

By Charles Lefebvre on December 22, 2016.

Stand-up comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham chats with Walter about the origin of the name Medicine Hat in front of a sold-out crowd during a stop on his "Perfectly Unbalanced" tour the Canalta Centre on March 18. --NEWS FILE PHOTO


Medicine Hat News

Rock, country and comedy: Medicine Hat had a little bit of everything this year.

2016 saw the Canalta Centre post its first-ever sold out crowd and popular entertainers from around the world stopped by to perform for Hatters. The Stampede brought a group of legends for a sold-out concert and the Esplanade stayed busy with multiple shows, including a hometown girl getting back to her roots.

Here is what Hatters came out in droves to see in 2016.

Jeff Dunham

The ventriloquist and stand-up comic brought the first sell-out crowd to the Canalta Centre this past March while on his Perfectly Unbalanced Tour. Dunham, best known for his characters Walter, Peanut and Achmed the Dead Terrorist, had audiences young and old rolling in the aisles.

Johnny Reid

The Juno- and CCMA-Award winning musician brought his wildly successful “What Love Is All About” tour to the Canalta Centre on Feb. 12. A strong crowd of Hatters showed up to hear the Scottish-born singer perform his hits, including “Kicking Stones,” “Dance With Me” and “Fire It Up.”


In 1996, country legends Alabama set an attendance record for the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede, bringing 5,374 out for their concert. Twenty years later, the band best known for “Mountain Music,” “Dixieland Delight,” and countless other country hits returned to the Gas City to close out the Stampede for another sold-out show.

The Stampede also featured performances from John Michael Montgomery, and a Canadian rock music triple bill of April Wine, Chilliwack and Harlequin during the week.

Bryan Adams

Oh Yeah! The Canadian rock legend, whose hits “Cuts Like a Knife,” “Straight from the Heart” and “Summer of ’69” are staples on Canadian radio, brought his “Get Up” tour to the Canalta Centre this past November. The concert featured a full band and high-definition video screen as Adams played for nearly two hours. The concert was Adams’ first appearance in the city since his acoustic concert at the Esplanade in 2014.

Cars and Guitars

The Canalta Centre also played host to the first ever Cars and Guitars festival this summer. Nazareth and the Headpins took the stage on Friday July 22, while on July 23, a car show took over the parking lot in the afternoon and the evening finished with performances from Prism and Toronto.

Corb Lund

Lund, who calls southern Alberta home, made his first stop in Medicine Hat since 2010 in February, selling out the Esplanade. Lund, along with his backing band The Hurtin’ Albertans, performed a mix of classics through his career, as well as new songs from 2015’s “Things That Can’t Be Undone.”

Quonset Days

Seven Persons became a party capital in the prairies this summer, as the annual Quonset Days festival celebrated its seventh year July 22 and 23. The concert, held on the Biemans’ family acreage, has raised more than $300,000 for research into ALS since its inception. This year’s event saw Econoline Crush and the Chevelles play on Friday, while Kira Isabella, Bobby Wills and local country band Phoenix played on Saturday.

Terri Clark

Clark, who remains the only Canadian woman member of the Grand Ole Opry, made a return to her hometown of the Gas City for a pair of concerts at the Esplanade in October. Dubbed the “Back to my Roots” tour, the shows saw Clark perform stripped-down versions of her hit songs, as well as share stories behind the songs and answer audience questions.

Other entertainers of note in 2016: Dwight Yoakam, Jesse Cook, Gord Bamford, Joe Nichols, City and Colour, Shakey Graves, Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach, Sixx A.M., Our Lady Peace, I Mother Earth, Hedley, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Trews, Holiday Festival on Ice, Platinum Blonde, Red Green, Fred Penner, Nick Carter, Coleman Hell, Washboard Union, Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters, Marty Stuart, Ziggy Marley, Alex Cuba, Moon vs. Sun and Cirque Alfonse.

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