Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Page tours northwestern Ontario

By Randy Thoms Nov 8, 2023 | 4:19 PM

Image: Johnathan Price/Acadia Broadcasting

The former frontman of the Barenaked Ladies is making his rounds across northwestern Ontario.

Stephen Page is now performing as a trio but still sings some of the hits he enjoyed with his former bandmates.

He says it is important to do so.

“They remind them of good times in their life, or they remind them of specific memories. So I feel like, in a way, it’s really important to play a lot of that stuff. So I play The Old Apartment and Brian Wilson and What a Good Boy, lots of those kinds of old classic Barenaked Ladies hits. Then I dig into the deep cuts from the BNL records, too, because there are people who’ve just lived with those albums, and the music still means a lot to me. But I also want to kind of catch up with people,” says Page.

He left the Barenaked Ladies in 2009 to embark on a solo career.

Page doesn’t foresee him rejoining the band anytime soon.

“I’m not really in control of whether I’m with the other guys or not. We split apart 15 years ago. We did the one reunion at the Juno Awards in 2018, which was a lot of fun. But honestly, I don’t think they have any interest in working with me again. I’ve got to be honest about that. I wish them well, and if the opportunity came up again, I’m sure on a short-term, one-off thing, I would be very happy to do it,” says Page.

Stephen Page performs at the Townshend Theatre in Fort Frances, November 7, 2023. Image: Johnathan Price

The Barenaked Ladies made several visits to Thunder Bay, including a performance at the Boy Scout Jamboree in 1997.

For Page, the tour marks the first time he has played in many of the region’s smaller communities.

“For us, we’ve never had the opportunity to play these smaller communities. Quite often, you just drive past them on the Trans Canada highway, and that’s it. This opportunity came up for us to play eight communities in the northwest of Ontario, and it’s like, yes, of course. All we needed was somebody to ask and for us to be able to set aside the dates to do it. We’re having a blast just coming through and getting to meet people where they live rather than them having to come long distances to come see us and just being treated so well, welcomed so warmly.”

Page is joined on the tour by guitarist Craig Northey from The Odds and Kevin Fox on cello.

Page and Northey also perform as part of a band called the Trans Canada Highwaymen with Mo Berg of The Pursuit of Happiness fame and Chris Murphy from Sloan.

They recently released an album with their rendition of some of the top Canadian songs from the 1960s and 70s.

Page opened his tour in Geraldton at the beginning of the month, with stops in Thunder Bay, Atikokan, Fort Frances, Kenora, Red Lake, Dryden and Sioux Lookout.
It wraps up on Monday.