Singer-songwriters take centre stage at the Market Hall in Peterborough

Featuring Séan McCann and Craig Cardiff, Jeremy Fisher with Jim Bryson, Skydiggers, Pearls tribute to Carole King, along with Sultans of String and more

Market Hall Performing Arts Centre, featuring Peterborough's iconic clock tower, is located at 140 Charlotte Street in downtown Peterborough. (Photo: Bradley Boyle)
Market Hall Performing Arts Centre, featuring Peterborough's iconic clock tower, is located at 140 Charlotte Street in downtown Peterborough. (Photo: Bradley Boyle)

If you’re a fan of singer-songwriters, then you’ll want to check out what’s on offer at Peterborough’s Market Hall over the coming weeks.

This Friday (November 17th), singer-songwriters Séan McCann and Craig Cardiff are performing in a double bill on November 17th. Then folk singer-songwriter Jeremy Fisher performs on November 28, with folk-rockers Skydiggers bringing their acclaimed new record of mostly original songs on November 29th. On December 15th, Pearls — a tribute to songwriting icon Carole King — comes to the stage.

With Christmas is just around the corner, Market Hall is also presenting a special concert on November 26th by world musicians Sultans of String, who will be performing from their first-ever Christmas record.

For the religious or spiritually minded among us, Peterborough City Church continues its free Sunday morning services at the Market Hall, including a Christmas concert on December 22nd.

Enjoy great music while supporting one of downtown Peterborough’s non-profit performing arts venues by buying tickets for one or more of these upcoming shows. And there’s a lot more happening at the Market Hall, including theatre, speakers, dance, film, and more music. Visit for a list of all the upcoming events.

Séan McCann and Craig Cardiff – Friday, November 17 at 8 p.m.

Sean McCann and Craig Cardiff

For the first time ever, these two great Canadian singer-songwriters will be performing a double header when they come to the Market Hall on November 17th.

Séan McCann shot to international fame as a founding member of the renowned group Great Big Sea, which sold millions of albums, produced countless hit songs, and toured around the world. After 20 years with the band, Séan realized his personal demons (the sexual abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of a priest and his subsequent alcoholism) were holding him back.

He left the band and in 2014, released Help Your Self, marking the beginning of his healing process. McCann now using music as therapy, working with people who face physical, mental, and addiction challenges, and has become a sought-after speaker trying to help others to help themselves find light through the darkness. His most recent record, There’s a Place, was released this past September.

VIDEO: “Take Off My Armour” – Séan McCann

Craig Cardiff, from Arnprior, has been performing his own style of folk music for over two decades. He has recorded 16 albums, including his most recent Love Is Louder (Than All This Noise) Part 1 & 2. In 2012, Cardiff was nominated for a Juno Award for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year: Solo and for a Canadian Folk Music Award as Contemporary Singer of the Year.

Cardiff describes his music as “folk with a dash of sing-along and storytelling.” Blending the musical genres of folk, country, rock, and traditional, Cardiff’s lyrics always tell a story. He’s known his wide vocal range, engaging the audience during performances, and creating cohesive and emotional performances through his humour and storytelling.

While McCann and Cardiff have different approaches to music, both write on the theme of love. McCann’s songs focus on his struggles with abuse and addiction and his journey to recovery, with a positive message of forgiveness. Cardiff often writes about the human condition, with songs that reveal some of the most vulnerable moments in our lives.

VIDEO: “Love Is Louder” – Craig Cardiff

General admission tickets are $33 ($25 for students) and assigned cabaret table seats are available for $40. You can get tickets at the box office (140 Charlotte St., Peterborough, 705-749-1146) or order online at


Sultans of String Christmas Caravan – Sunday, November 26 at 8 p.m.

Sultans of String Christmas Caravan

Marking their 10th year on the road, world music performers Sultans of String — known for their fusion of Celtic, flamenco, gypsy, jazz, Arabic, Cuban, and South Asian grooves and rhythms — have released their first Christmas record, Christmas Caravan, and the band will be sharing it at the Market Hall on November 26th.

This isn’t your typical holiday album from the three-time Juno Award nominees and three-time Canadian Folk Music Awards winners. The genre-hopping record expands the traditional notion of Christmas music, injecting it with new-found energy and non-traditional sounds. You may recognize a few titles, but you’ve never experienced seasonal music quite like this before. Within the first week of its release, Christmas Caravan reached the #3 spot on Canada’s world music charts (Nielsen) and #6 spot on Billboard (world music).

“We wanted to make a real contribution to the Christmas repertoire and hopefully create some new standards,” says bandleader/violinist and Queens Diamond Jubilee recipient Chris McKhool. “This is a Christmas album, but approached from the perspective of a world-music band. We explored diverse genres, from Quebecois fiddle tunes to collaborating with a traditional Turkish string ensemble, and jump around from the classic sounds of the Andrews Sisters, to a Himalayan sleigh ride, African roots music, Gypsy-jazz, rumba flamenco, ska, and the grandeur of the symphony.”

VIDEO: “The Little Swallow (Carol of the Bells) / Al Vuelo” – Sultans of String

The record features some of the band’s favourite world musicians including Paddy Moloney (The Chieftains), Latin singers Ruben Blades and Luba Mason, jazz vocalist Nikki Yanofsky, Alex Cuba, Benoit Bourque (Bottine Souriante), Sweet Honey in the Rock, Cameroon’s Richard Bona (Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock), Mary Fahl (October Project), a recording collective of Turkish Roma violinists in Istanbul, Sudanese-Canadian singer Waleed Abdulhamid, Crystal Shawanda, sitar virtuoso Anwar Khurshid, hang drum player David Charrier from France, along with guest vocalist Rebecca Campbell (Bruce Cockburn, Emmylou Harris, Jane Siberry) — Rebecca will be joining Sultans of Swing for their Market Hall show.

General admission tickets are $25 and assigned cabaret table seats are $30. You can get tickets at the box office (140 Charlotte St., Peterborough, 705-749-1146) or order online at


Jeremy Fisher with special guest Jim Bryson – Tuesday, November 28 at 8 p.m.

Jeremy Fisher

Singer-songwriter and two-time Juno Award nominee Jeremy Fisher will be performing at the Market Hall on November 28th.

Fisher first performed under his birth name Jeremy Binns, with the band The Obvious, which released a self-titled record in 1999. He released his debut solo album Back Porch Spirituals in 2001, and spent six months touring from Seattle to Halifax by bicycle, covering 7,500 kilometres and performing 30 times. He released Let It Shine, his first album on a major label in 2004, producing the single “High School” that received wide airplay on Canadian commercial radio and music television in early 2005.

In 2007, he released the career-changing Goodbye Blue Monday with Hawksley Workman, which produced the single “Cigarette” (the YouTube video for the song has almost 2.5 million views). The record led to Fisher’s U.S. television debut on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in the summer of that year.

VIDEO: “Cigarette” – Jeremy Fisher

Fisher has now embarked on a 10th anniversary tour across Ontario to celebrate Goodbye Blue Monday, which includes the release of a limited vinyl re-mastered anniversary edition that will be available at the show.

“Goodbye Blue Monday is still a favourite at the merch table,” says Fisher. “I’ve always wanted to offer it in the format I believe sounds best. We’ve remastered it for vinyl and it’s been amazing to hear the record again the way I remember hearing playback in the studio.”

During his 10th anniversary tour, Fisher will be joined on stage by Hawksley Workman and Matt Ouimet.

Singer-songwriter Jim Bryson
Singer-songwriter Jim Bryson

Opening for Fisher is Canadian singer-songwriter Jim Bryson. A founding member of the band Punchbuggy, he released his debut solo album The Occasionals in 2000 and has gone on to release five more records, including his latest, 2016’s Somewhere We Will Find Our Place.

Bryson was also a member of Kathleen Edwards’s touring band (her song “I Make the Dough, You Get the Glory” is about him) and has toured and recorded with other artists including Howe Gelb, Lynn Miles, Sarah Harmer, The Weakerthans, Hilotrons, and The Tragically Hip.

VIDEO: “The Depression Dance” – Jim Bryson

Recently, Bryson has been recording and producing records for artists in his Fixed Hinge Studio he built in 2013. Some or the artists Bryson has worked with include Oh Susanna, Little Scream, The Skydiggers, and Kalle Mattson.

General admission tickets and assigned cabaret table seats are both $22 ($30 at the door). You can get tickets at the box office (140 Charlotte St., Peterborough, 705-749-1146) or order online at Tickets for tables 8 and 9 are being sold (cash only) at Moondance (425 George St. N., Peterborough, 705-742-9425).


Skydiggers – Wednesday, November 29 at 8 p.m.


Performing their unique blend of roots, folk, and rock, Juno award-winning Skydiggers has been a Canadian mainstay since the late 1980s. Best known for their hit single “I Will Give You Everything”, Skydiggers have solidified their place in the Canadian musical landscape as one of the best live bands on the circuit.

The band is touring in support of their ninth studio album, Warmth of The Sun, which was just released in October. It’s the band’s first album since 2014’s Here Without You – The Songs of Gene Clark (a tribute to Gene Clark and The Byrds) and their first album of original material since 2012’s Northern Shore.

The 12-track album, which reflects the group’s elemental guitar-based origins and plaintive layered vocal style, was recorded by longtime band associate Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies). Along with 10 original songs — including the title track, which was inspired by the late Gord Downie’s “Secret Path” — the album also includes a cover of “The Rock” (Tragically Hip) and “The Air That I Breathe” (The Hollies).

VIDEO: “Warmth of the Sun” – Skydiggers

“Skydiggers have returned with not only one of their best albums, but one of the best albums of the year,” writes Aaron Badgley in his review from The Spill Magazine. “After waiting for these many years, Skydiggers have returned and not disappointed.”

At the Market Hall show, you can expect to hear songs from the new record along with older tunes.

General admission tickets are $38 and assigned cabaret table seats are $43. You can get tickets at the box office (140 Charlotte St., Peterborough, 705-749-1146) or order online at


Pearls (A Tribute To Carole King) – Friday, December 15 at 8 p.m.

Pearls - A Tribute To Carole King

Carole King is without a doubt, one of the most successful female singer-songwriters in this history of pop music history, and Tribute band Pearls — named after King’s 1980 album — will be bringing her music to the Market Hall stage on December 15th.

Pearls’ lead singer Sarah Kennedy began her professional vocal career at the age of 15, and has been performing at festivals and events throughout Ontario ever since. She has a passion for blues, jazz and musical theatre and, of course, Carole King.

VIDEO: Pearls – A Tribute To Carole King

Pearls will take you back to the 1970s with their custom tribute to King’s beloved lyrics and melodies. The band will re-create King’s Grammy Award winning 1971 album Tapestry, along with other chart-toppers written by King and made famous by the Drifters, Monkees, Chiffons, James Taylor, and more.

Assigned seating tickets are $38 ($36 for seniors and $28 for students/children) and are available at the box office (140 Charlotte St., Peterborough, 705-749-1146) or order online at Tickets will also be available at the door for $39.


Sunday morning services with Peterborough City Church

Peterborough City Church

When you think of the Market Hall, you probably imagine performing arts rather than religious services. But the latter is one of the more innovative uses of the venue this year, after the formation of Peterborough City Church a year ago this month.

Pastors Chad Trivett and Sasha Trivett hold services every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. at Market Hall as part of their non-denominational church.

Both Trivetts are ordained with the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies, a pentecostal Christian association. They met at Toronto’s Tyndale University College and Seminary and eventually married. Just after getting married, they moved to Tokyo in Japan, where they started an international, interdenominational church.

In 2007, after spending six years in Tokyo (where their son Ari was born), they moved back to Sasha’s hometown in Peterborough to be closer to family, and decided to form another interdenominational church. Peterborough City Church was born.

Pastors Chad and Sasha Trivett (photos: Peterborough City Church)
Pastors Chad and Sasha Trivett (photos: Peterborough City Church)

But the Trivetts needed a location to hold their weekly services, and realized the Market Hall would be an ideal space. There’s also a connection between the church and the performing arts: Chad is in a band that performs contemporary music at the church.

Peterborough City Church offers “inspirational messages and music in an educational and engaging atmosphere where each can worship, pray and learn at their own pace.”

Upcoming services include “End Times: Ezekiel & the Aligning of the Nations” (November 19th), “End Times: Revelation & the Mark of the Beast” (November 26th), “Advent: The Pool of Bethesda” (December 3rd) and “Advent: Understanding Hanukkah” (December 10th). And at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 22nd, Peterborough City Church will be hosting a Christmas concert.

For a calendar of all Peterborough City Church services at the Market Hall, including topics and special speakers, visit