The Firehouse is Proud to Honour Canadian Rock Legend Neil Peart by KYLE PENN
It’s not often that you get the chance to rock out and do a bit of good all at the same time. Every once in a while, though, the opportunity presents itself, and we here at The Firehouse couldn’t be more thrilled to step into the limelight and be a part of action.
The underlying theme here, of course, revolves around fabled Canadian prog rock band Rush – and more specifically relates to the trio’s trailblazing drummer, percussionist, and primary lyricist, the late Neil Peart.
For those not in the know, Peart was much more than The Professor behind the drum kit; he was an author, an avid motorcyclist, and a philosopher to boot. More than that, Peart’s singularly technical and innovative approach to percussion inspired generations of drummers and musicians alike, with his precision and showmanship on full display every time he took a seat behind his kit – which often played host to upwards of 40 (yes, 40!) individual drums and instrumental components.
As Rush and Peart fans are both acutely aware, however, Neil passed away not long ago on January 7, 2020, after fighting an incredibly brave battle against glioblastoma (an aggressive form of brain cancer) that he had been grappling with in private for more than three years prior.
Peart is remembered in part by the powerful mantra he lived by; the question and standard he chose to measure himself up against: “What is the most excellent thing I can do today?” It was precisely this sort of thinking – and the razor-sharp creativity it inspired – that led him to stand as such a towering figure in both music and in life.
Inspired ourselves by Peart’s words, we chose to embrace some of that same energy and give back to the memory of the man who gave us so much through his music, his words, and his art by taking part in something truly…well, excellent!
The Langdon Firehouse is proud to host A Legacy in Bronze, an epic one-time event presented by Calgary’s preeminent Rush tribute band YYC Rush on June 25, 2023, with all proceeds going toward the Peart Family Memorial Fund.
A Legacy in Bronze is just one of many projects sponsored by the Peart Family Memorial Fund – which has in the past supported the RVH Foundation Cancer Centre in Barrie, ON; Hospice Muskoka: Andy’s House; and the Kristen French Advocacy Centre in St. Catharines, ON. This project is different, though, in that it aims to commemorate Peart through the creation of a pair of bronze statues to be built in tribute at Lakeside Park in St. Catharines, where he was inspired to pen the lyrics for the 1975 single of the same name.
The sculptures will memorialize Peart at two key points in his life: the first as a young drummer and lyricist in the 1970’s, and the second as an established musician in his later years. To make the whole thing even cooler, Sabian has committed to providing some of the cymbals that Peart himself actually played toward the endeavour, which will be melted down and incorporated into the construction of the statues. These sculptures will stand as monuments to Peart’s legacy and as reminders of the profound power of critical thought and creativity, working to inspire future generations of musicians and artists just as Peart himself found inspiration on those same shores so many years ago.
We couldn’t be prouder to open up The Firehouse to such a worthwhile cause and absolutely can’t wait for it all to go down. Doors start at 1pm on Sunday, June 25, with our friends at The Shop Live streaming the whole event – starting with performances by Rush YYC, the School of Rock Douglasdale House Band, and special guest performances by Claudia Santiago, Danny Bee, Danny Lauber, Glenn Baker, Greg Cox, Jamie Warren, Jaxon Smith, Keith Campbell, Matt Beatty, Matt Saxby, Rick Anderson, Olivia Ayres, April Rush, Sharkskin and Curt Muller. There’ll also be a hotly anticipated air drumming contest, the chance to bid on exclusive memorabilia through silent and live auctions, and even the opportunity for a special meet and greet with Neil’s sisters, Nancy and Judy Peart.
Talk about a chance to go about making memories.
As excited as we are to indulge in our deeply held love of Rush here at The Firehouse, we’re even more thrilled to be working directly with Nancy, Judy, and the larger Peart Family Memorial Fund to stand as the second Canadian location to host this incredible fundraising event. We also wanted to express our gratitude to Christian Dallaire, Shauna Rivait, Rick Anderson, and Berkley Barqs Shea for all their hard work in putting this event together, and to extend an extra big thank-you to Ethel Pittman and Patrick Arsenault for connecting with the Peart sisters to not only bring this event to Canada at large, but to host it direct from our stage specifically. We’re so proud to be given the opportunity to take part in honouring an absolute titan of the Canadian music scene and can’t wait to welcome Rush fans from across southern Alberta to The Firehouse.
Tickets are going for $21.12 (appropriately!) and are available on our website www.langdonfirehouse.com – come on out and help build a pivotal part of Canada’s music history, only on June 25 at the Langdon Firehouse Bar and Grill.