McDermott brings Christmas show to BAC

Article Sidebar

Article content

It’s Christmas with a decidedly Celtic twist, with some fresh voices added to the mix.

Scottish-born Canadian tenor John McDermott performs at the Brockville Arts Centre next Friday, with special guests the award-winning duo Dala, in support of McDermott’s latest Christmas album, Maybe This Christmas.

“I think every five years I’ve been doing a Christmas album,” McDermott said in a telephone interview Friday.

His latest Christmas offering brings a Celtic sound to such classics as O Come All Ye Faithful, Good King Wenceslas and that most Canadian of carols, the Huron Carol.

This time, McDermott is performing with Juno nominees and winners of the 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year, Dala, the duo of Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine.

Dala, from left, Sheila Carabine and Amanda Walther, are John McDermott’s guests on the Christmas tour. (SUBMITTED PHOTO BY OLIVIA BROWN)

Two best friends who met in their high school music class in 2002, the women have since released five albums and toured extensively across North America.


Story continues below
This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.

Article content continued

McDermott said he first discovered the Dala duo during a Gordon Lightfoot benefit concert at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studios in Toronto in 2017.

Dala joined McDermott on his Christmas tour last year and McDermott got the idea to include them in his latest Christmas album.

“I thought, yeah, this is a perfect fit,” he recalled. “It’s just a sound that is very unique to them.”
Since McDermott’s Christmas tour audience is family-based, the younger performers bring it a multi-generational appeal.

“It’s just a nice kind of breath of fresh air,” he said.

The Dala singers bring that same energy to the album, with songs of their own and a particularly moving contribution to Silent Night.

McDermott, an international recording artist, gained fame with his first album, Danny Boy, which sold well in Canada and the U.S. and reached number one in New Zealand.

That success led to his participation in the PBS phenomenon The Irish Tenors. He has gone on to record numerous albums.

Speaking before he headed to a performance in Chicago, McDermott said there is a universality to Celtic music fans that transcends borders.

“They all come from that same background, that same walk of life.”

While McDermott is known for many standards, this tour is all about the season, he said, promising “a real, in-your-face Christmas show.”


Who: John McDermott, accompanied by special guests Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine of Dala.

When: Friday, December 14 at 7 p.m.

Where: Brockville Arts Centre

Tickets: $43.50 + HST. For more information, please call 613-342-7122 or go online to