Canada Rock Fest Owner Talks Artists and more


(Image provided by Facebook: Canada Rock Fest)

Canada Rock Fest's sixth installation and eighth year running is ready to hit Grand Forks this summer after taking some time off through the pandemic.

The Bounce Radio Newsroom heard from Owner and Organizer Chuck Varabioff back in January regarding a provincial funding grant. Just over two months later the line-up and location is set with artists including 54-40, April Wine, Snake Oil, Starship, former Journey lead singer Steve Augeri and more.

Varabioff tells Bounce News that night-two’s Theory of a Deadman performance took some sorting out as the Festival is in-between their others shows below the border:

“Basically we were going back and forth for over a month with them trying to get a deal done, because a lot of deals right now; not a lot (but), all of the bands right now are in super high demand….”

He says to expect a busy first week of August in Grand Forks:

“Hopefully they don’t run out of gas and all the essentials this year again but I think the City’s more prepared this time. There will be shuttle buses going from the campground and all the hotels to bring people downtown to enjoy all the shops and services.”

Other performers include Our Lady Peace, Big Wreck, Toque, Bachman & Cummings and Dirty Honey.

As for local performers, Varabioff says part of this year's event will commemorate the late Jan DeHaan, former art teacher and member of the local Alley Cats musical group:

“Absolutely we will be doing a little moment of silence. He was a big part of the festival and we had actually been in discussions to have them back for a show this year as one of the opening acts. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen now.”

Canada Rock Fest was previously called Cannafest and was temporarily branded as Titans of Rock back when Gene Simmons had planned to step in. When the last Grand Forks festival had to be cancelled Varabioff considered whether or not he could handle another run through the process.