It’s shaping up to be one memorable summer for casinos in Canada.
With online wagering taking center stage of late, patrons may have forgotten about the fun awaiting at land-based Canada casinos. But with comedy shows, sporting matches and concerts all in the mix – entertainment options are plentiful. With COVID-19 restrictions easing – more events and bigger names could be announced in the upcoming months.
PlayCanada looks at what Canada’s biggest casinos have on the go this summer.
Ontario casino events: Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder and Tina Turner
With the largest population in the country, unsurprisingly, Ontario has more casinos than any other province.
And with that comes the best entertainment options. One of the main venues to watch is Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls. Fallsview will host musical greats, including Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart and Lady Gaga. Dubbed the Legends in Concert (June 8-16), this event may be the summer’s main event.
However, Caesars Windsor, a location popular with Detroit residents and locals alike, is another option. Grammy award-winning electronic artist, Tiesto, will bring the noise on July 1 to celebrate Canada Day.
But, if patrons aren’t in the dancing mood, then Canada’s oldest casino also has you covered. Comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias takes the mic on July 8.
Quebec casino events: Boxing champ Eleider “Storm” Alvarez
Quebec has the largest-land-based casino in the country, Casino de Montreal. This summer, events representing that grandeur and spanning boxing, comedy and musical performances (and more) await.
Gala de Boxe GYM goes down on June 2 and features former light-heavyweight world champion, Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (25-2, 13 KOs). Tickets start at $100.
But, there are also many free show options, including musical performances by DJ Montana and Off the Wall.
Not to be outdone, Casino du Lac-Leamy (Gatineau, Que.) has many performers paying homage to its province’s roots. None of which could be grander than Broue. The theatrical performance blends entertainment and comedy with a colourful cast of characters set in pre-referendum Quebec. According to Casino du Lac-Leamy, Broue was first performed in 1979 and continues to be a source of pride to many Quebecers.
If none of that sounds like you, visitors to Montreal can also enjoy the stunning L’International des Feux Loto-Quebec firework show (Montreal Fireworks Festival).
British Columbia casino events: DJs and trivia, so far
Despite being one of the premier gambling spots in the country, British Columbia’s casino entertainment options are surprisingly sparse this summer.
The Grand Villa Casino offers an alternating schedule of DJ Dimitri and DJ Delirious every Friday night in May. Come June and July – thus far – only a Smarty Pints Trivia Nights is scheduled for patrons.
Unfortunately, few details exist for any of the events.
One would think Cascades Casino Resort in Langley might offer some exciting outings. But as of publication, no notable events are on the calendar.
Regardless, both casinos offer huge ground floor spreads, with the Cascades having over 70,000 square feet of gambling space. Even if entertainment options are limited, the gaming experience alone could be enough.
Alberta casino events: Ice Wars, Oilers bring different elements to summer appeal
Hockey will be reinvented this summer at the River Cree Resort in Edmonton, Alberta.
Ice Wars – a fitting moniker – is a ‘revolutionary combat sport’ featuring hockey’s most brutal enforcers. Only there is no hockey involved, just straight brawling.
Each bout goes two minutes with potential 30-second overtime in this eight-man tournament. Fighters are yet to be named, but the event is on May 21.
If you’re into the more traditional puck style, River Cree also has Edmonton Oilers playoff watch parties. Games play on some of the biggest screens in the Edmonton area.
But of course, the continuation of this event is dependent on the Oilers’ results (i.e., not getting eliminated).
Non-sports fans can also get their fix. The current cast of the Emmy-nominated TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? will appear on June 17. A few days earlier (June 10), TV host personality Howie Mandel will take center stage.
Saskatchewan casino events: Pay tribute to Elton John, Kiss and Elvis
Casino Regina is taking it old school this summer. Multiple tribute performances will honour some of the greats in the music industry.
Here are some of the notable dates:
- Elton Rohn – A Tribute to Elton John (May 26)
- Destroyer – A Tribute to Kiss (May 28)
- Tennessee River – A Tribute to Alabama (June 9, 10)
- The Sweet Caroline Tour: A Tribute to Neil Diamond (July 13)
- Rory Allen – I’ll Remember You, Tribute to Elvis (July 21)
But every once in a while, the real deal will still take the stage.
And Matthew Good – from the Matthew Good Band – does his Solo Acoustic Tour on May 29. The Canadian singer – and his group – broke onto the scene in the ’90s with their distinctive alt-rock sound.
Manitoba casino events: Former SNL star, David Spade, headed to Manitoba
There are 10 casinos in Manitoba. The biggest venue is in Winnipeg at the Club Regent Casino. As of publication, there are no special events at the location. But there is plenty of concerts and comedy to be had.
Dave Spade’s June 26 appearance is a bright spot. The American actor is a stand-up comedian and television host. He was a cast member of Saturday Night Live in the 1990s.
And following Alberta, Whose Line Is It Anyway? (June 4) and Howie Mandel (June 12) will also make their way to the province.
New Brunswick casino events: showing local love
Once we hit New Brunswick casinos, summer events get more sparse and mainstream names are few and far between. Partly that’s because the province only has three casinos. But it can still make for a lovely summer evening if you’re looking for authentic New Brunswick vibes.
Casino New Brunswick (Moncton) has a variety of events under its “Hub City Pub Free Night” promotion. But whether everyday folk would know the acts is debatable.
One event that may interest locals is Lisa Richard performing on May 21. Richard is a local country singer and songwriter. She will be releasing her album, Promises Kept, on May 27, so the show makes for a good prelude.
Are you feeling wilder? Then head to Grey Rock Casino in Saint-Basile to catch a drag show on May 28.
Nova Scotia casino events: Two-time Juno winner Old Man Luedecke joins the circle
In Nova Scotia, there are a pair of summer event options at Casino Nova Scotia Halifax.
First up is Bruce Guthro’s Songwriters Circle. That goes down May 27-28 and is a 19-plus event.
Special guests Lennie Gallant, Breagh Isabel and two-time Juno winner Old Man Luedecke will all partake.
Next, Chris Connor and Pete Paquette will do their best Elvis Presley impersonations. The pair will don their blue suede shoes for a tribute event to the King of Rock and Roll on June 3-4.
P.E.I casino events: Slots, racetrack and table bets best options
PEI has a casino? Yes, it does. Two, in fact.
The biggest one, Red Shores Racetrack and Casino, is in Charlottetown. It has 200 slots, horse racing bets and four table games.
But is it offering any special summer entertainment events this season? Not really.
However, patrons could hit up Red Hot Trivia Nights. It’s a three-hour slot (8:30-11 p.m.) every Saturday night that could make for some fun.
Otherwise, the racetrack or table games are your best bet.