Aurora is a Canadian company that produces and distributes medical marijuana and prides itself on acting ethically while providing patients with good-quality, affordable product. This summer, Aurora is putting on a national series of free concerts to celebrate cannabis culture and the imminent legalization of marijuana through music and arts.
The concert series boasts a host of over 20 well-known acts, old and new, including The Cult, Kings of Leon, Phantogram, Arkells, Thrice, City and Colour, and Post Malone. One of the series events will be taking place at the Yukon Arts Centre, in Whitehorse, and will feature Sam Roberts Band with local talent Speed Control as an opening act.
With six Juno awards to their name, Sam Roberts and his Montréal-formed band are currently riding a wave of success off of their sixth studio album, 2016’s Terraform. For Roberts, himself, the album contains personal meaning that can apply to almost any listener as well.
“Terraforming is the idea of going to another planet and making it viable for humans,” said Roberts in a press release for the album. “For this record, I saw it.
“I saw it as planting the seeds for that same sort of renewal in your own life—that regardless of how much you have broken the parts of your life, along the way, there is always a chance to start over… for yourself and the people you care about. Most of these songs are love songs but love songs that grapple with its many faces—beautiful and ugly, healing and destructive.”
Having achieved recognition all around Canada and outside, Whitehorse seems a place the Sam Roberts Band would have had to eventually grace. The Aurora Illumination Series provides them with the opportunity to do so. Sam Roberts Band has taken part in other sponsored shows before, where they have celebrated Canadian Hockey Culture, performed for university students and even helped raise funds to combat Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
For the openers, Speed Control, the offer to share a stage with Sam Roberts Band was one that couldn’t be declined. “It’s a pretty amazing opportunity, especially in a hometown setting,” said Jody Peters, who plays bass and sings for the trio. “We don’t play in Whitehorse a lot, simply because we’re on the road.
“Having a chance to play here, with a killer rock band, in an awesome venue, is a chance we’re not gonna pass up!”
It has been debated among artists and fans whether or not people with influence have a responsibility or duty to use that influence to spread messages while becoming role models for fans. Especially young musicians, is not always something musicians necessarily sign up for, it is a weight that is put onto their shoulders.
The Aurora Illumination Series capitalizes on the idea of artists using their influence for a cause, as with the legalization of marijuana, in Canada, on its way. It is important for people to have an understanding of what the drug does, and a medical producer like Aurora has a duty to increase knowledge and understanding among its patients and the public. While the Aurora Illumination Series is intended to be a celebration, it can also be more than that, stepping up to the plate to provide an educational opportunity.
The shows in the series are free—but this means those who wish to attend must enter a draw to win their tickets. The chances of winning depend entirely on the number of entries. The Sam Roberts Band and Speed Control show in Whitehorse will be held July 25 at the Yukon Arts Centre, with doors opening at 7 p.m. For a chance to win tickets, enter the draw on www.illuminationseries.ca and visit the site for more information. All shows in the Aurora Illumination Series are for people 19 years of age or older only.