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Critic's picks: Philharmonic; Gord Bamford; Econoline Crush

Times Colonist arts writer Mike Devlin picks his favourite upcoming shows, including the Victoria Philharmonic Choir’s performance of The Dream of Gerontius on Saturday.
U.K. tenor Joshua Ellicott will perform June 3 at Christ Church Cathedral. SANE SEVEN

The Dream of Gerontius

Where: Christ Church Cathedral, 930 Burdett Ave.
When: Saturday, June 3, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $38.61 from

Why: Conductor Peter Butterfield leads the Victoria Philharmonic Choir through a performance of The Dream of Gerontius on Saturday, a program that includes appearances from U.K. tenor Joshua Ellicott, baritone Nathaniel Watson, mezzo-soprano Sarah Fryer,. and an orchestra of more than 30 musicians. The show kicks off the choir’s Re-Connect Festival, which runs until July 8 at various venues — few more showstopping than Christ Church Cathedral, where The Dream of Gerontius, composed in 1900 by Edward Elgar from a poem by John Henry Newman, will be performed this weekend.

Gord Banford

Where: Charlie White Theatre, 2243 Beacon Ave., Sidney
When: Monday, June 5, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $71.40 from

Why: One of the most decorated performers in Canadian Country Music Awards history, with 26 career nominations, Alberta singer-songwriter Gord Bamford is bringing his Canadian Dirt tour to the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney on Monday. The Dive Bar hitmaker is touring to support his 10th album, Fire it Up, which is being supported with a massive cross-Canada trek. Bamford (along with opening act, Teigen Gayse) performs a string of Vancouver Island dates (Friday at The Waverley in Cumberland; Saturday at The Queens in Nanaimo; and Sunday at Kinsmen Community Centre in Port Alberni) before stopping in Sidney for the last B.C. date on this run.

Econoline Crush

Where: Upstairs Cabaret, 15 Bastion Sq.
When: Saturday, June 3, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $25 ($30 at the door) from

Why: Econoline Crush frontman Trevor Hurst might be the only original member of the Vancouver rock band who is on the road at the moment, but the presence of longtime guitarist Ziggy Sigmund will weigh heavy on the band’s first tour in more than a decade. Sigmund died last year, but not before playing on two songs which are included on the band’s new album, When the Devil Drives. It’s a reference to the biggest album of Econoline Crush’s career (1997’s The Devil You Know) and a throwback to a retro strain of radio-friendly rock — one that still packs a punch in concert.

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