As we say farewell to another year we thought it would be fun to look back at 20 (in no particular order) of our favourite moments, in pictures, from across Canada.

BIG WRECK – Barrymore’s Music Hall – Ottawa (photo: Dave Di Ubaldo)

Ian Thornely of Big Wreck performing at the iconic Barrymore’s in Ottawa. This was a special shot to me, not only because Thornley is a huge influence for me, but because I grew up idolizing Barrymore’s as a venue, and this was one of the first rock shows they put on this decade there.

Anderson-Paak – Chasing Summer Music Festival, Calgary (photo: Dave Di Ubaldo)

Anderson Paak performs at the Chasing Summer Music Festival in Calgary, Alberta photo Dave DiUbaldo

Something about festival atmosphere feeds my soul. This was my first outdoor concert in my new home of Alberta, and it was a great experience.Crowds were friendly, breakdancers tore up cardboard on the sidelines, the weather was great, and the performers were on point. Looking forward to this one again next year!

DIXIE CHICKS – Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa (photo: Ron Pettitt)

This show was my first time shooting in Canadian Tire Centre and it was something to remember….the big league. The Dixie Chicks were a great act to break in with also. I have worked hard to achieve my goals and would like to thank Hendrik and the gang at Sound Check for the opportunities to live out my dreams. I look forward to a great 2018 with Sound Check.

A Tribe Called Red – The Juno Awards, Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa (photo: Dave Di Ubaldo)

A good third of my top portfolio from this year came out of one weekend. The Junos were an incredible honour to shoot. It’s a testament to what you can achieve through perseverance and hard work that a mere two years after I started this photography journey I would be one of 12 photographers covering the largest music awards show in the country. I chose this image because of the powerful message that A Tribe Called Red is sharing.

FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE – Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa (photo: Laura Collins)

Florida Georgia Line perform at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa photo Laura Collins

This was my first big arena show that I was shooting for SCE and FGL was known to use pyro during their show. We were only allowed to shoot from the soundboard and the autofocus on my new lens died five minutes into the show. I managed to get some shots I was happy with and this one was the one that stood out the most from the few. These guys put on one hell of a show!

KIP MOORE – Trackside Music Festival, London (photo: Kayla Winkworth)

Kip Moore performs at the Trackside Music Festival in London, ON photo Kayla Winkworth

Trackside Festival takes over London Ontario every Canada Day long weekend and this year we were lucky enough to catch Kip Moore in all his sleeveless glory. Kip is known for his intimate bar and storyteller style of show but man he did not disappoint on the big stage. Kip is not only an incredible performer but his ability to connect with a crowd through his song writing is definitely what makes this guy so special.

DEAN BRODY – Canada Day on Parliament Hill in Ottawa (photo: Renée Doiron)

Dean Brody performs at the Canada 150 celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa photo Renee Doiron

What a pleasure it was to join the estimated 30,000 other Canadians on Parliament Hill for the Royal Visit and 150th Canada Day Celebrations. It was even more of a pleasure to bypass the crazy security lines and make our way to the front of the pack to stand beside Canadian and British media. We were treated to an all-star Canadian line-up that included Bono and the Edge, Justin and Sophie Trudeau, Gordon Lightfoot, and a special performance by Cirque du Soleil. B.C. native Dean Brody, pictured above, brought down the house every time he launched into the chorus of his mega hit Canadian Girls. I chose this picture because it was the most patriotic that I took that night. Vive le Canada!

TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS – 40th Anniversary Tour, Buffalo NY (photo: Mike Sansano)

Tom Petty performs in Buffalo, NY photo Mike Sansano

Likely one of the most poignant shoots of 2017 was Tom Petty in Buffalo, NY. Little did we know then it would be  the last time we’d ever get a chance to shoot Petty before his untimely death later in the year.

TIM HICKS – Ottawa RBC Bluesfest (photo: Renée Doiron)

The crown jewel of Ottawa summer music festivals is without a doubt RBC Bluesfest. Every year we wait with anticipation for the line-up to be announced and rarely are we disappointed. Bluesfest, held on the great lawn of the Ottawa War Museum has something for everyone – from hip hop to jazz, pop to hard rock. The mot charismatic of the acts often wear cowboy hats and sing with a twang. Although he is more known for wearing ballcaps, Tim Hicks’ high every show never disappoints. When you find an artist who not only is willing to have his photo taken but actually embraces it by pointing straight at you, magic happens.

RISE AGAINST – Grey Eagle, Calgary (photo: Dave Di Ubaldo)

Rise Against it Calgary’s Grey Eagle resort was one of my top shows for the year. The energy this band leaves on the stage is second only to that which the crowd gives back to them. The shows that I enjoy watching more than I enjoy shooting are rare, and always stick out in my mind. Looking forward to the great line-up of artists already booked at this great venue!

KISS – Casino Rama, Toronto (photo: Sue Hebert)

A highlight of my concert photography experience was to photograph KISS at Casino Rama. It wasn’t your typical 3 songs set, but rather 2 songs. However that gave me ample amount of time to get great shots of the evening. KISS catered to the photographers and made it an experience of a lifetime. Walking away from the pit after the show a sudden surge of adrenalin ran through my body, knowing I had just experienced one of the most magical moments that all concert photographers strive for.

ALICE COOPER – Budweiser Stage, Toronto (photo: Ron Pettitt)

Alice Cooper performs at Budweiser Stage in Toronto, photo Ron Pettitt

About 16,000 other fans and I went to see Alice Cooper play the Budweiser Stage in September. For me, it was certainly a bucket list act, Alice is one of the first groups I got into as a young teenager in Kingston. To get the chance not only to see him, but to photograph, and from the pit no less, was like Christmas to me. I had seen Alice before, but this was different, it was close-up and the energy was electric. People were wearing Alice makeup and t-shirts all over the place. For many of the big hits from the 70s, the audience sang right along. There is still a place in Rock’n’Roll music for the classics, Glad to see it. Between acts,a young teenager came over and was trying to take a picture of a pick that he got when Nita Strauss tossed it into the crowd. He was going to tweet it out for his friends. I talked to him for a few minutes and he explained to me how he came to own the pick. What a great story, it made me feel good, it was like talking to a younger version of me.

MIDNIGHT OIL – Budweiser Stage, Toronto (photo: Angel Marchini)

Midnight Oil’s galvanizing music is what first attracted me to them. They’ve never sounded like any other band. However it’s the group’s social conscience and uplifting message that made them relevant for me in the 90’s as well as today!

Pat Garrett has always been at the forefront of making music that can change the world.

KIRA ISABELLA – Crazy Horse, Ottawa (photo: Dale Sinclair)

Kira Isabella performs at the Crazy Horse Bar and Grill Parking Lot Party photo Dale Sinclair

In August, the Crazy Horse Steakhouse & Saloon hosted Kira Isabella in a Outdoor Parking Lot Party. It was a great pop-up event, with warm summer temperatures, food, lots of cowboy hats, boots and beer at the Kanata Centrum in the west end of Ottawa. I love top notch artists in small venues for the atmosphere, local community appeal, reasonable ticket prices and accessibility. If I could shoot every concert I attended in a small outdoor venue like this, I wouldn’t think twice about filling up my weekend calendar. ~dale

COLD CREEK COUNTY – Lucknow Music in the Fields, (photo: Kayla Winkworth)

We wrapped up our summer festival season this year with Lucknow’s Music in the Fields takeover of Graceland in Lucknow Ontario and what a weekend it was! One of our highlights of the weekend was Cold Creek County taking the stage with their high energy set as always.  This was one of my favourite sets I’ve ever shot of Cold Creek County. Dougie is definitely one of the most entertaining drummers to watch because he is always locked in and up on his feet any chance he gets back behind the kit getting the crowd fired up even from a far. These guys never cease to amaze me when it comes to their crowd interaction, dance moves, and of course the raw talent that just streams out of each and every one of them.

GUNS AND ROSES – TD Place Stadium, Ottawa (photo: Renée Doiron)

Guns N’ Roses perform at TD Place in Ottawa photo Renee Doiron

Guns and Roses were not late to their own party and did not disappoint the 24,000 fans who gathered in the nation’s capital to catch their Not in this Lifetime tour. We were absolutely thrilled to be among the very few select outlets accredited to shoot and review the larger than life show (thanks TD Place!). Axl hasn’t lost the voice and Slash more than proved that he continues to be a master of his craft throughout the entire performance.

ARCH ENEMY – MTELUS, Montreal (photo: Landon Entwistle)

During a stormy November night in Montreal as 2300 eager fans descended upon the sold-out Metropolis (MTELUS) for a night full of head banging and moshing. An eruption of cheers began as Arch Enemy, led by the electric hometown frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz took to the stage giving the audience a nod and a stare of approval. What followed was a 90 minute onslaught of metal, marking one of the best metal shows of the year.

BRETT KISSELL – We Day, Ottawa (photo: Els Durnford)

This show was extra special. Not only did We Day bring together many of Ottawa’s youngest leaders, but following his performance, Brett and Warner Music Canada invited us to an exclusive listening party preview for his latest album We Were That Song. Shooting a live performance followed by an intimate meet and greet always makes the day that much more memorable!

SHANIA TWAIN – Grey Cup Halftime Show, Ottawa (photo: Renée Doiron)

What better way to cap off the year than finding out at the 11th hour that we were accredited to cover the 105th Grey Cup halftime show in Ottawa. And who better to celebrate this monumental event with than miss Shania. My fingertips froze and I had trouble finding the buttons on my camera in the frigid temperature, but I managed to snap a few of the Canadian Queen of Pop Country including this one. We were warned to stay back on the field and give the dogs some room to turn around. We weren’t sure what that meant until we followed the spotlight and saw her making her entrance in all her sparkly splendor in her dogsled chariot. A moment this photographer will never ever forget.

EDITOR’S PICK – NORTHERN PIKES – Ma-te-Way Activity Centre, Renfrew (photo: Jeff Partrick)

The Northern Pikes perform in Renfrew photo by Jeff Partrick













I guess it’s fair that the final pick goes to our editor and founder, Hendrik Pape. The reason I’m picking this shot of the Northern Pikes is because it was a bit of nostalgia for me. Growing up in small town Northern Ontario we never got any big name acts but I remember back in the early 80s this group of guys from Saskatchewan came to town, they were the Northern Pikes. Seeing them again nearly 40 years later was amazing, having my 9 year old son with me, to be able to introduce him to a band that influenced my love for music, was priceless.

The whole thing came about very last minute when the photographer who was originally slated to cover the show took ill and we had to scramble to find someone. Luckily enough I was able to make it to Renfrew to review the show that night but we still needed a photographer, right at the wire we tracked down Jeff Partrick who came out and nailed his first shoot for Sound Check Entertainment perfectly capturing one of the most memorable concerts I attended in 2017.

That’s our year in review. It was an impossible task going through hundreds upon hundreds of photos from the last 12 months and narrowing them down to just 20 and these 20 are just a small taste of what we covered in the last year. 2018 is already shaping up to be equally exciting with some new tours and some old favourites coming onto the radar all before festival season kicks off in the spring. We hope you’ll join us!