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Ex-Bad Company singer headlines

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Iroquois Falls’ Igloo will be rockin’ this month, as the Abitibi Eskimos host its inaugural Rock the Igloo concert.The event replaces the annual Paperfest, operated the past few years by Access Transit.

“When the opportunity came to take over Paperfest, we felt it would be great for the community, as well as a great way to raise money for the hockey team,” explained organizer and Eskis’ board member Ryan Lougheed. “It was a nice way for us to tie in the hockey theme with new branding and a new event.”

Set for Saturday, July 23 at the Jus Jordan Arena (also known as The Igloo) in Iroquois Falls, Rock the Igloo will feature a motorcycle show-and-shine, as well as various events which may include a slo-pitch or spongepuck tournament.

The highlight will be a concert performance featuring former Bad Company lead singer Brian Howe.

The British vocalist was Bad Company’s lead singer from 1986 to 1994. During that period, the group released four studio albums including Holy Water which was a massive commercial success. Prior to joining Bad Company, Howe was a vocalist with Ted Nugent’s band. He was the lead singer on Nugent’s 1984 release Penetrator and during that album’s subsequent tour.

It is expected Howe will perform a number of Bad Company’s hits at the Igloo show including the title track from Holy Water and earlier tracks like Can’t Get Enough, and Ready for Love.

“He’s the perfect fit for the event,” said Lougheed. “He’s currently on a Canadian circuit, he had a new solo album out last year, so him playing Rock the Igloo made sense.”

Lougheed said the arena is the “perfect venue” for this type of concert.

“The entertainment brought to the North over the past few years has been exceptional. There’s no festival within a two-hour radius of Iroquois Falls that has brought in a higher calibre of entertainment with rock and country acts.

“It’s something that people look forward to every year.”

 Organizers are hoping Rock the Igloo will grow into a full-fledged festival.

“We don’t really have a fundraising goal this year. Our plan was to work it into a festival, and this being the starting year, we’re just looking to get it off the ground and get some exposure.”

Howe’s opening act will be determined with a Rock Band Rumble on Friday, July 22, pitting various local bands against each other for the opportunity.

Lougheed said money raised from the event will go toward the Abitibi Eskimos, a hockey team that costs over $300,000 a year.

“There are various things that we fundraise for, like transportation, billeting for the players, equipment, and ice time.”

The Igloo has hosted a number of successful concerts with nationally recognized artists in recent years include Travis Tritt, Terri Clark, and Kim Mitchell.

Tickets for Rock the Igloo are on sale now, for $25 each. They are available in Timmins at East End Service Centre and Alfie’s Cigars, and in Iroquois Falls at Rick’s Hi-Fi, LNC Esso, The Myna and Lynn’s Variety.

Tickets are also available for Friday’s Rock Band Rumble for $5 each.