Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Local legends Jon and Roy gear up for 14th annual Holiday Special at Royal Theatre


Jon and Roy have become a cornerstone of Victoria’s music scene, and every year they try to reciprocate that love through their annual Holiday Special.  

This year will be the 14th rendition of the event. 

Jon and Roy began back in 2003 with Jon Middleton on guitar and vocals and Roy Vizer on the drums. Since then, the band has expanded to include additional members to fully flesh out the duo’s sound. 

They now have nine albums under their belt and still remain active, even though they are all busy with other projects and endeavours, including Middleton being one half of another Victoria famous band, Ocie Elliott. 

While on tour with Ocie Elliott, Victoria Buzz reached out to Middleton to ask what people can expect from this year’s Holiday Special.

“We wanted to start an annual musical event that celebrated the spirit of the season without being tied to Christmas itself,” Middleton told Victoria Buzz. 

“It’s always been the same kind of a concert — a celebration of music, focused on a revue-style show, showcasing different acts performing.” 

The annual show used to be held at the Alix Goolden Hall, but the audience quickly outgrew that venue. Despite the venue change, the format of the show has always remained the same.

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“Generally, we have three or four musical acts perform 15 to 20 minute sets, and then we headline the event,” Middleton explained. 

“Every year we try to create a line-up that is musically interesting and engaging and this year is no different.”

“[This year] we have the wonderful Wyatt C. Louis, an up and coming Nêhiyaw folk musician based out of Calgary. As well, we have the incredible Billianne, who is also a young up and coming artist from Toronto with a very powerful voice. Lastly, we have hometown heroes, The Bankes Brothers, a great band,” he continued. 

Middleton says that the Bankes Brothers are likely going to bring along some “very special guests.” 

Jon and Roy told Victoria Buzz that over the years they have gotten to play alongside some of his favourite artists, with some highlights being when he shared the stage with Damien Jurado and Bahamas in 2012, Buck 65’s hosting and sets in 2013 and The Cave Singers who played the Special just a few years ago.

“It would be very cool to be able to get Timbre Timbre to perform, or Robin Pecknold [of Fleet Foxes],” Middleton said when ruminating on what his dream artists to play the Holiday Special would be. 

Because the show happens every year, Jon and Roy try to keep things fresh for their fans. Middleton says they will be playing a completely different setlist than last year’s event with the exception of three or four fan-favourites. 

This is a highlight of the holiday season for many Victorians and it sells out in advance every year.

The show is set for Friday, December 8th at the Royal Theatre in Victoria and as of this publication, it is about two-thirds sold out.

Tickets can be acquired through the Royal Theatre’s website

Jon and Roy’s Holiday Special

  • Where: The Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street
  • When: Friday, December 8th, doors at 7 p.m. show at 8 p.m.
  • Tickets: Tickets starting at $30.75, available online
Curtis Blandy

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