Tom Cochrane in Sarnia 2023

Tom Cochrane. Photo by Dan Boshart

Sarnia, Ontario, is fast emerging as the ultimate destination for music enthusiasts, boasting a trifecta of outstanding music festivals. Among them, the Bluewater Borderfest in June, the Block Party in September, and the recent Revelree Music Festival held on July 21 and 22 at the idyllic Canatara Park, nestled by the serene shores of Lake Huron.

Central to the Revelree Music Festival’s essence is its commitment to spotlighting local and burgeoning talent, a tradition upheld this year with an array of gifted acts hailing from the surrounding areas. The festival’s opening night showcased two Sarnia acts, Little White Lies and The Gypsy Flats. Adding their distinctive flavor to the mix, the Kitchener/Waterloo trio Living Room For Small brought their engaging alternative pop vibes, while Juno-nominated emerging talent Aysanabee captivated the early attendees. The evening climaxed with performances by Timmins native Lights, an enchanting musical force, and the Alt-rock prowess of Hamilton’s very own, Arkells.


Saturday evening ushered in yet another round of electrifying acts, with hometown heroes Born Riot representing Sarnia’s local scene. Kitchener singer/songwriter Courtney Wolfe and the soulful country-fried music of Kettle and Stony Point’s Brothers Wilde showcased more of the region’s up and coming talent with outstanding performances

The night’s marquee acts began with Kitchener’s J.J. Wilde, an artist unrelated to the aforementioned brothers, taking the stage with her powerful voice and captivating stage presence. Iconic veteran rocker Tom Cochrane brought a timeless allure to the festival showcasing hits like Lunatic Fringe and Life is a Highway that had people of every age singing along and dancing. At 70 years of age, Cochrane shows that age is only a number and gave a clinic on how to rock and roll.

Further amplifying the musical extravaganza, Kingston’s acclaimed Glorious Sons closed out the evening with their signature heartland rock sound playing the hits people came to hear and also previewing some songs from their upcoming LP Glory. Barefoot singer Brett Emmons is a ball of energy on stage and never seems to tire.

The festival’s choice of Canatara Park as its venue was nothing short of brilliance. The serene ambience, surrounded by lush trees and walking distance to the beach on Lake Huron creates an inviting and harmonious setting that perfectly complements the all ages event. As a first-time attendee of Revelree, I found myself fully immersed in the festival’s magic, and the anticipation for next year’s edition has already begun to build.

Revelree Music Festival isn’t just an event; it’s a testament to the growing musical pulse of Sarnia and the surrounding regions. With its commitment to nurturing local talents and its expertly curated lineup of diverse performers, the festival stands as a beacon of celebration for both music enthusiasts and the community at large. As the notes of this year’s festival fade into memories, the echoes of its melodies will continue to resonate, nurturing the eager anticipation for the harmonious experience that Revelree Music Festival promises to bring in the years to come.

For more on Revelree, visit:

Revelree Music Festival
Canatara Park
Sarnia, ON
July 21-22, 2023

All photos by Dan Boshart

Tom Cochrane

JJ Wilde

Glorious Sons

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