Ottawa singer songwriter Victor Nesrallah plays Char’s Landing July 22

VIA Rail’s latest ‘artist on board’ takes first Vancouver Island tour

Victor Nesrallah, VIA Rail’s Artist on Board, will play Char’s Landing in Port Alberni on Sunday, July 22, 2018. SUBMITTED PHOTO

VIA Rail’s latest “artist on board” will play a Sunday show at Char’s Landing in Port Alberni on July 22.

Canadian singer-songwriter Victor Nesrallah’s home base is the national capital—Ottawa, ON—but this engaging and versatile performer has appeared on stages across the country for more than three decades. His Just Play’n Good Canadian Tour will be his first time on Vancouver Island.

Nesrallah’s sound is described as “roots world folk and blues”. His compositions have been acclaimed as “finely tuned songs,” and he’s received praise for his originality and hard-hitting musical messages.

A multi-instrumentalist and guitarist with a fluid and resonant vocal style, Nesrallah draws from the roots and world traditions to inspire his energy-driven shows. His latest release, It’s Once a Rebel, will be a centrepiece to his show.

“I’m really looking forward to playing out there,” Nesrallah said. He will travel west as the artist on board VIA Rail’s trans-Canada train from Toronto to Vancouver, July 17–21. Once here, he wanted to take advantage of his time on the west coast before returning to Toronto—again, via train.

“I looked at venues throughout Vancouver Island,” he said. “I noticed some of the people who have played (at Char’s Landing) like David Gogo…I tried to find rooms that were listening rooms as opposed to playing lounges, per se.

“That’s why I picked Char’s Landing. It was one of the few venues that was able to accommodate these kinds of needs. It’s a community hub.”

This is not Nesrallah’s first time with VIA Rail’s program: he was an artist on board five years ago. “You’re playing station stops in Toronto, Winnipeg, Jasper and Vancouver. You’re also playing to people on the train for the whole trip,” he explained.

“You’re meeting a lot of people, travellers from Australia, Germany, Europe. It’s a great way to expose yourself to people who haven’t heard you. You have to have a repertoire of Canadiana in case it’s requested.

“It’s a great way to travel.”

Nesrallah’s Island tour will also include stops at the 39 Days in July Summer Festival in Duncan on July 28, Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge in Parksville on Aug. 2 and Spiral Café in Victoria on Aug. 3 before returning to Toronto on the train Aug. 5–9.

Nesrallah’s ‘Just Play’n Good’ show starts at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 22 at Char’s Landing, 4815 Argyle St. at Fifth Avenue, Port Alberni. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance ($15 at the door) for adults and $10 for children. FMI: or phone 778-421-2427.

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