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SALLY COLE: Aaron Hastelow returns to P.E.I. for shows Jan. 11-12

Aaron Hastelow will return to P.E.I. for two shows next weekend. “An Evening with Aaron Hastelow and Friends” runs Jan. 11-12 at The Mack in Charlottetown. Show time is 7:30 p.m.
Aaron Hastelow will return to P.E.I. for two shows next weekend. “An Evening with Aaron Hastelow and Friends” runs Jan. 11-12 at The Mack in Charlottetown. Show time is 7:30 p.m. - Contributed

Aaron Hastelow started a tradition a while back.

Every year, when he returned home for the holidays, he’d call up his friend, Michelle Bouey, and they would put together a program of music for their friends and family at The Guild.

The concert would feature their favourite songs, along with stories about why a specific piece had been chosen.

This year the tradition continues but a few things have changed.

The show’s popularity has grown ever since people discovered how wonderful it was. In fact, the demand for tickets was so great that the 2019 edition has moved to The Mack for two shows, Jan. 11-12, 7:30 p.m.

Unfortunately, Bouey is unavailable this year.

“It’s something that will happen to each of us, as the years go on, I’m sure. So, we decided that I would do one this year and, hopefully, next year, Michelle will be available again,” Hastelow tells me, adding some “incredible guests” will be joining him on stage.

“An Evening with Aaron Hastelow and Friends” will include Alicia Toner, a 2018 Music P.E.I. award-winner for her debut album, “Learned the Hard Way” and a Charlottetown Festival veteran who has performed in “Million Dollar Quartet”, “Spoon River”, “Evangeline” and Islander Tara MacLean, an award-winning singer-songwriter and star of “Atlantic Blue”.

“It’s going to be really, really fun,” says Hastelow, adding everyone will be backed up by a guest band consisting of Craig Fair, Andrew Murray, Jon Matthews and Trevor Grant.

The program will include selections by Fleetwood Mac, John Legend, Ed Sheeran, The Cranberries, Dave Matthews Band, Miley Cyrus and others.

Hastelow tells me the annual concert is something he really looks forward to.

“It’s wonderful to be able to go on stage and not perform a role. It’s a chance to be myself and sing the things I want to sing. It’s also fun to really connect with the audience on a personal level,” says Hastelow, adding he has many things to reflect on as he prepares for the holiday show.

“This year has been monumental. This past summer was an absolute dream-come true. Nothing compares to that experience,” says the versatile performer who played the lead in the Charlottetown Festival production of “Jesus Christ Superstar”, a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

“It was extremely fulfilling. The best part about it was the company that I was able to share the stage with…It was an honour to be part of it,” says Hastelow, who will star again as Hamlet in “Kronborg – The Hamlet Rock Musical” and as Sky in “Mamma Mia!” at the 2019 Charlottetown Festival.

“I’m excited for everything that is to come.”

Fast facts

What: “An Evening with Aaron Hastelow and Friends”

When and where: Jan. 11-12, 7:30 p.m., The Mack, Charlottetown

Details: Concerts will include performances of pop, rock, ballads, duets and more

Tickets: Visit or contact the Centre box office

Call in and win:

- The question is: What is one of the roles Aaron Hastelow will play at the Charlottetown Festival this summer?

- The prize: A pair of tickets to the Jan. 12 performance of “An Evening with Aaron Hastelow and Friends”.

- Last week’s winner: Jean Gaudet won a pair of tickets to see James Mullinger.

- To enter: Call The Guardian’s Phone and Win contest line at 902-629-1707.

Sally Cole is an entertainment writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at or by phone at 902-629-6000, ext. 6054.

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