Hamilton’s Arkells to play Grey Cup halftime show

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Published November 12, 2021 at 8:59 pm

The Arkells appeared on BellMedia platforms on Friday when they were unveiled as the halftime performers for next month's Grey Cup in Hamilton. (BellMedia image)

It is hard to imagine Hamilton hosting its first Grey Cup in a quarter-century without the Arkells.

The Hamilton band was unveiled Friday night as the choice to be the halftime entertainment at the Canadian Football League’s championship extravaganza, which will be held at Tim Hortons Field. A reveal video on CTV’s ETALK and the CFL ON TSN showed frontman Max Kerman sitting up in bed, clad in plaid-patterned pyjamas and a blackout masks with bearing the band’s name.

The camera revealed the other four band members, before switching to a wide shot that showed the group was on the 55-yard line at the Donut Box.

The CFL began inviting a pop act to play at halftime of its championship game in 1991. The roll call of performers includes big-name acts such as The Tragically Hip, Lenny Kravitz, Céline Dion, The Black Eyed Peas, Justin Bieber, Shania Twain and Nelly Furtado. Country star Keith Urban provided the entertainment at the 2019 Grey Cup in Calgary.

The last time Hamilton hosted in 1996, the halftime entertainment was The Nylons, an a capella group.

“Given our history with this city, venue and fanbase, this announcement may not come as a total surprise,” Kerman stated in a release. “We’re exceptionally proud to be the first homegrown act to headline their city’s Grey Cup halftime time show and we’ve got an incredible show in store.”

A few halftime performers have had roots in in the host city. Blues singer-guitarist Jack Semple played at Taylor Field in his native Regina during the 1995 Grey Cup. In 2001, two Montreal performers, Sass Jordan and Michel Pagliaro, performed for the crowd in Olympic Stadium.

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