The Downtown Sudbury Business Improvement Association has set up a stage in front of the YMCA that is host a number of performances to support northern musicians and get people out to experience the downtown vibe.

In Waves is an indie alternative rock band made up of northern Ontario musicians. They played at the outdoor stage in front of the YMCA downtown on Canada Day.

“We were kinda stuck just writing you know not really having the opportunity to play. So we spent two years writing, we recorded an album in that time. Really we are just looking forward to be able to play for live audiences so ya, now that we have have that opportunity, ceasing it, loving it,” said Tanner Reinhardt, the lead singer of In Waves.

Weekend performances on the stage are free. Artists with Yes Theatre take to the stage on Saturdays.

“I love it. I am so grateful that they are making an effort to bring people back downtown. Thankful to the Downtown BIA and Yes Theatre for having us here. We are here pretty often and the response has been really great,” said Tessa Balaz, a Yes Theatre Artist.

Balaz preforms with her husband Petr.

“People are also wanting to hear new stuff and see different faces around downtown revitalizing it, so I feel like it’s a good effort,” said Petr.

Monique Legault is a Sudbury business owner who has a studio downtown.

“I love it, honestly. We really needed a little bit of a boost for the downtown and certainly after covid. So all of these initiatives have really done an amazing thing and you can see it, there is a lot of people out on the streets every weekend,” said Monique.

It’s all part of an initiative by the BIA to promote northern musicians and getting people out to explore what downtown has to offer.

“I couldn’t imagine doing business any where else and I know it’s got its reputation but honestly when you are down here you see the culture you see the people that actually support the culture,” added Legault.

Every Friday there is happy hour downtown from 4-7 p.m. Participating businesses stay open later to coincide with the free music performance and dinner traffic. Businesses also offer specials and people out enjoying the area and they can win free downtown bucks. More details can be found on the Sudbury Downtown Facebook page.