Canadian Big Band Celebration


Big Bands Presented 1995 to 2023


Jazz/Blues Combos Presented 1995 to 2023


50s-80s Bands Presented 2010 to 2023


Heritage Actors Presented 2010 to 2023


Musicians Presented 1995 to 2023


Participating Patrons 1995-2023

cedar crescent casino-small

Cedar Crescent Casino, Port Elgin beach, 1925 – 1970

(artwork by artist Kenneth Thornburn, Northern Flyer Designs & Promotions, Tara, ON)

The Cedar Crescent Casino, located on the beach for nearly 50 years and one of the crown jewels of the dance pavilions along Lake Huron, served as Port Elgin’s social hub until it was destroyed by fire in 1970.

The Embassy Dance Pavilion, Southampton - circa 1930

The Embassy Dance Pavilion in Southampton circa 1930’s served as the Dance Hall for the Park Hotel in Southampton. It was owned and operated by the Knowles Family, the first “tourist operators” in Southampton.

How it all began...

The 1920s to1980s was a time of the dance halls, many of them located in communities along the Lake Huron Shoreline – Kincardine, Port Elgin, Sauble Beach and others. People still have fond memories of warm summer nights at the beach, listening and dancing to the music of live bands. A Master of Ceremonies would introduce the bands and there would be spot dances. Many people found their ‘true love’ while at these summer venues. After a time, the music changed, the businesses changed hands, interest diminished, buildings fell into disrepair or were lost due to fire, and the dance hall era was no more.

The first Canadian Big Band Celebration (CBBC) was held on Saturday, September 23, 1995 at the UNIFOR (formerly CAW) Family Education Centre Main Assembly Hall located in the beautiful Lake Huron community of Saugeen Shores, encompassing Port Elgin and Southampton Ontario.

Over the years since 1995 and as it is today, it is thanks to a dedicated and hard working committee and the many generous sponsors from the Saugeen Shores business community that the Canadian Big Band Celebration continues to be a success.