The Jubilee – Celebrating 25 years of Rockin’ the River

The Jubilee Celebrating its Silver Anniversary after a two year hiatus, the Jubilee or “Jube” as it is affectionately known to most, is an award-winning event has brought thousands of music fans to Pictou County over the last 25 years for three amazing nights along the East River of local, up and coming and the very best in iconic Canadian artists and this year’s “Jube” is no exception.  


The Jubilee has built its reputation over the past quarter century on three simple things: Iconic Canadian Artist, Audience Experience and Promoting the Artist of Tomorrow by putting rising stars on the same stage as the award-winning and critically acclaimed acts.

The Jubilee has earned its reputation by offering attendees the ability to experience East Coast Music Association, Music Nova Scotia and Juno Award winners and nominees as they take the stage for three nights of unforgettable performances by the East River. The distinctive setting and outdoor amphitheatre provide music lovers one of the most engaging and fan focus music experiences available.  Offering all genres of music; Rock, Blues, Folk, Country, R&B and even Hip Hop, give the Jubilee incomparably eclectic line-up and a flavour all its own while being regarded in the industry for its top-notch production quality and attention to detail. 

During the past 25 years over 300 unique and iconic performers have taken to the Jubilee stage including this shortlist of some of some of our favorite past performers: 

Alan Doyle & the Beautiful Gypsies Amy Sky April Wine Big Sugar Big Wreck Blue Rodeo Bruce Guthro Burton Cummings Chilliwack Classified Great Big Sea Haywire Honeymoon Suite Joel Plaskett Jully Black July Talk Kim Mitchell Lennie Gallant Matthew Good Matt Andersen Matt Mays Matt Minglewood Band Platinum Blonde   Reeny  Smith Ria Mae   Sam Roberts Band Sass Jordan Sloan Steven Page The Arkells The Glorious Sons The Sheepdogs The Stampeders The Trews Wintersleep 5440

We were elated to hear the Jubilee announce their return to live music and we are confident that fans are to especially after hearing the line up of headliners for the upcoming twenty-fifth anniversary of the Jubilee which include the Iconic and Grammy Award winning band, Glass Tiger, who will headline the Jubilee’s return on Friday night along with Nova Scotia’s own Joel Plaskett.  Six time Juno Award winner Serena Ryder headlines on Saturday night, which marks a first for the Jubilee, as Saturday night features the first ever all female lead lineup, which is very exciting. 

Sunday night’s double bill lineup might just blow the roof off the amphitheatre when Halifax-bred band and Juno award winner Sloan, who is performing back in their home province for the first time in three years to get the crowd ready for Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee, eight time Juno Award winner and storied Canadian rocker Tom Cochrane to take the stage with Red Rider to close the celebration and another successful Jubilee.

The Jubilee is a non-profit organization that is run by a volunteer Board of Directors that donate their time and efforts in making this one best music events in the country and for that we believe that they should be recognized and thanked for their efforts:

Janine Linthorne – Chair, Heather Thomson – Co-Chair, Aimee Kelly Sponsorship Director, Harold MacLeod Site Coordinator, Mary Stewart Administration, Aleisha MacLeod Smith Finance Director, Emmy Tremblay Volunteer Coordinator, Aaron Pellerine Hospitality Director, Jay MacLeod Production, Donnie Wadden Security and Kristi Russell Marketing Director

We could not go any further without thanking and recognizing the more than 300 volunteers from the community that have donate their time and efforts each year for the past twenty-five years to transform The Jubilee from what was a local community festival into a signature Nova Scotia and East Coast music event and mainstay for local businesses who also play a major role in the success of the Jubilee with their support and sponsorships over the years.  This year we know has been especially difficult so we would like to give extra thanks to those that were able to support the event again this year.

This amazing event would not have survived past its first year let alone twenty-five if not for the support of the numerous and generous in-kind and financial donations and sponsorships from local businesses and government organizations and of course your ticket purchases, which help make this event happen.

The Jubilee is so lucky to have a business community that cares so much about supporting this event and you can thank them by visiting their stores to do some shopping, dropping into their restaurant for a meal during the day or maybe stop in for a couple of drinks and an appetiser at their bar before the show or after when you’re not ready to call it a night to check out one of the Jubilee after parties.  

It is because of your patronage while visiting Pictou County that the economic benefits of the festival go far beyond the entrance gates.  Businesses understand that being a sponsor for the Jubilee is an investment in not only their businesses and industry but more importantly, their community which has a positive economic impact before, during and long after the curtain closes on this year’s Jubilee.  This is the reason why so many volunteer their time, efforts and in the case of businesses their money to help make it a better experience for all to keep people coming back year after year.

In 2019 the board made a unanimous decision to make the venue a 19 plus event after the board solicited feedback via survey from patrons, which resulted in over 450 responses, in addition to extensive discussions and reflection on past events over the festival’s twenty-three-year history at the time of the decision.

Making the Jubilee bigger and better meant, not only, looking at who’s on the main stage, but taking a hard look at the site, and how we can improve the function, safety and festival experience for our patrons,” said Janine Linthorne, Jubilee Volunteer Board of Directors Chair.

Linthorne goes on to say, “We know that despite our efforts with properly trained and staffed security underage patrons coming to the grounds under the influence and loitering off-site in the downtown core were issues we needed to address. The overall number of patrons 19 and under on-site year-after-year has been quite low. We’re proud to offer an event that not only supports local musicians but provides a safe space for those 19 and under to enjoy the Jubilee as well.”

This change also affects the overall patron experience including an upgraded VIP experience and access to additional food vendors. Site feedback received through the patron experience survey highlighted the desire for an upgraded VIP experience, more food vendors, and an overall more aesthetically pleasing site.

So, the change to a 19+ site creates space for a variety of food vendors with a seating area. VIP patrons will now be able to enjoy front of stage access, a private food truck, access to multiple cash bars, upgraded and additional seating, and access to private portable washrooms.

It must be mentioned that in 2019 the Jubilee’s Board of Directors also announced that it would be adding a family event as part of the Jubilee weekend call the Carlton’s Community Bash as a legacy event honouring Carlton Munroe, former promoter, and executive director of the Jubilee, who lost his battle with Glioblastoma in 2017. Munroe served as executive director for nine years on the Riverfront Jubilee board and had a clear vision of evolving the festival over time, all while working towards celebrating local talent and focusing on patron experience. 

The 2019 board of directors wanted to find a long-term manner of honouring Carlton’s memory. He was such an important part of the Jubilee for so many years, we never want this community to forget his dedication and commitment to this event,” explains Linthorne, of how the idea of the event came to fruition.

Carlton’s Community Bash is a free all-ages event that features local talent for all ages to enjoy in a family-friendly setting and will be held on July 30th 234 Park St in New Glasgow from 11am until 3pm.

We recommend that you check out the Jubilee’s website and social media pages of other all ages and special events that are happening through the Jubilee weekend.

So, you might be asking yourself, what type of economic spin off does an event like the Jubilee provide?

Given that the Jubilee is coming back after a two year hiatus to celebrate its diamond anniversary and to say that people are excited for the opportunity to experience live outdoor concerts and events again since the start of the pandemic would be an understatement. We are seeing record demand for outdoor events this summer so we would not be surprised to see over six thousand people attend over the three-days of the Jubilee.

Although this data from an economic impact study the board had completed during the 2012 event, is a decade old it still shows the impact that the Jubilee has on the local economy:

  • 36% of visitors to the Jubilee are from outside the region (for the purpose of this study the New Glasgow region was defined as within a 40km radius)
  • 54% of visitors attended for more than one-day of the event.
  • Overnight visitors spent four-times more than day trip visitors purchasing other goods and services like recreation, shopping, and food and beverage.
  • Visitors to the Jubilee spent more than $256,000 in New Glasgow.
  • The spending of those attending the festival, combined with the expenditures by the Jubilee reached $464,000, generating an estimated net economic activity (GDP) of $485,000 in the Province of Nova Scotia, of which $187,000 occurred in New Glasgow.
  • These expenditures supported $313,000 in wages and salaries and an estimated 10 jobs.
  • Total tax revenues reached $186,000 of this $85,000 was attributable to the federal government, provincial tax revenues reached $84,000 and municipal taxes were $16,000, of which $9,100 was in New Glasgow.
  • The total economic activity generated by the 2012 New Glasgow Jubilee was $1.1 million in Nova Scotia, with $629,000 of that occurring in New Glasgow.

Over a million dollars in economic spin off was generated in 2012, just imaging what that number would be today!  So, you see why businesses and governments see the benefit of getting involved.

The Jubilee offers an amazing in-person experience for all Jubilee goers whether you select the General Admission or VIP Pass options.  In saying that, don’t get us wrong, selecting the VIP Pass for the weekend or an individual day takes the Jubilee experience to a whole other level.

The Jubilee VIP Experience offers:

  • Front-of-stage access to enjoy your favorite artists as they take the stage.
  • A private cash bar (the other bars are through drink tickets) with a specialty liquor and spirit option not available in the general area.
  • Complimentary Snack Bar
  • VIP only with Bleacher and Limited Individual Chair Seating.
  • Private bathrooms.
  • VIP-only Gate Entrance.
  • Separate access to “The Jube Shop” merchandise tent.

We know that this year is going to be different for a few reasons. One is that it has been a while since we have been able to get together in groups this size.  Secondly some attendees will be wearing marks and while others will not, which is cool.  One thing that we know mask or no mask, is that everyone will be there to have to good time and celebrate 25 years of the of the Jube and our lives getting back to somewhat normal, and it is for that reason and many more that Spotlight on Business is proud to be a Presenting Sponsor of the upcoming Jubilee this July 29th, 30th and 31st.  

So, if you want to see amazing local, Canadian, and international artists at a venue designed to offer a truly interactive experience for fans and artists alike, then you need to go to the Jubilee website and get your tickets today to this annual three-day event featuring the best in Canadian and East Coast music, bringing top musical acts to the beautiful New Glasgow waterfront.

See you at the JUBE!

by Lee Ann Atwater