Not Even Canada's Overwhelmed Airlines Can Stop Arkells

Whether in Surrey with Shawnee Kish, or in Saskatchewan with no instruments, the show must go on
Not Even Canada's Overwhelmed Airlines Can Stop Arkells
Photo: Nathan Nash
Even after receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in early pandemic government support, Canadian airlines remain incredibly overwhelmed at present, but all the runway disarray was no match for Arkells despite its impact on a pair of long weekend performances alongside Shawnee Kish and Haviah Mighty.

Ahead of playing a Canada Day Event at Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre in Surrey, BC, on Friday, Kish's crew of accompanists had their flights cancelled, leaving the Mohawk singer-songwriter without a band for the evening.

On social media, Kish shared how upon learning her group was grounded, Arkells got together and learned to play her summery single "Burnin Love" the morning of the show, ahead of inviting her onstage to perform it during their set later that night.

A post shared by Shawnee Kish (@shawneekish)

@arkellsmusic Best moment of the night. That voice. @Shawnee Kish  #airline #indigenoustiktok #musician #travel ♬ original sound - Arkells
The following day (July 2) saw Arkells, Kish and Mighty trek to the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival in Saskatoon, but not without an unnamed airline losing the band's instruments.

Thankfully, the generosity of other artists lending Arkells their gear saved the performance and freed up keyboardist Anthony Carone to have "the show of his life," busting out some stage moves sans keys and making sure his bandmates had their thirst quenched.
@arkellsmusic Radical acceptance #concert #musician #airline ♬ original sound - Arkells
On TikTok, Arkells confirmed that they learned their gear had been found upon stepping offstage. Here's hoping their upcoming 2022 Canadian tour goes a little smoother.

Arkells will deliver new album Blink Twice this September, which follows 2021's Blink Once.