Multi-award winner, Bernadette Peters steps in for Queen Latifah at free VSO concert tomorrow night at Deer Lake Park.
Multi-award winner, Bernadette Peters steps in for Queen Latifah at free VSO concert tomorrow night at Deer Lake Park.

Updated 28 June: The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has announced stage and screen star Bernadette Peters will step in to perform at the VSO’s free outdoor concert after previously announced guest artist, Queen Latifah, was forced to withdraw on short notice due to strep throat.

Peters, whose career spans film, Broadway, and television, was already in town for a performance with the VSO at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Vancouver on Thursday night when the news broke that Latifah would not be able to perform.

Peters graciously accepted the VSO’s invitation to extend her visit and perform on the Deer Lake Park festival lawn stage on Saturday, June 29 at 8:00pm. The free concert is part of the VSO’s gift back to the community celebrating the end of its 100th Anniversary Season.

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In a media release, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) announced Queen Latifah’s appearance with the orchestra at Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park on June 29 will now be a free concert for the entire family. The previously ticketed concert will be one of two free concerts at the venue this year.

“During the planning of our 100th anniversary season, we had a dream that we would be able to open and close the season with a free VSO concert,” says VSO president Kelly Tweeddale in the release.  “When the opportunity to extend the stage of our free VSO concert at Deer Lake became available, we were thrilled to invite Queen Latifah to join us.”

Made possible with the support from the City of Burnaby, Amplify BC, Brian Jessel BMW, donors, and a grant to the VSO’s 100th Anniversary “Tomorrow Starts Today” Fund, the Grammy Award-winning artist will perform selections from Chicago, Hairspray, the American Songbook, and her breakout hip-hop hit U.N.I.T.Y.

“This additional night of free programming with a star like Queen Latifah serves to extend the tradition of Symphony in the Park as one of Burnaby’s most beloved events,” says Tweeddale.

Calling her an icon, VSO music director Maestro Otto Tausk is excited about the opportunity to work with the versatile artist.

“Her recordings are fantastic and she has such a strong stage presence,” says Tausk. “I can’t wait to meet her and to make some music together. This is going to be a lot of fun and I think you will find it the perfect way to kick-off the long weekend.”

The following day, Tausk returns to Deer Lake Park to lead the VSO in its annual free Symphony in the Park concert.

A previously ticketed event, anyone who has already purchased tickets to Queen Latifah’s concert can donate their ticket back to the VSO, use the value of the ticket as a credit towards another performance, or request a refund.

For those who have not already bought tickets, the announcement of the free concert is expected to attract a crowd. Concert goers are being encouraged to show up well in advance of the 8:00pm start time to claim their spot.

A general admission concert with no reserved seats, those attending are reminded to check the VSO website for information on the restrictions of what you can bring to the venue.

Queen Latifah plays with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at 8pm on Saturday, June 29. Visit vancouversymphony.ca for more information.

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra returns to Deer Lake on Sunday, June 30 with another free concert as part of its summer season.