Spotlight On Niagara

Day of 1000 Musicians: Bringing Thunder to the Falls

By David DeRocco

It may take just three simple chords to play a great rock song, but July 21st it’s going to take 1,000 musicians to bring those chords alive.

Organizers of the upcoming DAY OF 1,000 MUSICIANS at Fireman’s Park in Niagara falls are hoping to attract 1,000 singers, guitarists, bassist and drummers in an ambitious attempt to perform simultaneously in what could wind up being the largest rock show ever staged in Canada. 

The event is modelled after the Rockin’ 1000 initiative, which originally assembled in Italy in 2015 to play "Learning To Fly" by Foo Fighters. It was a visual spectacle that clearly had an impact on Paul Lemire, one of the main organizers of the upcoming event in Niagara Falls. 

“I was sitting in the backyard having a brewski, watching the event from Italy, and I thought it was pretty damn cool,” said Lemire. “I thought if I could do this in Niagara Falls it would be really something.”

Inspired by the sight of 1000 musicians performing together, Lemire reached out to childhood friend and music-industry veteran John Fillion and local volunteer firefighter association member Paul Brockwell to help bring the event together. Enthusiasm is mounting, as over 300 musicians – both amateur and professional – have already registered to perform at the free event.

The plan is for 250 basssist, 250 singers, 250 guitarists and 250 drummers to collectively and simultaneously perform six songs chosen by organizers for their simplicity and good-time feel. 

“We’re in Canada, so we wanted to make the songs as much Canadian content as possible,” explained Lemire. “The methodology was to pick six songs that are easy to play, with three or four chords, so that even kids who are taking music lessons can participate. And we wanted the songs to be fun.”

As a result, the playlist for the admission-free July 21st event includes the Canadian classic rock staples “Big League” (Tom Cochrane), “Fly At Night” (Chilliwack), “Summer of ‘69” (Bryan Adams), “Nice To Love You” (54-40) and “Rockin’ In The Free World” (Neil Young), with “Long Way To The Top” (AC/DC) thrown in for good measure.

“I really wanted a song with bagpipes, and I like that song, plus it gives us an opportunity to have the pipes there to pipe in the musicians at the start,” explaned Lemire.

Proceeds from the event are being donated to local music therapy programs along with the Music Gives instrument distribution initiative.

For anyone interested in performing, registration is now open on-line at

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