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Dallas Smith coming to Estevan after community wins SiriusXM contest

The Energy City is one of four winning communities from across the country in the SiriusXM MusicTowns competition, and the reward will be a concert with Canadian country music star Dallas Smith. 
Dallas Smith
Dallas Smith will perform at a concert in Estevan later this year after Estevan won the SiriusXM Music Towns contest for Western Canada.

ESTEVAN - Estevan has earned the opportunity to have a unique and memorable concert experience this year, thanks to the overwhelming support of the community.

The Energy City is one of four winning communities from across the country in the SiriusXM MusicTowns competition, and the reward will be a concert with Canadian country music star Dallas Smith. 

Estevan was selected as one of four finalists for Western Canada last month, thanks to impassioned nominations from local residents. After weeks of voting and online rallying, Estevan defeated Lloydminster, Sylvan Lake, Alta., and Nanaimo, B.C., even though Estevan was the smallest of the four Western Canadian markets.  

There were also MusicTown competitions for Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

Smith has had a lengthy career in the music business, starting as the lead singer for the Canadian hard rock band Default. His greatest success, though, came as a country music singer. He currently holds the record for most No. 1 hits among all male Canadian musicians on Billboard’s Canada Country chart with 11.  

This will be the first time that Smith has appeared in Estevan, but his bass player, Travis Switzer, grew up in southeast Saskatchewan and is familiar with the Estevan area.  

Smith is looking forward to coming to Estevan, and he`s been enjoying the opportunity to perform live in front of crowds again.

“It was amazing to be back. It’s been 2 1/2 years since we’ve been able to do that, and just being able to spend time with crew guys and the band and everybody that helps put the show on, we’re all buddies, and it’s great to spend the time in a positive environment.” 

People who came to the shows saw how much fun they were having.

Smith made the switch from rock music to country music in his early 20s because the angry rock he used to play didn’t fit with where he was in life. And he always grew up around country music. 

“I just wanted to branch off and explore some of those influences I had as a kid,” said Smith.

He went down to Nashville with a buddy, came up with a record that did well, and has had several albums since then.

Audience members can expect to hear a lot of his country hits, but he will usually play a song like Wasting my Time from his Default days.  

“It’s probably one of my favourite parts of the set, is watching people recognize the song and putting it together that I’m the same guy that sang that song 21 years ago,” said Smith.  

But he’ll play a lot of his familiar songs in a new and creative way.  

“As long as we’re having fun up there … it seems to be contagious and we all enjoy each other’s company and have a good time,” he said.

Smith said he has been part of similar contests as Music Towns in the past, and was approached by SiriusXM to see if he would be interested.

“It will be great to get out and explore smaller towns and meet some people,” said Smith.  

The shows have usually had an excellent response, and everyone seems to let loose at the concerts.

“Small towns will come out … and watch the show,” he said. I always find they always like to let loose a little bit more, and there’s a little bit more excitement because it’s very, very new for a lot of people that are there who have not been part of a show.”   

The concert is slated to take place in September or October, with details including date, location and ticket information to be announced later. 

There will also be other acts performing during the concert.  

Jeff Leake, the director of podcasts, listenership analytics and music for SiriusXM Canada, said they had a similar promotion 15 years ago to get artists into smaller communities throughout the country. Finally the opportunity presented itself to bring it back in a new way. 

They wanted to announce Music Towns three years ago, but some details needed to be worked out. Then COVID hit, which put everything on hold in their effort to have concerts in smaller communities.  

“Infrastructure is a big chunk of a tour and a show, and it’s not easy just to put together a stage for someone like Dallas Smith to put on a Dallas Smith show. You want to make sure everything is in place to do this.”  

They had to wait until 2022, and Leake said it proved to be the right decision.  

“We decided this is a cool time and a cool thing to do. Without us putting it together and managing it and then obviously having the support of our subscribers [it wouldn't happen, and] this is just a way to get the community out together. I’m really looking forward to it.” 

SiriusXM has great relationships with musicians, managers and labels, and they have been working with Smith for as long as Sirius XM has been around, Leake said, which is why they’re able to book a musician of Smith’s calibre.  

Leake praised Estevan for the way it rallied around this cause. 

“You like Dallas Smith? You like concerts? You like music? It just all came together. And I couldn’t be happier. “   

Mayor Roy Ludwig is pleased the community came together and brought this concert to Estevan. People came onside to show their support, allowing Estevan to win against some larger markets.  

He’s looking forward to Smith’s concert, and he expects it will be a big draw for younger fans.

“I think it will be another positive for the community,” said Ludwig.  

Events like the concert and the various great sporting events in the community this year give the people something to look forward to, and they put a spotlight on the volunteer base. And he hopes it will bring people to the city.   

“It’s just another event that will continue to help bring our community together in a positive fashion,” said Ludwig.

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