Canadian rock band The Sheepdogs will play Yellowknife on July 4, the band’s promoter and an associated public relations firm have confirmed.

Advertisements for the show, which is free to attend with only a limited number of tickets available, began appearing on Instagram and Facebook several days ago – though it was not listed on The Sheepdogs’ official website at the time of writing.

Julien Paquin, the band’s Canadian promoter, confirmed the show will take place after initially appearing to be unaware of the booking.

The Sheepdogs face a lengthy journey to get from Dublin, Ireland – where they play on the night of July 2 – to the Northwest Territories in time to play at the Black Knight pub two days later.

While the advertisement suggests the Sheepdogs are playing the Black Knight, it’s expected the venue will actually be the larger Top Knight above the pub itself.

Local band Welders Daughter will provide support.

Cannabis culture

The show is part of a nationwide series of concerts being promoted by a major Alberta-based cannabis producer.

Aurora Cannabis, which is valued at more than $4 billion, last month announced a merger with rival MedReleaf which is expected to make Aurora the world’s largest producer – capable of making more than 500,000 kilos of cannabis per year.

Currently a major player in the medicinal cannabis market, Aurora is poised to capitalize on the imminent legalization of cannabis in Canada.

However, the same federal legislation that legalizes cannabis will also impose strict regulations on how producers advertise, similar to restrictions placed on the tobacco industry.

The Cannabis Act will restrict producers’ ability to sponsor events like July’s Sheepdogs show, which in part explains why Aurora has rushed to host a series of shows across Canada before the legislation comes into effect.

A Cannabis Act explainer on the federal government’s website reads: “Proposed restrictions on promotion are intended to protect youth from being persuaded through marketing or advertising to consume cannabis.

“The proposed Act includes restrictions on several types of promotional activities, such as promotion considered appealing to youth [and] promotion through sponsorship, testimonials, or endorsements.”

Questioned regarding a cannabis producer backing a major show in the NWT, the territorial government – which recently launched a series of educational campaigns highlighting the risks of cannabis consumption by youth – directed Cabin Radio to the federal government for comment.

Ticket info

As of Tuesday, three of Aurora’s Illumination Series of shows have already taken place. Yellowknife will be the fifth, following a show in Saskatoon featuring Rezz on June 29.

The series promises 20 shows across Canada but, to date, only six have been confirmed.

All of the shows will be free to attend, but prospective attendees must sign up through Ticketmaster’s website to receive a redemption code. Registration closes on Tuesday, June 26, at 10pm MT.

At some point between June 27 and July 4, Ticketmaster will issue an alert for those fans with redemption codes to return to the website. You then use your redemption code and, if you get there in time, can select up to two tickets until none remain.

The series’ website takes care to state no cannabis will be sold or served at any of Aurora’s shows.

The Sheepdogs, veterans of festivals like Austin’s South by Southwest, reached number one in the Canadian album chart with their eponymous fourth release in 2012. Their latest album, Changing Colours, peaked at number five in February this year.