Contributed photo Trooper will entertain with Kim Mitchell at free Canada Winter Games concert on Thursday.

Trooper, Kim Mitchell will rock the 2019 Canada Winter Games with a free concert on Thursday

The show will go on in large heated tent off Celebration Plaza in downtown Red Deer

Veteran Canadian band Trooper performed at the Vancouver Olympics, and now the classic rock group is set to entertain at this nation’s biggest athletic competition — the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

The Juno Award-winning band will play a free concert, along with Kim Mitchell, on Thursday evening in the heated tent off downtown Red Deer’s Celebration Plaza. The show is part of the 52 Degrees North Music and Cultural Festival.

Trooper fans could well fill the 2,000-person venue — is there anyone who grew up in Canada in the 1970s that doesn’t remember the group’s profusion of hits?

Trooper ruled radio waves from the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s with Boys in the Bright White Sports Car, General Hand Grenade, 3 Dressed Up as a 9, Janine, Two for the Show, Oh, Pretty Lady, and Santa Maria.

Along with Raise a Little Hell and We’re Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time), the tunes helped Trooper become one of Canada’s Top 5 best-selling groups of all time, while also creating the soundtrack to many people’s adolescent years.

Remarkably, the band that’s nearing its 40th anniversary retains original members: vocalist Ra McGuire, guitarist Brian Smith, keyboardist Gogo, bassist Scott Brown and drummer Clayton Hill.

While McGuire, a one-time pop idol, is now in his 60s and described as “bald and bespectacled,” he and the other members of Trooper haven’t lost their love of playing together — whether it’s at the Grey Cup or in arenas across the country.

Mitchell, former lead singer and guitarist for the band Max Webster, went on to create a successful solo career in the 1980s.

The three-time Juno winner is best known for his 1984 single, Go For Soda, which made the US Billboard Hot 100. But the Sarnia, Ont. singer’s six other singles — Patio Lanterns, Rock and Roll Duty, Rockland Wonderland, Expedition Sailor, America and Some Folks — reached the top 20 in Canada.

The free concert will be held in a large heated tent in the Central Middle School yard. Doors open at 6 p.m., show is at 7 p.m.

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2019 Canada Winter Games

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