Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s public debut, a Springsteen show and four other things to see during the Invictus Games
There’s more to the Invictus Games than just sports (and Prince Harry hunting). Here, our guide to the best cultural offerings inspired by the spirit of wounded warriors
A star-studded opening ceremony
More than 500 competitors, 17 nations, and thousands of friends, family and dignitaries will gather for the Invictus opening ceremonies. The main attraction of the two-hour extravaganza will be the first public appearance of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, but there will also be a Parade of Nations and performances by Sarah McLachlan, Alessia Cara, the Tenors, Laura Wright, and La Bottine Souriante. Saturday, September 23. $48–$150. Air Canada Centre.
A veteran’s post-war story
This Invictus-themed instalment of the ROM’s Voices of Canada lecture series will focus on what it means to serve one’s country. Titled The Next Fire Fight: Transitioning Out of Uniform, the event will feature a talk from retired Lt.-Col. David Quick, who, after two decades of active-duty military service, earned his MBA and found work in financial project management and corporate leadership. Tuesday, September 26. $20. Royal Ontario Museum.
A mighty night of military music
Canada’s best military bands join forces to play at one of Canada’s best music venues in Unconquered. Emceed by Lloyd Robertson and hosted by the Royal Canadian Military Institute, the evening features performances from a mish-mash of official army troupes and the Canadian Military Wives Choir. Sunday, September 24. $39.50-$89.50. Roy Thomson Hall.
A moving play about returning from front
Returning soldiers often have trouble finding work, struggle to re-adjust to civilian life, and deal with PTSD. For the Invictus Games, six veterans collaborated with counsellors, experienced actors and each other the channel those issues into art. Contact! Unload is a personal piece of theatre in which they tell their own stories of returning to home turf. Tuesday, September 26 to Thursday, September 28. Free. Moss Park Armoury and Invictus Athletes Host Hotel.
A closing bash with the Boss
Bryan Adams, Bachman and Turner, Coeur de Pirate, Kelly Clarkson and Bruce Springsteen headline the Games’s rapturous closing ceremony. The high-wattage performers will toast the winners and bring the Invictus community together for one last shindig before the torch gets passed to Sydney for 2018. Saturday, September 30. $64–$150. Air Canada Centre.
An lunchtime opera
Artists from the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio present an intimate concert with a program focused on the themes of war, loss and overcoming adversity. The free lunchtime show, which stars at noon, takes place in the airy Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. Wednesday, September 27. Free. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
An earlier version of this article stated that the Canadian Opera Company's production began at 1 p.m. It starts at noon.