2017 was truly the year for K-pop in Canada as more idols than ever held concerts and fanmeets in the country, finally giving Canadian fans what they’ve wanted for so long! Here’s a recap of the K-pop events that touched down in Canada this past year, which ranged from hallyu conventions to concerts and fanmeets by some of K-pop’s biggest names.
K-pop’s Queen of Sexy HyunA kicked things off for K-pop in Canada this year by hitting up Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal in late February as part of her The Queen’s Back: Hyuna North American Tour 2017, her very first North American tour in her 10 year career. This made HyunA the first solo female idol to tour Canada. We hope she comes back soon!
Next was the one and only SHINee! As part of their SHINee World Tour V, the SM Entertainment superstars performed in both Toronto and Vancouver in March. Since SM artists rarely hold concerts outside of Asia, this news came with massive excitement to Canadian Shawols who had waited years to see their faves.
— SHINee World Canada (@SHINeeCanada) May 24, 2017
In retrospect, these concerts are bittersweet. With the shocking death of the group’s main vocalist Jonghyun just last month, this tour marked both the first and last time SHINee performed as a 5-member unit in Canada.
Canadian R&B and hip-hop fans were also treated well in 2017! Club Eskimo–a Seoul-based collective of urban, R&B and alternative artists–held a Canadian tour in late March. The tour featured chart-topping R&B artist Dean, hip-hop producer and soloist 2XXX!, urban-alternative soloist MISO and R&B duo OFFONOFF.
Chart-topping soloist Heize continued the K-R&B wave in Canada later in the spring for her Heize Canada Tour. The mega-talented vocalist and rapper, who shot to stardom after appearing on the Korean talent survival show Unpretty Rapstar in 2016, performed for her adoring Canadian fans in both Toronto and Vancouver in late April.
— binahearts (@binahearts) May 16, 2017
In May came the biggest K-pop event in Canada, Toronto K-pop Con! The convention, which has been held annually since 2015, attracts thousands of K-pop fans from not only all over Canada, but abroad as well. The event features K-pop merch vendors, panels, workshops and of course idols!
The 2017 edition of the convention featured two separate showcases by K-pop superstars BTOB and KARD respectively.
Big Bang frontman and soloist G-Dragon brought the heat in July for his solo concert! As part of his Act III: M.O.T.T.E World Tour, this K-pop icon performed for thousands of fans at the massive Air Canada Centre in downtown Toronto. A huge feat for a K-pop idol in North America. With G-Dragon’s upcoming military enlistment, it was so amazing for Canadian fans to experience him live before he’s gone for a couple years!
Rising K-pop boy group SEVENTEEN made sure to give Canada some love during their 2017 SEVENTEEN 1st World Tour: Diamond Edge! These 13 multi-talented cuties have been stealing fan girl’s hearts since their debut a couple years ago and have a massive international following. They played to a highly enthusiastic crowd at Toronto’s Massey Hall in late August, with the fan response and hysteria receiving much coverage in the Canadian press.
G-Dragon wasn’t the only Big Bang member to hit up Canada in 2017! VIPs were in for a huge treat when fellow member Taeyang hit up both Toronto and Vancouver, in August and September respectively, as part of his White Night World Tour. With Taeyang also about to enlist in the military along with his group mate and best friend G-Dragon, this tour was the perfect send off for him and his beloved Canadian fans.
Concept kings VIXX made their return to Canada in 2017! After headlining Toronto K-pop Con 2016 and receiving much love, the boys returned with the Shangri-La in Canada tour, performing full concerts in Toronto and Vancouver respectively at the end of October. With the boys’ high performance value and live vocal abilities, which was further proven by their recent 2017 MBC year-end performance which has gone viral over the past week, this was an absolute treat for Canadian Starlights!
Last, but certainly not least, rising JYP Entertainment boy band Day6 closed out the year of K-pop in Canada with their Toronto showcase in late October, the last of five tour dates on their Live & Meet in North America tour. Day6, like VIXX, had also performed at Toronto K-pop Con 2016 to a great response so it was so great to see them back. Toronto actually holds a special place in Day6’s heart as member Young K lived there during his high school years!
With Canada now high on the K-pop radar, we hope to see even more groups visit the Great White North in 2018!
Contributor: Kat Walcott