The Sunset Concerts: Jully Black Kicks Off concert series presented by Canada’s Walk of Fame and Casa Loma

The Sunset Concerts: Weekly Summer Music Series at Casa Loma

Casa Loma is easily one of Toronto’s most iconic attractions. It’s known for many things from immersive holiday programming to escape rooms, but one of the most exclusive events happening at the castle are the summer concerts. The Sunset Concerts series blends together history, music, and the natural beauty of twilight, creating an enchanting evening for attendees of all ages.

The twelve-concert series has guests step into the lush gardens, meticulously maintained, which serve as a perfect prelude to the night’s events. The view of the skyline is immaculate from the gardens, and being next to the majestic castle also creates a feeling of luxury.

The concerts themselves are held in the castle’s picturesque gardens, under a glass “tent” (more like a greenhouse without walls). The series which is co-produced by Canada’s Walk of Fame and Casa Loma, in partnership with Seeing Red Media brings together a diverse range of musicians who are both upcoming, and well-established (such as that evening’s headliner Jully Black).  

Performers Sam Drysdale and NIIVA (One of whom will be hosting each concert in the series) welcomed the crowd with a couple of catchy tunes, including a cover of Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers”, before turning it over to fellow musician J3M. Indigenous activist and youth mentor Autumn Peltier also took some time to speak on her partnership with Kids Help Phone, which will be receiving $2.50 from every ticket sold. A personal favourite of the night was Gracie Ella, who showcased her incredibly powerful voice. She’s someone I will definitely be supporting for years to come. 

But all that was only act one. Act 2 brought out Canadian R&B legend Jully Black who performed a short setlist of iconic songs, including her biggest hits “Sweat” and “Seven Day Fool”. She performed with power, grace, and passion, taking time to walk through the audience and ensure everyone felt welcomed to the party. I’ll get into more logistics in a bit, but at one point she invited everyone outside of the glass tent inside to join the party. Jully was an excellent choice for the first concert in the series, and I’m sure people are excited to learn about the other artists performing for the series. 

As a regular attendee of concerts and performances, I had some concerns about the seating arrangements and food/drink options.

Event managers clearly state that seating is not guaranteed. To sit inside the tent, there is an additional $40 fee plus a $20 minimum spend per person, raising the ticket cost from $45 to $105+. Those seated outside the tent may not have a clear view of the performers and must rely on a screen at the back. Casa Loma excels at creating exclusive events, but this approach might not cater to all budgets.

Regarding food, a single serving of fries and a can of Diet Pepsi cost $20, though the fries were not hot. Similarly, a Snow Crab poutine and two sodas cost nearly $40, with the fries also served cold. Considering the premium pricing, hot food would be a reasonable expectation.

Are The Sunset Concerts worth the admission cost? Yes, absolutely. It makes sense to be in a gorgeous garden listening to live music on a Tuesday Night. However, unless you have a good amount of disposable income, you have to be prepared to arrive early, possibly eat beforehand, and be ok with a potentially less-than-par view. The event is still incredibly exclusive, and if you are a true fan of one of the featured artist, the $105+ cost would be of great value, but as a casual thing to do, it may make me think twice. 

June 18:The Trews Acoustic Trio, YASSIN & Sean Terrio, Cold Weather Captains; Musical host NIIVA

June 24: Logan Staats, Jackie Richardson, Siibii; Musical host Sam Drysdale 


July 9 – Justin Nozuka 

July 16 – Terra Lightfoot 

July 23 – Preston Pablo 

July 30 – Billy Raffoul 

[Review by Shan Fernando]