CN Centre was first called the Multiplex for a reason. It was constructed intentionally to be much more than just the home rink of the Prince George Cougars hockey club.
The Cougars are still the primary tenant for the building, drawing tens of thousands of bums to CN Centre seats per season, but it is indeed a full-spectrum facility. It provides a home to trade shows, concerts, conventions, theatre events, and much more.
Apart from the Cougars games, the minor hockey ice times, and the recreational hockey leagues that use the place (in addition to figure skating, ringette and other ice sports), here is what CN Centre brought to town in 2018.
Feb. 8 - local rock guitarist Dave Rosin got to come back to Prince George with his band Hedley. Lead singer Jake Hoggard's behaviour had embroiled the band in controversy about then, and the band went on hiatus soon after the P.G. date.
Feb. 24 - Beer Bacon and Bands. "This was very successful and saw a full floor of guests enjoying local food and beer while being entertained with live music," said CN Centre's event manager Tracy Shaw.
Mar. 8 - Johnny Reid "played an almost full house" along with Glass Tiger and Jessica Mitchell.
Apr. 17 - The Broadway presentation of The Illusionists "came for the first time playing to a packed house."
April 25-29 - Cirque du Soleil's Crystal "performed to enthusiastic crowds," said Shaw. "This was a ground breaking event combining both acrobatics and ice skating. P.G. was one of the earliest selected cities to perform based on Cirque's Dralion attendance in 2015."
May 6 - Dirty Dancing, the live musical theatre version of the popular movie.
May 11-13 - Northern FanCon, an innovative and unique tourist draw and local favourite for fans of pop-culture.
May 17 - "Seinfeld played to an almost sold out crowd," said Shaw.
June 16-17 - For the first time, the 24-Hour Relay For Life supporting the Canadian Cancer Society was moved to Exhibition Park. CN Centre officials considered it a "successful" transplantation of an iconic local charity event.
July 13-15 - Watchtower Convention.
July 19-29 - Circo Osorio Circus set up their purple pavilion in the outer parking lot.
Aug. 10-12 - First-ever Cariboo Rocks the North classic rock festival, which was so successful it was announced on the spot that another would be held in 2019.
Aug. 16-19 - A northern tradition, the BCNE, once again entertained the region while celebrating the local agriculture industry and local history.
Oct. 13 - Figure skating royalty came on the Thank You Canada Ice Skating Tour, featuring Canadian Olympic stars Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, Kaetlyn Osmond, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, Patrick Chan, legend Elvis Stojko, and superstar headliners Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
Nov. 4 - John Mellencamp made his return to P.G. on the Sad Clowns & Hillbillies tour.
Nov. 5 - Canada's top-grossing standup comedian, one of the most popular comedians in the world, Russell Peters, made his P.G. debut with opening act Jake Johannsen. It was close to sold out.
Nov. 9 - Alt-country legends Nitty Gritty Dirt Band came back to P.G. after years apart, and they brought along fast-rising Canadian supporting act Nice Horse.
Nov. 29 - Country rocker Tim Hicks brought his Get Loud tour to P.G. along with special support acts Tebey and Andrew Hyatt and featured duet act Alee Adamoski.
Dec. 15 - The combination of acrobatics and winter storyland scenes made for Cirque Musica's Wonderland, which featured a large orchestra of local musicians joining the performance.
"2019 is shaping up to be just as busy with Stomp, FMX Motocross, Kinky Boots, Rock of Ages, Colin James and Judas Priest, along with our annual favourites such as FanCon, Cariboo Rocks the North, Cancer Relay and the BCNE," Shaw said. "And these are just what's been announced so far."
Fifteen Cougars home games also remain, plus whatever the fans and players can generate if they crack into the playoffs.