Sultans Of String Leader Chris McKhool Inducted Into 2024 Burlington PAC Hall of Fame

Sultans Of String Leader Chris McKhool Inducted Into 2024 Burlington PAC Hall of Fame
Burlington has a rich history of arts and culture that has played a key role in the city’s success, dating back to the historical Brant Inn that featured jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. For years, Burlington artists and community leaders have upheld this tradition while laying the groundwork for the next generation of cultural innovators.

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre (‘BPAC’) established its Hall of Fame in 2013. Every year since then, the Hall of Fame has recognized artists who have made significant contributions to the performing arts in Burlington, including the internationally acclaimed conductor Boris Brott, and legendary Canadian comedian and broadcaster Gordie Tapp.

The latest addition to this list is Burlington-based singer-songwriter Chris McKhool. McKhool is a 7-time winner of the Canadian Folk Music Awards and a 4-time JUNO Award nominee for both his music for young people and his involvement in the band Sultans of String. He is a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient, and has received numerous awards from Folk Music Ontario, Canadian Independent Music Association and SiriusXM.

McKhool’s music has hit Top Ten Billboard music charts, and he has been touring the world with both adult and children’s concerts for two decades, reaching over 1 million children live in concert, and has appeared on Mr. Dressup, YTV’s Treehouse, and the CBC. He is the bandleader for Sultans of String, who just won “Best Musical Film” at the Cannes World Film Festival for their documentary Sultans of String: The Refuge Project, that screened at festivals across the country and globally. Simply put, McKhool is an artistic leader that has strengthened Burlington’s cultural landscape.

McKhool’s induction was announced at the 2024-2025 ‘BPAC Presents’ Season Launch.
“This is such a tremendous honour and I am so grateful for support I have received here in Burlington to be able to grow as an artist,” McKhool said in a statement about his Award win.

“My wife grew up in Burlington, and so we moved here to raise our daughter, and I discovered that there is an incredible camaraderie in Burlington among artists. I have to give special thanks to the Burlington Arts & Culture Fund, especially during the pandemic years, because with their support I have been able to host concerts featuring amazing indigenous artists, and new immigrant artists to schools in all six wards.”

McKhool went on to discuss the importance of creating art for young people, noting “People sometimes say that kids are the audience of tomorrow, but actually they are an audience right now that needs great art, just like we do as adults, to make sense of the world and their lives.”

He is currently touring with Sultans of String in their groundbreaking show called Walking Through the Fire, a collection of collaborations with First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists across Turtle Island.
Walking Through the Fire:
June 9 – Hamilton Arts Week – Westdale Theatre
June 17 – Waterloo – University of Waterloo
June 21 – Newmarket – Old Town Hall
June 22 – Toronto CD Release – Hugh’s Room
June 23 – Kitchener – Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Festival
Aug 9-11 – Edmonton Folk Festival MainStage
Other Sultans band concerts:
June 25 – Wasaga Beach Gazebo
June 30 – Trenton – Old Church Theatre
July 16-17 – Theatre Collingwood Porchside Festival
July 20 – Port Hope – Northumberland Diversity Festival