History of Rock Revival

The Rock Revival legend started in 1990.

A few City of Kitchener employees came up with a great idea to help beat the winter blahs.  They decided to put on a show where staff would lip-sync to old rock and roll songs and perform as the original artists.


Originally the purpose was simply to entertain other city employees but it then soon became evident how popular it had become.  It was decided that admission would be charged, jars of peanut butter collected, and that all proceeds would be donated to charity.


The first Rock Revival show was a great success, and it has only gotten better as the years have passed!  Newer songs of all genres are now being introduced to this show, and the level of professionalism is increasing every year.  Many acts begin preparing and practicing well before the New Year to have everything perfect for the show. 

We’ve had groups like ABBA, The Righteous Brothers, Rob Zombie, Bare Naked Ladies, Cher, Bob Seger, AC/DC, KISS, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eminem, Britney Spears, Madonna and hundreds of others (check out the list of past acts under the Hall of Rock tab), the community has been fortunate to enjoy a fabulous show while supporting a meaningful local cause at the same time.


Rock Revival is an exciting opportunity to see our friends and family perform on stage.  Maybe…just maybe you may even see some local councillors, the CAO and the Mayor in action on stage as well.  After the show, take to the dance floor yourself and become part of the party.  


The first Rock Revival show was held at Victoria Park Pavilion in 1991, and quickly outgrew the pavilion’s capacity and moved on to the Transylvania Club.  Rock Revival enjoyed many years in this venue, and continued to sell out weeks before the show.  In 2003, Rock Revival moved to Budd Soccer Park, and then to Queensmount Arena, Stanley Park Community Centre and now for the last 12 years at Elements Nightclub in downtown Kitchener.


The show is emcee’d by various local celebrities from Waterloo Region, which always guarantees roars of laughter throughout the audience.


An executive committee made up of city staff organizes the show, together with the help of many additional city employees, regional employees, friends and local businesses.  Paul Black of Black Magic Sound, Lucas Simonetto of BoldLive and Satinderjit Bahia of SportStar Media are just a few examples of individuals and businesses that volunteer their time, products and services.  It is with the help of these many volunteers that Rock Revival can continue to be the great success it has been.

Since its inception, the proceeds collected from ticket sales, t-shirt sales, and the ever-popular silent auctions have steadily increased.  Over the last 30 years, this event has donated over 500 lbs of peanut butter and over $70,000 to local charities, Food Bank of Waterloo Region and Childrens’ Wish Foundation, to name a few.


This event is something you won’t want to miss.  Beat the winter blahs…see you at the next show!