Morrissey to play Toronto for the first time in 15 years

The former lead singer of the Smiths has ended his seal hunt-related boycott of Canada, launching a full tour that includes two nights at the Sony Centre

Morrissey’s Canadian boycott is over. The controversial post-punk icon and former lead singer of the Smiths hasn’t played on this side of the border since 2006, when he launched his public protest against the seal hunt. He’s since faced criticism for his dogmatic and culturally blinkered animal rights campaigns, especially from Indigenous people defending their right to economic self-determination. He’s even beefed with Gail Shea, formerly Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. 

Regardless, Smiths fans are a dedicated bunch, and those who have not already broken up with Moz have been clamouring for a Canadian show for more than a decade. His concerts in Buffalo and other parts of New York are often filled with Canadian fans. 

In September last year, Morrissey said he would soon be ending his boycott – not because he’d changed his mind about seal hunting, but because he’d decided his protest was futile.

“My decision to return to Canada after almost 15 years of protest against its savage and Neanderthal annual Baby Seal Kill is entirely because my stance was ultimately of no use and helped no one,” he wrote on his website, in his unmistakable Morrissey voice. “My voice was drowned out by the merciless swing of spiked axes crushing the heads of babies.”

He’s launched a full Canadian tour that will include two dates at Toronto’s Sony Centre on April 26 and 27. A portion of the proceeds of every Canadian stop will go to support animal welfare organizations in each city. In Toronto, those include Toronto Chicken Save, Toronto Cow Save, Toronto Fish Save and Toronto Fur Animal Save. 

“Will my Canadian tour be a success?” Morrissey asked in the same blog post. “I have no idea. I shall give my best and do my best. We are all passionately looking forward to renewed friendships.”

April 26 and 27 at Sony Centre (1 Front East), 8 pm. $TBA. On sale Friday, February 22.


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