It’s Elvis Presley Day in Ottawa! Mayor Jim Watson made the proclamation to recognize the anniversary of The King’s performance in the Nation’s Capital on April 3, 1957. That ties in nicely with a concert Tuesday at the National Arts Centre called “The King Is Back.” Ben Portsmouth, one of the Elvis performers in the show, helped receive the proclamation in the mayor’s office. 60 years ago today, over nine thousand people attended the Presley concert. The Ottawa Citizen reported that the fans were screaming so loud that it was impossible to actually hear Elvis Presley on stage. Fans carried pictures, buttons and other items to show their devotion to the ‘King’ of rock n’ roll. Canada was the only country outside the United States in which Elvis Presley performed on stage. For the record, in 1957 Elvis performed two shows at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on April 2nd, two shows at the Auditorium in Ottawa on April 3rd, and one show at Empire Stadium in Vancouver on August 31st. Elvis had also been scheduled to appear at the arena in Verdun, a suburb of Montreal on April 4th. However, before the tour had even begun, that show had been cancelled due to civic concern and pressure from Catholic Church officials.
Photo Credit: A. Andrews, C. Buckman, D. Gall, T. Grant. Credit: Andrews-Newton Photographers Fonds / City of Ottawa Archives / MG393-AN-049378-026. Copyright: City of Ottawa Archives.