John McLachlan


Part nostalgia, part history, part about today; a McLachlan concert is a journey through story-songs that connect us with who we are and where we come from. Whether it be with a full multimedia presentation or a solo acoustic performance in an intimate setting, you will slow down and lose yourself for a couple of hours, making connections to your own stories and life experiences through his songs.

Joining John on stage is Marc Atkinson who adds a rich texture of musical colour in the form of lead guitar, mandolin, and percussion. Atkinson is a highly distinguished artist in his own right, performing with his own trio, and as a member of The Bills. As well, he is an award-winning producer and operates a recording studio on Hornby Island.

John’s rhythm guitar work, coupled with Marc’s instrumental finesse, creates the perfect foundation for McLachlan’s collection of original songs. Together, they create a full performance experience through their solid artistry and warm, welcoming stage manner.

Ebb and Flow

Moving from wild waters of the west coast, vast landscapes of the North and big open spaces of the Prairies to the minutiae of life on a small island, Ebb and Flow is a heartfelt journey narrated by yearning for adventure and love of home.

A backdrop of projected images, video and old home movies infuse an intimate touch to lyrical story-songs which move from the personal to the universal to invite audiences to open a door into their own experience.

2 hours including 15-minute intermission

Call it Home

A musically dramatic journey that re-ignites glowing memories of summer vacations, explores the pains of growing up, and sheds light on the realities of adulthood with its realization that we are all part of a bigger ebb and flow. The songs tell of youth, the passage of time and the vibrancy of life on Hornby Island which John McLachlan now calls home.

From a poignant memory of his dad’s 8mm home movies to a story about the first car ferry and its captain, this concert is part nostalgia, part history and part present day. Images and movie clips weave throughout, adding a richness and authenticity recognizable to every childhood summer holiday spent on islands, lakes or countryside. Call It Home traces a personal yet universal journey of appeal to all ages.

75-minute show


John McLachlan became hooked on historically-based songs in grade 4 when student teacher Ms. Dolan played Gordon Lightfoot’s “Canadian Railroad Trilogy.” As a teenager he picked up his dad’s old guitar his dad and started to learn words and chords of singer-songwriters he loved. He wrote his first song at 19 when he began playing at a small folk club in North Vancouver, BC.

From 1983 to 1985 he studied in the commercial music program at Capilano University. Voice lessons, theory, ensemble playing, music business courses, and meeting up with lots of other young musicians gave him the courage present his songs “out there” in a bigger way.

In 1985 with a small group of fellow musicians he formed a band and presented his first (of many) concerts at the venerable Vancouver East Cultural Centre. Heavily stacked with friends and family, the sell-out show gave him a major kick to know that there was something there worth pursuing.

Over the next 15 years he travelled to many corners of British Columbia—from Nazko to Kyuquot, Fort St. John to Princeton, Prince George to Vancouver— presenting hundreds of community concerts and developing several programs for schools featuring BC or Canadian history. He took his school show to Saskatchewan, toured folk clubs as far east as Ottawa and performed in Bogotá, Colombia accompanying a festival of West Coast Canadian cuisine.

By the late 90s, the tank was getting low and he pulled the music bus to the side of the road. Learning graphic design from his artist father and using his experience with artists and arts organizations he launched a new career in graphic design and arts administration. He ran two arts  service organizations (BC Touring Council and Creative City Network of Canada) and coordinated two arts grant programs funded by the BC Arts Council.

By 2014, it was time to get back to his first love: music, songs and performing. His 15-year break gave him a new perspective on his older songs and introduced a fresh ear and eye to writing and performing, allowing the spirit that started to merge with some new-found wisdom that inspires his music today.


to be named (2018)
Wind & Bones
Call It Home

John’s website

More detailed information on shows, press kit and more videos.