Irish Rovers play Maple Ridge

(From left) The Irish Rovers: George Millar

(From left) The Irish Rovers: George Millar

The last time you saw The Irish Rovers on television was likely in the ’80s on their third national television series Party With The Rovers.

Now they’re back on national television with a new special, Home In Ireland, filmed entirely on location in Northern Ireland. The special will be launched nationally on the PBS network across the U.S. and Canada on Nov. 27 and will also be released on DVD throughout Europe.

The Rovers embarked on a tour across Canada in September and will be stopping in Maple Ridge next week for a show at The ACT.

Throughout their legendary career, The Irish Rovers have been called a Canadian institution, and have touched three generations of music lovers. These Irishmen became so much a part of the Canadian culture that Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau personally asked them to become Canadian, in order to officially represent Canada throughout the world.

The Irish Rovers now celebrate 45 years since their 1966 debut recording, The First of The Irish Rovers, with their 2011-Home in Ireland tour. It has been a magical journey from their first to their latest release, Gracehill Fair, which has had high praise from Celtic radio announcers from Belfast to Maui, and whose title track won the 2011 Song of the Year on their home base of Vancouver Island at the VIMA Music Awards.

Founding members George Millar and Wilcil McDowell share the majority of songwriting and management duties for the band. Will Millar left the group in 1994, and Jimmy Ferguson passed away in 1997. Joe Millar’s son, Ian (who inherited his father’s golden tones) took up the family ranks when his dad retired. Big Sean O’Driscoll and John Reynolds have been playing with the band for nearly 20 years, and drummer Fred Graham has been touring with the lads since 2007.

• The Irish Rovers play the ACT on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $42.50. To purchase, call the box office at 604-476-2787 or buy online at theactmapleridge.org.