Arts Now

Winnipeg - Guess Who singer Burton Cummings will play benefit concerts at a historic Winnipeg theatre to help reduce its $1.8-million debt.

Details about the concert series will be announced in October, and the 95-year old Walker Theatre will be renamed the Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts in his honour.

"I am completely and deeply thrilled about this," Cummings told a news conference at the theatre, which has hosted acts ranging from Groucho Marx to the Barenaked Ladies. "It's in the heart of the downtown of my home town."

The concerts by Cummings are part of a plan by the theatre's board to get rid of all of its debt in time for the theatre's 100th anniversary in 2007.

Cummings, 54, is the lead singer of the Guess Who. The band was formed in Winnipeg in the 1960s and went on to international stardom before Cummings and guitarist Randy Bachman left in the 1970s for successful solo careers. The Guess Who reunited in 1999.

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