Canadian Music Class Challenge

Arkells shock Calgary Arts Academy with surprise visit

Hamilton rockers Arkells wowed students at the Calgary Arts Academy during the band's Rally Cry tour.

Hamilton rockers Arkells wowed students at the Calgary Arts Academy.

Arkells shock students at Calgary Arts Academy with surprise visit

Hamilton rock band Arkells just made a group of 200 music students in Calgary very happy.

In December 2018, the Calgary Arts Academy won the MusiCounts Passion Prize for its over-the-top rendition of the Arkells hit "People's Champ" in the Canadian Music Class Challenge.

The students at the Calgary Arts Academy won a grand prize of $5,000 worth of new instruments for their school. You can check out that incredible performance below.

During the competition last fall, Arkells caught wind of the Calgary Arts Academy's video and were equally impressed, sharing it to their social media channels — and thousands of fans. The band also made secret arrangements to deliver the students their prize in a surprise visit during its Rally Cry tour.

That visit was on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. The students thought that all of the TV cameras were there to cover the prize presentation, and were completely shocked and thrilled when the Arkells members walked in during their performance. The band joined right in for a full-on dance party.

Check out this report from Calgary's nightly news:

And here's another that includes an interview with the band:

Even Calgary's mayor, Naheed Nenshi, showed up. Arkells also treated the kids to a sing-along performance of their breakout hit "Knocking at the Door," followed by a Q&A with students. Arkells then gave out their own "People's Champ" medals, and helped reveal the new instruments the school won for taking top honours in our competition.

The Arkells joined students at the Calgary Arts Academy for a surprise performance Wednesday. (Anis Heydari/CBC)

"Thank you to the students from Calgary Arts Academy for that amazing performance of "People's Champ" — it blew us away!" Arkells lead singer Max Kerman proclaimed to the students.

Two days after the visit, Arkells tweeted that an anonymous donor purchased fifty tickets for the Arkells show at the Saddledome in Calgary and gave them to the teachers of the Arts Academy so they could attend the concert.

If you're a student in a music class or know of a great music program in your community, hopefully you can take part in the 2019 Canadian Music Class Challenge coming this fall. Watch for our 2019 song list to be revealed soon and maybe you could get your favourite band to visit your school, too!

Students were abuzz with excitement when the Arkells joined their performance, but didn't miss a beat. (Anis Heydari/CBC)