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KISS is back in town with a completely new show and stage, kicking off tomorrow night in Victoria. The band’s just fresh in town from a month of touring through Europe, playing to sold-out arenas. The “Spider Stage” has been time-tested and is ready to hit Canada with a string of shows.

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KISS is a band that gets their fans. From merchandise to tours, they focus on what’s relevant to their audience. 40 years later, the band’s in great form, sporting the trademark look that brought them fame and worldwide attention in the 70’s.

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I attended a press conference this morning to kick off the KISS Monster tour as well as the KISS Army Depot, a pop-up store offering a variety of KISS memorabilia, from trademark platform boots to Hello Kitty co-branded products.

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Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts was on hand to accept a $10,000 cheque from the band to help Sophie’s Place, a collaboration between Surrey RCMP, Ministry of Children and Family Development, Ministry of Justice (Victim Services and Crime Prevention), City of Surrey and The Centre. Kids who are physically abused can feel safe at Sophie’s Place; the organization offers a “one-stop-shop” where the kids’ needs are addressed and aided through a multi-disciplinary team.

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Sophie is named after Sophie Tweed Simmons, Gene and Shannon Tweed’s daughter. She’s a dedicated spokeswoman who’s passionate about the centre and community outreach it offers.

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All KISS Army depot product sales will help benefit this valuable organization.

The stores are located in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto (where local charity About Face is the beneficiary of a percentage of product sales). The Vancouver store will remain open until July 7 at Tom Lee Music, 929 Granville Street, Vancouver.

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After the Canadian kick off at Save On Food Memorial Centre in Victoria, the band will be back in Vancouver on Saturday night at Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena. The final Canadian stop on the tour will be on August 4 at Mile One Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

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Visit the KISS website for more information on KISS and their Monster Tour.

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