The King of Rock and Roll … and Plumbing

John Cigan is no ordinary plumber. You will know right away if the owner of Carl & Son Plumbing and Heating is on the job installing plumbing for one of Inspire Home’s renovated kitchens – because you’ll be able to hear him before you see him. This plumbing and heating specialist has made a “second career” as an Elvis Tribute Artist, and it is not unusual to hear him humming and singing a catchy tune while he works.

John developed his love for music, and Elvis, at a young age. “My dad bought me an Elvis record when I was five, and I think I played that thing over and over again until my dad’s record player blew up!” jokes John.

Growing up he gravitated toward other groups like the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, but he always favoured Elvis.

His passion may be music, but his chosen profession was emulated after his dad, Carl. “My dad was a plumber for 50 years, and around the age of 10, I decided I wanted to also become a plumber and work with him,” says John. “Dad never pushed me to get into the trades. That was all my choice. I saw he was a good tradesman and wanted to be like him.”

Still a teenager, John got his plumbing license from George Brown College and started working with his dad. “We had a great relationship and he taught me everything I know – all the little tricks of the trade.”

John’s business primarily services contractors, like Inspire Homes, where he installs plumbing and boiler heating for renovation and new construction projects, but he also has service contracts with several companies that manage the high-rise buildings in the downtown area.

When you ask John how he became an Elvis Tribute Artist, he’ll tell you that this evolution didn’t happen until he was in his 30s. “I started singing Elvis tunes, just for fun, and people told me, ‘You sound pretty good.’ From there on, it grew into a nice little side-career for me.”

That’s putting it mildly. In just eight years, John as become a rather decorated artist. He recently won the Spirit Award at this year’s  Collingwood Elvis Festival and placed 4th in the Professional category – on top of the many competitions he’s won throughout Ontario and the States. Paying tribute to the King of Rock and Roll has also become a family affair as John’s 15-year-old son, Mason, took 2nd in the Youth category at Collingwood.  Besides competing at Elvis festivals, John also performs for charity events.

In short, John is all about satisfying his customers. Whether it is working alongside Inspire Homes to retrofit a home in the Toronto area or singing onstage to entertain the crowd, he says it best: “I try to take care of the customer the best that I can.”