SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
SCUGOG: Top notch talent and mouth-watering corn will attract hundreds to the 30th Annual Musicians Corn Roast, on August 20th.
The country music jamboree is hosted by the Port Perry and Blackstock Lions Clubs, and is in memory of Larry Dee. Mr. Dee was Canada’s premiere pedal steel guitar player. He suffered a heart attack and passed away in 1987. After Mr. Dee’s passing, his best friend Paul Wasson, created the Annual Musicians Corn Roast in his honour.
“It just kind of started off as a private function and it exploded about [the third year] into it,” Mr. Wasson said.
The money raised at the event will go to a local charity, who will then use the funds to serve people in this area.
The event is completely volunteer run and has gathered support from several musicians.
“Everybody comes from all across the country, and across the United States. We’ve had entertainers that come here free of charge, every year, and support this event, all in memory of Larry,” Mr. Wasson said.
The corn roast will feature some big names in the Canadian country music industry, such as Harold Macintyre, Winston James, Bill Johnson, Dennis Whitty, Darrin Johnson, and many others.
“It’s a whole day of music. It starts at noon and will go until approximately eight o’clock,” Mr. Wasson said. “You get a [great] show for $10.”
He said a lot of musicians have had their careers launched because of the corn roast. Many promoters in the country music industry attend the event, because of all the talent it brings each year.
“A lot of the acts that have been here have gone on to greater things, and it’s because of the promoters that are here. They know our show is just a little bit different from everybody else,” Mr. Wasson said.
The function will also feature raffles, face painting, food tents and food trucks, and a motorcycle show and shine. The motorcycle show-and-shine is in memory of Larry and Liz Johnson, close friends of Mr. Wasson’s who tragically passed away several years ago in a motorcycle accident.
The event is 'B.Y.O.B.' and attendees can bring their own lawn chairs in, for better seating. Hamburgers, hotdogs, peameal on a bun, and corn on the cob, will be available on site.
“It’s very family orientated. We encourage people to bring their children,” Mr. Wasson said. “We don’t have any incidents of any type here.”
The event starts at 12:00 p.m. and goes until 8:00 p.m. Admission is $10 per adult and is free for children 12 and under. All proceeds go to the Port Perry and Blackstock Lions club. The event is rain or shine.
“We would like to set a milestone and try to have a pile of people out here, to celebrate the 30th year,” Mr. Wasson said.
The event is located at 4790 McKee Road Blackstock.
SCUGOG: Expand your artistic perspective, explore local heritage and landscapes with the new exhibit “Landmarks” by artist David Clubine. The Opening Reception will begin Saturday, July 29th, 2017 at 2 pm. The show will run July 29th to August 24th in the Kent Farndale Gallery in the Scugog Memorial Public Library at 231 Water Street, in Port Perry.
Following illustration studies at the Ontario College of Art & Design, David Clubine followed his passion for watercolour painting. His interest in heritage architecture and landscapes is reflected in the century homes, cottages, railways stations, churches and other familiar scenes known throughout the local area and abroad.
The Kent Farndale Gallery is open 7 days a week during library hours. Please call 905-985-7686 for more information.
UXBRIDGE: The artist for the bronze statue of Uxbridge war-hero Sam Sharpe, recently, came to council to give an update and history on the project.
Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Sharpe is being recognized for his remarkable service and sacrifice to Canada.
He served as a member of parliament starting in 1908 after his career as a lawyer.
As a member of parliament, when the first world war broke out, Sam Sharpe used his influence to help create a new battalion for Ontario Country, which is now known as Durham Region.
“He went around and almost personally, recruited 1100 young men from the Uxbridge, Sunderland, Lindsay, and the Port Perry area,” said Wynn Walter, artist of the project.
His regiment gathered in Elgin Park and the whole town cheered them on before they departed overseas.
“When he marched off to war there was a big celebration. Going off to war, in those days, was a celebratory event,” Mr. Walters said.
LC. Sharpe’s regiment fought in all the major battles, such as Vimmy Ridge, Avion, Passchendaele, Flanders Fields, and Arras. 80% of Sharpe’s men were either killed or wounded in combat, which was not uncommon for the battles they fought in.
“As we all know, conditions back then were absolutely atrocious, both the fighting and living conditions,” Mr. Walter said.
He fought with bravery and received a Distinguished Service Order for his gallantry on the battlefield.
“Sharpe was unusual, in that he led his men personally into battle. The British regiments, by contrast, usually had the command led by the rear, out of harm’s way,” Mr. Walters said.
In 1917, LC. Sharpe began to feel the effects of the traumas he faced during the war, and developed what, at the time, was known as shellshock or operational disorder. Losing so many of the young men he recruited took a toll on his mental health.
“He could not face the reality of coming home to Uxbridge and facing the families of whom he had recruited all these kids, many of them personally,” Mr. Walters said.
In May of 1918, Sam Sharpe had a mental break down and was hospitalized at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. Shortly after the hospitalization he jumped out of the hospitals window to his death.
“He was disgraced by his regiment, as people with shellshock were back then, they knew nothing of the mental condition that we now know as PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder],” Mr. Walters said.
As Canadians learned about the very real effects of PTSD, the story of Sam Sharpe has been retold to accurately depict the war hero.
The bronze statute will represent the mental struggle Sam Sharpe had after losing so many of his men. The statute shows Sharpe sitting in a thinking position as he tries to write a letter to his friend, John Walton’s wife. Mr. Walton was a good friend of Sharpe’s who was killed in battle. The statute show’s Sharpe agonizing over how he is going to explain to John Walton’s wife that her husband is dead.
The statute also has Sharpe with one leg off the ground, which in the military symbolizes that the person was killed in battle.
“The message of this is that he was in fact killed of battle, perhaps not in battle, but never the less a battle victim,” said Mr. Walters.
The statute is going to cost $140,000, and the project has already received a $70,000 grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage. The bronze statute will be accompanied by a bronze plaque making the inscription last significantly longer.
“We came to the conclusion that the plaque explaining all about Sam Sharpe needs to be as permanent as the statute,” Walter said. “The statue is going to be there for 300, 400, 500 years. It will last forever.”
The unveiling of the statute is scheduled to happen on May 25th, 2018, exactly 100 years since Sam Sharpe’s passing. The life-size bronze statute will sit directly across from the Cenotaph, at the corner of Brock and Toronto St.
Donations for the project can be made online, at http://www.ushs.ca/samsharpe, or mailed to the Uxbridge Scott Historical Society, P.O Box 1301, Uxbridge ON L9P 1N5. Donations of $20 and over will receive tax receipts and donations of $1,000 or more will be given permanent recognition at the site.
UXBRIDGE: If you thrill to the skirl of the bagpipes, adore the aroma of fish and chips and Scottish meat pies, marvel at the ability of the highland dancers, you will want to come to beautiful Elgin Park in Uxbridge, on Saturday, July 29th, for the Uxbridge Scottish Festival. Admission is by donation, and parking via Elgin Park Drive is free!
The Highland Dance Competition begins at 8:00 a.m., and the Scottish Breeds dog show is at 10:00 a.m.
For the first time in Canada a canine “Highland Games!”
The 13 different Scottish breeds will entertain with various hilarious games and competitions, such as dunking for wieners, musical mats, egg and spoon races, special tricks, etc.
In addition, the Scottish Breeds Exhibition will have its traditional Breeders’ Village, where you can meet and greet such breeds as Scottish Terriers, Cairns, Westies, Shelties, Deerhounds, Collies; plus, of course, the famous Dandie Dinmont Terrier Cuddling Parlour.
Learn more about your heritage at the Avenue of the Clans!
Day long events on the Bandshell begin at 11:00 a.m., with opening ceremonies at noon and closing at 6:00 p.m. Included in the performances will be: Scottish Country Dancers, from Peterborough and Port Perry; Kick up a Fuss Cloggers; the always popular Claidhmor; and local fiddler and step dancer Deanna Dolstra, from Alberta; and of course, pipe bands!
The event is being organized by Lew Gregor, of the Uxbridge Legion Pipes and Drums, and Stewart Bennett, of The Wee Tartan Shop in Port Perry.
There will be vendors and purveyors of Scottish food and beverages. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy a Scottish Day in Uxbridge’s Elgin Park.
For more information call 905.985.6573
DAN CEARNS The Standard
UXBRIDGE: Local singer, songwriter Julien Kelland will be holding an EP release party, at the Uxbridge Music Hall, on Saturday, July 22nd.
Ms. Kelland recently released her new EP, titled “The Intro” and told The Standard what people can expect from it.
“People can expect a more mature and unique sound with my new EP. My style of music has changed a bit as I've gotten older,” she said. “I would compare my sound to an artist like Banks, for example. There is still the influence of ballad vocalists like Adele, but with a more pop/alternative style wrapped in with it.”
Ms. Kelland was able to complete the EP, thanks, in part, to an online fundraising campaign at www.gofundme.com.
“All I can say is thank you, from the bottom of my heart. It truly means the world to me to have people believe in my dreams and who want to help, in any way they can,” Ms. Kelland said. “I wouldn't have been able to create this EP without the tremendous support I received from everyone who donated or took part in my partnership program. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Ms. Kelland, an Uxbridge resident, also noted how fortunate she is to live in a community that values the arts.
“I would not be the artist, performer, or person I am today if not for the community that I have grown up in. I am so thankful to grow up in a town with so many opportunities for youth interested in the arts,” she said. “I, along with several other artists around Uxbridge and the surrounding areas, have often discussed how rich this area is with talent, and I think that is a direct reflection of the opportunities we have all been privileged with.”
Doors open for the EP release party at 7:30 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are $15 and tickets at the door are $20. They can be bought online, at https://starticketing.com/tktweb/event_view?eventCode=JUL, or at The Second Wedge Brewing Co., Sugar FX, and Kimberley Kelland Fashions.
“My EP Release Party will be a little different this time around. I'm planning for this EP release to be more of a party,” Ms. Kelland said. “People can expect a performance by me, of course, but I'm very excited to announce that there will be a DJ, a photo booth, and more. We will be serving drinks, thanks to The Second Wedge Brewing Co., as well as food.”
In addition, Ms. Kelland told The Standard what her goals are moving forward.
“My main goal for the future is to be able to make a living doing what I love, and to entertain people around the world. I have really big hopes for my EP, and I'm already working on new music that I'm so excited to share with everyone,” she said.
Ms. Kelland encourages people to follow her, on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, to keep up to date on what she is doing, and to learn more about the upcoming EP release party.
As well, people can learn more about Ms. Kelland at her website, at julienkelland.com. The Uxbridge Music Hall is located at 16 Main St. South.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The Bonner Boys will once again be holding Ribfest, at Elgin Park in Uxbridge, with this year’s event set to kick off on Friday, July 14th.
The Ribfest will be held in the park, from July 14th until Sunday, July 16th. The event will begin at 5 p.m. on July 14th, with live entertainment, at 6 p.m. until 11 p.m., from Mayfly’s Landing, Tanner Potter, Erin Blackstock with “Therapy Seekers” and Dani Strong.
On July 15th, the event will run from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., and on July 16th the event will run from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Some of the performers on the Saturday and Sunday include Brian Milroy, Rearview, Kris Barclay and Rory Taillon.
“Last year, the Ribfest was a great success. We had great weather,” President of the Bonner Boys, Jason Hicken told Uxbridge Councillors, at a meeting in March.
Back for a second year will be the Big Rig Show and Shine, being held on Saturday, July 15th. Judging will start at noon. It will feature 8 classes of competition and there will be raffle prizes and a concert.
Throughout the weekend, there will also be a kids zone, a beer garden and a variety of vendors. Admission into the event is by donation.
For more information on the event, including the full entertainment schedule, go to /www.bonnerboys.org,, or check out the Bonner Boys on Facebook.
SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
SCUGOG: The 42nd annual Truck and Tractor Pull is returning to Blackstock, on July 7th and 8th, at the Blackstock Fairgrounds.
Contestants will pull a weighted sled along a 300-foot-long track, to see who can make it the farthest distance for a cash prize.
The sled is designed to transfer the weight from the rear to the front as the pull progresses, so the farther a driver gets, the harder it is to pull the sled.
If the drivers manage to reach the end of the track it is called a “full pull” and if another driver reaches it as well they have a “pull off.” The Blackstock Truck and Tractor Pull usually gets a few full pulls each year, according to Nicole Beechey, Blackstock Agricultural Society secretary.
“The sled company we use is called The Executioner Sled Team, and they are very good at setting up the sleds so that we get some good full pulls because it’s exciting for the crowd,” she said.
Winners of the tractor pull often have modified their trucks or tractors to have the best combination of horsepower, traction, and torque. The skill level of the driver is also an important factor.
“I’ve seen tractor pulls won and lost based on whether someone down shifted to early or too late,” Mrs. Beechey said.
Each day of the truck or tractor pull there will be six different classes of vehicles competing. These classes include gas and diesel 4x4 trucks, modified 4x4 trucks, light and heavy pro stock tractors, modified tractors, and pro street semi vehicles.
Mrs. Beechey anticipates around 50 vehicles will be competing and they can expect hundreds of people each night, depending on weather.
“It’s fun to come out as a family to see it,” she said. “you also get to see your neighbours and friends.”
The event will have food trucks and a beer tent available for attendees.
The Blackstock Agricultural Society encourages everybody to come out and enjoy the event.
Admission prices for adults is $10, for children 12 and under it is $5 and children under 5 are allowed in for free. The event starts at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.
“If you own a 4x4 gas or diesel truck you are welcome to try out the tractor pulling as well,” Mrs. Beechey said.
SCUGOG: It’s “Summerstock 101”, for Theatre 3x60, this July, with the hiring of 5 professional theatre students, through the support of the Canada Summer Jobs student employment program. Four talented students from the George Brown College Theatre School will be seen on stage in two of this summer’s Port Perry Summer Theatre productions, Salt-Water Moon, opening July 8th, and Mary’s Wedding, opening July 18th. They will also be appearing in, the site specific Pine Grove Plot's, History To Die For, cemetery walks. A fifth student, currently a theatre major at the University of Toronto, is the company’s summer production/stage manager, overseeing all the productions.
For aspiring actors Manon Ens-Lapointe, Duncan Gibson-Lockhart, Lexi MacRae and Michael Williamson, performing on stage is the perfect summer job. “I’ve had lots of summer jobs, but this is the first year I have been able to work at something that I have been training to do”, says Duncan, and Lexi agrees “This is a perfect opportunity to put what I’ve been studying to use and to build my resume.” Production/stage manager Caroline Watling, a native of Oshawa, sees this summer job as an opportunity to build on her theatre experience and productions skills, towards a possible career in arts management. “This is a lot more real than what we do in school. It’s a real taste of the industry.”
The company has been in rehearsal since mid June at Town Hall 1873, and the actors are getting the full summer theatre experience by billeting locally with Theatre 3x60 board members and staff. Theatre 3x60 vice president, Marion Meyers was eager to offer her home, saying “When I heard we had young actors coming to Port Perry, to act in our summer theatre season, I immediately volunteered to house them. I knew that they would bring an enthusiasm and skill to our local theatre scene, and this was an additional way for me to support the arts in our town. Young people trying to make it in any arts field need lots of support in many ways.”
Theatre 3x60 president, Ruth Spearing sees hiring student actors as an ideal way of meeting the company’s mandate. “As a theatre company, committed to enriching lives on and offstage, we are thrilled to offer the opportunity that Canada Summer Jobs provides for these talented and hard-working young people. It feels good to know that we are playing a part in the training and growth of future theatre artists, and to be able to pay artists for their skills here in the community.”
Audiences can see Lexi and Michael onstage at Town Hall 1873, July 8th to 22nd, in David French’s Salt-Water Moon.
Manon and Duncan appear in Stephen Massicotte’s Mary’s Wedding from July 18th – 29th, and all four will perform through July and early August in Pine Grove Plot's History To Die For. Full production dates, details and cast biographies can be found at www.portperrysummertheatre.ca.
Tickets for Salt-Water Moon and Mary’s Wedding are on sale at the Town Hall 1873 box office, at 302 Queen St. Port Perry, by phone 905 985-8181, or online at www.townhall1873.ca. Student/Senior, group and EyeGo prices are available. Pine Grove Plot's History To Die For is by donation ($10 suggested), at the gate only.