DAN CEARNS The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: 21 year-old singer/songwriter Kylie McCullough has quickly been making a name for herself in the music industry.
On Monday, Aug. 21st, Ms. McCullough, who goes by the stage name Kylie Alora, released a new single titled “Ain’t Gonna Put Up a Fight.”
“It's a fun tongue in cheek song, and it's all about a spin-off on the games people play at the beginning of relationships,” Ms. McCullough told The Standard. “It's basically the girl saying 'I'm not gonna put up a fight.' If she likes the guy, she is just going to go for it.”
This release comes a few weeks after she signed on with Radar Love Records, which is headed by the original drummer and founder of Glass Tiger, Michael Hanson.
"I was really excited. I've been working with Michael Hanson for a while now, we've known each other for a while, and it's been great, because this is an up and coming label, so I'm one of the artists on it amongst a couple other artists that are really great, as well,” she said. “It's been great so far, they've been very helpful and are a really supportive team. I love how much they believe in me.”
The new single will be part of her new EP (extended play, a musical recording that contains more than a single, but less than a full album). She explained to The Standard what people can expect from the EP.
"It's a mixture, sound-wise, of fun pop type stuff, but then also has some serious songs on it; more of my singer, songwriter side. The second single is called Grounded and it's a ballad,” she said.
Ms. McCullough expects to release the full EP early in 2018. She grew up in Little Britain. Her family later moved to Lindsay, and she has been living in Toronto for almost three and a half years.
She said she grew up around music.
“My mom (Heather) is a gospel singer, so I grew up singing in church with her, and I used to go to a bunch of her concerts with her, and I'd be the guest singer,” Ms. McCullough said. “Eventually, I ventured out into the country/pop scene and just did the Lindsay [Exhibition] and all the Fairs around this area and festivals, and then I ventured off into the pop music industry and just decided that it was going to be my career.”
The 21 year-old describes her music style as a “very fun pop.”
She explained why she decided to choose the stage name Kylie Alora.
“My last name was too hard to spell and pronounce, I've noticed over the years, so I came up with Alora because I love the name Alora, I think it is a beautiful name, but it also means God's Light, which is close to my heart.”
In 2016, Ms. McCullough performed background vocals for Alessia Cara, during the Much Music Video Awards (MMVAs).
“I heard about [the opportunity] through my vocal coach and I ended up auditioning for the part,” she said."It was so much fun. I met amazing people. I got to work with Alessia Cara's crew and they were all so lovely and accepting and the band was awesome. She was a lovely person too, she was great.”
A year earlier, she was named a finalist in the RBC Canada’s Walk of Fame Emerging Artist program contest.
"I was in the top five for that and it was really awesome. I got to perform at [Young-Dundas Square] and I got to go to the Canada's Walk of Fame awards and met Michael Bublé and Shawn Mendes, and it was just really fun.”
Ms. McCullough said she wants to be a role model for youth.
“That's big for me, I want to be able to inspire youth and create a generation that is not afraid to be who they are and to stand up for what they believe in and not get judged for it,” she said. “I put that in the lyrics of my songs, and just the whole idea of us coming together and being the 'light in the darkness.'”
She also said some of her music focuses on mental health issues.
“I've suffered from anxiety my whole life, and that's actually helped me write the music I have written, and helps me to be able to relate to teens out there who go through the same thing and let them know that they are not alone in that.”
Ms. McCullough also credited the local community with giving her the support she needs to succeed.
“My community is my greatest support, always. They've known me since I was a little girl and they've watched my journey. I have some great friends from Lindsay, who are always messaging me and wanting updates on everything that is happening in my music life, and anytime I come back and visit, I always bump into people and they're always asking me what's happening with my music and when something is getting released,” she said.
People can check out Ms. McCullough’s music on iTunes, YouTube, and on her new website, www.kyliealora.com, when her EP is launched.
DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: People will once again have the opportunity to step back into time, when Pioneer Day returns to the Scugog Shores Museum Village, on Sunday, Aug. 20th.
The event will run, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., and will feature: heritage demonstrations, by demonstrators such as the blacksmith and woodwright; historical presentations and kids activities.
There is also expected to be a larger vendors market than last year, and new to the event this year is a performance by Cameron and Clara Hick, a british car display, and a model train display.
Museum supervisor, Hannah Scott told The Standard why she thinks the event has been so popular in the community every year.
“I think it is because Scugog, and more specifically Port Perry, is so connected to history,” she said. “We also have an older population, and they like to come to the museum for nostalgia. I think families and kids like coming to the event, because it is something new for them and is different and exciting.”
Ms. Scott said the event usually brings between 200 to 300 people to the museum grounds each year and added they are hoping for over 300 this year.
Admission to the event is $4 for an adult, $3 for students and seniors, $2 for children ages 4 to 12, and and children 4 years of age and under get in free.
The museum village is located at 16210 Island Rd. on Scugog Island.
SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
SCUGOG: There isn’t anything quite like grabbing a blanket or lawn chair and watching an outdoor movie under the stars. During this month, the Township of Scugog is hosting two free movie nights in Palmer Park.
“Come out and enjoy a movie on the 25-foot inflatable screen, it’s a really exciting experience because it’s like being in the movie theatre, but your still outside,” said Sable Frey, organizer of the event.
The first movie to be displayed in Palmer Park is the 2017 Live Action Remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, on August 17th, from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The second movie night is on August 24th and will feature the classic 1992 Disney film, Aladdin, from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Both films will be projected onto a 25-foot inflatable screen and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs for a more comfortable viewing experience.
There will be several vendors on site, serving pop corn, cotton candy, hot dogs, and a variety of refreshments.
“It’s great to have popcorn and candy floss during the movie, it really completes the experience,” Sable said.
She also told the Standard, Palmer Park is a great location for the movie night because it’s right downtown and has a beautiful lakefront view.
“It’s cool to watch a movie under the stars. Especially in Port Perry, at Palmer Park, it’s right by the water which is really nice. You get the sites of the old mill too, and its near Queen Street, so its really just a good central location to have the movie night.”
The event was made possible through a large donation from Cedar Creek Contracting.
Seating is first come first serve, and movie-goers are encouraged to dress for the weather. The event will not proceed in the event of adverse weather conditions.
UXBRIDGE: Preparations for this year's Uxbridge Celebration of the Arts are in high gear, with event coordinators promoting participation in this well-loved annual extravaganza. This year, the group has added a new segment called "Trail Mix," to be held on September 23rd, starting at noon. Imagine a unique trail walk through Elgin Park, where all genres of the arts will be presented, in a glorious outdoor setting. The Trail Mix committee, headed by Amy Peck, is looking for buskers, musicians, dancers, painters, photographers, sculptors and artists in any other genres who would like to perform and exhibit in the show.
"This is an event to celebrate our local talent and trails with a busker-style showcase, through the paths of Elgin Park," Ms. Peck says. "It will be a great outing for the entire family and it's free! Attendants can bring a picnic, stroll through the park, and experience the wealth of talent in our community. An outdoor celebration of the arts!" Anyone interested in performing or displaying their work should send an email to email@example.com.
Watch for more details to come on the Celebration of the Arts, with events running from September 9th through October 14th. Meet Mary Walsh in person, savour the Studio Tour, short film festival, the juried art show, the children's art show, concerts, dance, improv and more. Visit CelebrationoftheArts.ca.
And remember, to sign up to display your work or perform during Trail Mix, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Jesse Slack represents a new era of country music, playing a mix of original songs and popular country hits. Giving his fans an electrifying and interactive experience is what has set him apart from other emerging artists. Opening for names like Jason Blaine and Doc Walker has given Jesse the opportunity to play shows all over Ontario, and at venues including the main stage at the 2016 CCMA's and the Havelock Country Jamboree.
After releasing his first single "Going Drinking Tonight" Jesse got right back in the studio and released his second single "Where This Is Going", where Jesse received industry praise for the song's original lyrics and high quality production. With influences like Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts, Jesse aims to create unique country hits that his fans will be listening to for years to come. Building off a solid foundation of fan and industry support, his unique sound, determined personality and humble presence, Jesse is an artist to keep an eye on with lots of big things heading his way!"
“When fate, serendipitous timing and a jar of moonshine combine - expect the extraordinary....expect the un expected...” - Dan Swinimer, Manicdown Music Inc
When JoJo Mason walked in to a Christmas party on December 21, 2013 clutching a jar of that Ole’ Smokey Moonshine, he could not have predicted how a strange combination of events would change the course of his life forever.
Born in Regina, Saskatchewan February 26, 1990, JoJo spent most of his early years like many true Canadian kids - playing hockey on ice rinks and frozen lakes. With the opportunity of a successful career in the sport, he relocated to Victoria, BC in 2004 to play at the junior ranks. But this pursuit suddenly came to a screeching halt after suffering a herniated disk. This injury was devastating to his future in hockey and drove him down an unknown road without a destination - until now.
As the story goes - that fated jar of moonshine resolved a debate Dan had had with a co-writer earlier that day:
“During my writing session I wanted to use the line ‘drinking moonshine out of a jar’ because growing up in a small town, that’s exactly what we used to do. My co-writer had never heard of this and we debated this line for some time - we never did settle on it. Later that night at a Christmas party, in walks some guy named JoJo and to my delight, he was toting a mason jar of moonshine. This was an immediate talking point for us and the rest is history.”
Some say everything happens for a reason and some believe in fate. Whatever the case, JoJo’s irresistible personality and obvious star quality caught Dan’s attention and as the night wore on and the drinks continued to flow, JoJo expressed an interest in singing.
“At first I just passed it off as booze talk, JoJo had absolutely zero experience as a singer. In fact - until that moment he had never even aspired to be a singer. When I asked JoJo if he could sing, he uttered his now legendary response ‘I’m not the worst - I sing in the shower’. The more I talked to him and experienced his infectious, magnetic personality, the more I felt it worth my time to see if this guy could actually sing.”
And sing he could. It’s been a busy three years since JoJo started his work with Dan and Manicdown Music. He released his first single “It’s All Good” on June 21st, 2015 and it’s been a wild ride ever since. “It’s All Good” was the #1 most added song at radio in its first and third weeks of release, an accomplishment that has never before been achieved by an independent artist’s debut single in Canadian radio history. “It’s All Good” had a surreal run - reaching the top 10 on both Mediabase and BDS charts. JoJo’s 2nd single titled “Good Kinda Love”, was released in early November of 2015 and also hit the ground running. It was the #1 most added song its first week, debuted at #42 on the charts and eventually become JoJo’s secont Top - 10 hit.
After an unprecedented two consecutive Top 10 singles out of the gate. Dan knew it was time to get help. This was the moment Swinimer and Manicdown Inc. joined forces with 604 Records for the release of Mason’s third single “Red Dress” in early 2016.
“Not only does Jonathan Simkin and his staff at 604 Records have an undeniable track record, they have amazing vision and they aren’t afraid to think outside the box. They are perpetual leaders in an ever changing industry, they are excited about the future of music and they are thriving at a time when many established players are struggling.”
JoJo’s music is about having fun, appreciating life and sharing stories. It is passionately country, but with no fear of a deep groove, fresh lyric or original melody. He will charm you with his personality, wow you with his beat boxing, earn your respect with his work ethic, inspire you with his character and compassion, elicit a smile with his message but most importantly, JoJo will sweep you off your feet with his voice. From a moonshine singing, shower singing prairie boy to Canada’s next country music sensation.
“The first time I heard him on the radio, I could tell he was a truly unique voice in country music. He is an engaging, charismatic young man who has a long career ahead of him.”
- Jonathan Simkin, CEO, 604 Records
Fast forward to 2017, JoJo has 4 Top 20 singles under his belt and is on the heels of releasing his debut album on June 9th. Follow along as he reveals the track listing via a new video each week of stripped down versions of the songs.
YouTube JoJo Mason
UXBRIDGE: Art on the Fringe is back, once again, a significant event in the month-long festival Celebration of the Arts, and a welcome ‘fringe’ stop, during the mid-September Studio Tour weekend. It's a showcase for creations of more than 20 established and emerging artists and artisans, from Uxbridge and the surrounding area, a venue where you’ll find paintings, fiber art, ceramics, jewelry, furniture, photography and more all in the one beautiful location.
The showcase happens in the schoolhouse and in tents on the grounds of the Uxbridge Historical Centre just outside town, September 16th & 17th, 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. both days. Music, coffee, cookies, washrooms are all easily accessible.
Art on the Fringe is in its eighth year, but it is the first year that it is presented by the Artists of Uxbridge. This is a local group of painters, established more than a dozen years ago by Christine Chown and Susan Holt, with the goal of promoting and supporting art in our community. The artists meet once weekly, at Upstairs Zehrs, to paint and learn together, visitors and new members are always welcome.
Their watercolours, acrylic and oil paintings will be exhibited inside the schoolhouse. Outside, you’ll find creative displays from another dozen artists and artisans. Visitors are urged to check out the work done by students, to talk to them about their creations, and thereby encourage them to further add to the creative genius that so enriches our town.
Refreshments this year will be provided by our local Girl Guide Pathfinders. The girls are planning a trip to Ecuador next year, so your donation to their coffee pot will be greatly appreciated.
If you’re interested in showing and selling work of your own, it’s not too late to register. Check online, at http://artistsofuxbridge.ca/art/
SCUGOG: Sunday, August 13th's performance takes place outside, at the Scugog Shores Museum Village, 16210 Island Road. Bring your lawn chair and/or blanket. There's a Special play reading at 3:00 p.m. The Cyprus Project begins at 6:30 p.m. The main performance begins at 7:30 p.m., with Pay-What-You-Can admission (suggested: $20/person).The rain location is Scugog Community Centre, 1655 Reach Street, Port Perry
For its 23rd annual Bard’s Bus Tour, Driftwood Theatre presents Othello. William Shakespeare’s blistering tale of race, jealousy and revenge is set against the backdrop of Canadian history, when, in 1974, Canadian soldiers are caught in a life or death struggle on the small island of Cyprus.
The Cyprus Project, a special audio installation, presented prior to all performances of Othello, is a collection of individual stories, surrounding the Cyprus war of 1974, shedding light on the personal consequences of international conflicts, as well as Canada’s important role as peacekeepers engaged in this, one of the longest overseas missions in our country’s history. The Cyprus Project will begin at 6:30 p,m.
Join Driftwood’s Playwright in Residence, Jesse LaVercombe, for a special reading of his latest play in development, as a part of a new artistic experience intent on exposing audiences to a contemporary side of Driftwood Theatre. Jesse is an award winning, Toronto-based actor and writer, originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has performed across Canada and in New Orleans and New York. The reading will take place from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., in Head Church.
The Bard’s Bus Tour is supported by Touring Partner, Ontario Power Generation. Toronto performances are generously supported by the Toronto Arts Council 'Animating Toronto Parks' Program.