Pictured are members of the local Golden Gears car club with one of two truck loads of food they delivered to the Morrisburg Branch of the Dundas County Food Bank on Wednesday, September 19. In addition to approximately $3,000 worth of food which was collected at last weekend’s celebration in Iroquois and the Club’s Car Show, the delivery included cheques totalling $1,100 which were presented to coordinator, Norma Smith. This represented donations from the club and proceeds of the 50-50 draw held at the September 16 Car Show.
There will be a stellar line up of new and emerging stars coming to the St. Lawrence Stage on Saturday, May 25, for the Stage’s final concert of the season.
“We’ve got a really nice mix of musical genres scheduled for this concert,” said Sandra Whitworth, on the board of the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage. “We are presenting local musicians Don Tuttle from Iroquois, Ewen McIntosh from Lyn, just west of Brockville and Roxanne Delage from Cornwall. From a little farther afield are the Musettes, a trio from Ottawa, Donna Drifter, coming in from Bancroft accompanied by Patricia Liverseed and Jim Eadie, and Jenny Berkel, who is coming to us from Winnipeg, by way of France and Switzerland.”
It promises to be night of musical excitement since the performers will run the gamut from country, celtic and blues to rock and folk. Along the way, audiences can enjoy extraordinary voices, outstanding harmonies and first rate musicians.
The Musettes told me that they “don’t like to limit ourselves to one particular genre. We just let the music go where it wants!” The trio performs an “eclectic blend of folk, rock and pop. Our music is infused with vocal harmonies and instrumentation…that complements the genuine, heartfelt nature of our songs.”
Don Tuttle of Iroquois feels that he “was drawn to country music because I felt it was in my heart. I learned a lot in Nashville, and I met a lot of people that helped me along the way. As far as my writing goes, God writes my songs. (I think) people will be refreshed and full of hope and light after I sing my songs.”
Jenny Berkel, who has an album, Here on a Wire, out, revealed that “poetry has always been very important to me both as a reader and a writer…I eventually realized that I could try shaping poetry into songs. My musical style has been characterized as ‘haunt folk’, dark, sad and often hushed…yet how there is always a shimmer of light somewhere. I (try) to step outside of myself and write what I see instead of just what I feel.”
Donna (Drifter) Leclair, described to me as terrific blues singer, revealed that she preferred to talk about blues “as an influence. I am also heavily influenced by Appalachian Folk and Bluegrass.” However, she added that “Blues speaks to common people and gives a voice to oppressed people…It gives a place for people to tell each other about their lives, joys, loves and hardships. It can be polished and sophisticated or gritty and raw. It’s all about feeling for me, the mood you create with the Blues.”
Roxanne Delage, who is returning to the St. Lawrence Stage, has recently released her first CD, The Way I Am. Her music has sometimes been described as ‘cross over.’
“I grew up in a country loving home, but was exposed to a wealth of styles…rock, celtic, pop, jazz, classical and Broadway. As a result, my original music seems to be quite impossible to categorize. One reviewer wrote that my ‘music is contemporary folk, with eclectic elements of blues, country and jazz, creating a fusion of sound that could easily have been on FM radio in the ‘70’s. I’ll take that.’
Thrilled to be returning to the Stage, she will perform (accompanied by three back up musicians) numbers from her new CD.
Ewen McIntosh, according to Sandra Whitworth, is a very seasoned performer. His sound is a mix of Celtic, folk and rock and he has played for years with bands like Glengharry Boys and the Crofters. He will performing as a solo artist at the Stage on May 25.
Audiences can look forward to variety, excitement, and an evening of really wonderful music as the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage welcomes its final artists of the 2012-13 concert season.
The concert on Saturday. May 25, begins at 7 p.m. at the Morrisburg Meeting Centre.
All tickets are $10, and can be purchased at the Basket Case, Morrisburg, Strung Out Guitars, Cornwall, or on line at www.st-lawrencestage.com.
Unless someone comes forward to take over the Tubie Festival, South Dundas will lose its longest running annual festival.
The Tubie Festival organizing committee of the Morrisburg and District Lions Club confirmed last week that they can no longer commit to the time and effort that is required to run the 43 year old event.
The Tubie Festival Committee is a 10 member club within a club of younger Morrisburg and District Lions.
Michael Domanko and Matt McCooeye, co-chair the Tubie Festival Committee.
After eight years of hosting Tubies, the committee is starting to experience volunteer fatigue, and thought now would be the time to step away, leaving the door open for someone new to take it over.
Domanko said the ‘red tape’ involved with organizing such an event can be a frustrating part of the process, but while contributing to fatigue, it is not the main factor in the decision.
“The municipality has taken steps to try and help with things like festival insurance, but you do spend a significant amount of time dealing with red tape at various levels of administration,” he said.
Domanko believes that Tubie interest is on the rise, compared to what it was about five years ago.
He said the decision was not about money. “When the Lions took over the event it was to support an important community festival. It was never about being a fundraiser for the club.” While some years, the profit was minimal, the event has never lost money for the Lions.
“While the number of crafts have been steady over the years, I think it’s encouraging that we are seeing a number of younger participants,” said Domanko.
The committee has been working over the years to make Tubies a more family oriented event, bringing in activities for the kids, and encouraging more youth to get involved.
“I think we’re seeing that pay off,” said Domanko. “Now, a lot of those kids look forward to Tubie weekend too. In my opinion, we’ve crossed a threshold. More people are coming forward an showing an interest.”
“I think it’s better to make a change in organization while things are on an upswing, rather than on the decline,” said Domanko.
“As lifelong residents of the community, and former Tubie Weekend participants, it was a privilege to be involved with the organization and execution of ‘Tubie Weekend’ for the last eight years,” reads a letter to the community drafted by the committee.
“Tubies have been part of our community’s fabric for over 40 years, and we took pride in being one of the many and varied groups that has worked to ensure it remains the longest continuous running local festival.”
“It is our hope another group steps forward and continues the tradition with the enthusiasm the weekend deserves.”
Domanko says he is optimistic about the future of the Tubies. “I think enough people have fond memories of Tubies, that enough of them will get involved to ensure that Tubies continue.”
“I think they also recognize the weekend as having significance both as a tourist draw and a community event,” he added.
Looking back at the years where he and the Lions CIC have steered the event, Domanko says, “I feel good about that too.”
Although it has been a lot of work, Domanko has always enjoyed his time as organizer, and taken great pride in seeing every aspect come together.
“People always tell me, ‘I come home every Tubie Weekend, because I know that is when everyone else will be coming home too.’ I think that is one of the greatest attributes of Tubie Weekend,” said Domanko.
Anyone interested in getting involved with keeping the Tubies afloat can contact Domanko by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The committee is happy to share information and help facilitate a change in leadership.
The Tubie tradition started in 1970, as a fun event where a couple of guys teamed up, built a craft of an inner tube and paddled from Arlor Haven Campground at Mariatown to the Morrisburg Beach.
The race winners were crowned ‘Kings of the River’.
The fun of the event caught on. Powder puff and junior classes even drew competitors to the race.
A Tubie parade has always been part of the Tubie tradition.
Over the decades, certain names dominated the races year after year, – Veley, Cassell, Farlinger, McGee.
The Lions Club took over Tubie weekend in 2006, from the Flamingos hockey team, and formed the Tubie Festival Committee.
In 2009, they changed the race format. Instead of racing from Mariatown to the Morrisburg beach, they organized a series of elimination round heat races from the Morrisburg dock to the beach, with the winners of the final being named Kings of the River.
In 2010, the dance was moved from the Morrisburg arena to the waterfront under a big tent.
“Keep in mind, Tubies have seen a number of different incarnations over the years,” said Domanko. “You don’t have to do it the way we did it.”