On Sunday, Oct. 27, canine trick or treaters gathered with their human friends at the waterfront Morrisburg Dog Park for a celebration of the Hallowe'en season. From Raindrop as "Batgirl", Teeko as "The Great Pumpkin" to Lily as "the Cow" every one had a barking good time. And of course there were treats! Hot dogs for the participants and a race around the park made for a perfect celebration of this "spooky" time of year.
“Audiences are in for a great production, I think,” said Aaron Solomon, who will be starring in the debut of a sensational new show, Wichita Lineman, which opens at Upper Canada Playhouse on April 23.
“What I really like about Glen Campbell’s career, and about his music, is the incredible amount of variety it involves. When Leisa approached me and asked if I would like to handle the ‘Glen duties’ in her new show, I immediately said yes.”
Wichita Lineman, written by Leisa Way, the author of the hugely popular Country Jukebox, Rhinestone Cowgirl and Sweet Dreams: a Tribute to Patsy Cline, has created her exciting 2013 production around Glen Campbell.
“I was fascinated by the music of Glen Campbell,” said Way, who will perform some numbers with Solomon in the show. “The man had just about everybody in the musical world on his Glen Campbell Good Time Hour on television. He sang with guests ranging from Tom Jones, Cher and Dean Martin to Kenny Rogers, the Monkees and Tina Turner. ”
Campbell’s extraordinary career and his wide-ranging musical versatility gave Way a buffet of songs and styles to incorporate into this new production.
When it came to choosing a powerhouse singer and performer to star in Wichita Lineman, Aaron Solomon was Way’s immediate pick.
“When I first heard Aaron sing, I thought he would do an amazing job of performing a Glen Campbell concert. Frankly, I could listen to Aaron sing these songs all day. And (like Campbell), he’s a pretty amazing guitarist himself. We’ll also have him bring out his fiddle in the show too, as I know audiences love to hear him play.”
Aaron Soloman has a musical pedigree that most artists just dream of. “My heart and soul lie in performance,” the artist said.Classically trained, a violinist, guitarist, actor and singer, the master of styles as diverse as jazz, swing, country, celtic, rock, blues and blue grass, Solomon has been thrilling audiences since childhood.
Visitors to Upper Canada Playhouse gained a powerful sense of his talents when they heard and saw him on stage in Johnny and June and Country Jukebox.
Solomon says that it was an easy decision to agree to take on the challenges of performing in a Glen Campbell tribute. “I like the variety of things Campbell’s done in music, from pop to country. He was a great guitar player, and as a guitarist myself, I admire that talent. He was also a great singer: the man knew how to deliver a song.”
Solomon especially likes the versatility of this production.
“Campbell was originally a member of a group known in Los Angeles as the ‘Wrecking Crew,’” he explained.
“They were studio musicians who played back up for essentially every major artist. Campbell made such a strong musical impression in the studio that when Brian Wilson had to bow out, Campbell was invited to replace him and toured nation wide with the Beach Boys. He laughed later that that was one of the hardest things he ever did.
Campbell often sang duets with performers like Tanya Tucker and Bobbie Gentry. In the 70’s he had a lot of pop rock hits. You know, I think practically everyone can sing at least one Glen Campbell song. He had incredible vocal and musical virtuosity.”
Preparing for his role in this new production has been intensive for the Toronto based artist.
“I’m not ‘playing’ Campbell exactly,” he said. “This production is a tribute to him. We will be saluting his music. I have had to work to achieve Campbell’s high vocal range…a little like I had to work to meet the low notes of Johnny Cash’s voice,” Solomon added, laughing. “And because Campbell emphasized the guitar in so many of his songs, it’s been demanding for me to learn to play like this outstanding guitarist.”
Aaron Solomon is enthusiastic about returning to Upper Canada Playhouse for the debut of Wichita Lineman.
“Donnie Bowes delivers a winning theatre season,” he said. “He is willing to trust Leisa and me to premiere a good new show. As artists, we love to come to the Playhouse, and to perform for the audiences here.”
Wichita Lineman premieres at Upper Canada Playhouse on April 23, running until May 5, with both evening and matinee performances.
For tickets and additional information, contact the box office at 613-543-3713, 1-800-550-3650 or visit www.uppercanadaplayhouse.com
South Dundas council held a special meeting April 23 for the sole purpose of coming up with a plan to go forward with new 401, hamlet and facility signs for the Township of South Dundas.
A month ago South Dundas was presented with a new design by the consultants they hired in partnership with South Stormont.
The consultant was tasked with redesigning the signs to uniformly identify hamlets and facilities while promoting the Upper Canada Region brand across the two municipalities.
While South Stormont council was accepting of the designs, South Dundas council, and the community input they received, were not.
South Dundas council opted to scrap the design, and now are themselves trying to work out what they want.
Nearly two hours of discussions resulted in council sending South Dundas economic development officer Nicole Sullivan back to the drawing board with the task of adding the Township of South Dundas logo to the hamlet signs that were presented by the consultants.
The colour, font and sign shape of the hamlet signs were deemed acceptable. However, council was adamant that a graphic needs to be included for the signs to be eye catching.
They decided that the township logo should be that eye-catching graphic included on the signs.
Council could not come to any sort of consensus regarding the 401 signs meant to identify the municipality to passing traffic, so they decided, for now, they would not worry about them.
Before the former Morrisburg Collegiate Institute is transformed into a new municipal and health centre, it and the surrounding area will become a construction zone.
In preparation for the upcoming construction, municipal officials have had to re-locate the crossing guard on Ottawa Street and divert those students who walk to school from the east, away from the St. Lawrence Medical Clinic parking lot.
“We don’t want the kids walking through a construction site,” said Stephen McDonald, South Dundas chief administrative officer. According to he and South Dundas clerk Brenda Brunt, the municipality has been trying to work with the school to choose the best route and to inform students and parents of the needed changes since about June.
The new route the municipality has chosen for students has gotten a lot of attention and raised concerns among some of the parents whose children are now crossing Ottawa Street at Second Street.
They are concerned with the danger of having the children walk along one of the town’s busiest roadways along a sidewalk that is nothing more than two painted lines from the corner to Trillium Street.
Second street is the street which includes the school bus loading zone for Morrisburg Public School, is used by many parents who drop their children off at school, and is also home to the Morrisburg arena, Dundas County Food Bank and the office of the South Dundas fire chief.
The painted lines that denote a sidewalk run between Second Street and the length of the Morrisburg Arena parking lot.
Parents are especially worried about how the new route will be maintained during the winter months.
According to Brunt, this route was not the municipality’s first choice, explaining that they wanted to leave the crossing guard where she was, at the intersection of Alice Street and Ottawa Street. Students would enter the school yard there, through a gate that is unlocked only during the time when the crossing guard is on duty.
However, the board would not agree with this walking route.
Brunt says the reason she was given by the board is that the board would be required to install a sidewalk for the students.
School board officials were contacted for comment on the matter but declined saying only that this entire matter is the municipality’s responsibility.
“This was all done in consultation with the Upper Canada District School Board and the school’s principal,” said Brunt.
Nevertheless, the municipality has implemented a number of changes to help ease the transition to a new walking route for area students.
A new cross walk has been painted on Ottawa Street, parking barriers have been installed in the arena parking lot, no parking signs have been painted along Second Street, which will soon have signs that limit the no parking regulations to school hours, and temporary road blocks have been set up at both ends of Clinic Road to eliminate any through traffic.
In an effort to help the children become familiar with the new route township staff were out over the last week guiding children along the route and keeping them from passing through areas that will become part of the construction site. They too were available to speak to the parents and explain the reasoning for the changes.
Asked if more crossing guards would help the situation Brunt said, “We believe we have sufficient crossing guards to get the children safely to school.”
“Construction will commence shortly and safety of the children is first and foremost,” reads a staff report to council.