Forty teams participated in the Renegade Bass Classic XX held this year in Morrisburg. Although Renegade Bass tournaments have experienced some amazing tournaments here in Morrisburg in the past, the participants this year generally said that weather conditions made for tough fishing. Although the fishing was tough, there were still some great catches, like this 6.12 pound large mouth bass that the team named Linda. This was the big fish of the tournament snagged by Jack Lavert (pictured) and teammate Steve Barnett. Although they nabbed the big fish, the team finished 23rd. “The weather really put a hurtin’ on us,” said Lavert. The Renegade Bass Classic XX was won by David Chong and Doug Brownridge who over the two-day event weighed in 45.66 pounds of bass.
What do you do with a run-down hotel that just won’t sell?
Desperate times call for desperate measures, but there’s never been a real estate deal to match the hilarious goings on of Hotbed Hotel, Upper Canada Playhouse’s season opener running June 7 though July 1.
Terri and Brian Cody are hoping to sell their “One Star Hotel” in the Florida Keys, to the only man who has expressed any interest in buying it.
They’re not expecting him for a couple of weeks and are caught off-guard when they receive a phone call that he’ll be arriving within the hour!
Unfortunately, they have so few guests they’re afraid the prospective buyer will recognize immediately that the hotel is a bad investment.
The Playhouse has assembled one of their largest, whackiest and most talented casts to date for this hysterical comedy.
Doug Tangney, has been entertaining audiences for years. He will be one of the several Playhouse favourites to hit the stage in this knee-slapping comedy.
He is joined by Richard Bauer, who plays the impatient and suspicious buyer, Sam Lewis. Together with the other cast members Bauer is a master of fast-paced, exciting comedy.
Debra Hale and Timm Hughes are the hotel owners, Terri and Brian Cody. Frequent Playhouse performers, Hale also appeared in last season’s Sensuous Senator while Hughes was last seen in Dear Santa.
Another Playhouse favourite, Susan Greenfield, plays the fun-loving Hayley. Also returning to the UCP stage is AnnaMarie Lea, as the dim-witted maid, Maureen. Lea is also locally known as the producer of Cow Patti Theatre
Erin MacKinnon, a Toronto actress formerly from Brockville, returns to UCP to play Ashley, the companion of buyer Sam Lewis. Also returning for Hotbed Hotel is well-known local actress Brenda Quesnel.
New to Playhouse audiences is Mo Bock, a veteran actor who has appeared in several seasons at 1000 Islands Playhouse. He makes his Playhouse debut in Morrisburg as the ne’er-do-well maintenance man, Hopkins.
The set is designed by John Thompson with lighting designed by Sean Free.
Artistic Director Donnie Bowes, who directs the show, is bracing for a wild rehearsal period with this blue chip cast. He expects that audiences will have the time of their lives when they check into the hilarious Hotbed Hotel.
The seasonal opener, Hotbed Hotel, runs Tuesday to Saturday at Upper Canada Playhouse at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
For tickets and information contact the Playhouse at 613-543-3713 or at uppercanadaplayhouse.com.
By-laws are introduced at almost every South Dundas council meeting and most pass without much fanfare.
At the November 1st meeting, however, Fire Chief Chris McDonough brought two proposed by-laws to the table, both of which were passed and both of which produced a fair amount of discussion.
The first by-law, number 2011-78, establishes set fees for specific services provided by the South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services Department.
Requested inspections for things like day care homes, day nurseries, homes for special care and so on now cost $50. A requested industrial inspection will cost $75 for a half day and $150 for a full day.
The following will be charged according to Ministry of Transportation Ontario’s current rates: false alarm charges (after three calls in one year); burning without notice, unattended, unapproved or oversize fire; ice and water rescues, and motor vehicle fire and collision response.
McDonough relayed that it’s “fairly common practice for these general items.”
Mayor Steven Byvelds wanted to ensure that discretion is used and that first time offenders for “burning without notice” be given warning and “the second time, lay the hammer down.”
McDonough said, “what we need to do is educate the applicants.”
He brought up the possibility of a community round table information session in the new year to which the mayor agreed saying, “we want to make sure that everyone is on the same page.”
The second by-law, the Carbon Monoxide By-Law, requires “the installation and maintenance of carbon monoxide alarms in all single family dwellings or attached residential occupancies containing fuel fired appliances and/or having attached garages.”
McDonough reported that “carbon monoxide is something you can’t identify: you can’t see it or smell it.”
“We’re going to promote it with our smoke alarm program.”
He told council that there are many detectors to choose from, but they can be purchased for as little as $30 and it’s “a valuable tool.”
“I would hope that people already have them for the most part,” he said.
McDonough believes it is very important to get the message out to people. He advocated educating the public on the by-law.
He told council that, unlike smoke alarms, only one carbon monoxide detector is needed per home, specifically in or near the sleeping area. “It migrates through the house,” he explained. “It’s an unusual gas.”
Mayor Steven Byvelds agreed that “it is well worth the effort.”
What is it about a blues man?
He seems to have a laid back, comfortable, almost folksy way of talking: yet one soon senses the passion, the wealth of life experiences and the powerful sense of humour hovering just beneath this easy-going surface.
And when a blues man actually picks up his guitar, strums that first chord, and starts to sing, well, like another guitarist once told me, “The blues, the blues is life.”
One of Canada’s greatest blues men is coming to the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage on Saturday, March 7, at 7 p.m. Harry Manx, known to many as the “Mysticssippi” blues man, the artist who has built a bridge linking the music of East and West, is performing an intimate concert right here in Morrisburg. And fans are clearly overjoyed. Currently, Manx’s concert is sold out, although there is a waiting list.
Harry Manx has dozens of awards and award nominations to his name. He’s a prolific blues artist whose 14th album in 14 years, 20 Strings and Truth, was just released on February 10, 2015.
Manx’s blues style is absolutely unique. He started in the blues clubs of Toronto, playing the slide guitar. Eventually, he studied a number of years with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, the Indian master who invented the 20 stringed Mohan Veena, now the signature instrument of Harry Manx. Manx’s blending of two disparate approaches to music has resulted in an unrivalled sound, one that deeply appeals to Manx’s legions of fans, and to critics alike.
“What comes out of us musically is what we put into it,” Manx said. “I like many forms of music, but the two styles that make up my true passion are blues and West Indian. Perhaps I might be forcing that relationship,” he laughed, “but I look for the common ground between the two, and I bring them together when I write. The combination of the two seems to really intrigue people. Exotic sound, I suppose you could say.”
Although he was born on the Isle of Man, Manx immigrated to Canada when he was a child. Music took hold of him early on. “It was a kind of intuitive pull,” he said. “I knew even as a child that music was drawing me in. When you pursue music, I believe the whole world opens up to you, and takes you to a lot of places. Of course, I love to travel.” Then he paused and added with a laugh, “Almost as much as I love music. Maybe I took up music just for the opportunity to travel.”
Manx is often described as a definitive Canadian artist. “Like most kids, I grew up with exposure to Canadian music. Gordon Lightfoot was, and still is, a big hero to me. I would say that a kind of Canadian veneer has crept into my music. I find it in my attraction to certain rhythmic styles and notes: that is the Canadiana effect.”
“It’s an interesting thing. You can always hear the musician in the music. When he performs, an artist always tells you something about his nature. His music becomes an insightful tour into the soul of that artist. All his experiences, everything that makes him unique, it’s all revealed the moment he picks up his guitar.”
An intense connection with his listeners lies at the heart of Harry Manx’s music.
“I have a goal to inspire people with my words. I write music in the language of the heart. Emotions and life situations interest me. And I always write of things that actually have had an impact on me: I’m not a fiction writer.”
His twelve years living in India, learning to meditate, studying Eastern music, have coloured his compositions. “When I write, I have to keep my music and words separate. I write poetry, then find the music and marry the two, like two hearts beating as one. You might say I take the maple syrup of words, distill it and find the essence of my song. Performing music is what I fit at, and what feels right. That keeps the passion alive for me. And over the years, touring has helped me get better at my art, I believe. I feel good about how I’m playing now.” He did share one anecdote about those long months on tour, separated from his wife and child.
“I once received this email from my wife saying ‘Don’t forget to miss me.’” He paused. “Never have decided whether that was affection or a threat,” he laughed. “But it did lead me to a song I called Don’t Forget to Miss Me that has become very popular.”
Fans are going to be very glad not to “miss” the Morrisburg concert by the incomparable Harry Manx.
The board of the directors of the SLAS has received some big news. Scotiabank Morrisburg, is partnering with the Stage at the Manx concert March 7, to help with a fund raising event for the Stage. “Bank staff will be present at the show collecting donations for us both before the show and during intermission. Everything collected from the audience members will be matched by the branch,” said board member, Sandra Whitworth. “We’re very excited about this opportunity and very grateful to Scotiabank Morrisburg for offering to support our not-for-profit music series this way.”