Young songwriter inspired by small-town life

Jake Vanhaverbeke. Photo by Sarah Felgs.

Jake Vanhaverbeke has really been making a name for himself lately. Following the independent release of his three-song CD of original songs, Weeks of Sleep, in December, Vanhaverbeke was named New Artist of the Year in January by the Songwriters Music Festival.

The young musician – who just turned 16-years old this month – was also recognized with a letter of congratulations from Mayor Adrian Foster last week, as a result of his award. The letter was presented during an assembly at St. Stephen’s Secondary School in Bowmanville, where he is a grade 10 student.

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Newcastle novelists write about real life

Robert Kerby signing his books at Chapters. (photo supplied)

Read any gripping novels by Newcastle authors lately? If you didn’t know that any existed, the recent efforts of two local writers are meant to change all that. While neither man’s books came by way of a big name publishing company, these authors can both attest that sometimes a story is too good to keep to yourself.

Just ask Robert Kerby. A graphic designer by trade (who is now “slipping into semi-retirement”), Kerby says that when he started, he “never intended to write a book.” He was instead doing genealogical research, looking for a few factual details about a mysterious ancestor. Continue reading

No contest: covers make way for singer’s originals

Chad Driscoll (photo supplied)

Local musician Chad Driscoll discovered his singing voice at the age of 10. But it took another couple of decades, and a string of talent contests, to uncover it.

As the frontman of SexBomb, a cover band that made its name playing the Peterborough bar circuit, Driscoll has paid his dues, singing the hits of popular rock bands from The Beatles to The Killers to Our Lady Peace.

SexBomb (named after the Tom Jones song) played “almost every bar in Peterborough,” says Driscoll, including a one-year stint as the house band at the Red Dog tavern in 2007, and performances at the Kawartha Lakes Wakeboard Open for two years in a row. Continue reading

Eaglesmith’s Travelling Show stops in Orono

Fred Eaglesmith (photo supplied)

The Fred Eaglesmith Travelling Show certainly lives up to its name. When reached by phone two weeks ago, Eaglesmith and his crew – which includes the Fabulous Ginn Sisters from Texas, and Bill Poss and the Useful Tools – had just performed in, and driven through four provinces in as many days.

The production, which stops in Orono on Friday, October 21st, is not easy to pin down, musically as well as geographically. Driving one of the show’s two tour vehicles, somewhere between Hampton, New Brunswick and Truro, Nova Scotia, Fred Eaglesmith tries to describe his music. Continue reading

The passion of Silvia Ruegger

Silvia Ruegger with a boy from one of the Start2Finish Reading & Running clubs. (photo supplied)

Silvia Ruegger is passionate about her Canadian record in women’s marathon. Not just because of what it has meant for her, but because of what it has come to mean for so many others.

Twenty-six years after her Canadian record setting win at the Houston Marathon, Ruegger has been propelled into the national spotlight once again as the result of an international track ruling. Continue reading

Bradleyboy wins Toronto Blues Society talent search

Bradleyboy MacArthur. Photo by Les Penner.

Orono’s one-man blues band Bradley “Bradleyboy” Mac Arthur grabbed first place at the annual talent search competition hosted by the Toronto Blues Society (TBS) at Nathan Phillips Square on August 18th. Bradleyboy was one of six finalists chosen to perform a 15-minute set on stage in front of an audience, as part of the City of Toronto’s “Tasty Thursdays” series showcasing promising blues acts. Continue reading

Gold medal repeat for Tessa Chad

Tessa Chad (photo supplied)

Orono’s Tessa Chad took home her second gold medal in as many years, as a member of Team Ontario at the Canadian Lacrosse Association’s Bantam Girls Box Lacrosse National Championship last month.

The Team Ontario win was made all the sweeter for Tessa, as this was her first year as team captain. The team is made up of the best 13- and 14-year-olds who play in the Ontario Lacrosse Association league. They play box lacrosse, which is played in an indoor hockey arena, rather than field lacrosse. Continue reading