Talking about music is like dancing about architecture, so the saying goes. It can be hard for a musician to describe what they do, which is why Kate Boothman invented a new genre to describe her latest album, My Next Mistake. “It’s a really relaxing record about sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, so we called it massage rock,” she says, laughing. “It’s versatile—it can be played acoustic, it can be played loud electric, but I’m a singer-songwriter, essentially.”
At the start of 2020, Beau Dixon wasn’t sure where his career was headed. Even as a multidisciplinary artist with credits in music, theatre, and television, the closure of so many performance venues was nerve-wracking. “The first few months were very scary—how’s this going to work, what am I going to do, should I go back to school, you know, take up plumbing,” he recalls. In one of the pandemic’s many unpredictable twists, he found himself working on two prestige TV productions instead. “Weirdly enough, this has been the most successful two years of my life, my career, primarily because I landed a TV series called Station Eleven. I had a substantial role in that and another series, a sci-fi series called The Expanse. So that helped during my rainy days.”
We’re used to seeing far-off places in our media. New York lofts, tropical beaches, Icelandic vistas—all perks of living in the Internet age. But it can make it all too easy to forget about the scenery and stories in our own backyard. Darryl James’ Close Kicks project is unabashedly local, and there’s a thrill of recognition in his music videos to seeing our landscapes and streets not as stand-ins for another place or era, but as themselves. Speaking to James and his collaborator Luis Segura, aka Louwop, at Lindsay’s Academy Theatre, it’s clear their commitment to nurturing the local scene runs deep.
A mark of professionalism in music is control over dynamics—the understanding of how to move between quiet and loud for maximum impact. Watching Cale Crowe perform, one thing that stands out is his ability to glide smoothly from a whisper to a roar. The singer-songwriter looks relaxed and comfortable onstage at Cobourg’s Victoria Hall, even as he plays stripped-down acoustic versions of his songs without the loop pedals he usually employs to build more complex arrangements. When he steps off stage, he gives credit to the venue for being especially conducive to live music.
Music scenes don’t happen automatically. They must be nurtured, week after week and month after month, by disciplined and passionate individuals who offer their energy to the community. They might be musicians themselves, leading a jam or bringing out crowds to a regular residency, or they might be venue owners opening their space to artists. As one of Bobcaygeon’s most active songwriters with a full-time music teaching schedule, Kelly Burrows easily qualifies as a prime mover in the Kawartha Lakes scene.
What do permaculture farming and animation have in common? Plenty, if you ask bekky O’Neil and Keith Del Principe, co-owners of Northumberland’s Cardboard Reality Farm & Studio. As animators, they’ve created award-winning stop-motion and 2D animated short films on their farm outside Roseneath. On the same property they’ve grown flowers, raised ducks, and experimented with a range of sustainable agricultural practices, making them the rare business whose output is equally at home at film festivals and the Cobourg Farmers’ Market.
You might already know about Kawarthas Northumberland’s literary legacy. Major Canadian authors like Margaret Laurence, Robertson Davies, Farley Mowat, and Susanna Moodie all spent time living in the region, and Life of Pi author Yann Martel is an alum of Trent University’s philosophy program. If you’re less familiar with the authors living and working in … Read more
For film and TV buffs, it’s no secret that Toronto, Vancouver, and other Canadian cities often stand in for international locales. You might not’ve heard that smaller towns around Kawarthas Northumberland also play host to movie crews, though. Next time you’re watching Netflix, keep your eyes peeled for scenes shot in our backyard — true … Read more