If you have country music star potential, then you will want to know that the Havelock Country Jamboree, Canada’s Largest Country Music and Camping Festival has partnered with The Ranch Resort Banquet & Conference Center in Bethany Ontario to present The Next Country Music Star Talent Search 2017. 

For country music lovers, this is a chance to perform on the twin stages at the Havelock Country Jamboree, a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity.’ 


The contest will run over a series of Saturday nights at the Ranch Resort from March 4th  to April 29th.

One winning contestant from each night will advance to the Semi-Finals. The judges, including votes from the audience, will also select three wild card choices from the first round.

There are only 30 audition spaces available. You can download the full application from the website.

A look at the 2016 line-up and the winners shows the quality of performers and the potential the Jamboree can have on an artist’s career.

The Grand Prize was awarded to Sacha, “A Small Town Girl with a Guitar Full of Dreams.” She was born in Montreal, but grew up in the small town of Warkworth Ontario.


You can see and hear Sacha perform…



Second place was awarded to The Jackson Band. Jordy Jackson was born and raised in Jones Falls where he spent his time with his guitar, developing his passion for playing music.


You can see his video Links on his website at http://www.jordyjackson.ca/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jordyjacksonband/

Third place was presented to Dean James Band. Dean is from Peterborough and has been singing country music since he was 3 years old. He has travelled to Nashville regularly and has enjoyed appearances at several legendary and historic downtown honky tonks.


See and hear the Dean James band on Facebook and Youtube:



Check out all of the 2017 details, including this year’s line-up and the schedule of events on the Next Country Music Star Website at http://thenextcountrymusicstar.com/ and their Facebook page at


To get audience tickets, just call The Ranch Resort 705-277-1942 or purchase them for $10.00 at the door. But take note, last year’s event was sold out!

There will also be an optional Dinner from 6pm-9pm for $20.00 + HST throughout the series; bar beverages and food will also be available during performances. Reservations are recommended!




If you are craving all of the fresh tastes and smells that you experience when you visit your local farmers’ market during the warmer weather, you might be surprised to know you don’t have to wait until spring.

Granted, most local markets are open generally from May until October; the Peterborough Market is open year round. The market dates back to 1825, demonstrating the commitment to fresh produce. It has since expanded to include fresh baking, cooking, crafts and more.


In fact, the offerings cover more than you would imagine from a typical farmers’ market. For instance, you can meet the farmers who grow your fruits and vegetables. But you can also meet the merchants who offer:

  • Honey, Syrup and Baking
  • Prepared Foods
  • Flowers and Crafts
  • Meat, Dairy and Eggs
  • Busking, Health and Textiles

Although many big box stores are trying to replicate the feel of a local market, the reality is that the produce is generally not local and not fresh in the strictest sense of the word. Fruits and vegetables are transported long distances and spend a great deal of time in storage and refrigeration.

Buying locally produced goods provides fresher, seasonal and healthier goods. Plus, the variety is greater. Consider such options as organic foods, pasture-raised meats, free-range eggs and poultry, handmade farmstead cheeses, heirloom produce, and heritage breeds of meat. Not to mention the market is a great way to meet your neighbors!

During the winter months you can still buy such vegetables as beets, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, rutabaga, sprouts and sweet potatoes and of course, apples are a year round fruit favorite.


The Peterborough Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday of the year from 7 am to 1 pm on Roger Neilson Way, just south of the intersection of Lansdowne Street and George Street.

During the spring, summer and fall you can find your favorite vendors in the Memorial Centre parking lot. When the chilly weather arrives, they move inside to the Morrow Building.

Be sure to check the website regularly to track the special events throughout the year including Root Vegetable Day, Maple Syrup Day, Egg Day, Strawberry and Dairy Day, and Corn and Peach Day!

Website: http://www.peterboroughfarmersmarket.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peterboroughfarmersmarket/

And of course ‘think spring’ so you can visit the smaller markets closer to home in the Bethany area.




The timing of Valentine’s Day is perfect – right in the middle of one of the coldest months of the year, smack in the middle of winter. A great opportunity to forget the cold weather and take your special person to one of the great restaurants or special events happening in the area.

Love Beer? Love Food? Then you might want to make reservations for the Valentines Dinner at Smithavens Brewing Co. Join Kevin McKenna, the Chef and owner of Hunter County Cuisine & Wine Bar for a three course beer pairing meal sure to showcase his amazing menu coupled with the freshest local ingredients.

Tickets are $60 plus tax and are available by calling 705-743-4747.


Dinner and Axe Throwing Anyone? Yes, you read that correctly. For something completely different, you can engage in what the Peterborough Axe Club refers to as, “The world’s greatest pleasures: delicious food and chucking axes!” 

This one of a kind event will include a catered, sit down meal, followed by an evening of axe throwing.

The meal is mouth-watering! A Moroccan-styled menu including spiced organic chicken, spicy pork skewers with pomegranate glaze, winter vegetable tagine, traditional scented pilau and a surprise for desert.

And don’t worry! You don’t need any experience as coaches will show you how to throw your axe!


Tickets are $65 and will NOT be available at the door. You can get them at the Club at 280 Perry Street, Unit 1 in Peterborough. Call 707-768-2846 for more information. 

Great Food and Jazz. If beer tasting or axe throwing is not for you, how about a lovely evening including a special Valentines dinner menu and a concert featuring the sounds of 4 Up Front.

The special event takes place at South Pond Farms, 1020 Gray Rd Pontypool, ON L0A 1K0. Call 705-277-1649 for more details.


And there is more! Check out The Kawarthas’ website at http://thekawarthas.ca/valentines-day-peterborough-kawarthas/

to find more happenings in the area for Valentine’s Day including afternoon tea, concerts and a special meal just for cheese lovers!






Visit The Ranch Resort Website or call 705.277.1942 for reservations.

252 Ski Hill Rd, Bethany, ON L0A 1A0




If you love to sing but don’t feel you’re quite good enough to be on stage, you might want to check out “Shout Sister!” a unique approach to choral singing.


What makes it unique? No auditions for one thing! Singing with the group is simply fun, including a wide variety of styles from pop to Motown, folk, country and blues.

You don’t even have to be able to read music because members learn from the recorded versions of songs. Experienced singers and inexperienced singers all find a refuge in the relaxed atmosphere, bonding with other sisters.

The choir was started in 2002 by Georgette Fry in Kingston. Georgette’s career spans 35 years. She is a veteran of the Canadian Music scene, a blues and jazz artist and a 1994 Juno nominee.

Georgette fiercely believed that music offers physical and psychological benefits and such benefits should be available to everyone. The development of the choir appealed to a wide range of women who enjoyed singing but who did not have formal training, could not read music, and who definitely did not want to have to audition for a choir. Women who would otherwise be robbed of an opportunity to sing with others suddenly had the chance to belong.

And now, 15 years later, Shout Sister! has 23 chapters across the province with the closest in Peterborough. The photo below is from the local chapter.


The Shout Sister! website includes a large selection of videos where you can see and hear a cross section of the choirs in action. Listen to everything from Hallelujah, Song for a Winter’s Night, Strange Man, Fields of Gold, Have You Ever Seen the Rain…the range of music is amazing.  

Shout Sister! fosters community spirit and giving. Many of the performances help to raise money for local causes, particularly supporting organizations for women and children. They work hard to keep the arts alive by reaching out and inspiring others.


Contact Peterborough Shout Sisters!

Director:               Barbara Johnston

Choir Chair:         Sue Smith

Rehearsals:         Monday evenings from 7-9pm

Greenwood United Church

737 Donwood Drive

Peterborough Ontario

Contact Email:     members@shoutsisterchoir.ca



How far would you have to travel to see a film festival with…

  • 59 documentaries from 25 countries, with 28 Canadian films, including 10 by local filmmakers.
  • 2 Oscar-shortlisted documentaries, 22 visiting filmmakers, live performances, community discussions, and several social events and visual displays
  • Performers from Circus Without Borders performing a live acrobatics.
  • Poetry readings, an album release, a performance by Unity, and a benefit for Standing Rock with local indigenous musicians and poets.
  • Discussions focused on homelessness, transgender youth, climate change, and Syria.

…Toronto? Los Angeles? New York?

No, you just have to travel to Peterborough January 26 to 29 to attend the 13th annual ReFrame Film Festival.

ReFrame’s Vision – “To build strong, sustainable, and engaged community audiences for film and art that explore and document issues of human rights and social justice, from the local to the global; to use film and art to provide educational opportunities and encourage activism and thoughtful debate.”

Local films premiering include:

  • Towns End,a documentary about the closing of the Douro General Store,
  • Oshkigmong: A Place Where I Belong, the story of Curve Lake First Nation,
  • Dreams of Electric City, a stop-motion, kaleidoscopic tour of Peterborough.


The five feature films require individual tickets. The films highlight a diverse range of topics from the impacts of the cargo shipping industry to an Iranian poetry festival and Mongolia’s first female eagle hunter in a dozen years to the desks of New York Times obituary writers.

Aaju Peter will be the keynote speaker. She is also the subject of Angry Inuk, a feature film which examines the struggle Inuit people face in maintaining their right to hunt seal.


The seal is the lifeblood for Inuit. Celebrity environmentalists have tried to stop the seal hunt but a new generation of Inuit youth are fighting back through social media.

The Eagle Huntress is also a feature film, telling the story of a 13-year-old girl, Aisholpan, who becomes the first girl to train one of the fastest moving animals on earth – an Eagle. You can experience the journey of this young person who is undaunted by the seven foot wingspans and razor sharp talons of the eagle. Stunning cinematography completes the movie.



Daytime passes, providing access to films before 7:30 p.m. are $30 per person, or $20 for students or low-income earners.

Tickets will be sold separately for the five evening films this year to guarantee seating for all ticket holders and reduce line ups. Tickets to evening shows are $10 each for daytime pass holders and $15 for those without a daytime pass. 

Tickets are available at Peterborough GreenUp Store on Aylmer St., Happenstance Books and Yarn in Lakefield or online at www.reframefestival.ca





Most people enjoy sitting around a fire at this time of year. While many have gas fireplaces, quite a few of my friends and neighbours enjoy the warmth and beauty of a real wood fireplace.

Like any other activity, heating with wood can be done well – or it can be done badly. The good news is that hundreds of thousands of responsible home owners know how to burn wood well, helping them to enjoy the beauty and relaxation that a real fire promotes.

Good practices include:

  • Harvesting wood sustainably
  • Burning it cleanly and efficiently
  • Using it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


I came upon a Canadian group called Wood Heat Organization Inc. (http://www.woodheat.org/), “a nonprofit, nongovernmental agency dedicated to the responsible use of wood as a home heating fuel.”

Here are some of their favourite reasons for heating with wood:

  • It’s a renewable energy resource
  • Because trees recycle carbon dioxide, wood burning just warms you, not the globe.
  • No more freezing in the dark when the power goes out
  • Heat from a fire warms you like the rays of the sun
  • A fire is romantic
  • It’s cheaper to burn wood so you save some money
  • You’ll invest in your community if you buy firewood locally and support your neighbours

Unfortunately, Kawartha Lakes Fire Service deals with an increasing number of wood burning related fires during the winter months. Promoting safe fire burning is critical to protect your family and your home.

They want to spread the word on wood burning safety and offer the following advice:

Wood burning stoves

  • Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • All heaters need space. Keep things that can burn such as paper, bedding or furniture at least 1 meter (3 feet) away from heating equipment.
  • Install stove, chimney connectors and chimneys following the manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional do the installation.
  • Start fires with newspaper, kindling or fire starters. Never use a flammable liquid such as lighter fluid, kerosene or gasoline.
  • In wood stoves, burn only dry seasoned wood. In pellet stoves, burn only dry seasoned wood pellets.
  • Keep the doors of your wood stove closed unless loading or stoking the live fire.
  • Embers in the ashes can remain hot for several days, do not vacuum them or place them in combustible containers.  Place ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 3 meters (10 feet) away from the home and any other nearby buildings. Douse and saturate the ashes with water.
  • Supervise children whenever a wood or oil stove or other space heater is being used. Use a sturdy metal screen to prevent contact burns, which are more common than flame burns.
  • Have a 1 meter (3 feet) “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.




  • Have a sturdy metal screen on a fireplace.
  • Only dry, seasoned wood should be used in fireplaces. Not only is it cleaner for the environment, it also creates less buildup in the chimney.
  • If you use artificial logs use them according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Never burn more than one log at a time.
  • Chimneys and vents need to be cleaned at least once a year or as necessary.

Source: http://www.city.kawarthalakes.on.ca/news/kawartha-lakes-fire-service-reminds-residents-of-wood-burning-safety

I got a chuckle out of this Zen Proverb…

“Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.”  

Stay safe with your wood burning stove or fireplace!