From the amazing rainbow igloo in Apsley to the top newsmaker of 2015, Peterborough-Kawarthas MP Maryam Monsef, here’s a selection by month of our most popular and most-read stories from 2015.
JanuaryAlthough climate scientists confirmed that 2014 was the warmest year on record, winter returned with a vengeance after some mild holiday weather with a frigid Arctic air mass plunging southern Ontario into a deep freeze. The cold didn’t stop an increase in sightings of snowy owls in the Kawarthas, as they expanded their hunting areas further south.
Business expanded in downtown Peterborough, with The Food Forest announcing its move into the former Maggie’s Eatery location and Publican House Brewery opening a retail store as well as a tasting bar and seating area.
FebruaryThe month started off with the news that former mayoral candidate Maryam Monsef would be running for the federal Liberal nomination and that CBC was investigating sexual assault reports at Canadian universities, including Trent University.
Winter charitable efforts continued with BEL Rotary raising $30,000 at its 35th Annual Polar Plunge, the sixth annual Pink in the Rink campaign raising $72,923 for the Canadian Cancer Society, and Apsley’s amazing rainbow igloo raising $5,900 for local student literacy.
It was a busy month in arts and music, with Beau Dixon performing his award-winning play “Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story” as part of Black History Month, while blues musician Rick Fines released his latest record and performed at Peterborough’s Market Hall. Local poet Wes Ryan came in third place in “CanLip: The Great Canadian YouTube Contest”, Art For Awareness mounted an epic and flawless production of the musical Rent at Showplace in Peterborough, and Peterborough radio veteran Gordon Gibb launched his new online radio station streaming classic hits and oldies.
MarchFriends of well-known local musician Alan Black organized “Love for Lydia“, an epic benefit concert at Showplace in Peterborough for Al’s ill granddaughter Lydia, which was a resounding success.
March saw a couple of concert from big names in Canadian music, including Canadian chanteuse Jill Barber and former frontman for Prairie Oyster Russell deCarle both performing at Showplace, and and we ran a profile on young theatre entrepreneur Dane Shumak.
In local news, musician Nick Ferrio resigned from the Peterborough Folk Festival, the Canadian Canoe Museum launched an international design competition for the museum’s new location at Peterborough Lift Lock, a local woman whose dog died in a baited trap on a public trail raised 45,000 signatures on a petition to the Ontario government to change the laws governing their use, and Future Shop closed 66 stores across Canada and consolidated the remainder (including in Peterborough) under the Best Buy brand.
As part of our ongoing series on how community donations to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) Foundation affect real people in our community, we ran a story on PRHC’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.
AprilIn local news, Dan Taylor left Peterborough Economic Development after four years as President and CEO to run his own business, a private developer proposed a $90-million sports complex in Peterborough, and the City of Kawartha Lakes announced the end of rural transit service in Lindsay, Fenelon Falls, and Bobcaygeon.
In music, local bands competed in CBC’s Searchlight competition vying for a $20,000 grand prize, musical veteran Ken Tizzard released his new album with a performance at Market Hall in Peterborough, and we ran a profile on Peterborough singer-songwriter Missy Knott.
Local fundraisers included Peterborough SPEAKS (the annual speakers’ series for the Peterborough Health Services Foundation), a fundraiser for Hospice Peterborough on behalf of the late Paul O’Sullivan, the Art School of Peterborough’s art auction, Public Energy’s 5th Annual Wearable Art Show and Runway Challenge, and a crowdfunding campaign to bring a documentary about The Weber Brothers to fruition.
As part of our ongoing series on how community donations to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) Foundation affect real people in our community, we ran a story on Leaf and Mars Worsley, a mother and son who were fighting cancer togather.
MayIn local news, a pilot project saw the Trent student card accepted at three merchants in downtown Peterborough, the Lindsay Downtown BIA assumed responsibility for the previously cancelled Classics on Kent, the Canadian Canoe Museum selected six architects for its design competition, Pedal For Hope Peterborough achieved a head-shaving world record in support of the Canadian Cancer Society, and Peterborough Pulse, the city’s first-ever open streets event, was announced.
In theatre, the Peterborough Theatre Guild won four awards at the Theatre Ontario Festival, a man proposed on stage after a performance of the New Stages’ production Taking Shakespeare, and we ran a behind-the-scenes look and a review of the much-anticipated Peterborough Theatre Guild production of Cats.
One of our most popular stories in May was our profile of the Suspended Meal Program at Peterborough’s Speak Easy Cafe, which allows customers to donate a meal or drink to a person in need.
JuneIn local news, the Pan Am Games Torch Relay passed through the Kawarthas, the City of Kawartha Lakes hosted community workshops to gather stories for its digital mapping project, the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough announced $160,000 in grants, the Peterborough County-City Health Unit announced its move to downtown Peterborough in the fall, and Peterborough County announced plans and a fundraising campaign for a new agricultural heritage building.
Two new festivals took place in Peterborough: the first Peterborough Yoga Festival with proceeds going to the United Way,
and the inaugural Kawartha Craft Beer Festival. Peterborough also held its first DIY Day, celebrating maker culture.
In theatre, the Theatre on King recreated four episodes of the iconic TV series The X-Files on stage.
JulySummer brought a day of free admission to Ontario provincial parks in the Kawarthas as well as new Ontario Government rules to protect bees and other pollinators.
In local news, the Art Gallery of Peterborough announced it was moving back to its upgraded location on Crescent Street, the Scouts’ racing sailboat was stolen from Rogers Cove in Peterborough, Peterborough Pulse (Peterborough’s first “open streets” event) drew more than 4,000 people into the downtown core, Peterborough artists Julie Douglas and Brianna Gosselin were featured in the 30 Under 30 show in Toronto, and CityTV’s Breakfast Television broadcast live from Fenelon Falls in Kawartha Lakes.
One of our most popular stories in July was our interview with Jerome Ackhurst, owner of The Only Cafe in Peterborough.
AugustIn local news, the heritage Pagoda Bridge in Jackson Park in Peterborough was closed for restoration and the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce uncovered a fascinating documentary on the contruction of Peterborough’s iconic fountain in Little Lake.
In music, the annual Hootenanny on Hunter Street took place in downtown Peterborough, the Peterborough Folk Festival happened, country-rock group Doc Walker closed out Peterborough Musicfest, and local singer-songwriter Chelsey Bennett announced plans to release her debut EP.
We ran a behind-the-scenes look at the preparations of staff at Showplace Performance Centre for the fall/winter season.
SeptemberIn local news, The Whiskey Club in downtown Peterborough became The Oxford Parlour & Patio, area landowners offered a new site at Highway 115 and Airport Road for a casino in Peterborough, architectural firms unveiled five design concepts for a new Canadian Canoe Museum, Kawartha Land Trust continued its fundraising campaign to protect Boyd Island in Bobcaygeon, and GreenUP announced a community beekeeping program
One of our favourite stories was a Toronto agency filming “Sheepdog Buddy“, a Subaru car commercial featuring an injured border collie, at farms in Grafton and Keene.
We ran our second story on The Only Cafe in Peterborough, profiling Bill Batten and Andrea Barrett.
OctoberIn local news, we reported on a mural by late Peterborough artist Chris MacGee being covered over at the former Craftworks building, a new report showing that food insecurity is a growing concern for Peterborough, the Salaam Peterborough community group sponsoring a family of Syrian refugees, Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival raising almost $164,000 for breast cancer care, Nexicom donating $5,000 to save Needler’s Mill in Millbrook, The Mount Community Centre entering an online competition for a $100,000 grant to repair their elevator (they won), and the launch of the Peterborough Shoebox Project to distribute little luxuries to women in need in shelters.
As part of our ongoing series on how community donations to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) Foundation affect real people in our community, we profiled how the team at PRHC’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory saved David Whittingon‘s life.
NovemberThe big news in November was newly elected Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef being appointed Minister of Democratic Institutions, followed closely by community support (including a crowdfunding campaign) after the arson at the Peterborough mosque.
In other news, it was announced that 117,000 trees are to be planted along the Highway of Heroes, the Trans Canada Trail between Peterborough and Hastings was completed, TELUS raised $10,000 for GreenUP, Long & McQuade opened a new music store in Peterborough, Kawartha Dairy pledged $10,000 to help save Boyd Island, November was Radon Gas Awareness Month, Peterborough was announced as the first host city in Ontario for the 2016 North American Envirothon, and the Peterborough County-City Health Unit launched a fundraising campaign for Myrtle’s Kitchen.
In music and theatre, we interviewed Canadian music legend Bobby Curtola prior to his December performance at Showplace in Peterborough, we reviewed Peterborough Theatre Guild’s production of Vimy and St. James Players’ The Producers, and we gave you a behind-the-scenes look at Cordwainer Productions’ American Idiot.
Rounding out the month, we welcomed Eva Fisher as our new food columnist and Liz Fennell as our new arts columnist, we sponsored Fashion Week in Peterborough, profiled the Women’s Business Network of Peterborough, explained the Living Christmas Tree in Lindsay, and gave you seven reasons to shop local in Downtown Peterborough over the holidays.
DecemberLocal news in December was filled with good deeds, including local volunteer Kerri Davies collecting toys for Syrian refugee families, Peterborough firefighters teaming up with The Toy Shop to donate toys to the Salvation Army, Rotary Club raising $25,000 for Hospice Peterborough, students from Immaculate Conception Catholic Elementary School spreading Christmas cheer in downtown Peterborough, and Level A Professional Group and The Staffing Connection donating 100 teddy bears for children in need.
The local community also rallied behind Peterborough Huskies founders Cathie and Dave Tuck, in an attempt to help them win a new car in the Toyota Wish Giver contest. Unfortunately, they didn’t win.
In the arts, we provided behind-the-scenes looks at the Peterborough Theatre Guild’s production of The Snow Queen and Ron James’ New Year’s Eve special filmed at Showplace Performance Centre back in October.
We reviewed Dane Shumak’s production of Green Day’s American Idiot, the new Star Wars movie, took some photos of In From the Cold (the annual Christmas benefit concert for YES Shelter For Youth and Families), profiled Megan Murphy’s upcoming documentary Murphy’s Law, and provided the most comprehensive listing of live music and celebrations on New Year’s Eve in Peterborough and the Kawarthas.
In environmental news, we showed you where to harvest your own Christmas tree in the Kawarthas, how feeding backyard birds is family winter fun, and GreenUP’s plans to expand urban beekeeping in 2016.
We profiled how St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School in Lindsay is preparing students for the future with digital learning.
Finally, as part of our ongoing series on how community donations to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) Foundation affect real people in our community, we ran two stories about PRHC’s Paediatric Inpatient Unit and Outpatient Clinic, including the story of 9-year-old Eli Partington and the story of newborn Clara Campbell Fraser.