Another year has come and gone, and 2013 will be a memorable one for The Seeker. Our office is now painted red to match the new look of our newspaper. Our print newspaper has more colour and more pages. Our website has a new layout and more content. This year we published approximately 1100 articles online. We also ranked #1 among local media online several times throughout the year based on stats published by Alexa. We were a proud sponsor of many local events including Cornwall’s Lift-Off, and we are a media sponsor of The Cornwall Colts and the Cornwall River Kings hockey teams. We have more visibility in the community, and you can even see our banner on the boards of the Ed Lumley Arena in the Cornwall Civic Complex. We celebrated our third anniversary with a gala dinner and award’s ceremony celebrating local businesses, local artists, and local volunteers. We had several notable guest attend the dinner including MPP Jim McDonell, as well as four City Councillors.
A lot happened in 2013, and photo journalist Jason Setnyk was there to report on many of the local happenings. In no particular order here are his Top Ten Favourite stories he covered for the Seeker in 2013:
Articles and photos by Jason Setnyk
PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER VISITS CRYSLER’S FARM NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE – Many local students were in attendance Monday afternoon for a ceremony to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm. Students learned the importance of this battle that secured Canada’s sovereignty during the War of 1812. The keynote guest speaker was Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who said, “It is by the blood of Canada’s fallen that freedom has become the birthright of every Canadian. That is why we gather at this time every year across Canada in the act of remembrance”. Former MPP Jim Brownell spoke after the Prime Minister. Earlier in the day General Lewis McKenzie and MPP Jim McDonell both spoke to local youth about the importance of this event, and the importance of Remembrance Day.
MP JUSTIN TRUDEAU VYING FOR LIBERAL LEADERSHIP – Liberal Leadership Candidate and Quebec MP Justin Trudeau was in Cornwall Ontario on Tuesday afternoon making a campaign pit stop. The charismatic son of former Prime Minister Pierre Eliot Trudeau spoke to local residents for about half an hour on February 12th. He proceeded to answer a few questions in an abbreviated media scrum, and then he shook hands and took pictures with many of the over one hundred people in attendance (including the Seeker Chicks!). Jason Setnyk, reporting for the Seeker, asked Justin Trudeau, “Without a portfolio like Financial Critic on your resume how effective of a leader will you be debating the economy with the Prime Minister?”. Trudeau responded that he was up to the challenge. He said, “That’s actually an excellent question, and I asked Mr. Flaherty (Finance Minister) two questions on the economy today, and he was able to answer neither one of them to satisfaction demonstrating a complete disconnect from real concerns and issues of Canadians, so I look forward to talking about what matters to Canadian families and to a struggling middle class in the coming months and years”.
PREMIER KATHLEEN WYNNE VISITS CORNWALL AND SETNYK ASKS HER THREE QUESTIONS – Ontario’s Premier Kathleen Wynne hosted a jobs round-table Wednesday April 3rd at SigmaPoint Technologies, a manufacturing services company based in Cornwall. “We are committed to helping local economies grow. That’s why we are working with businesses labour and education partners in Cornwall and beyond to ensure that our people have the right skills for the global economy”, says Wynne. The province has provided $3.5 million in funding to the Cornwall area through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, and it is estimated that funding has helped retain more than 700 jobs. After the round table, Wynne was presented with a Team Cornwall jacket by Gilles Latour and Mayor Bob Kilger. Then she was given a tour of SigmaPoint Technologies where she met employees on the job. After the tour she answered questions in a media scrum. Reporter Jason Setnyk had the opportunity to ask three questions to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
GREAT BIG SEA PLAY A GREAT BIG CONCERT IN CORNWALL – It was a full house at the Civic Complex on Friday night as over 2500 people were in attendance to watch critically-acclaimed folk rock band Great Big Sea take the stage. It was an enchanting and exciting evening for those in attendance. Audience members energetically clapped and sang along to their favourite songs.This concert is a part of the Newfoundland band’s 20th anniversary tour which coincides with the release of their new two-disc album set. This tour is also noteworthy because it is the last time Sean McCann will be playing with the band.
THE MUSIC ROCKED AT LIFT-OFF 2013 – Balloons flew in the sky (some even flew into the US), children laughed and played at the Midway, and the music at this year’s festival simply rocked. The 2013 Lift-Off featured about twenty local bands, plus headliners like Down with Webster, Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Dean Brody, and April Wine. Local bands like Barstool Prophets, Rodney Rivette, Switchgear, Trench Town Oddities and Skypeople all proved Cornwall has lots of talent, playing music at the same or similar caliber as the headliners. One of the most memorable performances was when Beat Central Dance Company took the stage with Sky People and put on a high energy show that pumped the crowd up. Congratulations to the Lift-Off Committee, the volunteers, and bands for all their hard work putting on another terrific festival.
EVERY TIME I DIE WITH RYAN “LEGS” LEGER MAKE CORNWALL DEBUT – Every Time I Die with Ryan “Legs” Leger made their Cornwall Ontario debut last night. Ryan Leger who use to be the drummer of popular Cornwall metal band Third South, has now toured many parts of the world with his new band. Well over 300 people waited in anticipation at the Agora to see this talented hometown musician behind the drum kit again. The debut show of Every Time I Die will be a memorable one. From circle pits to stage diving, the crowd came to life Thursday night. There was a lot of energy as audience members chanted “Lets go Buffalo”. Every Time I Die are from Buffalo New York. The band which has played many festivals including Warped Tour, released their sixth album last year on Epitaph Records. Ex Lives was recorded by Joe Barresi of the bands Tool and Queens Of The Stone Age. Every Time I Die was very pleased with the turnout. Lead singer Keith Buckley said on the microphone to the crowd, “I never thought I would ever say this, but it’s great being in Cornwall Ontario”. This was greeted with cheers and some chuckles.
BAND WITH CORNWALL CONNECTION NOMINATED FOR A 2013 JUNO AWARD – The nominees for the 2013 Juno Awards were announced in Toronto. Canada’s top artists will head off to the Prairies during JUNO Week in Regina and Moose Jaw from April 15th to April 21st 2013. Among those nominated includes a band with a connection to Cornwall Ontario! Singer Songwriter Jesse-James Cameron who had spent some time living in Cornwall Ontario is a member of the band Makeshift Innocence. A few years ago you could have seen that band playing at local bars and pubs. Since that time they have relocated out west to Calgary Alberta where their popularity has exploded. Cameron broke the news on the bands official Facebook page. He wrote, “Thank you so much for believing in us! This has been the most incredible journey. We are just so honoured to share what we do with everyone out there, and now to be nominated for a JUNO for it! Wow.. Just wow!” The song “Yours to Keep” by Makeshift Innocence was nominated for the Reggae Recording of the Year. Congratulations Jesse-James Cameron and Makeshift Innocence!
MISS CANADA ATTENDS MOCKTAILS LAUNCH PARTY – Well over a hundred people attended the Mocktails Launch Party on August 10th. The recently opened venue next to the Civic Complex has a picturesque view of the St. Lawrence River. Owner Paul St-Onge announced on their Facebook page there would be a special guest in attendance Saturday. Miss Canada 2013 Ines Gavran was the special guest for this event. Adorned in a tiara and her winning sash she greeted people who were in attendance for the show. She asks, “What makes me a woman who can inspire?”. Gavran is educated, starting her third year of getting a Bachelor of Civil Law at the University of Ottawa. Growing up in Croatia during a time of war, she discovered her passion for humanity and justice. “Being Miss Canada is a chance to inspire and encourage other women”. The eight hour event featured live music by Michelle Fontaine, Keegan Larose, Kevin Rivette, Brian Smith, and Rodney Rivette. Visual Artist Jacqueline Milner was on location painting. Event co-organizer Rodney Rivette said, “It was great fun for the whole family. Looking forward to more events at Mocktails.”
ATCHISON ATTENDS BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF CANADA’S SOCIAL INNOVATORS YOUTH SUMMIT 2013 – Matthew Atchison was the local youth that attended the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada’s Social Innovators Youth Summit 2013. Atchison who was a little brother that graduated the program, is now 19 years old, and attending college. Atchison and others in attendance had the unique opportunity to meet many famous people over the course of five days. There were many celebrities that participated in the gala celebrations including Olympic Gold Medallist Donovan Bailey, Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler, Boston Bruins hockey star Bobby Orr, and Governor General of Canada David Lloyd Johnston just to name a few. Matthew Atchison was only one of a hundred people chosen to attend the organizations 100th anniversary celebrations in Ottawa. “He knows exactly what it means to give back and was the perfect choice to have at this very special celebration”, says Amanda Brisson who is Executive Director at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cornwall and District. This news worthy event was covered by CTV and the Wall Street Journal, and the Seeker is pleased to have a chance to cover this story from a local angle and to interview Matthew Atchison. In the print and web editions Jason Setnyk interviewed Matthew Atchison and asked him three questions. Submitted photos.
CORNWALL COLTS CROWNED BOGART-NEILSEN CUP CHAMPIONS WINNING IN OVERTIME – The Cornwall Colts have been crowned CJHL Jr. A Champions. They defeated Nepean at the Nepean Sportscomplex Wednesday night winning 3-2 in Over-time. Stephen Johnson scored the over-time goal, and Mitch Zion and Billy Ulrick also scored for the Cornwall Colts Wednesday night. Goalie Jordan Piccolino who was fantastic throughout the playoffs made 31 saves including 6 in overtime for the victory. He made close to a hundred saves in the Colts first two wins of the series and he was key to helping his team win the championship. The Colts who had made it to the finals the previous two seasons, finally won their first championship since 2001. Congratulations to the Cornwall Colts who got to hoist the Bogart-Neilsen Cup tonight. Cornwall Ontario hockey fans are very proud of you. Go Colts Go! Kudos on an amazing season boys!
PLUS SO MANY OTHER GREAT STORIES – It was difficult to select just ten stories, because in 2013 there were so many news worthy events, concerts, art exhibits, hockey games, politics, and more. I also did a series of in-depth interviews throughout the year entitled “Five Questions” -interviewing many local people including Mayor of North Dundas Eric Duncan, champion boxer Tony Luis, legendary musician Graham Greer of the Barstool Prophets, City Councillor Andre Rivette, and many others too. It has been a privilege to bring you all these wonderful stories, breaking news, and important information about our community.
My name is Jason Setnyk, and these are some of the top stories The Seeker covered in 2013.