Christmas is coming to Cobourg

The radio stations are already playing Christmas music and stores are starting to push Christmas merchandise.  To most people, Christmas is no longer a religious event but is instead, at best, a time for family get togethers and gift giving and at worst a commercial event.  One of the ways people now celebrate Christmas is by going to a concert or a public Christmas event or two – and Cobourg does a good job of these.  I know of ten concerts and two special Cobourg events:  The Santa Parade and the lighting up ceremony for the thousands of lights in Victoria Park and the Waterfront.  But unless you are on top of what’s happening, you might not know about them… Read complete articleChristmas is coming to Cobourg

Culture on Back Burner in Cobourg

It seems that “Culture” is no longer something that concerns residents of Cobourg.  There was a time when it did.  On June 25, 2018 Council decided to award a contract for $65,000 to consultant MDB Insight to prepare a Cultural Master Plan and after 2 public meetings and consultation with Cobourg’s “culture” organizations, a Cultural Master Plan was presented to Council on 15 October 2019.  Council passed a motion asking staff to bring recommendations forward to council.  We are still waiting.  To be fair, the plan was vague – other than improving communication and promoting what we already have, there was no grand new idea although there was vague talk of looking into “a Town-operated multi-purpose cultural facility, which includes… Read complete articleCulture on Back Burner in Cobourg

Concert Band of Cobourg

The Concert Band of Cobourg is celebrating their 180th anniversary this year with a video featuring their history and relationship with the Town of Cobourg.  The video does a good job and includes many interesting historical photos. Their Directors of Music Roland G. White from 1970 to 2000 and Paul Storms since then are mentioned but there is no mention of other notable individual band members.  Even long time Drum Major Tom MacMillan is not mentioned. (More below).  Another omission is the spin-off of the New Ventures Band in 2014 which, if I remember correctly,  was envisioned as a way to groom new players for the aging Concert Band.  Perhaps the omissions are because it would be impossible to mention… Read complete articleConcert Band of Cobourg

Northumberland Hills Hospital Fun Evening

Who said NHH Staff and Volunteers couldn’t have fun? No-one! On Thursday evening, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the grassed area East of the NHH Parking lot, staff that were not working and NHH Volunteers and their families let their hair down with the first annual “NHH’s got Talent” variety show.  The MC was Doctor Andrew Stratford and apart from a big thank you by CEO Susan Walsh, there were no speeches. It was also notable for the absence of politicians.  Several Doctors strummed guitars and sang, with one of them demonstrating that he could be a professional Opera singer.  Others danced and one group demonstrated Tae Kwon Do – truly a variety show. I lost count but… Read complete articleNorthumberland Hills Hospital Fun Evening

Restoring St Peter’s Church

One of Cobourg’s significant Historic Buildings is St. Peter’s Anglican Church.  Like Cobourg’s Victoria Hall it was designed by architect Kivas Tully and like Victoria Hall (in the 1950’s) it now needs major restoration.  It’s not quite the same situation since it’s a Church and not owned by the Town but the Church is hoping citizens who are not Anglicans or even Church-goers will be supportive of restoring this property.  The oldest parts of the building are already temporarily closed and its bells stopped ringing last year. The total cost is estimated at $2.7M and of this, $1.35M still needs to be raised (more below).  The Church has recruited a committee led by Peter Delanty and have launched a fund-raising… Read complete articleRestoring St Peter’s Church

La Jeunesse Choirs  Re-starting

La Jeunesse Choirs was shut down because of Covid but they are now holding auditions – they are currently looking for youth ages 7-18 to audition for their 2022-2023 season. Auditions are being held at Cobourg’s United Church with the next audition day coming up: Saturday, August 13th!  See Resources below for signup link.  Rehearsals start September 13, 2022. Their schedule includes two concerts (one around Christmas) plus a Musical Theatre event in 2023 at Victoria Hall: Disney’s Descendants on May 19th and 20th. Tickets will be available for these events at Victoria Hall’s box office. La Jeunesse Choirs is a dedicated and respected charitable organization whose mission is to support, share and celebrate the diverse musical talents of Northumberland… Read complete articleLa Jeunesse Choirs  Re-starting

Ad Hoc Committee Provides Four Options for Memorial Arena

In 2021, an Ad Hoc Committee was set up to review options for the future use of the Memorial Arena which was closed in 2019.  A public survey was posted in May 2022 and at the next Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on July 11, the committee will present their recommendation.  Their first choice is that it become the location for the Canadian Fire Fighters Museum which had opened in Port Hope in 1984 and operated for 33 years but then closed.  They then stored their artifacts pending finding a suitable location.  The committee’s second choice was that it become the location for Top Prize Events which stages Entertainment events, notably professional wrestling. Third choice was to issue an… Read complete articleAd Hoc Committee Provides Four Options for Memorial Arena

The Cobourg Loft to Close

Today Ken Prue announced that his unique venue, the Cobourg Loft, is to close on 30 October 2022. This is because the new owners of the building have decided to convert the space to residential apartments. The building was sold a few months ago and it has been business as usual since then. Ken has operated the Loft for 8 years and it has gained a reputation as Cobourg’s home of exceptional quality film and occasional live music performances.  Ken hopes to continue to present live music at Victoria Hall and wants to reassure everyone that the Loft will be fully operational right up to the end.  His announcement came as the footnote to a regular newsletter and is worth… Read complete articleThe Cobourg Loft to Close

Update on Memorial Arena Re-Purposing

The Cobourg Community Centre opened in 2011 with two ice pads and made the Jack Heenan and Memorial Arenas on Furnace Street redundant.  The newer Jack Heenan Arena was taken over by the West Northumberland Curling Club and in 2019 the Memorial Arena was shut down. I believe it was Cobourg’s first publicly owned Arena. It’s now 70 years old – it was opened in January 1950 but a fire in 1953 closed it until it was rebuilt in 1954. In 2019, staff thought that the Cultural Plan might suggest uses but that didn’t happen so eventually an Ad Hoc Committee was formed to suggest what might happen to it.  (By-Law 021-2021 was passed 20 September 2021). See links below… Read complete articleUpdate on Memorial Arena Re-Purposing

Netflix back in Cobourg

In 2019, Netflix came to Cobourg’s Downtown and filmed parts of season 1 of Ginny and Georgia and from February 22 to 25, they will be back again – filming parts of Season 2.  In October 2019 Kara Euale made a presentation to the DBIA about filming; she provided details of the benefits of this kind of disruption – her Powerpoint is in Resources below.  It’s not just the fees paid but also the publicity which attracts tourists.  This time, there will be approximately 120 crew members, 100 background performers and 40 production trucks.  They will film in Victoria Park, in front of Victoria Hall and along King Street West from Third Street to Hibernia Street.  Some roads will be… Read complete articleNetflix back in Cobourg

Sidbrook, Brookside and 93 Albert

There are now at least three Heritage buildings in Cobourg which their owners may be trying to demolish by neglect although hopefully the owners of Brookside (the Province) will move quickly to dispel this possibility.  In a letter to Council, Keith Oliver raises the issue – details below.  Separately, at Monday’s Council meeting, Councillor Adam Bureau gives notice of a motion to ask the Province to use Brookside as a winter homeless shelter.  If that happened, then at least minimum maintenance would be done on Brookside.  If the Province is slow to act and heat is not provided, then it could quickly get to a similar state as Sidbrook – see video below. But it seems to me that the… Read complete articleSidbrook, Brookside and 93 Albert