General News

Cuddy Jamboree for C.O.R.E.

July 12, 2018   ·   0 Comments

Written By CONSTANCE SCRAFIELD

The annual Jim’s [Cuddy] Jamboree is coming up on August 5, 2018 in support of

Conserve Our Rural Environment (C.O.R.E.), an organization of land owners determined to protect and direct the use of farm land.

Bill Duron, a founding member of C.O.R.E., told the Citizen in a telephone interview, “We are a land owners organization that tries to curb the misuse of lands while recognizing there’s a need for housing and aggregates; we want those dealt with intelligently.

“The Honeywood loam soil is famous,” he offered as an example. “Honeywood loam soil is quite special. It was designated as a Class 1 soil because it is the best soil for growing. The reason is, it is the correct balance of clay and sand. This is loam, called that not for only its correct balance, there is also has an aquifer under it. From the stand point of irrigation, if that was dug up for gravel, you would lose all that bounty.”

He went on to explain, “Enough people cared about it that we opposed the gravel pit application. Because the community opposed it so much the Boston Hedge Fund was wavering on its commitment.  So, a fund bought the land from Boston and leased it to the farmers. Now, they’re getting a return on it. So, they did the right thing for the environment and they’re making money on it.

“We have to protect food and water first,” was his comment. “As the population increases, there’s more necessity for recreation too and we have this wonderful area trails. We were very appreciative that Natural Resources restock the river with1,000 speckled trout.”

About this, Mr Duron has other concerns. “In the Pine River Forest, the motorized vehicles (ATVs and others) took over, seriously damaging the land. Now, with restocking and better enforcement will be instated. You wouldn’t have ATV’s and trucks oil and beer cans. The ministry will put up gates and more conservation officers and OPP will be a presence. Once again, we can’t be more appreciative for the generosity and the willingness to conserve the natural beauty around here.”

In the first place, the organization C.O.R.E. was needed: “It was primarily to impose on the gravel pit right at the corner of Airport Road and County Road 21, to stop the trucks going up and down the hills.

With the first Jim Cuddy event, enough funds were raised to help pay for expert consulting and lawyers that the pit was prevented and an alternative route was chosen.”

As to how Jim Cuddy was persuaded to join the fray by staging a concert every year, the story goes like this:

Sarah Harmer, musician, singer, songwriter, activist was doing an end to end walk on the Bruce Trail to focus attention on the natural resource of the area.

“If she was going to stay overnight and on my property,” related Bill Duron, “would she do a little concert to help raise money? The answer was yes, she would. We raised $20,000 net, which went to paying for consultants, hydrologists, lawyers, etc.”

Mr. Duron told us, “Because of the success, we said, ‘let’s get together next year and do something like that again.’”

He tells the tale of how he met and persuaded Jim Cuddy to help: “Jim Cuddy lived in the neighbourhood but no one knew where he lived. I found out and I just drove into his driveway. He was jogging and he recognized my name when I told him and he said, ‘Oh you’re the one who’s been trying to find me.’ So, I explained to him the reason.

“He told me, ‘Okay, I’ll do it but I’m performing at a wedding in Tuscany and I’ll have to work out a schedule.”

Then, “would you mind doing this at no cost?”

To which came the reply, “You’re a courageous one. OK, I’ll donate my time because it’s the right thing for the community. Please provide an honorarium for the band to cover travel expenses.”

That was 12 years ago and there has been a concert every year since then, usually raising $30,000, with Jim Cuddy inviting other musicians every year.

“Then Jim suggested, let’s create a Jamboree. He invites other musicians -like Luce Dulcet – it’s not only the concert but one of the best parties in southern Ontario. Andy Maize now comes every year. He got so into it that he jumped off the stage and danced with the crowd.”

They started the Jim Cuddy Jamboree six years ago: wonderful young musicians open for the shows.

“The show is on Aug 5 and that’s Sunday of the long weekend,” Mr Duron told us. “It’s at the farm called Lyric Pond. We put up a huge open wall tent – there’s a fantastic gourmet meal catered by Flying Chestnut in Eugenia. Also, Creemore Springs Beer has been a sponsor ever since it started. They donate the beer.

“Megalomania wine donates – John Howard and the New Farm contributes wonderful produce.

“All this enables us to keep the cost down. The Jamboree nets $24,000, which really helped out with fighting the aggregates company.

“This is ongoing,” he said, “only with this help could we pay back urban planners, hydrologists, lawyers. Now, we’re at the break-even point. There’s always a need to protect the land and we’re going to do that.”

For all the details and to purchase ticket, go to corecares.ca

         

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