The Ontario District is one of the seventeen districts of the Barbershop Harmony Society, the world's largest all-male a cappella singing organization, and is the only all-Canadian district. It is committed to serving and supporting its 31 barbershop chapters, over 60 quartets, and over 1200 members throughout Ontario, and it is committed to promoting the Society's mission of bringing men together in fellowship and harmony to enrich lives through singing. Member choruses and quartets are encouraged to perform throughout their communities in support of worthwhile civic, cultural, educational, and charitable endeavors.
The Ladies Auxiliary of the Oshawa Chapter held a celebratory banquet this month to mark their 50th anniversary as an organization. "The Backseat Drivers", named by Harry Mckew, originally formed from wives of chapter members to support Oshawa's Horseless Carriagemen Chorus in hosting the 1968 District Convention. The group remains active fifty years later, supporting the chorus (now named the Durham Men of Harmony) through sales of homemade fudge, ushering and ticket sales at shows, collecting soup labels, and conducting fundraisers.
The District Board has recommended a dues increase for 2018 of $20 per regular member, and an increase of $10 per convention. Your House of Delegates (generally, you are represented by your Chapter President) has voted to approve that recommendation. If you're a member who goes to both conventions every year, starting January 1 you'll be paying the District the equivalent of up to $0.77 more per week to continue to enjoy this great art form. We think that's pretty reasonable, but we know you likely have some questions about the increase.
Ontario District returned to Brantford this past weekend for our fall convention. Attendees met with friends from all over the province, barbershoppers sang until the wee horus of the morning, and the district awarded hardware to our winning quartets and choruses. Audience members were treated to performances by over 20 quartet and 8 choruses.Here are some of the highlights from the weekend, in no particular order:
It's convention, the most wonderful weekend of the year! To help you stay on top of things, we've compiled everything you might need this weekend onto one page. You'll also be able to find updates about weekend results as they occur. Want to stay even more "in the action"? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or use the hashtag #BHSONT.
It all started with a conversation among a few Harmony Ranch members at the afterglow of the 2017 Ontario District Spring Convention in London, ON. "Wouldn't it be great to get a mixed chorus together at Harmony Ranch?" "There are a number of great singers up there." "Lots of couples and women barbershoppers who might be interested." While most returned home after the weekend to their usual choruses and quartets without giving the idea much more thought, an plan was emerging in a few people's minds.
Ontario's newest chapter, the Ganaraska Chordsmen, has an ace up their sleeve when it comes to marketing. Every Thursday morning barbershop and a cappella music flood the airwaves of Northumberland County, spreading the barbershop artform to residents starting their days at home or on their commute to work. A weekly radio show, The Acappella Fellas, airs from 7:30 to 8:00am on Northumberland 89.7FM, a community-owned and run station staffed by volunteers.
For 18 years running, the Capital City Chorus of Ottawa has supported the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club and their summer camp, Camp Smitty. The camp is located on the shores of Mink Lake near Eganville, Ontario, and is primarily a camp for under-privileged children from the Ottawa region.To help mark the 60th anniversary of the Capital City Chorus, members of the chorus carried out a special project this fall at Camp Smitty.