Penetanguishene’s First Air Guitar Championships Ready to Throw Down!
June 25th, 2016 is the day that Penetang will have arrived in the global competitive Air Guitar scene. Made famous by the movie Air Guitar Nation , Canada has now sent six champions in the past 20 years of this global clash of titans that takes place in Oulu Finland each August. We’ve yet to win. But 2016 could be the year. And the Penetang champ could be the winner.
LAST CHANCE FOR ADVANCE TICKETS (otherwise grab at the door)
We are thrilled to welcome musician Pete Garthside, and Brittany Black – Tourism Director of the Heart of Georgian Bay to our judges panel. With good judgement and insight into the soul of a rockstar we trust in their discernment for picking a winner. We welcome them with giant windmill arms. Let’s check out their bios.
Penetang native Pete Garthside began his obsession with music at an early age. Competing at Midland music festivals at the age of 9 and 10 for voice, Pete found his real stride when first sitting on a drum kit at Le Caron’s music atelier at the age of 13. Pete began drum lessons immediately, followed by touring Ontario for 3 years with a Chaverim, a Christian youth band. Concurrently, Pete played in local bands and talent shows at MSS and PSS inspired by artists such as Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, Beck, NOFX, Face2Face, & Propagandi. He further developed vocal and music chops while at the University of Ottawa slaying in blues act ‘Gorgeous’, local punk rock band ‘The Release’, and the Rainbow Room’s house blues band. Following University, Pete moved to Toronto where he spent the next 8 years as a musician & recording artist. He layed down drums and percussion for acts such as Melissa Bathory, Howl, Provincial Parks, and The Schomberg Fair recording at such legendary studios as Metalworks and Cherry Beach studios. He has toured Canada from Victoria to Halifax 4 times, played countless shows at festivals such at Minnesota’s Deep Blues Festival, North By Northeast, Canadian Music Fest, Winnipeg Jazz Festival, Calgary’s Sled Island music festival and others. (Then he took a big boy sales job on Bay Street as to no longer be broke, but all that other stuff still counts.)
Brittany Black is the Tourism Director of the Heart of Georgian Bay, the new Destination Marketing Organization for North Simcoe. Brittany brings a marketing and events background from Tourism Barrie and, more recently, Hardwood Ski and Bike in Oro-Medonte. Her marketing efforts have included a website redesign, brand identity and alignment, an increase in social media audiences, long-term strategic planning, and preparation for the mountain bike events for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games.
Sponsored by Rock 95, Steam Whistle Pilsner, Midland Film Company, and Marilyn’s Print Shop.
Our events are run in support of Right To Play Canada – Helping children facing adversity through the power of sport and play.
Penetanguishene Power Slides Into Their First Air Guitar Championships With Huge Community Support
They say it takes a village. A village to raise a child… sure. But this village is raising the up the idiot in the name of world peace and helping a great charity called RIGHT TO PLAY.
Air Guitar is about bringing smiles to people’s faces as courageous participants melt faces by doing their best Mr. Bean after cranking down a six-pack of Steam Whistle. It’s the regular-joe’s chance to be a rock star without ever having the talent to..well..be a rock star.
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The village, nay the County, of Simcoe which includes Penetanguishene and Midland among others is making a name for itself by joining the ranks of the weird and wonderful with their first charity Air Guitar Championships. The winner travels to Toronto on July 16th for the Canadian Championships. And maybe, just maybe, they win and get the experience of a lifetime flying to Oulu, Finland (look it up) to participate in the 21st Air Guitar World Championships.
Joining the ranks of people from this amazing community who are making the goodness happen – we have a Ward Councillor, a Deputy Mayor, and a Butter Tart Festival Boss. Pretty much the most powerful people in Simcoe County. They have united for a historic moment – here are their bios:
JUDGE #1 Mike Ross – Deputy Mayor for the Town of Midland. Married and father of two. Born and Raised Midland boy and Proud of it. Classic Rock & Metal Fan. Been playing Air Guitar for over 40 years. Performed my self taught style to the Rolling Stones, Green Day, Rush & Neil Young to name just a few.
JUDGE #2 Barb Rowlandson
Born from a cloud of smoke machine fog lit by a Pink Floyd laser show, Barb Rowlandson is an acolyte of the Goddess Rock n’ Roll. Barb’s career has had many wacky incarnations, but she is best known locally as the creator of Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival. These days, you’ll find Barb rockin’ out classic style at Askennonia Senior Centre, where she is currently organising Midland’s next great festival, Zucchini Mania. In her spare time, Barb plays the actual guitar, volunteers for Huronia Museum, paints, screen prints, hula hoops and obsessively watches Henry Rollins videos on the YouTube.
Rollins… man. That’s boss.
And finally – our super host Cody Oschefski
An eager and passionate member of the Unifor skilled trades council, an 11 year employee at TRW automotive as an electrician after serving an apprenticeship. The vice president and skilled trades rep at Unifor Local 1411. A councillor in the Town of Midland with aspirations of being Deputy Mayor in 2018. Created and chairs the Midland Youth committee. On the board of directors at the Boys and Girls club of North Simcoe and an advocate for underprivileged youth, young people in the trades and creating opportunities for people in general. Known for ability to listen, being a lifetime learner and always giving back and serving his community.
We have more love to share with the people who are making this happen – but we’ll post about them tomorrow. 2 more judges and a whole bunch of businesses that have gotten behind the event.
See you this Saturday at The Maple Valley Sports Bar at 8pm. We’ll have some cold Steam Whistle ready for you along with a night you won’t soon forget.
This coming weekend we get the party started in cottage country. Saturday, June 25th at the Maple Valley Sports Club, history will be made as we crown the first ever ‘official’ Penetanguishene Air Guitar Champion.
Brave hopefuls and relatively bold half-hammered others will take the stage and give us their best 1-minute of Air Guitar for the chance to travel to Toronto for the Canadian Championships on July16th. And if they win in Toronto, the winner will fly to Finland for the 21st Air Guitar World Championships.
Over the next few days we will be putting up some tasty bits of information to get the people of Penetang, Midland, and all of Simcoe County pumped for the good times to come on Saturday. I can guarantee that Air Guitar Canada and Maple Valley Comedy will deliver the most ridiculous and fun event of the summer. You will want to bring everyone you care about to witness whatever this is. Rock 95 is on board. Midland Film Company is too. We have some killer judges to make the hard decisions… so now we need you. This is for real.
We have a few videos to stoke your fires and rev up your seadoos. Both feature local hero James ‘Thrustin Beaver’ Dalzell doing what he does best.
The best part – other than it is fuelled by Steam Whistle beer, is that the benefits of the event go to Right To Play Canada – helping kids facing war, famine, and poverty through sport and play programs. It’s like a 10K charity run for goofs. So in doing something so dumb… we do something so good.
After all… the motto of Air Guitar is:
‘When you are holding an Air Guitar, You can’t be holding a gun’ – Ancient Air Guitar Proverb.