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A variety show this week: 8am & 1pm on TuneIn & Simple Radio. Also streaming https://www.irishradio.ca
Maureen Lukie of Toronto Irish Players on the current production - Many Young Men of Twenty. Next up: Ronan Cordelle, originally from Dublin, on his efforts to build a semi-pro soccer team in Barrie, ON. Antoinette O'Brien of Clare Roots Centre with genealogy tips and services.
Musician Andy Hillhouse tells a little about himself.
Many Young Men of Twenty
By John B. Keane
Directed by Gregory Breen and Tim O'Connell at Toronto Irish Players
Though written in the early 1960s, Keane's character-driven play is just as relevant today: issues of emigration, alcoholism, status of women, and politics (nepotism) are dealt with in spirited and humorous ways. Follow Danger Mullaly, Peg Finnerty, Tom Hannigan, and other characters in Hannigan's pub as they see prospective emigrants passing through on their way to the train station to begin their journey to England. Woven throughout with music, ballads, and songs, the play takes an often poignant and funny look at the harsh conditions that forced people to emigrate in the early 1960’s, as well as the reasons that kept people at home.
If you’re a soccer fan in the city who has been craving more footy, there's a push being made by a Barrie group hoping to make the local pitch scream.
The Kempenfelt Crew is a soccer supporters' group being run by Dubliner Ronan Cordelle, a 39-year-old soccer fan who believes that, with a significant population base in Barrie, there should be a successful professional club here.
“Getting a team into League 1 would be so fantastic and such a huge honour,” said Cordelle. “That’s not to say we couldn’t get a team in the Canadian Premier League (CPL) someday, but to start in League 1 would help grow the game here in Barrie and add such a fun fanbase.”
League 1 Ontario is a is a semi-professional men's and women's soccer loop in the province and is sanctioned by the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) and the Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) as a Division III league in the Canadian soccer league system.
The league began in 2014 with 10 teams and the 2019 season will have 16 teams in the men's division and 14 teams in the women's division.
Teams are based many places, including London, Vaughn, the Toronto area and Ottawa.
The CPL held its inaugural season this year with seven teams competing from B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia. The Hamilton Forge were the first squad to win the league championship.
“The creation of the CPL really got the ball rolling for me,” said Cordelle. “Seeing the organization of the league and the fans in those communities who made the atmosphere so fun, it made me think that we could definitely do this and create the buzz in Barrie that soccer can bring.” (BarrieToday)
Antoinette O'Brien of Clare Heritage and Genealogy Centre.
Established in 1982, the Clare Heritage and Genealogy Centre at Church Street, Corofin, Co. Clare was the brainchild of a truly remarkable and acclaimed Clareman, the late Dr. Naoise Cleary. The idea took shape in the 1970s when Naoise undertook the task of indexing the local Baptismal and Marriage records so that the Parish Priest might more conveniently cope with an increasing load of enquiries from people overseas of Corofin ancestry. It was a time when people everywhere were becoming interested in their roots and like everybody else, Clare people abroad were seeking information about their forbears. As the work progressed Dr. Cleary discovered that bound up in the musty records was a vast store of Genealogical information for which there was not only a growing demand, but a yearning even, from people whose origins were in Ireland. He quickly became struck with the idea that, if properly collated and indexed for each of the 47 parishes throughout Co. Clare, this information had the potential to be turned into a very marketable product.
With this first step and a fortuitous collaboration with ANCO, the Youth Training Organisation, began the painstaking task of transcribing approximately 500,000 individual Baptismal entries up to the year 1900, sorting them and reconstituting the various families in each parish. Next came the Marriage Records followed by gleanings from Birth, Death and Marriage notices in the Clare Journal and other newspapers. Indexes of the Tithe Applotment Land Records (1820’s), the Griffith Valuation Land Records (1855), the 1901 and 1911 Census, convict records covering all of Ireland, the gravestone inscriptions from more than 100 graveyards in Mid and North Clare, and literally every known source from which useful Genealogical data relevant to Co. Clare could be extracted.
All this work took place in St. Catherine’s Church which, after its closure in 1974, had been kindly donated by the Representative Church Body to the local community for use for cultural purposes. Again with remarkable foresight Dr. Cleary decided to use this attractive space to accommodate a thematic presentation of the material and folk aspects of Irish life in the period covered by the genealogical records. And so for the first time people of Clare ancestry throughout the world would find on their visits to the homeland, not only the written records relating to their kinsfolk, but a true-to-life presentation of the material and spiritual folk-life of the Ireland which their forbears had left behind.
The effects of this remarkable Genealogical and Heritage enterprise were instantaneous and thus began a remarkable interaction between Co. Clare and its scattered Diaspora, a dialogue which has been maintained to the present day.
The increase in demand for the Genealogical service at Corofin, with more and more visitors calling each year led to further development and in 1992 a new purpose-built centre was completed. The Interpretative Museum, however, remained in St. Catherine’s Church, the two buildings constituting a remarkable campus for those wishing to experience a truly-authentic portrayal of 18th and 19th Clare and, by extension, that of Ireland in general and its remarkable emigration story.
Since the early 1990s, Andy Hillhouse has had a varied career in music. including as a touring bandleader in the Anglo-Celtic music world, a choral director, a music and culture scholar, and now a festival organizer.
As a musician he toured North America and Europe through the 1990s as founder and manager of the folk rock/funk band Mad Pudding. Since 2000 he has toured with several of the Celtic music scene’s most respected and exciting acoustic musicians, including west coast innovative fiddler Zavellennahh Huscroft, champion Canadian fiddler Pierre Schryer, Irish flute player Nuala Kennedy, and Juno winners The McDades. His first solo CD, “Passages,” was released in May of this year and has an underlying theme of travel and transformation, alternating between traditional music, original songwriting, and song interpretations. He currently performs in duo with masterful fiddler Mark Sullivan and is the Artistic and Executive Director of the Harrison Festival of the Arts.
Andy is also a respected teacher and workshop facilitator, and has taught Celtic guitar backup and vocal workshops at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Georgia Straight Guitar Workshop, Saltspring Fiddle Camp, Sunshine Coast Summer School of Celtic Music, Algoma Trad, and others. He is former director of the Universal Gospel Choir, the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach Choir, and holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Toronto.