As a former Community Relations & Activities Director in retirement residences, I have been privileged to become acquainted with some really talented musicians & artists in the District of Algoma. Seniors’ Centres, Royal Canadian Legions, summer festivals & events, Rural Fairs, Communities of Faith and much more create a rich tapestry for social engagement in our communities. Seniors Calling will highlight the extraordinary stories from Algoma’s senior community.
17N. Band … Goulais River originals.
When a person considers travel time for a band, the musicians that make up 17N. have logged some serious miles. The musicians are John McDonald,Bobby McDonald,Jim Scott,August Rouse&Joe Otero. 17N.Band plays at least three times a month at each of the following locations .. The Davey Home, Great Northern Retirement & Pathways Retirement Residences. The guys from Goulais are retired gentlemen, each of whom is a tremendous musician. They have been playing together as a band for about 10 years.
John McDonald, retired from the telephone company, brings a country & gospel style to his music. He plays guitar and sometimes fiddle. John began learning to play the fiddle not so long ago. John will often share stories with the appreciative crowd gathered to hear his special brand of music. John is a man of faith, and is active in his United Church in Goulais,Ont.
Bobby McDonald is a master carpenter (retired), having spent his career with the City of Sault Ste. Marie Parks and Recreation Department. Bob has hand crafted each of his instruments… bass guitar, and bango. Incredible really! Bob’s unique talents are a work of art, to be sure.
Jim Scott, retired steelworker, plays guitar, vocals, and has a tremendous way of engaging with seniors at the retirement homes, sharing stories and introducing songs.
August Rouse & his fiddle are legendary in Square Dance circles in the Algoma district. He plays fiddle and guitar in 17N.Band, as well as vocals. August has a way of bringing joy to folks as soon as the first few chords are struck on the fiddle. Toes are tapping and feet are moving. August retired from the International Bridge Authority.
Joe Otero is a retired research scientist. He plays mandolin, bango, and percussion instruments like tambourine, and bells. Joe has a gift for humour, and never fails to parlay his humour into a cleverly crafted story. Joe is one of a kind, to be sure.
17N.Band recently performed as part of a Gospel Service at St.James Anglican Church in Goulais River. They are part of the Goulais Days line-up of events for the annual festival in July. In June,2014, 17N.Band brought live music to the Annual Algoma Presbytery Picnic (United Church) held at the Laird Fair Grounds. 17N.Band is often invited to share their musical talents at special events like wedding anniversaries and summer events.
John,Bobby,Jim,August & Joe collectively share hours and hours of volunteer time by bringing music to spaces in retirement homes, long-term care facilities, special events, and summer festivals. They pack and unpack beautiful stringed instruments, set-up and tear down amplifiers & speakers in all sorts of weather. This band from Goulais travels three times a month as a minimum, all year long, up and down and back up again, along Hwy 11-17 North.
Music has a way of communicating in a language that is universal. 17N.Band are a wonderful example of musicians in the ‘senior set’, who’s love for music is freely shared from the heart ….engaging folks wherever they go… to sing along .. tap their toes, and move their feet. Thanks for all you do brighten the corner.. wherever you go, 17N.Band.