News

Music just one part of Bushstock festival

Vincent Ball

By Vincent Ball, Brantford Expositor

Race McConnell (left) and Blake Lauwerier of Courtland learn how to play the drums at the second annual Bushstock Music Festival held at the Lakeside Vista in Port Ryerse on the weekend. VINCENT BALL/POSTMEDIA NEWS

Race McConnell (left) and Blake Lauwerier of Courtland learn how to play the drums at the second annual Bushstock Music Festival held at the Lakeside Vista in Port Ryerse on the weekend. VINCENT BALL/POSTMEDIA NEWS

PORT RYERSE - 

A chance to hear some terrific music was just one of many reasons Stacy Lauwerier decided to travel all the way from Courtland to Port Ryerse on Saturday.

Lauwerier, like a lot of other people who attended the second annual Bushstock Music Festival on the weekend, found the allure of music, arts and sunshine too much to resist.

“It's a beautiful day and there's just so much to do here that it makes a great outing,” Lauwerier said. “There's lots here for the kids and for the adults, we get a chance to hear some good bands.

“It's a great event.”

Held by Ryan and Lisa VandenBussche at their Lakeside Vista property near Port Ryerse, Bushstock is a three-day festival that brings together music, art, sports and camping in one event at one location.

Lauwerier's four-year-old son Blake and his buddy Race McConnell, also 4, had picked up some drum sticks and were learning how play while Lauwerier relaxed under a tent with a friend.

While they were at the music station, Andrea McPherson was watching her children – Jared, 11, and Jillian, 14, – have some tie-dye fun at the nearby arts tent.

“We came in from Otterville,” McPherson said. “This is our first time here and wow, it's pretty neat.

“There are a lot of things for the kids to do and it's a beautiful spot.”

A lot of other kids were playing soccer on a small field nearby while others were shooting pucks at a hockey net. Still others were playing basketball and well away from most of the action, people were camping in either tents or recreational vehicles.

In the background, the music of Bodean could be heard. The three-piece Brantford-area band was one of 18 scheduled to perform at the festival. Other bands on the bill included Texas King, The Jay Kipps Band and Small Town Girls among others.

The headliner was The Trews, one of Canada's most popular rock acts and the creators of more than 10 top singles. The band has won numerous East Coast Music Awards and is a five-time Juno award nominee.

“We actually started this a few years ago but originally it was something we did for family and friends,” Ryan VandenBussche, a retired NHLer who played for the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks. “Last year we opened it up to the community and so now it's starting to grow.

“We've got room here for people to camp if they want to stay the weekend or they can come in for a day.”

The property has room for 60 recreational vehicles and 450 tent sites.

A portion of the proceeds from the event are used to support Stix'N'Pix, a charity that VandenBussche started to support grass-roots hockey and music.

The key words in the charity's aim, VandenBussche emphasized is 'grass-roots.'

It's all about helping kids get involved with music and hockey.

Bushstock, meanwhile, is all about family fun, he said.

“There's something for everyone,” he said.

He and is wife thanked the volunteers and sponsors for helping make the event a success.

“Something like this takes a lot of work and it really wouldn't been possible without all of the support of our sponsors and the hard work of our volunteers,” Lisa said.