Music Doc is Crowdfunding Some Hometown Pride

Arkells Live at the Red Dog

Peterborough-based Photographer & Director Michael Hurcomb was on a trip to Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, near Nashville a few years ago when he was asked by a travel buddy from Toronto, “So who has come from Peterborough that I would have heard of?”

“I began naming musicians, actors, writers, athletes that had been born in or moved to Peterborough, Ontario, and had gone on to national or international acclaim,” says Hurcomb

Among the musicians he rattled off to his travelling companion were musicians Serena Ryder, Three Days Grace, Ronnie Hawkins, Sebastian Bach, Greg & Rob Wells, I Mother Earth, Thousand Foot Krutch, Royal Wood, the Leahy Family and Neil Young. “And she was like, ‘No {expletive} way! All of those people came from Peterborough?!? You need to tell people about this!'” He explains.

Hurcomb, along with his Bandwagon web-series producer, Ryan Lalonde, started looking at the musicians who were born in a radius around Peterborough or moved here, played in the local music scene and went on to national and international acclaim. Originally he thought of doing a photo essay on the music scene, but Jag Tanna from I Mother Earth convinced him to make a documentary.

“Overall I would say that I’m doing this as I realized there was important story about this area that needed to be shared, not only with the world but also with city and surrounding towns who may not know or appreciate the talent that came from here.”

Three Days Grace
Three Days Grace

When asked “What do you think it is about Peterborough that breeds talent?” Hurcomb replies, “A common thread is ‘There’s something in the water’ which has some merit considering the wealth of talent that came from an area of this size. Although Peterborough and the surrounding area is known as a sports town there’s a diverse music scene here which is reflected in the variety of big name acts that came from the radius of Peterborough.”

“My hope is that people will watch this and be surprised by the talent that came from here and want to know more about the area. I’m deeply interested in the journey that driven people make in order to transcend their roots, trappings, environment, etc in order to achieve their ambitions. The story isn’t really about the town; it’s about the talent and the drive that small town musicians have to be great. The “Every famous musician starts somewhere. The “This is a story about somewhere” motto could be about any small town in the world. Where do people start? what influenced them? and what made them want to transcend what they were doing so that they could share their songs on a national or international scale?”

Serena Ryder
Serena Ryder

In order to get the doc really rolling Hurcomb and Lalonde have launched Kickstarter campaign for the film, now called The Radius Project.

The Radius Project documentary will feature one on one interviews with some of the aforementioned artists about their experiences here, a look into how a small city and the surrounding towns created so many acclaimed artists, interviews with outsiders looking at what makes a music scene work, a history of the music scene, interviews with some local legends, and a look at the future.

“The end result of the project will be to showcase this music scene to the world, and tell an untold story to the residents [of Peterborough]” too.”

As someone who grew up in Peterborough and beats the drum of hometown pride whenever I get the chance, I know I’ll be kicking into this Kickstarter, so if you’d like to help support these guys and help get their film made you can Click Here to to help with the Kickstarter campaign. You can find the Radius Project on Facebook here, Twitter here and find more info on their website.

Photos by Michael Hurcomb

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