Ontario Teens Rally Against School Closing Through Neko Case Cover, Get Neko's Support

> Dec 06 2011

Ontario Teens Rally Against School Closing Through Neko Case Cover, Get Neko's Support
By Gregory AdamsA pair of Peterborough, ON teens' cover of an old Neko Case song has brought the controversial closure of their high school to the attention of thousands. Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School students Kate Macdonald and Janelle Blanchard are protesting the Administrative Review Committee (ARC) of the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board's (KPRDSB) recent decision to close the school, and have expressed their dissent via a ukulele-led version of Case's "Star Witness," from 2006's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood.

Claiming the arts-indebted institution to be "a vital part of the downtown core," the pair said in a statement that "It is impossible to quantify the devastating impact the closure of this unique arts focused high school could have on generations of future students in Peterborough."

Since uploading the tune to YouTube on Sunday (December 4), the clip has yielded over 7,000 views. Of the many fans they've picked up is Case herself, who was deeply touched by the teenagers' interpretation.

"Wow. That just made me bawl my eyes out. What beautiful singers. I'm not worthy... Holy god," Case tweeted, adding, "They broke the shit out of my heart!!"

The clip, which you can see below, was directed by Torontonian Jared Raab (Ohbijou, Diamond Rings). Having attended the school, the filmmaker was equally passionate about preserving the downtown facility.

"It is pretty much the life blood of the creative community in downtown Peterborough," Raab said of PCVS in a statement. "It's also one of the oldest schools in Canada, and the only school downtown. Closing it will almost certainly fuck up the city of Peterborough, like we've managed to fuck up most small cities in Canada by decentralizing."

You can show your support by watching the clip on the girls' YouTube page, which also includes covers of Feist, Ohbijou and Elliott Brood, or by heading to the Peterborough Needs PCVS website.

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This is awesome. I love Peterborough and support PCVS. So glad this is on Exclaim!
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At first, I thought the one on the left was Julie Doiron! Great cover.
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Join the fight! PCVS needs all the support it can get. I've been tweeting this at everyone from Jian Ghomeshi and Rick Mercer to Ellen Degeneres. Tweet it up! Call people! Send emails! Stairwell jams happen everyday at PCVS.
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School boards must become accountable again to their communities all the time - not just at election time (every 4 years). The community wish must trump school board stupidity.
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You guys are awesome. Art and love are the answer. Save PCVS!
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Abso - flippin' - lutely real. I would pay money to see these girls just cuz of the vibe they put down. The voices a darn fine too.
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Save the school. And then get these girls a record deal, stat.
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Save these voices and those that will follow.
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Thank-you for writing about these girls and PCVS. I'm an alumni of 2007. Canada is seriously indebted to the talent that comes out of PCVS. I don't think anybody can walk into PCVS and not be inspired from it's tin ceilings, to marble staircase, the teachers that let you stay late to play guitar in the hall, or let you film movies that permanently leaves fake blood on the ceiling, this place is special.
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Hey,

I was so excited to see that Exclaim has picked up a story relating to PCVS. I am an alumni from '98. I had the pleasure of going to school and watching talent like Serena Ryder start out and now look where she is at. I truly hope these girls understand the power of their voice (and kudus to the director!) The voice of students past and present must be heard. Our message is clear. Peterborough needs PCVS.
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Agreed. School boards MUST be accountable to the greater community. They plan to shut down a beautiful school that has been open for over 180 years, with a vibrant community surrounding it, in order to bus students into a modern building in the suburbs. It will be one of those bureaucratic mistakes you can't undo.

You can not simply put students in any four walls and expect them to form the same community that already exists at P.C.V.S.. It works because of it's downtown location and the rich tradition that precedes it. The school and the building are completely intertwined as thousands of former grads can attest.

Please check out "Peterborough Needs PCVS" and tell the school board they are making a huge mistake.
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As a new Peterborough resident, I want to put it out there that one of the reasons the school board feels like it needs to close a school is because of the divide between the Catholic & public school systems.

Many public schools are losing students to the Catholic school board because they have more resources.

However, the need for a separate school board is questionable. It dates back to Confederation when equity for Catholics was necessary because people were being persecuted. Those times have changed. It would make so much more sense to combine resources so that schools like PCVS can continue to thrive in Peterborough.
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Good news!

You CAN pay money to see these lovely women--and a few other fantastic acts including:

Serena Ryder
Jimmy Bowskill
The Silver Hearts
Kate and Janelle
The Avenues

and many, many more special acts to be announced!!!

PCVS Benefit concert on Feb. 26 at Showplace Peterborough.

Tickets go on sale Monday, December 19th. $50 adult/$25 Student
You can get them at the Box Office or Online (Showplace.org)
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I am a resident of Maine. Canada is supposed to be so much ahead of the US...aka not being really stupid....why are you closing this school???? And yes, watch the Mercer Report. J Hooker, Detroit, ME
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