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.