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Hollywood comes to Balsam Lake for private screening of movie depicting true story of 11 boys who drowned there 93 years ago

KAWARTHA LAKES-July 20th will be the 93rd anniversary of the day a band of teenage boys and their camp leaders paddled across Balsam Lake and were capsized in summer storm.

They were at Long Point Camp for the ultimate Canadian summer experience. On July 20, 13 of the boys and two leaders set out in a 30-foot canoe to gather supplies in Coboconk but capsized off Grand Island. They toiled in the water for hours, struggling to keep one another alive. 11 of them would not survive.

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario will attend the first ever presentation of the true story “Brotherhood” on July 20th. The local community will gather with the movie’s cast near Balsam Lake at the Kirkfield and District Historical Society and Museum to see the movie. In addition to the private screening, there will be a flotilla of 10 boats touring the lake and holding a special ceremony at the approximate spot of the drownings.

Says director Richard Bell, “Brotherhood is a bristling adventure tale and a forgotten piece of Canada’s history. But more meaningfully, it’s a tribute to a group of young Ontarians who started their day as boys and ended it as men.”

“The camp leaders were both veterans of The Great War – the conflict that brought Canada into its own adulthood,” says Brendan Fehr, who plays Robert Butcher. “My character carried the Allied colours into Mons. He was a loyal Canadian who did his bit for King and Country, as they said at the time. I like to think he’d be humbled by the notion of a Lieutenant Governor, almost a hundred years later, seeing a chapter of his story brought to life.”

“The real boys were mostly Toronto kids who were either born in England or were of British descent,” says Jake Manley, who plays Waller, the “rebel” of the group, “So it’s just super amazing to have the representative of the Crown honour them with her presence.”

For information on tickets you can email [email protected].

Brotherhood screens again on July 21st at 2pm and 7pm (the latter is sold out). It will be released theatrically by levelFILM in late 2019.


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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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