Building a band 

The Ontarios came together for a wedding and stayed together for the music

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Music makers The Ontarios started performing after the wedding of a friends brought them together.
  • PHOTO submitted
  • Music makers The Ontarios started performing after the wedding of a friends brought them together.

The Ontarios are yours to discover.

A version of this phrase is on the license plates adorning vehicles in Canada's largest province.

It could also be a plug for one of Whistler's newest bands.

The Ontarios — guitarists Jonathan Dobie and Jake Breuer, keyboardist Bradford Needham and drummer Andrew Slater — have been together since last summer and have been pulling their music together for fun and with a career in mind.

So, where'd ya get your name from?

"We were having band practice one day and messing around. We've all been here for a few years, and we like to stay connected to our roots," says Dobie, who is originally from Muskoka.

The other band members hail from Ontario, too.

"It kind of jumped out at us. Some people will hear that name and say, 'Oh, the Onterribles,' but, hey, that will get our name out there. I appreciate where I came from."

Breuer adds that while the name wasn't quite set in stone, this story — the band's first interview — may be a deciding factor.

Whistler provides an interesting opportunity for a fledgling band (note the musicians do need to know their stuff).

The Ontarios currently perform every Saturday at the FireRock Lounge in the Westin, and Dobie believes that the appetite for live performance give them an advantage in Whistler that larger communities don't have.

"We all met at an open mic night right over there," he says. "Then a good friend of mine was getting married and told us she wanted us to perform at the party at Merlin's. It brought us all together. Brad had just got town, and he's an absolute genius on the keyboard."

The Ontarios perform classic rock and indie covers and they are writing new material.

"We're still developing that side of us with our own music. We love Blue Rodeo, so we perform a lot of Blue Rodeo songs. We like to play the songs we grew up listening to," Dobie says.

"In a venue like the FireRock we don't have to go crazy with the dance music. We have had the room up and dancing, but last week we had a few gentlemen here for a conference and they were just enjoying the sound. Sitting back and hanging out," he says.

Breuer adds that the experience of performing for different people from around the world is unique and kind of fun.

"There was one family of Australian girls who took to Jon," Breuer laughs.

Dobie adds: "They tipped us $50!"

The family was in the resort for two weeks and in the end, the father asked them when they were coming to Australia to tour.

"We created a friendship," says Dobie.

"We hung out. They liked our Facebook page. If he was to pay for us to tour, we're in!"


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