Tag Archives: Mike Williscraft

Good Vibrations: The Art Behind The Sound

ClubWest

(To view our July/August 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

Bill Marykuca’s bows will be treasured for years to come

By Joanne McDonald

Aphilosopher, fiddler, and bow maker with a Rube Goldberg bent, Bill Marykuca thinks outside the box and his innovative techniques for making bows give musicians the poetic power to make their instruments sing.

The accomplished Beamsville luthier will modestly tell you that what makes the violin sound good is a good player. But his musical colleagues tell a different story about what happens when a Guillaume bow meets the strings.

“When you put Bill’s bow to the fiddle and you hear the vibration….there is something unreal, something so special,” says Waterdown Jam Session organizer and fiddler Howard Alderson.

“There are very few people that have the ability to make fiddle bows.”

Technically, a bow is a tensioned stick which is strung with hair and used to pull across the strings of a musical instrument causing vibration which the instrument emits as sound.

Artistically, it is the very life breath of the instrument and every stroke can draw deep emotion from the soul of an audience. The key to great violin playing is in the bow.

Everyone is given gifts says Bill and it has been his joy to recognize his God-given gift and make it useful to other people.

It was also the gift of a new life for Bill when a brush with a rare and serious illness not only changed his life and marked the start of his bow making career, but became the signature name for his musical creations.

He was stricken with Guillame Barré Syndrome. It rendered him paralyzed and in hospital for one month followed by four months of therapy while he
recovered and learned to walk again.

It was 1990 and Bill at the time was an executive with Red-D-Arc, the company he had founded and built to international reputation through the decades.

Bill credits the creative and innovative team of people who helped him build his business from a single car garage in Hamilton in 1957 to its present location in Grimsby, now as the largest provider of welding and welding-related rental products and services in North America. And therein lies the Rube Goldberg reference. Bill, always an innovator, developed industrial patents in 14 countries.

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For all the full article and more, click here for Club West Online.

From the Publisher July/August 2017

ClubWest

(To view our July/August 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin

In my line of work – on a daily basis – calls, email, and drop-ins at the office are received, many of which start with, “have I got a story for you”.

Such was the case when shooting photos weeks ago for Lincoln Garden Club’s plant sale in Vineland.

Louise Marykuca tugged on my arm as I walked by and said, ‘If you’re looking for a story, you might want to talk to my husband. He makes his own bows and is quite accomplished.”

My first thought was “bow ties?”. Little did I know….Thinking it through and listening to her story, it sounded like a neat little feature, so I put it in motion.

Then when I read the story which Joanne McDonald came back with, the feature took on a life of its own.

That is a great read!

Bill Marykuca really is a gifted man. Few people can build a major going concerned from their garage, but he did it with Red-D-Arc. Few people have a natural talent for craftsmanship, too, but Bill explored the world of violin and bow making in 2000. Sure enough, that hobby took off and he quickly became renowned for his creations.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have Samara Vandersloot. She is just getting started. At 18, she has been to Nunavut, she is working on modelling and, in the meantime, she is taking part in Junior Team Canada’s trade mission to China this summer.

I don’t know about you, good reader, but I was more worried about my weekends when I was 18 than career establishment.

Maybe when Samara is ready to travel for leisure she may call ClubWest’s new travel writer, Lorraine Simpson.

As a former resident and merchant on Main Street in Jordan for many years, Lorraine is keenly aware of the interests of Niagara West residents as well as the tourist set. Her experience in world travel is second to none and Clubwest readers will see – first-hand – some unique and off-the-beaten path locations to which they may choose to visit in the near future. Her stories will inspire the lengthening of bucket lists across Niagara West you can be assured!

And with this edition, ClubWest wraps up its third full year of publishing.

A ton has materialized and changed in three years including the popularity of this publication. It is great to see voracious readers lined up in the office to get it on the day it comes out – in case they aren’t among the 15,000 who get it at home. We love doing it and we’re glad our readers love it right back.

Publisher, ClubWest Magazine
Mike Williscraft

High hopes

ClubWest

(To view our November/December 2016 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

Grimsby’s Maggie Weatherdon plans to be a principal dancer with a European dance company one day ~ And she is putting in the work to achieve that goal!

By Mike Williscraft

Visions of flitting around Europe dance in the heads of countless youth, but few envision doing so while the principal dancer of a ballet company.

Maggie Weatherdon of Grimsby is that rare one, however, and she just may have the talent to support that lofty dream.

The 14-year-old Grimsby Secondary School student will be putting her best foot forward later this month when she performs as “Marie”, the lead part in her dance school, Neglia Ballet Artists, production of The Nutcracker.

maggie-weatherdonThe performance is a collaboration of Neglia, The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Shea’s Performing Arts Center. It runs Nov. 26-27.

Just 14, Maggie is already a veteran of 11 years of training. Of course her formative years included very basic gymnastics and figure skating, she quickly came to understand dance was in here genes.

Born in North Carolina, Maggie’s mother, Michelle, was a dance instructor.

“She was in my class but by the age of five we had to find some place else for her to go because she was trying to teach the class,” laughed Michelle.

It was right around that time the Weatherdons packed up and moved back to Grimsby.

Maggie briefly attended St. John Catholic Elementary School before switching to Central Public School’s French immersion program. She also attended Lakeview Public before heading to GSS for Grade 9.

With dance, she continued her training in Burlington and St. Catharines maintaining her well-rounded interest which included a lot of gymnastics and various dance disciplines.

About two years ago, it was time to choose, however.

Staying the course with a general dance style would mean career aspirations of working on a cruise ship, for example, performing the same routines over and over.

Going the acrobatics route was a strong possibility angling for something along the lines of being a Cirque du Soleil performer, but career longevity was a key issue there.

For Maggie, ballet filled the bill.

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See the full article in our online edition.