Ambush to headline Play It Forward event

Story by Jeff Gard

As a local businessman, James Burton of Investors Group Cobourg appreciates the support he receives from the community and he wants to pay it forward.

Better yet, he wants to Play It Forward

That’s the name of the Oct. 12 event at the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope that will support Rebound Child & Youth Services Northumberland. The show will be headlined by Ambush with local band Greatest of Ease opening up and will also include wine and cheese and a silent auction.

“Without the community, I have no business, so the community allows me to be successful, which then in turn allows me to give back and support the community,” Burton says.

Last year was the inaugural event and was set up as a Tragically Hip tribute concert featuring Garage Dog, Greatest of Ease and Cale Crowe. The event raised $5,500 for the Northumberland Fare Share Food Bank as well as Rebound.

Burton opted to direct proceeds toward Rebound again this year as the Cobourg-based organization is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

“It’s dealing with kids. I have two kids myself so any way you can help kids and disadvantaged youth it certainly has a place for me,” Burton says. “I feel I live a pretty charmed life and we don’t know half the stuff that goes on out there. If we can help youth that are sometimes the most vulnerable, then I think that’s a great place to start.

Ambush has been entertaining audiences since 1993 with its high-energy live shows. The current band lineup features original member Mark McDonell (vocals/guitar) along with Kris Lafontaine (vocals/bass) and Danny Derue (vocals/drums).

In 2006, Ambush won the CMT reality series Plucked, which enabled the band the opportunity to shoot music videos for This Could Be The Night and then In This Room, which was later nominated for a Canadian Country Music Award for Video of the Year.

Ambush has received five CCMA nominations in total, with the others in the categories of Group or Duo of the Year and Independent Group or Duo of the Year, two times each.

Meanwhile, “people can bid on some really cool items donated by local businesses” in the silent auction, Burton notes. Items include sports memorabilia and tickets, massage gift cards, a Ganaraska Trail membership, theatre tickets and gift cards for golf and local restaurants.

In addition to the businesses that donated items, Burton also noted the event wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of Investors Group Cobourg, Cobourg Nissan, Lauria Auto Group, Third Street Law, Stacy Vermeire REMAX, Cameco, Carlson Wagonlit Travel Cobourg and Lakeshore Autobody.

Giving back to the community, Burton says, is an extension of what Investors Group does in business.

“We help people with their financial planning, their insurance planning but at the end of the day we help people,” he says. “If we can help our community as well, it’s all about putting people in a better spot.”  

For the Oct. 12 Play It Forward event, doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 each and are available at

“The Capitol Theatre is a great historic venue for this type of event and they’ve been great in supporting us,” Burton says. “We’re trying to make this an annual event to raise even more money for local charities in the community.”

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