Ray Chapeskie has been all of these.
Hailing from Barry’s Bay, and having served from coast to coast, before retiring from “real work” in 1999, he moved back to his roots when purchasing a 1860-ish farm along the Bonnechere River near Eganville. Today he enjoys being close to the land, and also to the music which has always been a true love.
Since returning to the Valley, not only has Ray been able to spend more time making music on the fiddle, but he’s been more connected to his ancestral heritage, Polish-Kashub, something which did not seem important in his youth. Also, he is a frequent entertainer at many seniors’ homes and other events, where much joy is shared.
By co-hosting Radio Kaszëbë, he is able to share his love of country and fiddle music and ancestral stories and events with a wider audience.
Ray says a bonus to this radio commitment has been the introduction to so many wonderful Ottawa Valley people, whom otherwise he might never have met.
Since 2008, each Saturday morning from 8 to 10 am, you will hear either Ray Chapeskie or Johnny Kashub talking about the Kashub Culture and people and playing music made by Canada’s Kashubian descendants. The Radio Kaszëbë mandate is to play the music of and cover all aspects of the culture including language, food, forklore, etc. as well as to talk about past and present happenings with the Kashub people in their Canadian community and beyond. Interviews are also part of the program, with Canadian Kashubs telling stories from then and now.