The year 2019 marked the original Kingston Herald’s 200th anniversary, originally named the Upper Canada Herald and founded in March of 1819, and three of this past year’s top 5 most popular articles have a connection with a local landmark constructed just fifteen years later.
Here are the Kingston Herald articles that generated the most traffic and ‘reaction’ engagements on combined social media platforms in 2019:
#1 – The Glorious Sons Premiere New Video, Hit #1 on Billboard Chart (Jan 17, 2019)
The Kingston-based band launched 2019 with a bang when their single “S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun)” hit #1 on both the U.S. Active Rock Radio Chart and Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs Chart – making “S.O.S.” their first international chart topper.
And it continued to be a great year for The Glorious Sons as they released a number of hit songs and music videos, played a huge hometown concert at Richardson Stadium, were named “Canada’s Best Export” by the Washington Times, saw their single “Panic Attack” reach #1 on the Active Rock Radio and Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs charts in the U.S. as well as the Canada Active Rock chart, and closed out the year with the most played song at U.S. Rock Radio.
#2 – Kingston-Founded JUNO Nominees to Protest Autism Program Changes (Mar 6, 2019)
The six-time JUNO nominated children’s entertainers Splash’N Boots – a collaboration that began as a class project when Nick Adams and Taes Leavitt were students at Queen’s University – announced they would be marching with kids and parents to protest recent changes to the Ontario Autism Program. The entertainment duo are long time supporters of children with autism, having created a pen pal club for the children in 2016 called Lucas Letters, named for a 10 year old fan, and holding special meet and greets for kids on the spectrum, including those who may not be able to attend the live shows.
And within 10 days of this article Adams and Leavitt received their first Children’s Album of the Year win at the 2019 JUNO Awards for their album ‘You, Me and the Sea’.
#3 – CBC Series “Murdoch Mysteries” to Film in Kingston (Sep 25, 2019)
The popular CBC series came to town to film scenes for an upcoming episode at Kingston Penitentiary and outside City Hall in Springer Market Square, where the community was invited to watch the filming and have a chance to meet its stars, Yannick Bisson (Det. William Murdoch) and Hélène Joy (Dr. Julia Ogden).
Murdoch Mysteries follows the adventures of William Murdoch, a detective in the 1890s who uses radical forensic techniques for the era, including fingerprinting and trace evidence, to solve some of the city’s most gruesome murders. The episode featuring Kingston is believed likely to air in February, 2020 on CBC and the network’s GEM streaming platform.
#4 – DC Universe’s Titans to Film Scenes at Kingston Penitentiary (Aug 12, 2019)
The superhero series Titans also came to Kingston to film a season two episode where Dick Grayson (Robin/Nightwing) is incarcerated at the isolated ‘Kane County Correctional Facility’. The announcement came as local men were being hired as convict background actors in scenes to be filmed at Kingston Penitentiary.
Filmed in August, the show aired in November on the DC Universe streaming network in the States and is scheduled to appear in Canada on Netflix next Friday, January 10.
Coincidental to Kingston Penitentiary being the site of Robin’s incarceration, the prison was also used for exterior shots for a film starring Hollywood’s Batman, Ben Affleck – “Reindeer Games” (2000).
#5 – Tickets to Kingston Pen Tours Go On Sale Monday (Mar 14, 2019)
Speaking of Kingston Penitentiary, the historic landmark once again opened its doors in 2019 for it very popular tour which raises money for the local United Way. First opened in 1835 as the “Provincial Penitentiary of the Province of Upper Canada”, the prison housed some of Canada’s most notorious killers – including Clifford Olsen, Paul Bernardo and Colonel Russell Williams – until its closure in 2013.
In addition to the tours, Kingston Penitentiary continues to be a filming site for multiple television shows – including the above mentioned Murdoch Mysteries and Titans as well as The Amazing Race Canada and the Netflix/CBC mini-series Alias Grace – as well as recent music videos by Kingston-founded Headstones, and ALMOST appeared in Christopher Reeve’s Superman film, but ended up the probable template for the prison set where Lex Luthor was delivered at the end of the 1978 hit movie.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy and safe 2020 as we marked the 10th anniversary of the Kingston Herald’s digital rebirth!