›› Kathryn Juricic

This year’s FernFest will mark a sad anniversary for many members of the ­Fernwood community and beyond. Just two days after last year’s festival, treasured ­community member Graeme Bousada passed away after a tragic accident at just age 32.

You may remember Graeme from his various roles at FernFest. I first met Graeme after his first performance at FernFest in 2014, when he played with Medana. In the ensuing years, he played several sets as BOUSADA. In 2016, he hosted the FernFest TV series as Johnny Dangus.

And in 2019, he convinced me to help ­choreograph a dance for ourselves and friends to perform at FernFest. Many laughs were shared during our rehearsals in the shared Crystal Pool workout room. He also helped behind the scenes over the years and was often spotted rocking a FernFest t-shirt.

Bousada performed for the final time at last year’s FernFest when he shared a couple of acoustic tracks in the Musicians in the Round session.

Weeks later, his memorial service was held on the Field of Dreams, behind the Fernwood Community Centre.

While Graeme was a talented musician, he was known and loved for much more than his music. He was a husband, a father, a caring ear, a voice of wisdom and reason, and someone who brought the community together to grow, make, and share food. He was a moral compass for many people.

His legacy lives on in so many of us, but none more than his wife and son. I like to think that we keep Graeme’s spirit alive in many ways, whether it’s grooving our hearts out on the dance floor, tending a ­garden, hosting a potluck, gathering friends and serving them a meal, putting on a great party, having a little bonfire, being there for a pal, or giving direct and wise advice.

Funky Meeting will be covering a few BOUSADA tracks under the gazebo at this year’s FernFest, where we will all be ­dancing our hearts out.
Bousada, G, Graeme, Bousy, Bousi, Bous, Bous-dawg, my dawg, our dawg, Graemeso, Juicy Bousy, B-O-U-S-A-D-A, G Baby, Graeme Harimbe Bousada. Oh, Graeme. He made a huge impact in a short time, and will always be remembered.