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Dad writes songs from the heart, for a cause

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today

Area resident Doug Bates is releasing songs he is writing and performing through iTunes and donating the proceeds to the Alderville Women's Shelter.Submitted photo

Area resident Doug Bates is releasing songs he is writing and performing through iTunes and donating the proceeds to the Alderville Women's Shelter.Submitted photo

NORTHUMBERLAND -- Songs that chronicle both tragedy and love in his life are Doug Bates's way of supporting the Alderville First Nation women's shelter.

The well-known advocate for young people with autism (his son Ryan was diagnosed with the condition), Bates lost his seven-year-old daughter Kaitlyn in a car crash on Dale Road six years ago and subsequently set up a foundation in her honour.

Several times he has come before Northumberland County council to talk about autism and at least one time Ryan has come with him.

Now, in addition to everything else he is doing, Bates is writing songs that will be distributed through iTunes and other digital platforms with all of the proceeds going to help women and children in the Alderville shelter that serves both Indigenous and non-Indigenous families.

"In a nutshell, the project is solo work of songs I wrote after my daughter died, and the emotional rollercoaster it's been," Bates said in an interview. "My first song, Memories of Kaitlyn was obviously written for her. My second song is called Keep the Faith and it is me talking to myself about moving ahead after my daughter's death, as well as to the public to keep moving forward towards their own goals."

The third song he has written is for his wife, Mary, to whom he has been married for 23 years.

"It's written to her about how we met, and how I knew she was the one," Bates said.

"I wanted it to be a retro '80s dance style, remembering my club days," he said. "Huge thank yous to Ola Kiermacz for her fantastic vocals on this song, and of course the talented Adam Newcomb who did the drum programming, produced, arranged and mixed the song. I wrote the lyrics."

The song is called I Really Think You Are Special and it can be heard at soundcloud.com

Comments on social media have been positive about the musical compositions.

Bates's plan is to work on four more songs and by the fall of 2018 have them all completed and released.

"The other songs will touch on my journey through the loss of my daughter and finding myself again - and how I am coping with her loss," Bates said.

Part of that process has been through the creation of the Kaitlyn Bates Foundation whose objective is to help young women with self-esteem issues.

Helping others is just what Bates does in many different forms, including his frequent Facebook postings of humour, encouragement and insight.

vmacdonald@postmedia.com

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