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Ponoka native making a name on punk scene

Montreal-based all-female band led by former Ponoka resident
Kathryn McCaughey. Photo by Susan Moss Photography

A former Ponoka resident is making her mark on the music industry.

Kathryn McCaughey and her Montreal-based band NOBRO were generating some great buzz with their new album Sick Hustle and fronting for Alexonfire and The Distiller’s tour back in January and February, playing arena venues across Canada for the first time.

However, then the COVID-19 pandemic came and put a pause on all concerts.

Vocalist and bassist McCaughey along with the rest of the all-female band are now an established name on the Canadian punk rock scene, especially with their newly released single Don’t Die.

The road to success didn’t always follow the musical tracks for McCaughey, but was played out on the ice.

Her dad Barry explained Kathryn was big into hockey while growing up in Ponoka.

“She played atom, peewee and bantam with the boys here, before we moved to Calgary in 2003 so she could pursue a further career in hockey,” he said, adding the family’s history in Ponoka runs strong, dating back to when his father’s family moved to the area in 1901.

“She was selected for Team Alberta’s female team, trained under coaches from the Canadian Women’s team at the Olympic Oval as part of the National Sports Academy hockey program and even attracted the attention and a tryout for a women’s professional team in Vancouver.”

However, the hockey dream cooled off at that point and she was off to McGill University in Montreal, where she completed a degree in philosophy and began her musical journey as well.

McCaughey joined up with Sarah Dion, Lisandre Bourdages and Karolane Carbonneau in 2014 to form NOBRO, a name that came about from wanting to provide females with musical opportunities and their answer to guys wanting to join.

“I wanted to play this type of music but there wasn’t a lot of women who wanted to play it. I wanted to be in the most kick-ass all-female band ever,” raved McCaughey in the biography on the band’s Facebook page.

NOBRO has been inspired by the likes of Jay Reatard, The Damned and Royal Trux to name a few, and are unafraid to wear their influences on their sleeve, the bio went on.

The release of Sick Hustle, as well as their first single, was originally slated for March, but was delayed in light of the pandemic.

“With our world in crisis and battling an epidemic, we do not feel it would be respectful to release a single called “Don’t Die,’” the band stated in an online post.

“It’s a lighthearted song and meant to be taken in jest but, considering the circumstances, we feel very strongly that it would be insensitive. However, we will say this: In every Shakespearean tragedy, there is a bumbling fool that provides comic relief. When the time is right, we can be those fools.”

For more about the band, check them out on Facebook or on their website at

Kathryn McCaughey. Photo by Susan Moss Photography