Canada 150 juried art exhibit opens at Gibson Gallery



By Ron Giofu


Art with a Canadian theme is now on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

The Canada 150 juried art exhibit opened Sept. 7 and runs through to Oct.1 at the gallery, with a reception planned for Sept. 17 from 1-3 p.m. Exhibit chair Kathleen Cant said there were 24 pieces submitted with mediums including watercolours, oils, acrylics, pencils, ink and more.

“We decided to do a competition this time,” Cant explained. “The artists paid a small fee to get in. The money will be pooled and divided up among first, second and third place finishers.”

Bobbi Wagner judges work that appears as part of the current Canada 150 juried art exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

The call for submissions was made in March and organizers wondered what kind of turnout they would get. As it happened, they were pleased.

“The artwork is phenomenal,” said Cant. “We are very surprised at what came in.”
“You never know what you are going to get,” added board member/office manager Bonnie Deslippe.

Deslippe added that the main criteria was it had to be representational art with a Canadian theme. Judges came in last Tuesday night and scored the artwork with those asked to judge including Corrine Ross from Fort Malden National Historic Site, Meg Reiner from the Marsh Historical Museum, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Hugh Barrett from the Chimczuk Museum in Windsor as well as local artist and Gibson Gallery member Bobbi Wagner.

“We’re pretty excited,” said Cant. “We had a great response. We are really impressed with the art that came in.”

The first place winner is Dennis K. Smith for “The Real McCoy” while second prize goes to Nancy Bauer for “Many Things are Canadian but …. ‘Eh!’ says it all.” Taking third place is Sue Southern for “Canadian Women at Mackenzie Hall” with honorable mentions going to Debbie Goldring for “Strong and Free”, Mariano Klimowicz for “Homestead” and Donovan Alp for “A Vision.”

Meg Reiner was one of the judges Sept. 5 prior to the opening of the Canada 150 juried art exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

“It will be open during Culture Days (Sept. 30-Oct. 1) and the Open Studios Tour,” added Deslippe. “We probably will have artists on site painting.”

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. and their current hours are Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

For further information, call 519-736-2826 and or visit their website at Their Twitter account can be found at while their Facebook account is found at

ACOC holding “Twelve Days of Christmas” scavenger hunt again this year



The Christmas carol, “12 days of Christmas” has been a traditional song that has been sung for 237 years. It was written by Fredrick Austin in 1780 and has become a favourite melody during the Christmas Holiday season around the English-speaking world ever since.

Honoring that Christmas tradition, the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce (ACOC) is holding its second annual “Twelve Days of Christmas Scavenger Hunt” starting Nov. 7 at noon ending Nov. 18 at noon.

“This gives participants lots of time to take ballot cards and find the treasures hidden around town,” said ACOC president Carolyn Davies. “No purchases are required to take part.”

Davies said the ACOC has taken this theme and created a scavenger hunt “to have some fun and enhance the holiday spirit.”

“The purpose of the event is to highlight local Amherstburg businesses by creating an incentive for participants to explore shops and restaurants in different parts of Amherstburg,” she said. “The contest will give businesses an opportunity to show case their products and encourage participants of the hunt the opportunity to discover Amherstburg businesses that they may not have been aware of in the past and get to know the local shopkeepers better.”

The “Twelve Days of Christmas” scavenger hunt, presented by the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce, will help kick off the 11th annual River Lights Winter Festival.

There will be 12 Amherstburg businesses that will be involved in the scavenger hunt, she added. All interested businesses are invited to send their request into the ACOC by Sept. 30. They will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis.

“Those who are interested in supporting the contest but missed out on the limited slots can still participate in a modified way. More details will be provided to participating and supporting businesses once the locations are determined,” said Davies.

Scavenger hunters can start their hunting Nov. 7 at noon and will have 12 full days to seek out all the other locations, ending Nov. 18 at noon sharp. Davies said the ballot boxes will then be picked up and the draw for the winner will take place Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. as part of the Downtown Holiday night event.

“There is one grand prize of approximately $600 value of gifts contributed

by participating merchants equaling $50 each,” Davies explained. “Each participating merchant and supporting merchants are also encouraged to offer in-store incentives with each purchase made by scavenger hunters.”

Davies added that “anyone and everyone can participate in the scavenger hunt by going to one of the participating stores who will provide the required ballots with all the participating stores and the clues to items they will be seeking.”

The ACOC looks forward to the community participation in this “Spirit of the Holiday” contest, she continued.

“As the slogan says, Amherstburg, You’ll love it here.”

The Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce’s phone number is 519-736-2001 and their website is Their e-mail address is

“Festival of Hawks” returns to Holiday Beach this weekend



Special to the RTT


All eyes will be on the skies this September as local birders and nature lovers take in one of North America’s greatest migrations.

These watchers will call the Holiday Beach Conservation Area home as they take in a grand spectacle: tens of thousands of hawks and raptors flying overhead on their annual journey to nesting grounds in the south.

In recognition of the amazing sight, Essex Region Conservation, in partnership with the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory (HBMO), will host the 2017 Festival of Hawks. The festival, which runs the second and third weekends of September, features a range of free educational activities and nature-themed programming.

HBMO experts will be on-site conducting hawk banding and adoptions. Event goers will get up close and personal to a variety of raptors as experts measure, tag, and then release these birds back into the wild. Visitors will also be in awe at the live raptor display of Kingsport Environmental, a local organization that rescues and rehabilitates raptors and promotes falconry through education programs.

Free educational programs will compliment the ongoing banding and live hawk display throughout both weekends. Local experts will be on-site to teach on a wide range of birding and nature-related topics.

A staff member and Titan the Harris Hawk from Kingsport Environmental engage with festival-goers in 2016. The 2017 edition of the Festival of Hawks runs at Holiday Beach Conservation Area Sept. 9-10 and Sept. 16-17.

These programs include:

  • HBMO’s Bob Pettit will share his years of experience on identifying hawks in flights.
  • Ted Kloske, of Henry’s Windsor and Maple Grove Studios, and Glenn Gervais, of Southshore Outdoor Photography, will help budding photographers get their best nature shot.
  • Bird Studies Canada’s own Amanda Bichel will be on-site to discuss the significance of Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas across Ontario
  • HBMO’s Jeremy Hatt will share his tips and tricks on using mobile applications like iNaturalist

“There’s something for everyone at the Festival of Hawks. The programs are designed to be accessible to everyone, from amateur to expert naturalists,” explained ERCA’s Director of Community Outreach Services, Danielle Stuebing. “It’s also a great event for families, as we also host an educational Hawk Fest Scavenger Hunt and offer free face painting for kids.”

The Festival of Hawks runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 9-10 and 16-17. Visitors can also enjoy lunch provided by the Essex County Field Naturalists’ Blue Kestrel Café or HBMO’s BBQ Booth.

All programs are free with the festival admission fee of $15 per vehicle. The final list of programs is available at

The best raptor viewing time is from 9 a.m. until noon when the hawks fly low. The Holiday Beach Conservation Area is located on County Road 50, on Lake Erie near Malden Centre approximately 15 km southeast of historic Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, a half hour drive from Highway 401 and only 40 minutes from the Ambassador Bridge for those coming from Detroit.

Local resident puts new spin on donating hair


By Jolene Perron


Instead of simply cutting off her hair at a salon and sending it away to be made for wigs, Amherstburg resident Cassie Major has decided to use the opportunity to raise money and put on an entire event geared towards cancer research.

Major is a student at the University of Windsor, and a direct support professional for Community Living Windsor, as well as a mover for Essex County Moving. She volunteers with Community Living Essex County and is an avid sports enthusiast within the community.

“I have donated my hair multiple times in memory of late family members who had lost their battle,” said Major. “Carol Fryer was responsible for organizing Wigs for Kids, where she cut my hair. Carol recently lost her battle to cancer and I wanted to do it in memory of her.”

Charlotte Hill, age 5, will be joining Cassie Major in donating her hair for cancer. Major is having a full event, with dinner, at the AMA Sportsmens Association where she and Charlotte will be cutting their hair.

On October 14, Major and her five-year-old friend Charlotte Hill will be at the A.M.A. Sportsmen Association where those who purchase chicken parmesan and pasta dinner tickets will be able to watch the two chop off their hair.

Leading up the event, Major is selling t-shirts as well as dinner tickets. At the event, there will also be a live band, raffles and a 50/50 draw.

Major is also looking for local a business to sponsor her efforts, which she said allows for a local business to give back, as well as allows her to maximize on her fundraising efforts.

For more information, contact Major at or (289) 931-4137.

Culture Days and Rendezvous heading to Amherstburg later this month


By Ron Giofu


With the Canuck it Up Festival held last month, the town’s tourism department is now focused on two more events.

Culture Days will be held in Amherstburg Sept. 30-Oct.1 with the bulk of activities planned for King’s Navy Yard Park. That will coincide with the Rendezvous Voyageur and Fur Trader encampment being held at Fort Malden National Historic Site, with that event being held in co-operation with the Maidstone and Area Historical Society.

The two-day Rendezvous event will feature canoes on the Detroit River, a camp frying pan competition, a camp pea soup competition, presentations and storytellers which will include the likes of Seamus Gunn, Tibert the Voyageur, author Rob Malo among others. Re-enactors and participants that are currently scheduled include Provincial Marine Amherstburg, the Niagara Metis Council Voyageurs, the St. Clair Voyageurs from Michigan, the Windsor-Essex Canoe Club, the Ontario Fur Management Federation, Archery Windsor and the Maidstone Voyageurs.

Culture Days is coming to Navy Yard Park Sept. 30-Oct. 1 with Rendezvous to be at Fort Malden National Historic Site that same weekend.

Culture Days is coming to Navy Yard Park Sept. 30-Oct. 1 with Rendezvous to be at Fort Malden National Historic Site that same weekend. (Special to the RTT)

The Culture Days portion of the weekend will include kids activities, the Nifty Needleworkers creating a community scarf with the help of new and experienced knitters, Amherstburg Rocks! Painting with the Amherstburg Integrity Admirals, games, horse drawn carriage rides, performances and demonstrations by the Windsor Circus School and a Sunday afternoon performance by the Essex Community Concert Band.

There will also be a Canada 150 juried exhibit at the Gibson Gallery, tours of the Boblo Blockhouse (ferry fees apply), walking tours conducted by local historian Robert Honor and storytellers from the Amherstburg Freedom Museum in Navy Yard Park.

“They really complement each other,” said tourism co-ordinator/visitor information centre manager Jen Ibrahim of the two events.

Other partners helping to present the Culture Days event include St. Peter’s ACHS College School and Anderdon Child Care. There will also be tinsmithing at the Park House Museum as well as the chance, for a small entry fee, to see the museum’s “Her Story: 150 Years of Women in Canada – Fashion, Politics, and Gender Roles” exhibit.

Culture Days is coming to Navy Yard Park Sept. 30-Oct. 1 with Rendezvous to be at Fort Malden National Historic Site that same weekend.

Culture Days is coming to Navy Yard Park Sept. 30-Oct. 1 with Rendezvous to be at Fort Malden National Historic Site that same weekend. (Special to the RTT)

Ibrahim said there will be a lot of hands-on activities that weekend and both sites.

“All of our town’s stakeholders are engaged and looking forward to it,” said Ibrahim. “This is an economical event for our community and beyond.”

Activities are scheduled to run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days.

For more information on the event, contact the town’s tourism office at 519-730-1309, visit or visit the tourism department’s Facebook page at