Phantom of the Canard returns for seventh year



By Jolene Perron


For those who prefer an authentic fright this Halloween season, a local business is mixing history and horror with a one-of-a-kind canoe and walking tour.

“We have done extensive research into the River Canard area, including the 1812 war for our heritage tours and became aware of many creepy events that led to the creation of this tour,” said River Canard Canoe Co. owner Ron LaPointe.

The Phantom of the Canard tour features a number of historically accurate ghost stories along River Canard, based in 1812. They use a number of props to enhance their storytelling and authenticity, including period clothing and an authentic noose.

The tour lasts approximately two hours, which includes a walkabout and a canoe trip at night time.

Tour guide Heidi Lewis explained, the tour starts off with a solid recap of the War of 1812 for those who don’t remember from their history classes. It includes factually researched stories, which Lewis has done a lot of herself.
“We try to creep it up for Halloween so I did a lot of research to find real haunted stories, of which there are many,” explained Lewis. “The Tales of the Canard is essentially panic on the Canard. The Americans are coming, the war has begun, and we have to get to Fort Malden to safety before they blow us to bits with canons.”

The Phantom of the Canard tour features a number of historically accurate ghost stories along River Canard, based in 1812. They use a number of props to enhance their storytelling and authenticity, including period clothing and an authentic noose.

The tour includes reenactments, “selfies” near “the hanging tree,” a canoe ride down River Canard, under the bridge, and a walkabout, all ending with hot cider back at the River Canard Outpost General Store.

Tours run every Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. for the month of October.

“Unlike other tours, which are set up as scare house, ours is authentic and you will experience River Canard and it’s present and past glory and dark times while paddling under a moonlit sky,” said LaPointe.

Fort Malden NHS bringing evening programs to the grounds

By Jolene Perron


“Parks Canada places are gateways to adventure and discovery and Fort Malden is no exception.”

Corrine Ross, site manager at Fort Malden NHS, along with her staff are excited for their October events.

First, they will be offering a Candlelit Tour this Saturday from 6-9 p.m. The tour has a fee of $4.90, and allows visitors to explore the grounds and historic buildings, while listening to lesser-known stories about the site’s history.

“This is a unique opportunity to visit Fort Malden in the crisp fall air with the last glow of the sunset fading over the Detroit River,” said Ross. “Developing new and innovative programs allows more Canadians, including youth and newcomers to Canada, to experience our sites and learn about our history in fun and interactive ways. By building these connections, we can create a community of stewards, people who know and care about these irreplaceable treasures.”

Five days later will be the Haunted Fort tours, put on in partnership with The House Youth Centre. The tours run from Oct. 26-29 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Oct. 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“Visitors will encounter horrifying scenes in the historic buildings as they are guided to each vignette,” said Ross. “We recommend that you leave your little ones at home for this event.”

Fort Malden and The House Youth Centre are once again teaming up for the Haunted Fort Tours later this month (RTT File Photo)

This is the third year The House is assisting in running the tours. Initially, The House ran a haunted house in their basement until Fort Malden presented an opportunity to collaborate. The House is responsible for developing the storylines, decorating and acting in the tours.

Marchand said The House youth have spent a lot of time planning and rehearsing for the Haunted House tours.

“This year’s Haunted Fort will have a slightly different storyline than previous years with some new scenes to keep our guests on their toes,” explained Ashley Marchand, activities coordinator at The House. “My hopes for the Haunted House this year are to provide a fun experience for the members while raising funds for The House. We are also hoping to reach out to people outside of Amherstburg as well.”

Admission for the tour is $9.80 per person with a portion of the proceeds benefiting The House. Tours last about 15 minutes. Tickets must be reserved in advance by calling 519-736-5416.

“Shining a Light on Compassion Celebration” coming to Amherstburg Nov. 3



By Ron Giofu


The Windsor-Essex Compassion Care Community (WECCC) will be showcasing the initiative in Amherstburg next month.

The WECCC has held “Shining a Light on Compassion Celebration” events in municipalities around Windsor-Essex County in past months and will now bring such a celebration to Amherstburg Community Church Nov. 3. Christie Nelson, communications consultant with the Windsor-Essex Compassion Care Community, said the events are geared towards “raising happiness” as well as equality for people who are seniors, isolated or for those with disabilities.

Local agencies that provide services and care for people will be highlighted so that people know of the “circle of care around them.” The initiative is geared to empower people to live well, identify and address barriers to quality of life, reach out to people in distress and engage neighbourhoods to share their talents and skills to others who need help.

The event will also allow people to have a say into the compassionate care movement and to allow people to visit the “connecting neighbours fair” to allow people to see the services that surround them. There will also be video presentations, surveys, entertainment, contests and food and drink.

There will also be “Shining a Light on Compassion” Awards presented that night. Nelson said this award goes to residents who exemplify the meaning of compassion in how they support others.

“This could be a neighbor, caregiver, volunteer, business professional or other individuals who selflessly support others,” she said.

WECCC is accepting nominations for this award in the cat that include business, caregiver, volunteer, artist, diversity, faith leader, youth, good neighbour and community service. For more information on how to nominate someone, contact Nelson at 226-344-4022 or visit

“We’re celebrating people in our community who exemplify compassion,” said Nelson. “It’s a community celebration that everyone is invited to.”

WECCC director Deborah Sattler said the compassionate care movement has been around the area for about three years and the priority is to reach out to those who are elderly, isolate, have disabilities and their caregivers. They are rolling out the initiative in all area communities, talking to people and letting them know of the services around them.

“We are very excited to be coming to Amherstburg,” said Sattler. “We’re really looking forward to seeing what Amherstburg has to offer.”

Not only does the WECCC want to make people aware of local services, they “want to build a mindset of building social connections with neighbours.” She added they want people to take advantage of the services around them and to work collectively around a shared vision.

The Nov. 3 event runs from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Amherstburg Community Church is located at 125 Alma St.

Run, Walk or Wheel in support of Community Living Essex County



The 2017 Jingle Bell Run, Walk and Wheel Steering Committee anticipate hundreds of people from across Essex County will participate Nov. 12 at Ken Knapp Ford in Essex for the 23rd Annual running of the Jingle Bell Run, Walk and Wheel.

The event has raised thousands of dollars for Community Living Essex County in support of over 650 people with an intellectual disability throughout Essex County, including many in Amherstburg.

New for 2017 will be a 2km run and walk to encourage new runners and walkers to join the fun.

“We look forward to another great day and encourage families and friends to join us” states Bob Blair, Chair of the Jingle Bell Run Steering Committee.

The Jingle Bell Run, Walk and Wheel is Nov. 12 in Essex. The proceeds benefit Community Living Essex County, which supports over 650 people with intellectual disabilities in all seven county municipalities including Amherstburg.

He adds: “The event is for everyone from competitive runners to casual walkers, together for a great cause.”

Medals will be presented to every participant; with acknowledgement for top finishers. Participants are encouraged to collect pledges to win a chance at a Fit Bit.

Every participant will be eligible for a variety of door prize draws. As a safety precaution, event officials are requesting that the public not bring dogs to the event unless they are working service dogs for the visually impaired; as well, no bicycles (wheelchairs only).

To register, go online until Wednesday, Nov. 8 to As well, registration forms will also be available at Ken Knapp Ford in Essex, local health and fitness clubs, arenas and online at

Participants can also register the morning of the event on Sunday, Nov. 12 between 8:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. For more information call 519-776-6483, ext 246.

Hogwarts themed event coming to Amherstburg



By Jolene Perron


Have you ever wanted to know if you’d be best suited for Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw? Do you know all there is to know about Harry Potter? This event may be the event you’ve been waiting for.

No need to travel to Detroit for events like Pottercon, or to Universal Studios, instead just wait until Oct. 28 and head over to the Columbus Community Hall to take part in the Sorting Ceremony, an authentic English dinner and then begin the skill testing trivia tournament, with a cash prize of $400 (in Muggle currency of course).

The event will be put on by ACCESS County Community Support Services , which executive director John Sutton explains is a not-for-profit organization, which meets the ever-changing needs of Windsor and Essex county. Through their after school programs in both Harrow and Leamington, to their Youth in Transition program which helps youth transition out of care with the Children’s Aid Society, to Community Nutrition programs which includes more than 40 community gardens, nutrition workshops and cooking classes, and ACCESS Housing, which is a team dedicated to eradicating chronic homelessness in the region as a member of the Windsor Essex Housing Connections.

“We’re always looking for creative ways to engage the community and our volunteer base while raising much needed funds for our various programs,” said Sutton. “The Halloween at Hogwarts idea marries the trivia craze with the ever popular Harry Potter Saga and promises to be a “spooktacular” event that will test even the most ardent fan of all things Hogwarts. Proceeds will be used to fund all Access Programs.”

Development manager at ACCESS, Wendy German will be the one heading the event with her colleagues and volunteers. She said they wanted to have the event in Amherstburg because ACCESS is a county-based agency. She explained “if you can’t come to us, we will come to you,” for any of their services including housing and basic needs, to nutrition programs and more.

“By holding events at different locations around the county, we can share the message of our services to those in need and share awareness and opportunities to donate, support and volunteer to those in different towns,” said German. “Love for the Harry Potter Series is widespread. In addition to popular events in both Detroit and Goodrich, we held just a trivia around Harry Potter in March at Colasanti’s. It sold out in a week with a waiting list, so we know there is interest. There also happen to be a lot of staff at ACCESS who are very fond of the series and that makes for a great planning committee and lots of creative ideas.”

ACCESS will be decorating for the event with the theme of Hogwarts in mind. German explained they want the event to be as authentic as possible. The Knights of Columbus will be providing the meal and the bar, and the staff, volunteers and committee at ACCESS will be planning, decorating and in attendance at the event to ensure the guests “have a truly magical experience.” They will event have rare and magical items up for auction including dragon eggs and flying keys – if you can catch them. Butterbeer will also be available for those patrons over the age of 19. And of course, Honeyduke’s candy bar will have those treats everyone loves including Bertie Botts Ever Flavor Beans and Chocolate Frogs.

The event is sold out.

The Columbus Community Hall is located at 190 Richmond St. (formerly known as the K of C Hall).