Canada 150

St. Peter’s ACHS students visit first PM’s final resting place



Special to the RTT


As part of Canada’s 150th Birthday St. Peter’s ACHS College School students visited Former Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald at his final resting place in Kingston, Ontario.

StPeters trip1WEB

St. Peter’s ACHS College School students began planning their trip through southern Ontario to help celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday well over a year ago. The five-day road trip included stop offs at St. Mary among the Huron’s and Martyr’s Shrine in Midland, The Peterborough Lift Locks, Fort Henry in Kingston, and a trek through the 1000 Islands with a stopover at Boldt Castle in the state of New York. The final stop however was in Kingston to visit the grave of Sir John A. MacDonald.

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St. Peter’s students felt that it would be a great tribute to visit our Father of Confederation for Canada’s 150th Birthday. Once there however, students were a bit disappointed seeing a simple grave marker for the man who helped shape and build this great country.

(Photos provided by St. Peter's ACHS College School)

(Photos provided by St. Peter’s ACHS College School)

The drive for this trip was extensive and the distance covered was humongous. The school group, which consisted of students, staff and parents, camped out every night with two nights being in the rain. They cooked their food on open fires and tried to live somewhat like the early explorers of Canada did well over 300-400 years ago.

Overall, the group was thrilled with their trip and is looking forward to their next great learning adventure.


General Amherst students repainting fire hydrants for Canada 150



By Danica Skakavac


In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Grade 12 art class at General Amherst is taking part in the opportunity of re-painting the fire hydrants stationed throughout the town.

Twelve fire hydrants in total were painted in the past with a pre-War of 1812 theme, many portraying soldiers. The art class will be taking on ten of these hydrants, due to the farther location of some hydrants. It is actually part of their classwork curriculum to take part in community involvement having to do with the arts and the hydrants happened to be a perfect fit.

Maddi Couvillon works on a fire hydrant along Dalhousie St. There are 12 downtown fire hydrants being worked on by the local high school students.

Maddi Couvillon works on a fire hydrant along Dalhousie St. There are 12 downtown fire hydrants being worked on by the local high school students.

Art teacher Andrea Craig-Wammes was approached by Amherstburg’s visitor information centre manager Jennifer Ibrahim, with Ibrahim suggesting that the art class be the ones this year to redecorate the fire hydrants that were painted a few years ago.

“It allows a sense of community as well as have artwork on display and gives a taste of the different mediums that it takes to produce something that’s going to be outdoors and sustain the elements for a good amount of time,” said Craig-Wammes. “I expect that the town will be thrilled because it is such a talented group of young artists and the ideas and designs have definitely surpassed what I envisioned.”

So far, the hydrants are coming along great and students have started to trace out their designs before painting them on. It is a long process but they are expected to turn out amazing in the end.

Fire Hydrants2

“It’s more difficult than any other project we’ve done,” said Olivia D’Alimonte, one of the participating students. “We’re really weather-dependent but it’s also really fun and really exciting.”

Another student, Mitchel Leblanc, added that, “I feel honoured and excited because I get to show my artwork to the entire town and it’s going to be there for a couple years. I get to show off what our school can do and how proud I am to be part of a great town.”

So, next time you’re taking a stroll through the downtown area, keep an eye out for some wonderfully painted fire hydrants.

Park House Museum to present exhibit highlighting women’s expanding role in Canada



By Ron Giofu


The Park House Museum is celebrating Canada 150 by looking a women’s roles over the past 150 years.

The Park House’s latest exhibit – “Her Story: 150 Years of Women in Canada – Fashion, Politics, and Gender Roles” – will open May 26, much earlier than anticipated as July 1 was the original target date. Curator Stephanie Pouget-Papak said this is an exhibit she has looked forward to presenting.

“We have a fabulous collection of clothing at the museum,” said Pouget-Papak. “It was a matter of finding a storyline for it.”

With 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday, Pouget-Papak decided to “think outside the box” and examine the changing roles of women over the last 150 years. There are several portions to the exhibit, which people can walk and read through on the upper floor of the museum, with one being “Votes for Women.” That area talks about women’s roles in politics and elections with Pouget-Papak hoping to add a list of all women that served on town council.

There is also an area on women’s roles in wartime, with Pouget-Papak stating war helped become a “vehicle that moved women forward.” There is a “nursing sister” dress featured as part of that section.

The exhibit also looks at women’s roles in education, how they were educated for specific professions and their role in the labour force. While women were sent home from the factories after World War I, she said many stayed employed in factories after World War II and the exhibit includes a photo from the former Alymer Canning Factory.

Park House Museum curator Stephanie Pouget-Papak adjusts a dress on a mannequin in preparation for the museum’s new women’s exhibit.

Park House Museum curator Stephanie Pouget-Papak adjusts a dress on a mannequin in preparation for the museum’s new women’s exhibit.

Another component of the exhibit features the rise of consumerism, which Pouget-Papak said “exploded in the 20th Century.” There is another portion devoted to how film influenced fashion with another portion being for children. The children’s portion allows them to dress up and be themselves as Pouget-Papak stated, “it doesn’t matter what you look like, you are strong and beautiful.”

There will also be an opportunity to play “history detective” as questions will be posed that either can be answered in the story boards or by looking up the information.

The Park House Museum has an intern from the University of Windsor and that enabled the museum to get the exhibit open earlier. A preview reception will be held May 19 with a limited number of spots available. The preview reception costs $5 to attend and those interested in attending are asked to reserve their spot in advance.

“It’s like Christmas Day for me when an exhibit finally opens,” said Pouget-Papak.

Pouget-Papak added she has a five-year plan for programming with the 2018 exhibit to have an archaeological theme.

“Her Story: 150 Years of Women in Canada – Fashion, Politics, and Gender Roles” will run through Oct. 6. Operating hours are Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in May and June, seven days per week from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in July and August, with hours returning to 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday in September and October. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2.50 for children over four and children under four being free.

Pouget-Papak also stated she is working on a program geared to Grade 8 students on women’s roles for when school groups tour the museum.

The Park House is also hiring seven students as the museum has received grant funding to afford the hiring. Those interested can call the Park House Museum at 519-736-2511 or visit Their Facebook page is and their Twitter address is @parkhousemuseum.

Town looking for 150 nominees for “CANdo 150 Award of Distinction”


By Ron Giofu


As part of Canada 150 celebrations, the town is looking to recognize those who have given back.

The “CANdo 150 Award of Distinction” has been developed with nominations now open in the categories of community service, leadership and legacy. The awards will be presented on Canada Day at 2 p.m. as part of the annual festivities at Fort Malden National Historic Site.

“What the town of Amherstburg wanted to do is recognize 150 citizens of the town for their outstanding contributions,” explained manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota.

The town wanted to not only celebrate the 150th birthday of the country, but “the people who have contributed their time and talents to make Canada what it is today.”

The community service category recognizes those whose volunteer service benefits his or her community.


“We know Amherstburg has a very active volunteer base,” said Rota. “I believe that’s what sets Amherstburg apart. I hear it time and time again from my colleagues.”

The leadership category encompasses a person who guides or directs a group to achieve outstanding goals and inspires others to be the best they can be. Rota said that can include those who are “visionary thinkers” who make Amherstburg a better place to live or work.

“This could be a business person or a professional who has shown deep caring for their employees and the residents,” she said.

The legacy category is for those past or present who have “gifted a talent or special project” for the betterment of Amherstburg. Those who have been philanthropic or those who have given in other ways over the years may fall into this category.

People are not allowed to nominate themselves and can only choose one category when nominating someone. A committee of five people will be assembled and they will judge the nominees with nominators eligible to write a justification of up to 250 words on why they nominated the person they did.

Nomination forms can be picked up either at Amherstburg town hall or can be downloaded from the town’s website by going to Forms must be returned in full by June 9 at 4 p.m. and they can be done online, dropped off at town hall or mailed to town hall with the town hall address being 271 Sandwich St. S. and postal code N9V 2E5.

Winners will be contacted by June 16.

“People have a little over a month to think about it and get their nomination forms in,” said Rota.

The town’s eligibility requirements call for nominees to be at least 15-years-old as of January 1, 2017 and living. Current residents or those who have previously resided in Amherstburg can be considered.

New festival coming to town to celebrate Canada and Ontario’s 150th birthdays



By Ron Giofu


A new festival is on its way to Amherstburg this summer in recognition of Canada 150.

From July 1 to Aug. 13, the Ontario 150 Tour will travel to six Ontario ports starting in Toronto, then on to Owen Sound, Sault Ste. Marie, Midland, Amherstburg, and finishing in Brockville. Amherstburg’s event will take place Aug. 5-6 and will be known as the “Canuck It Up!” festival.

In collaboration, Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada will present the Tall Ship Appledore V and a “Raiders, Rebels and Redcoats” re-enactment that takes place at the Fort and in the streets that same weekend.

An enormous rubber duck will be coming to Amherstburg as part of the Canuck It Up Canadiana Festival that will be held Aug. 5-6. (Special to the RTT)

An enormous rubber duck will be coming to Amherstburg as part of the Canuck It Up Canadiana Festival that will be held Aug. 5-6. (Special to the RTT)

Manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota said the new event came about through the successful submission of a co-op grant application and in collaboration with lead organization – Water’s Edge Festival and Events based out of Toronto.

“Amherstburg is the only municipality in southwestern Ontario to be included in this commemorative tour, thus maximizing impact for visitation and economic benefit for the town,” she said.

Calling it a 150th “signature event,” Rota compared it to the Roots to Boots Festival in 2012 and the Sails to See Festival in 2013.

“We’re anticipating about 25,000 people to visit our town Aug. 5-6,” she said. “This event will be fun and everything Canadian. We just want to celebrate all the good things about Canada and about Amherstburg.”

Multiculturalism, inclusivity and participation will be the overarching themes of the event, she added. Highlights of the festival include Rhythm of the Nation; an interactive street dance and musical performance centered on nationally-renowned street artist DJ Creeasian. This artistic piece was written specifically for Canada 150.

The West Coast Lumberjack show is heading to Amherstburg as part of the Aug. 5-6 Canuck It Up Canadiana Festival. (Special to the RTT)

The West Coast Lumberjack show is heading to Amherstburg as part of the Aug. 5-6 Canuck It Up Canadiana Festival. (Special to the RTT)

There will also be “n action packed” West Coast Lumberjack Show, the world’s largest rubber duck in support of Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Amherstburg Farmers and Craft Market, local performances of all genres, a Kids Fun Zone and more.

All activities will be free and souvenirs, such as Canada 150 t-shirts and caps, will be available at the Gordon House.

Rota said the town anticipates the town to be full of activities that weekend.

“It’s going to be high energy and high fun,” she said.

The event is being recognized as a major festival locally for the Canada 150 celebrations and could be one of several this year.

“We’re always proud that Amherstburg seems to be the epicentre for large scale community events,” she said.

The Canada 150 red and white tulips, planted in the King’s Navy Yard Park last fall, should also be blooming soon and the town encourages people to come down to the park and view the tulips when they are in full bloom.