Canada 150

Culture Days brings communities together across Canada

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

The national event of Culture Days brought communities across the country together to celebrate culture and continue our Canada 150 celebrations.

John Penner tries his hands at juggling with the Windsor Circus School Rocks during Culture Days Sept. 30.

The free event brought a collection of kids activities, the interactive Royal Canadian Navy bus, tinsmithing, Integrity Admirals player signing, the Windsor Circus School teaching attendees to spin plates and juggle, historic walking tours and so much more all to the Kings Navy Yard Park. Additionally, the event allowed the Nifty Needle Workers to bring out pink bins to place throughout the park to allow for collecting donations of yarn.

“The collaboration and enthusiasm from the community has been outstanding,” Town of Amherstburg tourism coordinator Jennifer Ibrahim. “Anderdon Child Care, Windsor Circus School, St. Peter’s ACHS College School, Amherstburg Freedom Museum, Park House Museum, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Gibson Art Gallery, Nifty Needle Workers, Integrity Admirals, Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Artists are all organizations that took a lead to get involved and share their passions with the public.”

Emiko Shirai (left) and her sister Sophia Shirai look at the painted Amherstbrug Rocks during Culture Days Sept. 30.

 

The whole idea for the event came from an art council in Quebec. According to culturedays.ca, in 2007, after seeing the success and impact of Quebec’s Journee’s de la culture weekend, the leaders of Canada’s largest arts organization commissioned a feasibility study to assess the viability and appropriateness of launching an annual cross-country celebration of arts and culture. Since it’s official launch in 2010, Culture Days has generated enthusiastic interest, participation and support from a rapidly growing network of artists, organizations, municipalities as well as the private sector and public sector and media across the country.

Owen Cargill paints an Amherstburg Rock during Culture Days.

“Our community has so much history and talent to showcase,” said Ibrahim. “National Culture Days is a great opportunity to share our skills, engage our community and create a vibrant and unique atmosphere of learning and fun.”

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 www.gibsonartgallery.com. Their Twitter account can be found at www.twitter.com/ARTamherstburg while their Facebook account is found at www.facebook.com/GibsonGallery.

Mural installed at River Canard general store to celebrate Canada 150

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The River Canard Canoeing Company has joined in on Canada 150 festivities, with their most recent contribution being a mural installed at the River Canard Outpost General Store.

Owner Ron Lapointe had a mural commissioned for the store, located at the corner of Malden Road and County Road 8, with the work being completed by local artist Jacqueline Raulin. It is a permanent installation and is found near the store’s main entrance.

“I always wanted to do something like this and Canada 150 seemed like a good time,” said Lapointe. “This was thought of even before Canada 150.”

The mural was completed without any sort of grant funding, Lapointe pointed out, with it featuring a map of “downtown River Canard.” It features the history of the area, depicts the two churches (original and current), wildlife known in the region, and historical figures and moments including General Brock, Chief Tecumseh, the skirmishes that came at the start of the War of 1812 and other features.

River Canard Outpost general store owner Ron Lapointe and artist Jacqueline Raulin stand with the newly installed mural that Raulin painted for the business. Lapointe said he had it commissioned for Canada 150 and had no grant funding to help him pay for it.

River Canard Outpost general store owner Ron Lapointe and artist Jacqueline Raulin stand with the newly installed mural that Raulin painted for the business. Lapointe said he had it commissioned for Canada 150 and had no grant funding to help him pay for it. (Submitted photo)

“The feedback has been great,” said Lapointe.”We’ve got a bit of everything. We’re quite proud of it.”

The mural took about three months in the studio to complete before it was mounted to the exterior wall of the roughly 80-year-old building.

“I think it’s great for the community,” he said.

Lapointe said the River Canard Canoeing Company works with the town and other groups such as cadets, schools and other clubs. He also recently hosted a Canada 150 event that was co-ordinated by the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA).

More than 200 paddlers celebrated Canada 150 by paddling on the Detroit River and its tributaries, including the Canard River with ERCA stating it was part of a national initiative to celebrate our Heritage Rivers.

That event was held recently in partnership with local canoe and kayak organizations Paddle Anywhere, Windsor Adventure Inc. and River Canard Canoe Company, events were be held on the Little River, Detroit River, River Canard and Turkey Creek to celebrate Canada’s 150th and the cultural heritage, natural heritage and recreational values of this Canadian Heritage River.

Visitors to the River Canard Canoe Company paddle on the Canard River during a recent Canada 150 event presented in conjunction with ERCA.

Visitors to the River Canard Canoe Company paddle on the Canard River during a recent Canada 150 event presented in conjunction with ERCA.

“We’re trying to get people on the water and engaged with the Detroit River and the tributaries,” said ERCA staff member Laura Monforton, during the recent visit.

Monforton said people were able to learn about the Canard River from Lapointe and his staff and see the river from a different perspective.

“They got to go for a paddle and experience River Canard first-hand and learn why it is important for the environment,” she said.

The Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS)is Canada’s national river conservation program. Established in 1984, the CHRS gives national recognition to Canada’s outstanding rivers and encourages their long-term management to conserve their natural, cultural and recreational values for the benefit and enjoyment of Canadians, now and in the future.

There are currently 42 Canadian Heritage Rivers across the country, Monforton pointed out. They total close to 12,000 kilometres.

The Detroit River was designated as a Canadian Heritage River in 2001, and is the only river in North America with both Canadian and American Heritage River designations.

 

Essex County celebrates Canada 150 by burying time capsule, dunking politicians

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The County of Essex celebrated Canada 150 last Friday and hopes that people 100 years from now will remember what 2017 was like.

An outdoor celebration took place at the Essex Civic Centre with one of the main attractions being the burying of a time capsule that isn’t supposed to be opened for another 100 years.

Warden Tom Bain (left) buries a time capsule with the help of Essex County council members and county CAO Brian Gregg (bottom right) on the grounds of the Essex Civic Centre. The capsule will be opened in 100 years.

Warden Tom Bain (left) buries a time capsule with the help of Essex County council members and county CAO Brian Gregg (bottom right) on the grounds of the Essex Civic Centre. The capsule will be opened in 100 years.

The event was funded by the Windsor-Essex Community Foundation.

County CAO Brian Gregg said in addition to it being Canada 150, it is also the 225th anniversary of the formation of Essex County. When it is opened, the county will be celebrating its 325th anniversary, he noted.

“The contents of this capsule features artifacts from all seven of the county’s municipalities,” Gregg pointed out.

Gregg said the capsule was buried on the grounds of the civic centre under a “symbolic maple tree” and will give a “snapshot” of the past when it is eventually opened. Gregg, who is retiring later this year, said he has spent over 30 years with the County of Essex and has seen it grow.

Members of Essex County council, administration and general public tried to form a Canada 150 logo on the grounds of the Essex Civic Centre last Friday. The celebration was funded by the Windsor-Essex Community Foundation.

Members of Essex County council, administration and general public tried to form a Canada 150 logo on the grounds of the Essex Civic Centre last Friday. The celebration was funded by the Windsor-Essex Community Foundation.

“I can only imagine what is in store for the next 100 years,” he said.

Warden Tom Bain said the Canada 150 event was “about honouring our history, relishing our present and looking forward to our future.”

Bain, who would later be one of the politicians and administration members to get wet in the dunk tank, also pointed out the 225th anniversary for the county. Bain stated Essex County has a rich history as he said it was the first county in Ontario to be formed prior to Confederation and the road that is now County Road 20 was the first road to be laid out in Ontario.

LaSalle Mayor Ken Antaya reacts as he gets dunked during the County of Essex’s Canada 150 celebration last Friday afternoon.

LaSalle Mayor Ken Antaya reacts as he gets dunked during the County of Essex’s Canada 150 celebration last Friday afternoon.

A number of children attended the Canada 150 celebration and the warden told them to learn from both successes and failures.

“Do not forget the words collaboration, communication, kindness, and my favourite word, teamwork,” said Bain.

Brian Gregg, CAO for the County of Essex, shows the time capsule that has now been buried on the northwest corner of the Essex Civic Centre grounds.

Brian Gregg, CAO for the County of Essex, shows the time capsule that has now been buried on the northwest corner of the Essex Civic Centre grounds.

The event also featured children’s activities, the formation of county officials into a human Canada 150 logo, a barbecue and the appearance of the Memorial Cup, the junior hockey trophy captured by the Windsor Spitfires.

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.

StPeters trip2

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.