Fort Malden National Historic Site

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.

Art by the River gearing up for 51st annual show

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

Art by the River, the major fundraiser for the Gibson Gallery, is returning to the grounds of Fort Malden National Historic Site this weekend.

According to Bonnie Deslippe, a member of the board of directors and office manager for the gallery, there are 147 vendors expected for the 51st annual arts and crafts show “but I am expecting we will get a few last minute calls.”

Deslippe said the focus is on fine art, but they will have artisans that work in wood, pottery, jewellery, glass, concrete, metal, soap, lotions candles, fibre and create musical instruments.

“There also are a few gourmet food vendors. The Gibson Gallery Wednesday Guild will be selling their knitted and crocheted items and the Park House Tinsmiths will be on site,” said Deslippe. “The Belle Vue Conservancy will be unveiling the new painting by Peter Rindlisbacher. Of interest, although we have many husband and wife teams exhibiting each year, this year we have numerous mother and daughter exhibitors, a new potter from Amherstburg, Trish MacDonald and her mother, Sheila Currie who is a watercolour artist, Carolyn and Kathy Hardy, artists from Kingsville, and a long-time exhibitor Elizabeth de Lange of Harvest Pillows (buckwheat) joined by her daughter Sasha who creates turmeric teas.”

Traya and Melah Mulder  create their own pieces of art at the “Little Artists’ Workshop” during Art by the River last year. The event returns this weekend.

Traya and Melah Mulder
create their own pieces of art at the “Little Artists’ Workshop” during Art by the River last year. The event returns this weekend.

Art by the River will be featuring live art again this year with local students painting Saturday and Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts board members judging on Sunday with the winners receiving $400. The Fort Malden Guild of Arts and Crafts is the board that operates the Gibson Gallery.

“We have musical entertainment in Barracks Way and Artist Alley sponsored by RBC to add to the ambiance of the event,” said Deslippe. “Sabre Bytes Robotics will be doing demos as well as some of the artisans and for the children, TD Canada Trust is sponsoring the L’il Artist Workshop where they can create their own work of art for free.”

Deslippe said Art by the River’s average attendance is 8,000-10,000 people over the course of a weekend. Admission is $5 for adults with children under 12 being free as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

“This is our 51st year as the principle fundraiser for the Gallery. It allows us to run and maintain the Gibson Gallery as a free public gallery and offer children’s art and craft classes for a nominal fee,” she added. “Because we pay a rental fee to Fort Malden, the free 2017 park passes cannot be used at our event. The Fort personnel will be offering mini militia, music demos and Fort tours free.”

For more information, call the Gibson Gallery at 519-736-2826 or visit them at www.gibsonartgallery.com.

 

Harvest Festival announces entertainment line-up

 

By Jolene Perron

 

The WE Harvest Festival has officially nailed down their line-up for the event from Sept. 8-9 at Fort Malden.

Their Friday night headlining act is Big Wreck, who is a Canadian-American rock band from Boston, which has been around since 1994. Saturday night’s headliner will be My Son The Hurricane, a “14-piece brasshop funk beast with the mantra: anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”

The band, from the Niagara/Toronto area mixes New Orleans style grooves with funk, jazz and hip hop.

We harvest Festival

“It’s really coming together,” said event coordinator Chris Mickle. “We have had a great response on the tickets this morning online. We are really proud of the line up, we have some stellar good musicians. We’ve been booking festivals for about nine years now so we have a lot of professional contacts out there but we’ve been fundraising like crazy and begging sponsors, and we’re lucky enough to come up with enough money to book some of these guys.”

For more information on the entertainment, and to purchase tickets, visit http://weharvestfest.com/.

Author seeking local stories May 24 at two Amherstburg locations

By Danica Skakavac

 

In honour of Canada’s 150 Anniversary, Toronto author Darlene Butts has decided to create a book that contains 150 different Canadian stories, all containing the same idea; “ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” as Butts puts it.

Instead of researching and writing the whole book and all 150 stories herself, Butts is asking around all of Canada for people to send in their unique and historical story so that it may be added to the book. There are many ways to get involved; submit a story, follow on social media or through the website that includes an interactive map that shows where the tour is going and where it has already been. You can also sponsor a classroom for books or sponsor the tour itself to ensure it becomes a reality.

Butts is calling it the ‘150 Canadian Stories’ project and is taking it on tour with her as she collects more and more entries. The book itself is a ‘mixture of Chicken Soup for the Soul and a really cool Canadian history book’. Butts’ goal is to get a finished copy of the book in the hands of every grade five student, from St. John’s to Vancouver. She is looking for a combination of tears, laughter, goosebumps and as well as the response, “Wow! I didn’t know that!”

Various stories included will be about historical figures that contributed to Canada. “I want stories that engage the reader, inspire them to experience Canada, and help them learn about all the wonderful people, places and things that have been woven together to make this country great,” says Butts, about her aim for the book. She will be stopping at Fort Malden and the Freedom Museum on the afternoon of May 24 during her tour, as she has lived in Windsor/Essex County for 18 years.

She plans on being at the museum for 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Fort Malden for 3-3:30 p.m.

“I love Canada so much and believe that I can be anyone and do anything here. I wanted to share that with other Canadian’s and especially inspire the next generation,” says Butts.

Windsor-Essex Harvest Festival a hit

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Windsor-Essex Harvest Festival appears to have been a hit.

The festival, which ran last Friday through Sunday at Fort Malden National Historic Site, surpassed 8,000 people. The target had been at least 6,000 people. The event was run by the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce (ACOC) with Chris Gibb and Aldo DiCarlo acting as co-chairs.

The Windsor-Essex Harvest Festival was held at Fort Malden National Historic Site over the weekend with the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce being the main presenters. Ashley Lynn and the Spurs performed Friday night.

The Windsor-Essex Harvest Festival was held at Fort Malden National Historic Site over the weekend with the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce being the main presenters. Ashley Lynn and the Spurs performed Friday night.

Saturday night drew positive reviews, with Gibb stating that although it wasn’t sold out, they were “very happy with our numbers.

“For a first time event, we were elated to hit our numbers,” he added. “It shows people want an event at this time of year at this place.”

The addition of craft breweries and craft distilleries, the latter including Amherstburg’s Wolfhead Distillery, proved to be popular, Gibb continued.

“We got a lot of positive compliments about that,” he said. “Wolfhead was a hit.”

There were different attributes to this year’s Harvest Festival that people may not have seen at the previous Shores of Erie International Wine Festival but that turned out to be a positive attribute as well.

Dino Trevisol, Todd Brush, Larry Cote, Cathy Brush and Kim Sloan sit by the Detroit River Friday night.

Dino Trevisol, Todd Brush, Larry Cote, Cathy Brush and Kim Sloan sit by the Detroit River Friday night.

The venue and the weather again was deemed to be an attraction, as there was a bit of rain and wind Saturday but that cleared out of the area relatively quickly.

“For a first time event, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves,” said Gibb. “The overwhelming thing is we have one of the most valuable, publicly accessible waterfronts in the province. It is open to the public and is part of the public trust. (The public) wanted to use it. They wanted to come here and enjoy themselves.”

The plan for the Windsor-Essex Harvest Festival was to plan for this year only.

“We’re going to see what happens next year,” said Gibb. “We’re not thinking of next year.”

The Windsor-Essex Harvest Festival saw Crystal Gage perform Friday.

The Windsor-Essex Harvest Festival saw Crystal Gage perform Friday.

DiCarlo, also the town’s mayor, said he walked the grounds at Fort Malden all three days talking to people and said he received glowing feedback.

“Everybody is happy,” he said. “People are loving it. They are amazed.”

DiCarlo said he heard good things about the organization, the variety of food and drinks as well as the entertainment. The electronic wristbands went over surprisingly well and said it was the first time that technology had been used at a smaller festival in southwestern Ontario.

Food and drink vendors were running out of food and drinks Saturday night and lines were long but moved swiftly.

“A lot of people told me it exceeded their expectations,” said DiCarlo. “The most common word was variety. People were ready for something different. We were going for something different – a little bit upscale. The feedback people are telling me is we nailed it.”

Feast On and Bev On tours were popular both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Feast On and Bev On tours were popular both Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Layout was similar to the wine festival, DiCarlo acknowledged, but they tried to do something different and also paid attention to the finer details, including putting bales of straw near the portable washrooms to dress the location up and block the views of them.

Both DiCarlo and Gibb thanked the many sponsors and volunteers for their support not only during the weekend but in the weeks leading up to the festival.

“We could never do it without the volunteers,” said Gibb.

DiCarlo also thanked the ACOC, as that was the organization he approached about staging an event during the second weekend of September.

“We had to have an event and we had to have it this year,” said DiCarlo.

Karen Wettlaufer from Wolfhead Distillery said they were thrilled to be part of the weekend. They had two booths set up on the grounds.

“This is very exciting. We are all about local and the festival is all about local,” she said. “We are are here with our neighbours who are also about local.”

Debbie Scott and Karen Wettlaufer show some of the products Wolfhead Distillery had to offer.

Debbie Scott and Karen Wettlaufer show some of the products Wolfhead Distillery had to offer.

Wettlaufer said it was great to be out at a public event and having people try their products. They were exposed to more people, some for the first time, and Wettlaufer pointed out “it’s a great opportunity for us.”

Carolyn Parent brought the “Wheely Scrumptious” food truck to the festival, stating it is only the second festival their new venture has been at – the first being last month’s Woofa-Roo Pet Festival.

“I am ‘wheely’ excited to be here,” she said. “It’s great to see so many local people.”

The Windsor-Essex Harvest Festival was good for the town, Parent believed.

“It’s brought a lot of visitors to Amherstburg,” she said.

The festival having “Feast On” and “Bev On” designations was important to Parent and she noted her business also tries to support local growers and vendors where possible.

Stacy Ouellette and Cheryl Purdie (along with friend "Dick") attend the Harvest Festival Sunday afternoon.

Stacy Ouellette and Cheryl Purdie (along with friend “Dick”) attend the Harvest Festival Sunday afternoon.

“I think it’s important for the community,” she said.
Parent added: “It’s a nice community event. We couldn’t ask for a better spot.”

Gordon Orr, president and CEO of Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI), acknowledged the Feast On and Bev On designations and believed it was one of the first in the region to boast such a designation. ACOC president Carolyn Davies said their mandate is to promote local business and community engagement and she believed the festival did that.