Fort Malden

Harvest Fest brings local wine, beer, spirits and food to Fort Malden with new rock music twist

 

By Jolene Perron

 

When a local businessman took over Harvest Fest, he promised some new aspects to the festival while keeping it’s key components in mind – strengthening the local wine, spirit and craft brewery exposure.

He delivered.

“We’re trying to keep it small and make sure our vendors make a lot of money, that’s what this is about,” said event coordinator, Chris Mickle. “It’s about local vendors, and injecting that cash income into our local businesses. They are doing very, very well. We have a smaller amount of vendors, that was on purpose though.”

Mickle brought together six local craft breweries, three local wineries and Windsor and Essex’s only distillery. They also brought out seven food vendors.

My Son The Hurricane took the stage Saturday night, with brass instruments and a high energy performance bringing a crowd to dance in front of the stage.

“This is the most beautiful spot in all of Essex County and you can’t have a better view than this,” said Laura Moore, certified master taster for Coopers Hawk Winery. “One of the best things about involving ourselves in festivals is the exposure. People don’t often come out to the wineries and see who we are but when they come to the festivals they see who we are they get a chance to taste some of the fine wines and hopefully it’s going to bring them out to the wineries.”

Harvest Fest brought together six local craft breweries, three local wineries and Windsor and Essex’s only distillery. They also brought out seven food vendors.

The festival brought an estimated crowd of 7,500 people to Fort Malden over the span of three days. Mickle said their pre-sales went better than expected and were higher than the previous years.

“We had a great start Friday night, it was a nice warm up for the vendors, wineries, breweries and distilleries,” said Mickle. “Great music too – everything has been fantastic. Everybody loves the layout, the new style of music, with the international headliners and touring bands. We tried to stay a little bit more easy listening during the day with the blues, the folk and the jazz and kick it up with a little rock and roll at night.”

Melissa Hunter and Justin hunter enjoy a drink along the waterfront during Harvest Fest Saturday evening.

Greg Grondin from G.L. Heritage Brewing Co., which has only been open nine weeks, said that being a new brewery in town, events like Harvest Fest allows them to get their name out to the public and “the response is great for the beer and for the whole town.”

“We’re learning as we go, we’re taking notes for next year,” said Mickle. “Being an Amherstburg boy, born and raised, I’m proud to be able to throw this event and I’m very happy the town has shown their support for this event. I’m very happy the town and the community have our backs.”

 

Maidstone & Area Historical Society pair with Amherstburg and Fort Malden on event

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Add another event to Amherstburg’s calendar thanks to the Maidstone and Area Historical Society.

The Maidstone and Area Historical Society is teaming with the town of Amherstburg and Fort Malden National Historic Site to present “Rendezvous 2017 – A Voyageur and Fur Trading Encampment.” Victoria Beaulieu, president of the Maidstone and Area Historical Society, said they also worked with the Windsor-Essex Community Foundation and the Community Foundations of Canada and that partnership resulted in a $7,500 Canada 150 grant.

The two-day event will be at Fort Malden Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 and 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.

The Maidstone & Area Historical Society is teaming with Fort Malden and the town of Amherstburg on an event Sept. 30-Oct. 1. From left: Lambert Wybernga, society president Victoria Beaulieu, Mason Hillier and Amherstburg’s tourism co-ordinator Jennifer Ibrahim.

The Maidstone & Area Historical Society is teaming with Fort Malden and the town of Amherstburg on an event Sept. 30-Oct. 1. From left: Lambert Wybernga, society president Victoria Beaulieu, Mason Hillier and Amherstburg’s tourism co-ordinator Jennifer Ibrahim.

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.

“There’s going to be a lot of activities going on,” said Beaulieu.

Fur trading was a key component in the settling of the area centuries ago with Fort Malden and the Park House Museum being “instrumental in the fur trade industry,” said Beaulieu.

“The Maidstone and Area Historical Society has always had a good relationship with the Provincial Marine and Fort Malden,” said Beaulieu. “They come out to our encampments to help. It’s nice to have two areas working together.”

Jennifer Ibrahim, visitor information centre manager with the town of Amherstburg, said this will be another “signature Canada 150 event” for the town. She said it is a historical event that presents “fun and interactive opportunities for our guests.”

There are other events planned that weekend in the downtown core, Ibrahim added, including art demonstrations, plein air artists, concert bands and other events.

“It will complement what Fort Malden and the Maidstone and Area Historical Society are doing,” said Ibrahim.

Events will run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. For more information, e-mail ont.fort-malden@pc.gc.ca or proudacres@gmail.com.

Amherstburg does well in TWEPI’s “Best of Windsor-Essex” awards

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) announced the winners of the second edition of the “Best of Windsor Essex” awards last Wednesday with Amherstburg doing well in the balloting.

The awards, a campaign by TWEPI that ran from January to February 2017, tried to put together the most comprehensive list of the “Best Of” things to see and do in the region. According to a media release put out by TWEPI, this year’s campaign drew on the success of last year’s inaugural campaign and was able to draw “an even more enthusiastic response from local residents and visitors eager to share their favorite attractions.”

TWEPI states that in the first phase of the campaign, over 785 unique Windsor-Essex locations were nominated for the 43 awards. Those nominations were then pared down into the top five in each category.

The second phase then began with over 7,000 people voting again on the top five in each category for their favorite spots in Windsor-Essex.

TWEPI states this campaign “has created an authentic list that is expected to resonate with visitors, giving TWEPI the opportunity to highlight some of the best of what the region has to offer.”

Military Heritage Days4

Fort Malden won TWEPI’s “Best Local Attraction - Historical” award.

“This year’s campaign drew an even higher engagement rate than last year from both businesses and their fans alike. Locals are justifiably proud of our area and we anticipate that this list will inspire locals and visitors alike to explore our region’s iconic experiences, hidden gems and everything in between,” says Gordon Orr, CEO of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island.

Amherstburg businesses, attractions or historic sites made the list 18 times with three being named as winners. Wolfhead Distillery won for “Best Distillery Experience” while Fort Malden National Historic Site captured the “Best Local Attraction – Historical” award. Armando’s won for “Best Pizza,” with that award covering all Armando’s locations in the area.

The Gibson Gallery, a winner of a “Best of Windsor Essex” award in 2016, was a finalist for “Best Art Gallery or Art Space” in 2017. The Amherstburg historical district was a finalist in the “Best Cultural or Historic District” category while Fort Malden was also a finalist in the “Best Museum or Heritage Space” classification.

The Libro Centre was a finalist for the “Best Local Attraction – Sports.”

Wolfhead was also a finalist in another category as well, that being the “Best Craft Cocktail” grouping. Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery was a finalist for “Best Winery Experience.”

Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering were finalists in the “Best Chef-Inspired Dining” and “Best Sandwich Shop” categories while Maria’s was a finalist for “Best Breakfast.”

There were four Amherstburg-related finalists as it pertains to outdoor adventure categories. The River Canard Canoe Company was a finalist for the “Best on the Water Activity” award while Navy Yard Park finished in the running for the “Best Park or Garden” award. Holiday Beach Conservation Area was a finalist in the “Best Picnic Spot” category while the Cypher Systems Greenway was nominated in the “Best Two-Wheel Adventure” category.

There were two local businesses in the “Best Cottage or Campground” group including Wildwood Golf and RV Resort in McGregor and Willowood RV Resort.

Visitor information manager Jennifer Ibrahim said it’s a great sign for Amherstburg that so many locations within this community either won an award or were in the running.

Many finalists were Amherstburg organizations and it goes to show you that a smaller community like Amherstburg can hold its own,” said Ibrahim.  “Being a ‘Best Of Windsor Essex’ winner means the region likes what these businesses are doing and wants them to keep doing what they do best!  Our local winners, Fort Malden National Historic Site, Armando’s and Wolfhead Distillery are examples of three completely different organizations that deliver valued unique experiences to their guests.  If someone hasn’t been to any of the listed nominees, they should check them out and see what all the excitement is about.”

Fort Malden gives kids blast from the past during March Break

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Fort Malden National Historic Site anticipates being busy this summer for the Canada 150 celebrations but area children got a taste of history last week.

Fort Malden held its annual March Break camp with children being able to spend each day learning a little bit about War of 1812 history while having a little fun at the same time.

Fort Malden staff and volunteers help a group of children with a clue during their time in the “escape room” Thursday in the barracks.

Fort Malden staff and volunteers help a group of children with a clue during their time in the “escape room” Thursday in the barracks.

“It’s a great turnout today,” interpretive officer Alex Dale said last Thursday morning. “The kids are having fun.”

Dale oversees the March Break program at Fort Malden and said the kids were busy with an escape room, trying their hand in the cookhouse, building forts, playing games and doing a variety of activities.

Snow and cold held attendance down the first part of the week but the children came out when the weather improved later in the week. Dale joked that there were plans to build snow forts with the kids but that idea was scuttled when the weather started to warm up and the snow started to melt.

Matthew Chao dumps sugar into a mixing bowl under the supervision of Fort Malden’s Alex Dale (left) as part of a cookie-making exercise last Thursday.

Matthew Chao dumps sugar into a mixing bowl under the supervision of Fort Malden’s Alex Dale (left) as part of a cookie-making exercise last Thursday.

Fort Malden National Historic Site officially opens for the season May 20. For more information on Fort Malden or its programs, visit http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/malden/visit.aspx.

Town officials, students take part in the “12 O’Clock Walk”

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Local students and town officials were part of a group that got in shape as part of the “12 O’Clock Walk.”

The annual event was presented by Windsor-Essex Communities in Motion and featured all municipalities around the region.

“There are 22 walks that happen throughout the area,” said manager of recreation services Rick Daly.

The local walk included classes from Amherstburg Public School attend and participate. Several town staff members also walked over from town hall and took part in the event during their lunch break as well.

Town officials and Amherstburg Public School students participate in the “12 O’Clock Walk” last Wednesday afternoon at Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada. Among the town officials pictured are police chief Tim Berthiaume, director of planning, development and legislative services Mark Galvin and director of finances/treasurer Justin Rousseau.

Town officials and Amherstburg Public School students participate in the “12 O’Clock Walk” last Wednesday afternoon at Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada. Among the town officials pictured are police chief Tim Berthiaume, director of planning, development and legislative services Mark Galvin and director of finances/treasurer Justin Rousseau.

The local walk saw participants gather at the pavilion of Toddy Jones Park before heading through Fort Malden National Historic Site. After leaving the Fort grounds, they walked south down Laird Ave. and went back to Toddy Jones Park. Prizes and T-shirts were awarded to the students upon completion of the walk.

“It’s to bring awareness to being active,” said Daly.

This year’s “12 O’Clock Walk” was brought outside after last year’s event was held on the indoor walking track at the Libro Centre.

Windsor-Essex Communities in Motion describes itself as “a comprehensive, community-wide health promotion strategy. It was launched to create ‘a culture of physical activity’ in Windsor-Essex County.” For more information, visit www.swarginmotion.com.