grant

New festival coming to Amherstburg this August

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Town of Amherstburg’s tourism department was so pleased with the results of last year’s “Canuck it Up!” Festival that it is now adding another August festival.

“Amherstburg Uncommon” will be held Aug. 3-5 and while tourism officials aren’t officially disclosing details until the March 19 town council meeting. In the meantime, they have received $23,350 under the province’s “Celebrate Ontario” grant program to help plan the event.

“We saw the application for the Celebrate Ontario 2018 grant as an opportunity to bring another large-scale event to Amherstburg,” said manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota. “Amherstburg Uncommon festival is hosted in Amherstburg but we see this as a large regional event.”

Even though the town has received the provincial grant, Rota said they will still be seeking corporate partners and sponsors as well as budgeted funds for the event.

“Definitely, our goal is to boost business for the downtown merchants and all businesses in Amherstburg,” she said. “Everyone knows Amherstburg is rebranding itself and positioning itself as wanting to attract new business and new investment. A great way to do that is through growing our attraction portfolio. By strengthening our festivals and events, we enhance the visitor experience therefor increasing attendance. People spend more money and we hope it leads to job creation.”

There will be a “symposium” for business owners to learn more about the festival and other 2018 events March 27 at the Libro Centre. Two meetings are planned with business owners invited to either the 8 a.m. meeting or the 3 p.m.

“We encourage all business owners and stakeholders to come out,” said Rota, “not only to find out about the new event, but everything relating to tourism and culture for the year.”

The “Amherstburg Uncommon” event will be “inclusive,” said Rota, adding that “people are going to be able to take part.”

“This will be a very family-friendly event,” she continued. “Receiving the grant makes us feel comfortable the Ministry of Tourism and Sport recognizes the potential of this new event.”

Skate Amherstburg hosting free public skate this Sunday evening

Special to the RTT

Happy 150th Birthday Canada! The birthday celebrations are not over yet!

Thanks to a Canada 150 grant, Skate Amherstburg is holding a free public skate day Dec. 10 from 6-8 p.m. Anyone and everyone of all ages and skill levels are welcome to attend! Helmets are recommended for young skaters and anyone that is new to being on the ice. There will be souvenirs, giveaways, and we will also be having a CanSkate demonstration on one end of the ice with our NCCP certified coaches.

This is a great way to try out the CanSkate program before signing up for our Winter session! Registration will be available in the lobby and our volunteers will be available to answer any questions. Winter CanSkate runs on Thursdays from 6:00-6:50 p.m. starting Jan. 4 and on Mondays from 6:25-7:15 p.m. starting Jan. 8. Cost for one night of CanSkate for 14 weeks is only $250! Every good Canadian should be able to skate so start your kids off with the best Learn-to-Skate program in Canada!

December 10 is a busy day for Skate Amherstburg as our Adult Synchronized Skating teams will be in Stratford! The Diamond Divas 1 and 3 will be competing in their first competition of the season. We wish them the best of luck as well as a safe drive there and back!

 

Town seeing grant funding for new Master Aging Plan

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Town council is pursuing provincial funding to help support a plan geared towards senior citizens.

Council authorized and supported administration to submit a grant application for funding under the Seniors Community Grant Program to the Ministry of Seniors Affairs for the preparation of a Master Aging Plan and implementation program. Council also agreed to support the required in-kind contribution to fund the preparation of the Master Aging Plan and implementation programs through the 2018 budget sessions.

Councillor Diane Pouget introduced the motion, and pointed out the town’s growing senior population.

“According to Statistics Canada’s 2016 data for the town, adults 55-and-over represent 34 per cent of the town’s population,” said Pouget. “In fact, adults between the ages of 55-64 represent 16 per cent of the town’s population alone. Due to the current and increasing number of seniors in our community, the town has proposed the development of a Master Aging Plan to be initiated in 2018.”

Pouget pointed out that the town has embarked on initiatives in the past year that include the community strategic plan. She said the town is currently undertaking studies towards enhancing the settlement areas and ensuring quality of life for Amherstburg residents.

The Master Aging Plan will assist the town in identifying what types of services and programs should be offered locally. That includes what seniors need and could also include what type of infrastructure could be necessary.

“It is something that is really required,” Pouget said of the plan. “It is very important.”

Amherstburg native one of 50 people nationwide to win Outstanding Canadian Grant

 

By Ron Giofu

 

As part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations, a national telecommunications company has awarded 50 “Outstanding Canadian Grants” to those who have made a difference to children and youth across the country.

One of the recipients is an Amherstburg native.

Meaghan Marton was awarded an Outstanding Canadian Grant from Shaw Communications. She was nominated by a friend last fall with that friend also being a colleague with the group Leadership Advancement for Women in Sports (LAWS). That group, said Marton, assists girls and women get involved in physical activities and leadership positions.

“I didn’t even think about it,” she said of the nominations.

Marton received an e-mail from Shaw in June and later received a letter and pin from the company with a $1,500 grant going to a charity of Marton’s choice.

“I read the e-mail and I was speechless,” she said. “I had tears in my eyes. The fact that I’m from Amherstburg makes me even more proud.”

The 24-year-old chose Motivate Canada, another organization she is involved with that inspires youth to make changes through sports and physical activities. The money could be used to assist Indigenous youth.

Meaghan Marton is one of 50 people Canada-wide to receive an Outstanding Canadian Grant for her work helping children and youth. The $1,500 grant will go to Motivate Canada.

Meaghan Marton is one of 50 people Canada-wide to receive an Outstanding Canadian Grant for her work helping children and youth. The $1,500 grant will go to Motivate Canada. She displays the pin she also received for earning the grant.

Among the many other causes Marton has been involved with include coaching at Border City Boxing, running kids sports programs at Border City Boxing, running girls sports programs and also works at the YMCA and tries to settle immigrants and work with young people. Helping others and working with youth has become second nature for Marton.

“Honestly, it’s a way of life for me,” she said. “Knowing that youth are going to change the future and the world, I want to be able to inspire them to make the world a better place and to make a difference. It’s not a question for me. It’s what I can do to make a difference in someone else’s life.”

Marton dove deeper into volunteering and working with others after graduating from university. Her involvement with others has increased over the last two years and she doesn’t see it stopping.

“I’m definitely not slowing down,” she said. “I want to have my own agency or non-profit group.”

Marton wants to not only keep doing it within Windsor-Essex County, but has opened the door to travelling across the world.

Community involvement pays off for area student

 

By Jonathan Martin

After donating more than 1,800 hours of free time to her community, a local 17-year-old is getting something back.

Megan Bonneau received a $2,000 scholarship cheque from Foresters Financial last Tuesday afternoon. According to Jeremie Bornais, Bonneau’s financial advisor and owner of Bornais Insurance and Financial, Bonneau will receive another $2,000 for each year in which she is enrolled in an undergraduate program.

The scholarship is part of the Foresters Competitive Scholarship Program, which gives money to 250 students within Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom who meet its academic standards, give back to their communities and whose families do business with the life insurance agency.

“I didn’t do this for recognition,” Bonneau said. “Everyone in my community (of Janettes Creek) knows each other, so it always feels good to give back.”

(From left) Jeremie Bornais, Megan Bonneau, David Hutchison and Todd Girard pose for a photo at Bornais Insurance & Financial in Amherstburg last Tuesday afternoon.  Bonneau received a $2,000 cheque, the first installment of her Foresters Competitive Scholarship.  Bonneau will receive another cheque at the start of each school year for the duration of her undergraduate degree. (Photo by Jonathan Martin)

(From left) Jeremie Bornais, Megan Bonneau, David Hutchison and Todd Girard pose for a photo at Bornais Insurance & Financial in Amherstburg last Tuesday afternoon. Bonneau received a $2,000 cheque, the first installment of her Foresters Competitive Scholarship. Bonneau will receive another cheque at the start of each school year for the duration of her undergraduate degree. (Photo by Jonathan Martin)

She added that even after she starts her post-secondary studies, her volunteering won’t stop.

Bonneau plans to attend the University of Windsor for a double major, honours, in psychology and history.

“We’re so proud of her,” said Megan’s mother, Debbie Bonneau, as tears welled up in her eyes. “We’re so thankful to Jeremie (Bornais) for making us aware of this opportunity.”

The Bonneaus have been working with Bornais Insurance and Financial for years.

This is the first time Bornais has seen one of his clients receive the scholarship. In fact, this is a first for all of Southwestern Ontario according to David Hutchison of Foresters.

“It was a real blessing to hear that she was not only informed of the opportunity, but is also giving back to her community,” Hutchison said. “It’s a real credit to both her and her parents.”

As the cheque presentation ceremony came to a close, Megan Bonneau spoke up above the applause, laughter and tears.

“As someone leaving high school and heading off to university,” she said, “I can definitely say that getting involved … and giving back … has helped me grow as a person and helped me feel ready for what’s to come.”