Jennifer Ibrahim

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.”

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 showcased for Communities in Bloom national judges

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg was on display for the national Communities in Bloom judges late last week and now the town awaits to see how it did.

Sylvie Cormier from Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec and Colleen Stockford from Sussex, New Brunswick were in Amherstburg last Thursday through Saturday taking a look at the town and seeing what it has to offer. They were given a look at Boblo last Thursday but the main tour was by trolley all-day Friday with stops including the Libro Centre, the Walker Aggregates quarry, Holiday Beach Conservation Area, the Canadian Coast Guard base, Fort Malden National Historic Site with lunch being in the middle of that tour at the Park House Museum.

Communities in Bloom judges Sylvie Cormier and Colleen Stockford were joined by council members and administration during a tour of Amherstburg last Friday. One of the stops was Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada.

Communities in Bloom judges Sylvie Cormier and Colleen Stockford were joined by council members and administration during a tour of Amherstburg last Friday. One of the stops was Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada.

The Saturday portion of the tour included a walk through Navy Yard Park led by parks manager Annette Zahaluk and historian Robert Honor.

“It’s fabulous,” Stockford said after Friday’s tour. “It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been knowledgeable but fun as well.”

Cormier said she was impressed by not only what she saw, but who she met as well.

“The people have been so kind and nice,” said Cormier. “They are proud of their city and community as well. I am very impressed.”

Stockford stated they were happy with the agenda items on the tour, but the surprises they received along the way as well. Those surprises included each of the judges getting to fire a musket while at Fort Malden.

Those who live in the area may take for granted some of the amenities Amherstburg has, added Stockford, but the town has qualities which stand out to visitors.

“You are luck to have what you have here,” she said.

Cormier pointed out the many volunteers the town has and those volunteers helped ensure the judges had a great visit.

“It takes a lot of people to put this on,” noted Stockford. “They made us feel a part of it.”

Judge Sylvie Cormier fires a musket at Fort Malden.

Judge Sylvie Cormier fires a musket at Fort Malden.

Judge Colleen Stockford fires a musket at Fort Malden.

Judge Colleen Stockford fires a musket at Fort Malden.

Amherstburg was their final stop on a two-week judging trip. Also included as part of their journey were the other towns Amherstburg is competing against in the 9,001-25,000 population category. Those include Bois-des-Filion, Quebec, South Huron, Ontario and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

The judges were impressed not only with the beauty of the town but some of the technology and industry they saw. Town officials hope that translates into success when the judges reveal their verdict at a Communities in Bloom conference in Regina Oct. 27-29.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo believed the tour of the town went well.

“We got some positive feedback from the judges,” said DiCarlo. “I think we showed them a lot of things they don’t see in other municipalities.”

While Amherstburg has a lot of natural beauty, that is something many other municipalities can boast as well with DiCarlo noting the judges were looking for more than that. He said the community involvement in Amherstburg is a big plus for the town.

“Hopefully it’s something (the judges) are taking away with them,” he said. “I think stuff like that sets us apart from other municipalities. We see it, bring it and live it.”

Seeing volunteers and community members engaged in Amherstburg “is just unbelievable to some people,” added DiCarlo, “so hopefully we showcased that today.”

Judges Colleen Stockford and Sylvie Cormier stand at the CiB floral display in Navy Yard Park with parks manager Annette Zahaluk.

Judges Colleen Stockford and Sylvie Cormier stand at the CiB floral display in Navy Yard Park with parks manager Annette Zahaluk.

Manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota and visitor information manager along with numerous members of council and administration accompanied the judges on Friday’s tour. Rota said the town appreciates the co-operation it got for the Communities in Bloom tour.

“We were very fortunate that businesses and organizations like Diageo, the quarry, the Coast Guard and others opened their doors to the judges so that we could not only share our beautiful gardens but highlight and show our industrial partners,” said Rota. “The residents got on board and it shows how much Amherstburg cares about its own community. We could not do this without our partners and residents on board. It was a huge team effort.”

Win or lose, the town had a good three days with the judges, Rota believed.

“I think Amherstburg put its best foot forward,” she said. “We think the judges were left with a good impression of Amherstburg but either way, the town looks amazing.”

Amherstburg was awarded five blooms, the highest ranking possible, in last year’s provincial competition.