Shaanti International Museum of Costumes and Dolls

Amherstburg Farmers Market opens for 2017 season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Amherstburg Farmers Market is open for another season.

The market, located at the Malden Community and Cultural Centre, opened with eight vendors though the small committee now running the market are always open to more. The committee is made up of Steeve and Cynthia Bouchard and Rita Casagrande, with Cynthia stating they are hopeful for the inclusion of some wineries.

Paul and Brenda Jones - a.k.a. “Keeping Up With the Joneses” - perform during the opening day of the Amherstburg Farmers’ Market.

Paul and Brenda Jones – a.k.a. “Keeping Up With the Joneses” – perform during the opening day of the Amherstburg Farmers’ Market.

Steeve said they stepped up to help run the market, noting their farm Bouchard Gardens has been there since the market first started.

“We want to see it do well,” said Steeve.

The Bouchards say they travel to a number of markets in the area to sell their fruits, vegetables and other products.

“This is obviously our favourite,” said Steeve. “It’s right around the corner from us.”

The crowds are “pretty steady,” he said.

“We get our regulars who come out every Saturday,” he said.

Cynthia and Steeve Bouchard are two thirds of the committee running the market this year along with Rita Casagrande.

Cynthia and Steeve Bouchard are two thirds of the committee running the market this year along with Rita Casagrande.

The Amherstburg Farmers Market features fruits, vegetables, baked goods, fish, and even snacks like popcorn. The Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society held a plant sale there last Saturday with live entertainment on site as well.

“It’s a little bit of everything,” said Steeve. “It’s a good variety of stuff.”

Those interested in becoming a vendor can visit www.amherstburgfarmersmarket.com or call call 519-972-1340 or 519-736-3550. The market runs every Saturday until September from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. with the Shaanti International Museum of Costume and Dolls also open during those hours inside the Malden Community and Cultural Centre.

Doll museum makes $20,000 donation towards Belle Vue restoration

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Shaanti International Museum of Costumes and Dolls has stepped forward to help the Belle Vue Conservancy.

The doll museum, which is currently operating out of the Malden Community & Cultural Centre located at 7860 County Road 20, officially presented a cheque for $20,000 to the conservancy last Thursday morning on Belle Vue’s front porch.

The donation is the first under the conservancy’s sponsorship program and the $20,000 will result in a window being named for the Shaanti International Museum of Costumes and Dolls.

Michael Prue, treasurer of the Belle Vue Conservancy, said the donation from the doll museum has been the largest to date and hopes it inspires other individuals and companies to step forward.

“This property can be restored to the way it was,” said Prue. “It won’t take very long with donations like this.”

The Palladian-style architecture is rare in Canada, with Prue citing a Nova Scotia government building as the only other example.

The Shaantii International Museum of Costumes and Dolls made a $20,000 donation to the Belle Vue Conservancy last Thursday and will get naming rights to a window. From left: Conservancy treasurer Michael Prue, Conservancy president Shirley Curson-Prue, museum secretary/treasurer Raj Varma, museum board member Nancy Morand, museum vice president Ivan Robich and Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale.

The Shaantii International Museum of Costumes and Dolls made a $20,000 donation to the Belle Vue Conservancy last Thursday and will get naming rights to a window. From left: Conservancy treasurer Michael Prue, Conservancy president Shirley Curson-Prue, museum secretary/treasurer Raj Varma, museum board member Nancy Morand, museum vice president Ivan Robich and Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale.

“I am looking forward to the day (Belle Vue) is open to the public and we can say with extreme pride that we are from Amherstburg and we’ve been able to do this,” he said.

“We’re making strides. We’re just not making huge strides yet,” said Shirley Curson-Prue, the president of the conservancy.

Other fundraisers are in the works, Curson-Prue noted, and said artist Peter Rindlisbacher is working on the painting that will hang in the Belle Vue and be reproduced for public sale. Rindlisbacher’s involvement was announced last year.

More donations are in the works, she added, but can’t be announced just yet.

The doll museum raised its money largely through bingos and Raj Varma, secretary/treasurer with the museum, indicated they would like to see Belle Vue as a “destination point in Amherstburg.”

Their own museum contains rare dolls and costumes with Varma stating “the museum is very unique in North America.” The collection features dolls from all over the globe with board vice president Ivan Robich adding the collection is valued at $500,000.

“A lot of the dolls have come from private collections,” said Robich.

The Shaanti International Museum of Costumes and Dolls came to Amherstburg with the assistance of the town’s tourism department after several stops in Windsor. Robich believes it was a “Godsend” they were able to located at the Malden Community & Cultural Centre, which is also known as “the Little White Church.”

Nancy Morand, a director with the museum’s board, added her belief that the relationship has been “mutually beneficial” to the town and the museum. It is open Saturdays from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. during the Amherstburg Farmers Market season, which starts this Saturday. The museum is also open for private tours by calling 519-839-4237.

The doll museum could have some sort of presence at Belle Vue, through an exhibit or a display, but the future use of the property still appears to be focused on a conference centre type facility. Public consultation is yet to come with future uses to be discussed during those talks.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale thanked the doll museum for its donation.

“It’s donations like these that bring us closer to opening Belle Vue,” said DiPasquale. “We hope this encourages others to make donations so we can open these doors as soon as possible.”