WSO

Belle Vue Conservancy presents WSO concert proceeds to Amherstburg Community Foundation

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Belle Vue Conservancy raised $5,359 from last month’s concert featuring the Windsor Symphony Orchestra’s string musicians and that money has been transferred to the Amherstburg Community Foundation.

The foundation, the charitable arm of the town, received the cheque last Thursday morning with director of corporate services/treasurer Justin Rousseau and Libro Centre manager of recreation services Rick Daly accepting on behalf of the town.

Carolyn Davies, vice president of the Belle Vue Conservancy and a main organizer of the concert, thanked the WSO for coming to Amherstburg and also thanked those in the community who supported it.

“It was a sold out crowd and I was delighted the community supported it,” said Davies. “We had amazing support from our sponsors and patrons.”

Davies said the Dalhousie St. historic site has been “awaiting restoration since 2003” and believe it will be an economic driver for Amherstburg, much in the same way it was when it was originally constructed in 1816-19.

“It’s come full circle,” she said.

Members of the Belle Vue Conservancy present the proceeds from the recent Windsor Symphony Orchestra concert to the Amherstburg Community Foundation last Thursday morning.

Members of the Belle Vue Conservancy present the proceeds from the recent Windsor Symphony Orchestra concert to the Amherstburg Community Foundation last Thursday morning.

Linda Jackson, who leads the conservancy’s corporate outreach, believed a restored Belle Vue “is going to become an integral to the Amherstburg community.” She believed it would drive tourism as well as attract historians and genealogists to the area.

“Let’s call it what it is,” she added. “It’s a 200-year-old national historic site.”

Jackson also pointed out the work being done by conservancy member Paul Hertel, as Hertel is researching the World War I veterans that stayed there when it was a veterans home.

“We are certainly looking forward to all of the discoveries (Hertel) is making,” said Jackson.

Rousseau thanked the conservancy for its work and for their efforts in realizing their dream of restoring the home.

“It’s very much appreciated,” he said.

The town of Amherstburg agreed to purchase the home last September.

WSO entertains sold out crowd at Belle Vue fundraiser

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Belle Vue Conservancy’s fundraising attempts took a step forward last Thursday night with the aid of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO).

The WSO’s string orchestra was at Christ Church where 135 people enjoyed the nine selections performed by the musicians.

“We’re really fortunate that everyone has backed us,” said Belle Vue Conservancy president Shirley Curson-Prue. “People are understanding what we want to do.”

The WSO string orchestra performs at Christ Church April 27. It was a fundraiser presented by the Belle Vue Conservancy.

The WSO string orchestra performs at Christ Church April 27. It was a fundraiser presented by the Belle Vue Conservancy.

As the concert approached, the ticket sales began to pick up as did the sponsorships. The concert raised over $5,350.

“The momentum is growing, which is good,” said Curson-Prue.

The Belle Vue Conservancy is attempting to raise $1 million during the first phase of its fundraising efforts as initial work has to be done to secure the 200-year-old home’s foundation, roof and eavestroughs. They are hopeful of landing matching federal grant money as well.

The Belle Vue Conservancy has raised approximately $84,500 including in-kind contributions. Their next fundraiser is the “Birdies and Bogies for Belle Vue” golf tournament, scheduled for May 13 at Sutton Creek Golf Club in McGregor. It is a 1 p.m. scramble start and the cost is $150 per person. Curson-Prue said they had about 90 golfers registered as of last Thursday night.

The WSO string orchestra performed an hour-long concert April 27 as a fundraiser for the Belle Vue Conservancy. The concert was at Christ Church on Ramsay St.

The WSO string orchestra performed an hour-long concert April 27 as a fundraiser for the Belle Vue Conservancy. The concert was at Christ Church on Ramsay St.

Those interested can call Meg Reiner at 519-890-4425, e-mail Megreiner9@gmail.com or download a registration form at www.bellevueconservancy.com.

Conservancy vice president Carolyn Davies told the audience at Christ Church that their attendance “sets us on a path for the goal of restoration” and also read greetings from Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, who was announced as being unable to attend due to a death in his family.

Rev. Bill Strang said there are similarities between Christ Church and Belle Vue. He said Robert Reynolds, who built Belle Vue between 1816-19, also donated bricks towards the construction of Christ Church, which opened in 1819.

The WSO string orchestra performed an hour-long concert last Thursday night as a fundraiser for the Belle Vue Conservancy. The concert was at Christ Church on Ramsay St.

The WSO string orchestra performed an hour-long concert last Thursday night as a fundraiser for the Belle Vue Conservancy. The concert was at Christ Church on Ramsay St.

“The ties between Belle Vue and Christ Church go back a long way,” said Rev. Strang.

The town of Amherstburg purchased the building last year for $1.1 million – $100,000 down and $200,000 paid annually interest-free over a five-year period – along with a $200,000 donation receipt. The Belle Vue Conservancy is the body attempting to raise the funds for the restoration and the public is asked to donate either through the conservancy’s website or at www.amherstburg.ca/donate.

The group also has a Facebook page found at www.facebook.com/bellevueconservancy and can be found on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BelleVuematters.

Belle Vue Conservancy has two fundraising events scheduled

 

Special to the RTT

After the devastating War of 1812, the construction of Belle Vue by the Reynolds family gave our forefathers hope.

Over the past two centuries Belle Vue has continued to play an important role in the town of Amherstburg, serving as a residence for three additional families, then as a convalescent home for injured war veterans and as a place of worship for the Ukranian Catholic Church.

In more recent years it was neglected and so is now in need of restoration.

The Town of Amherstburg purchased this building and property in 2016 and, in addition to preserving our national heritage, sees a future for the Belle Vue as part of the Town’s economic development.

After core restoration is completed, interior work will be done and the Belle Vue will be open for use by the public as a regional meeting, conference and cultural centre; as well a range of formal botanical gardens and greenhouses will be developed on the property, all of which will attract business and tourism to Amherstburg. It will significantly contribute to the enhancement of the historic Amherstburg waterfront which stretches along the River from the Kings Navy Yard Park to the Belle Vue.

The Belle Vue Conservancy has a new logo, designed and donated by local artist Elio Del Col.

The Belle Vue Conservancy has a new logo, designed and donated by local artist Elio Del Col.

Through collaboration with citizens and partnership with the Town of Amherstburg, the Belle Vue Conservancy, a team of dedicated volunteers, is focused on raising One million dollars for restoration to secure the property, specifically for a new roof, windows, gutters and foundation work, i.e. the envelope of the building. These Phase 1 core repairs are of absolute urgency in order to stabilize the house after the years of severe neglect. Since the Town now owns the historic Belle Vue property we believe it is in all of our best interests to work together to secure the future of Belle Vue.

In addition to promoting donations related to naming rights concerning different rooms and parts of the building, the Conservancy is currently undertaking two special events that are sure to be of interest to local residents.

First is a concert “Leading Notes for Belle Vue” to be provided by the Windsor Junior Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Robert Franz, in partnership with Christ Church, located at 317 Ramsay St. in Amherstburg. It will be held April 27 at 7 p.m. This concert preserves our ties with the WSO and is anticipated to be the first of many such events. Tickets are $20 each and are available at the Gordon House, Sobeys and the Gibson Gallery. Sponsors for this event will be showcased on line and in the evening’s program.

Our second scheduled event is a golf competition “Birdies and Bogies for Belle Vue” to be held on Saturday, May 13 at Sutton Creek Golf Club. Registration is $150 and includes a golf cart, lunch during golf, dinner and a registration gift as well as a tax receipt for $50. Spouses and partners who would like to attend the dinner only may do so with pre-registration and payment of $50

Information about the history of Belle Vue and the Belle Vue Conservancy activities as well as opportunities to donate can be found on our website at www.bellevueconservancy.com.

 

 

 

Essex County council refers two funding requests to budget

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

A pair of funding requests to Essex County council were referred to budget late last month, with one seemingly having a better chance of being granted than the other.

Representatives from the Windsor-Essex Active Retirement Community Initiative (WEARCI) appeared before county council asking for the county to fund them to the tune of $60,000. WEARCI president Krista Del Gatto said they have been able to attract people from the Toronto area to this region due to campaigns such as the “100 Mile Peninsula” initiative and said they could continue to attract more affluent people if their marketing efforts were supported.

“There could be many more if the partnership with the city of Windsor were to continue,” she told county council.

Leamington Mayor John Paterson believed $60,000 is “a big ask” and questioned what the benefit was to the taxpayers. He said the county is already asked to fund organizations such as Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) and the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Commission (WEEDC).

“We’re always funding and funding and funding,” said Paterson.

essex_logo_final

Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara said previous funding of WEARCI was “seed money” to get them started but said ongoing funding should be done through the private sector.

“I believe it should be privately driven, not publicly driven,” said McNamara.

The Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO) also put forth a request for funding, with the 70-year-old organization not specifying a specific amount. Executive director Sheila Wisdom noted they have 39 professional musicians with 22 per cent of “main stage audiences” coming from Essex County. The WSO also goes out into the community and into schools and Wisdom indicated that any funding would assist in delivering those programs.

Wisdom also pointed out the WSO performs community concerts in county municipalities including Amherstburg, Leamington and Tecumseh.

Essex County council members appeared to have a different outlook on the WSO requests. McNamara said the WSO helps deliver arts and culture to the county, something he said is “the basic fabric of our community.” He also noted it allows seniors and others who have difficulty travelling into downtown Windsor the opportunity to see the WSO in their own communities.

Kingsville Deputy Mayor Gord Queen acknowledged the work that is done in schools to help expose students to the arts while Paterson said he regularly hears positive comments when the WSO comes to his municipality. Leamington Deputy Mayor Hilda MacDonald believed the WSO is great for the community and that the county should “dig deep and find the coin.”

LaSalle Mayor Ken Antaya voiced interest in having the WSO expand into other county municipalities, such as his own, and suggested the Vollmer Centre as a venue.

Amherstburg concerts include the Christmas performance at St. John the Baptist Church as well as a summer concert in the King’s Navy Yard Park.