Events

Woofa-Roo Pet Festival on tap for this weekend

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Woofa-Roo Pet Festival returns this weekend to the Libro Centre.

Festival director and founder Lorene Clayton said there are a number of new events to join some of the popular returning attractions.

“We have several new things coming to our festival to round out our crazy fun weekend,” she said. “We are always trying to answer the call for more interactive things our visitors can do so we developed Woofa-Roo’s new Sterling Canine Citizen Award. This is a test in canine manners requiring a dog and owner to successfully complete 12 steps to earn our prestigious award. Using the same criteria, and evaluator as the CKC test – the Sterling Canine Citizen Award benefits our charities and rescues and is considered a real achievement for your dog’s training and social skills.”

Clayton noted there will be a “fetching field” where dogs with good recall can play fetch with a custom built robot designed by A-Team Robotics, the local robotics team with many of its members coming from General Amherst High School. All proceeds from this event benefit charities and rescues, Clayton pointed out.

“We are building on Woofa-Roo’s unique social environment,” Clayton added. “This year our new Shaggy Chic Cafe is a pet and family friendly place to meet, greet and eat. We’ll have live entertainment arranged by Lee Watson Academy of Music to enhance this great social space.”

There are a number of returning attractions as well at this year’s Woofa-Roo Pet Festival.

“Dock diving has to be one of the most watched events which return year after year. Dog agility, lure coursing and our very popular ‘Pet-Ucation Centre’ featuring experts on everything from dog training to the war on ticks and fleas are all returning,” said Clayton. “Some of these events have a large charitable component and will encourage our visitors to have fun for a great cause.”

Clayton added: “For non stop chuckles we have the hilarious Woofa-Roo Challenge – a game that tests a dog’s distraction with treats and toys. Following this we are off to the races with the wiener dogs and then an all breed race. All proceeds benefit the St. John Ambulance therapy dogs.”

The most anticipated event, Clayton said, is the presentation made by the Elite Windsor Police K9’s.

“This is such a fantastic opportunity to see the best of the best illustrate the force’s expertise from their many hours of training,” she stated.

The festival used to be held in August but is now in July. Clayton said she doesn’t know yet what, if any, impact that will have on the festival.

“Hopefully it will be a less congested weekend for festival goers. Our weekend in August was becoming very competitive with five major events in Essex County,” she said.

Clayton said the Woofa-Roo Pet Festival is “weather proof” and that if it is hot or if it is raining “come indoors for a spell.”

The public is encouraged to read the festival’s pet policy before bringing their dogs. For more information on that or the events happening at the festival, visit www.woofaroo.com.

“Our volunteers have to be the most enthusiastic people around. They contribute to the spirit of our festival with their great attitudes and willingness to make our event a ‘funtastic’ festival for pets and their people.”

Admission is $5 per person with children five and under free.

“Hyperrealism” by local youth artist on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The work of Madison Young has made it to the Gibson Gallery.

The local teenager’s work is now on exhibit at the gallery, with previous displays of her work having been at G.L. Heritage Brewing Co. and the former Mudpuppy Gallery.

“This is my first exhibit at the Gibson Gallery. It’s really special to me,” said Young.

Young said she was pleased that, as a 16-year-old, she was able to get her own exhibit at the gallery.

“It’s a really great feeling as an artist,” she said. “Thank you to the Gibson Gallery for giving me this opportunity.”

Young, who just completed Grade 10 at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School, is hopeful the more exposure she receives will allow her to continue to have exhibits at art galleries.

“To have this whole room to myself is really special,” she said.

There are both original works and prints as part of the current “Hyperrealism” exhibit. She uses mediums such as pencil, markers, pastels and has now added an oil painting to her growing collection.

“I’ve been selling a lot of them,” she said, but noted some of the works that are part of the exhibit are not for sale.

Local artist Madison Young is the current artist with an exhibit at The Gibson Gallery. Young’s “Hyperrealism” exhibit runs through July 29.

Young added she has been hearing a lot of good input on her art.

“The feedback has been super-positive,” said Young. “It’s been great.”

Noting she has been drawing since she was three or four, Young said she started getting into hyperrealism when she was 12-years-old.

“I drew a cupcake and that turned out well,” she said. “I decided to pursue it and now I’m here.”

Young defines hyperrealism as drawing something and having it really look the object she was drawing, including using the colours needed to make it look as real as possible.

Young will be one of the exhibitors during Art by the River, which is scheduled for Aug. 25-26 at Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada.

The opening reception for “Hyperrealism” was last Saturday afternoon, but Young is also having a closing reception July 28 from 2-4 p.m. The exhibit runs through July 29.

“It’s been super fun already and I’m excited to meet as many people as I can,” she said.

For more information on Young and her work, visit www.diamonddraws.com.

The Gibson Gallery is open daily from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and is located at 140 Richmond St. For more information, visit www.gibsonartgallery.com or call 519-736-2826. Their Twitter account can be found at www.twitter.com/ARTamherstburg while their Facebook account is found at www.facebook.com/GibsonGallery.

“Lights Out at the Libro” coming this Saturday

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A full night of amateur boxing is coming to Amherstburg this Saturday.

The Fighting Island Boxing Club is hosting “Lights Out at the Libro” with a full card of fighters scheduled to compete in Rink A at the Libro Centre. As of press time, there were 16 boxing matches on the card.

“We’ve got six local kids fighting on the show,” said FIBC owner/coach Joe LeBlanc. “We’ve got gyms coming in from Brampton, Brantford, Toronto, Sarnia, Burlington, Windsor and Michigan. We’ve got several fighters coming from Detroit.”

Among the local fighters will be Brandon French (88 lbs. weight class), Jesse Carter (130 lbs.), Eric Leardi (200 lbs.), Tyson Whalen (165 lbs.), Carter White (117 lbs.) and Nate DiPasquale (150 lbs.).

“It will be a good show,” said LeBlanc.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the fights begin at 7 p.m. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis. Tickets are $20 and will be available at the door.

There will be a 50/50 draw, door prizes, food and a cash bar as well.

“Come early, get seated and enjoy a beer,” said LeBlanc.

LeBlanc added that it is a chance to highlight local talent. He said everyone is excited and looking forward to Saturday night’s show.

“It’s to showcase kids from our community,” he said.

Any money raised will go right back into the Fighting Island Boxing Club, LeBlanc added. Money is used to help fund out-of-town trips to tournaments and other fights.

One such out-of-town trip was last weekend when French fought the Irish national champion in Toronto. Though he didn’t win, French was happy for the experience.

“I lost my fight to the best in Europe,” said French. “I thought I did really well. It was a good experience overall. I got to meet a lot of people from a different country.”

French said he was proud of how he fought and “I’m proud of the end result.”

Whether it be in Amherstburg or elsewhere, French added he enjoys getting into the ring.

“I happy to just fight,” he said. “A fight is a fight. Win or lose, I’ll take it.”

Belle Vue Conservancy pleased with “All that Jazz” fundraiser

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Belle Vue Conservancy is pleased with its most recent fundraiser, the June 25 “All That Jazz for Belle Vue” event.

A sold out crowd of over 80 people came to the Artisan Grill for the Monday night show with the featured entertainment being Renée King-Jackson and her Fabulous Foursome. Conservancy president Shirley Curson-Prue said the entertainment and the meal provided by the Artisan Grill made the night one to remember.

“That was an amazing combination,” said Curson-Prue. “(King-Jackson) is really, really professional.”

Curson-Prue said King-Jackson and the band got people involved as numerous people got up and danced throughout the night.

Renée King-Jackson and her Fabulous Foursome perform at the Belle Vue Conservancy’s “All That Jazz for Belle Vue” event recently at the Artisan Grill.

“She’s so enthusiastic about Belle Vue,” said Curson-Prue. “We couldn’t have asked for any better entertainment. We couldn’t have asked for better food.”

People who attended ranged in age and Curson-Prue said many commented as they were leaving that they had a good time. She added that few, if any, left as the event was happening.

“People liked the enthusiasm. It was a great combination,” said Curson-Prue. “It turned into a real party. Everyone loved the music. She really did appeal to everyone.”

The Belle Vue Conservancy had “generous sponsors” for the event with Curson-Prue adding that they also had a good partnership with the Amherstburg Freedom Museum, as the latter helped sell tickets.

“We sold out within two weeks,” said Curson-Prue.

The event raised over $2,600.

Plans are underway for the second annual “Birdies & Bogies for Belle Vue,” with this year’s event being a nine-hole event Aug. 10 at Sutton Creek Golf Club. Cost is $75 per person and includes nine holes of golf, a cart and a steak dinner. Register by contacting Meg Reiner at 519-890-4425 or e-mail her at megreiner9@gmail.com.

People can also register by calling Curson-Prue at 519-736-6947.

For more information on the Belle Vue Conservancy, visit www.bellevueconservancy.com or call

Second fundraiser planned for teen with spinal cord ailment

 

By Ron Giofu

Although Phoenix MacDonald-Gagnon is making progress, the local youth and his family still need help.

A fundraiser is planned for the AMA Sportsmen Club this Sunday, which is also Phoenix’s 15th birthday. He was stricken with Transverse Myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord, in September 2017 and has been battling the ailment ever since. His journey has included extended hospital stays in London and Toronto but the latest fundraiser will help accommodate his needs at home.

A fundraiser was held in March at the Columbian Club Hall in McGregor for Phoenix MacDonald-Gagnon and Betty-Joe MacDonald being able to attend. A second fundraiser is planned for July 15 at the AMA Sportsmen Association.

According to Phoenix’s aunt Kari Dufour, the proceeds from the July 15 fundraiser will go towards upgrades at the home he stays at when he returns home on weekends. Phoenix and his mother Betty-Joe stay at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto during the week where Phoenix undergoes physical therapy.

On weekends, they return home and stay at the home of Misti and Wayne Moyer.

“We have noticed that more renovations on the house are needed to help make this Phoenix’s forever home. We are also holding this fundraiser to help raise funds for daily medical supplies that are not covered and we are also trying to get Phoenix an assisted standing device for ongoing at home therapy,” Dufour states in a flyer she is circulating.

The family is uncertain to what extent Phoenix will recover, stating doctors are “unsure” if he will have full use of his arms or be able to walk again. He utilizes a wheelchair to get around.

The fundraiser will be from 3-6 p.m.

Tickets are $20 with children 10-and-under being $10. For tickets, please call Dufour at 519-819-9723 or Misti MacDonald-Moyer at 519-965-1514.

A fundraiser held for the family in McGregor in March topped $17,000, with those proceeds earmarked for an accessible home, the wheelchair, medications and 24/7 assistance.