Events

Festival of Hawks returns to Holiday Beach Conservation Area

 

 

Special to the RTT

 

All eyes will be on the skies this September as local birders and nature lovers take in one of North America’s greatest migrations.

These watchers will call the Holiday Beach Conservation Area home as they take in a grand spectacle: tens of thousands of hawks and raptors flying overhead on their annual journey to nesting grounds in the south.

In recognition of the amazing sight, Essex Region Conservation, in partnership with the Holiday Beach Migration Observatory (HBMO), will host the 2018 Festival of Hawks. The festival, which takes place over the weekends of September 15-16 and 22-23, features a range of free educational activities and nature-themed programming.

HBMO experts will be on-site conducting hawk banding and adoptions. Event goers will get up close and personal to a variety of raptors as experts measure, tag, and then release these birds back into the wild. Visitors will also be in awe at the live raptor display of Kingsport Environmental, a local organization that rescues and rehabilitates raptors and promotes falconry through education programs.

The Festival of Hawks returns to Holiday Beach Conservation Area Sept. 15-16 and 22-23.

Free educational programs will complement the ongoing banding and live hawk display throughout both weekends. Local experts will be on-site to teach on a wide range of birding and nature-related topics. These programs include:

  • HBMO’s Bob Pettit will be on hand to provide expertise on identifying hawks in flight.
  • Ted Kloske, of Henry’s Windsor and Maple Grove Studios, and Glenn Gervais, of Southshore Outdoor Photography, will help budding photographers get their best nature shot.
  • Jeremy Bensette will share stories of his travels across Ontario in 2017 while breaking the current ‘Ontario Big Year’ record, locating and documenting 346 bird species.
  • HBMO’s Jeremy Hatt will share his tips and tricks on using mobile applications like iNaturalist
  • ERCA’s Gina Pannunzio will host an interactive workshop focusing on the mystery of one of our local iconic species, the Monarch Butterfly.

“Holiday Beach Conservation Area has been identified as one of the 10 best sites in all of North America to experience the raptor migration,” notes Danielle Breault Stuebing, ERCA’s director of communications and outreach.  “Whether an expert birder or nature-loving family, there’s something for everyone at the annual Festival of Hawks.”

The Festival runs from 9am to 3pm on September 15-16 and 22-23. Visitors can also enjoy lunch provided by the Essex County Field Naturalists’ Blue Kestrel Café or HBMO’s BBQ Booth.

All programs are free with the festival admission fee of $15 per vehicle. The final list of programs is available at https://essexregionconservation.ca/education-and-events/festival-of-hawks/.

The best raptor viewing time is from 9 a.m. until 12 noon when the hawks fly low. The Holiday Beach Conservation Area is located on County Road 50, on Lake Erie near Malden Centre approximately 15km southeast of historic Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, a half hour drive from Highway 401 and only 40 minutes from the Ambassador Bridge for those coming from Detroit.

“Africa Revisted” comes to the Gibson Gallery

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Two years ago, Donovan Alp made his debut with his exhibit “Out of Africa” exhibit.

After some additional trips to South Africa, Alp has returned with “Africa Revisited.”

“This is the result of another couple of trips to South Africa,” Alp said during a Sunday afternoon reception.

Alp works in various different types of mediums with works being in painting, drawing and photographic form. They have been worked on the last several months, with Alp noting his most recent trip to South Africa being in April 2017.

A recent trip saw him visit four countries and five game reserves. Alp, who now lives in LaSalle, was originally born in Zimbabwe.

Donovan Alp stands with one of his works that are currently featured as part of the “Africa Revisited”
exhibit at the Gibson Gallery. The exhibit runs through Sept. 23.

“Every painting has a picture of a photo under it so you can see what I was working from,” he said.

Alp said he always has enjoyed going to game reserves and started painting the animals he was taking pictures of after he retired. He noted that some of the animals may not be around for the long term due to poaching and trophy hunting.

There are 16 new paintings or drawings part of “Africa Revisited” with one drawing that was in his 2016 show. Alp said he doesn’t show his work that often, with the two exhibits at the Gibson Gallery being his only one-person shows. He also submits work to Association of Representational Artists (ARA) shows.

“I just think it’s a wonderful gallery,” stated Alp. “It’s a wonderful place to exhibit.”

“Africa Revisited” will be on exhibit through Sept. 23.

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. and their current hours are Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

For further information, call 519-736-2826 and or visit their website at www.gibsonartgallery.com. Their Twitter account can be found at www.twitter.com/ARTamherstburg while their Facebook account is found at www.facebook.com/GibsonGallery.

 

Public engagement sessions on possible town re-branding Wednesday afternoon and evening

The public is reminded that the town is holding two information sessions with regards to its proposed new branding strategy Wednesday afternoon and evening.

The town has partnered with marketing agency Cinnamon Toast New Media Inc. to develop the branding strategy, as well as “an innovative new tourism website” to attract visitors, guests and investors.

Cinnamon Toast has aimed to gather information about what makes Amherstburg unique to other municipalities and what elements stakeholders would like to see reflected in the town’s future brand and logo.

Information is also being sought on how often the town’s website is accessed, and what visitors to the site find most valuable, including ease of use, information about events, attractions including restaurant and accommodation recommendations.

“Amherstburg continues to be progressive in meeting the growing interests of new markets. We encourage everyone to participate in filling out the short survey to help us in the creation of an exciting new logo and tourism website,” manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota stated in a press release published online last month.

There will be two public consultations sessions Aug. 29 and those sessions will be led by Cinnamon Toast New Media Inc. and attended by town representatives. The first session will be at 3 p.m. with an evening session planned for 6 p.m. Both will be held at the Libro Centre.

The town agreed in May to spend up to $75,000 plus HST on a branding strategy, which will also include a communications strategy and a “brand identity manual.”

The Town of Amherstburg is encouraging the public to find the survey on its “Talk the Burg” online feedback website and at its main website of www.amherstburg.ca.

Variety of events coming to Park House Museum

 

A number of different events are forthcoming to the Park House Museum.

The next installment of “Music off the Back Porch” returns Sept. 7 from 6-8 p.m., weather permitting. The featured performers will be Linda Girard & Hospice Friends. There is no admission but free will donations are appreciated. People are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.

The Park House is also having another public paranormal investigation Sept. 14. Sessions will run from 7-9 p.m. and 9-11 p.m. and the cost is $20 per person. Only 20 tickets are available (ten per each time slot).

A “Witches Tea Tasting” takes place Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. It is $10 per person and all ages are welcome. Reservations are required.

The Park House Museum is also hosting Ghost Tours Oct. 19-20.

For more information about any of these events, contact the Park House Museum at 519-736-2511 or e-mail parkhousemuseum@bellnet.ca. Their website is www.parkhousemuseum.com.

The Park House Museum is located at 214 Dalhousie St.

Mission trying to raise money for new chairs

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Faced with the cost of having to replace their chairs, the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission is hoping the community can help them out.

The current chairs at the mission are becoming damaged and worn out, so the mission’s board is replacing them with 100 new ones. They are looking for people to sponsor the chairs at a cost of $50 each, though vice president Shirley Hitchcock says that covers not only the cost of the chairs but upgrades to the tables as well.

Hitchcock said the mission got the chairs seven years ago from a restaurant that was going out of business.

“We have golf balls on the legs so they won’t wreck our floors,” she said. “These chairs are terrible to sit on. You feel like you are going to fall off.”

“The vinyl is cracking,” added mission president Tim McAllister.

The new chairs are built to hold 400 pounds and have a seven-year warranty. The first 50 come later this month while the second 50 arrive early next year. The mission is searching for a place to store the extra 50 chairs, which will be used on holidays and for other special occasions such as the mission’s tambola event.

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister (left) and vice president Shirley Hitchcock show the board where people have their names posted after sponsoring a chair.

“Tambola is a big event,” said McAllister. “We fill all the chairs.”

Hitchcock said the order for 100 chairs was based on the estimate of McAllister and his experience in knowing what the mission requires.

“Whatever he needs here, it’s based on his needs,” said Hitchcock.

The mission has roughly one-quarter of the chairs sponsored, she added. Hitchcock said Amherstburg and surrounding areas are “second to none” when it comes to helping charitable causes and people in need.

“There’s no community that supports people like the Amherstburg area,” said Hitchcock.

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission offers a specialized service that is hard to find in the area, with both a food bank and hot meals among the services it offers.

“We are unique,” said McAllister.

“There’s nothing like us in the area,” added Hitchcock.

Some people, Hitchcock continued, just come for the fellowship and to speak with McAllister and the other volunteers at the mission.

“The mission is for everyone,” she said.

While the mission is run by volunteers, even those that are helped by it have adopted tasks that they call their own from clearing tables to helping with the dishes.

“We’re all the same here,” said McAllister. “Respect is what we require. We want people to be happy here. It doesn’t matter what they look like.”

To sponsor a chair, people can visit the mission or mail a cheque to it with the address being 298 Victoria St. S., Amherstburg, ON, N9V 2K5. People can also donate through their website at www.aburgmission.ca.