Canadian Tire

“Decorating Divas” getting trees ready as part of Holiday House Tour preparations

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A team of volunteers known as the “Decorating Divas” were busy recently helping to welcome the holiday spirit.

The volunteers are part of the Holiday House Tours committee and they were decorating Christmas trees at the Canadian Tire store in Amherstburg. It is at least the fifth year they have participated with Sarah Van Grinsven, special events support co-ordinator with the Town of Amherstburg, noting it is a partnership between the River Lights Winter Festival and Canadian Tire.

Van Grinsven said the trees are decorated with Canadian Tire products while two of the homes that will be on the Nov. 24-25 Holiday House Tours also being decorated by décor and products that come from Canadian Tire. The House Tours are part of River Lights.

“It works really well,” Van Grinsven said of the partnership.

Local Canadian Tire dealers Stephen and Paige Pike have been very supportive of the partnership since taking over the Amherstburg store, Van Grinsven added, and that has been very helpful for the Holiday House tours.

“Their store has a lot of Christmas items to offer, which is wonderful,” said Van Grinsven, noting there is a variety of different décor on hand.

The “Decorating Divas,” who are part of the Holiday House Tours committee, helped decorate trees at Canadian Tire. The Holiday House Tours are Nov. 24-25.

“It’s a fantastic community event,” Paige Pike said of the Holiday House Tours. “We’re just happy to be part of it.”

Pike said that Canadian Tire gets a boost from having their products showcased and she also praised the “Decorating Divas,” whom she said does a “great job” decorating the trees in the store every year.

Tickets for the Holiday House Tours are $25 per person, and are available at the Gordon House, Sobeys Amherstburg, Dusty Loft Antiques and Collectibles, Country Bliss and Windsor Crossing Premium Outlets. They can also be purchased online at www.amherstburg.ca/riverlights.

The River Lights Winter Festival got underway Nov. 17.

River Canard K of C helps out Canadian Tire’s “Jumpstart” program

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The River Canard Knights of Columbus are doing their part of help children in Amherstburg play sports through the Canadian Tire “Jumpstart” program.

Knights of Columbus Council #5642 were at the Canadian Tire store in Amherstburg to present local dealer Stephen Pike with cheques amounting to $3,000, with that money earmarked for the Jumpstart program. Much of the money was from the River Canard K of C’s car show that was held Aug. 24 but Rolly Beaulieu, one of the organizers, said they also used bingo and Nevada ticket funds as the car show had decreased attendance this year due to rain.

Bill Paun – another organizer, executive board member and bingo representative – noted that bingo is held in River Canard every Wednesday night from 7-9 p.m.

“We only started doing the car show three years ago,” Beaulieu explained.

Beaulieu’s brother suggested donating the proceeds to Jumpstart and, after looking into it, the River Canard K of C agreed.

Representatives from the Knights of Columbus Council 5642 in River Canard presented Canadian Tire officials with cheques amounting to $3,000 for the Jumpstart program. From left: Canadian Tire manager Brian Brouillette, Rolly Beaulieu, Canadian Tire dealer Stephen Pike, Bill Paun and Tom Normand.

“It’s an excellent cause,” said Beaulieu, adding that the Canadian Tire store in Amherstburg have been a tremendous help with both the car show and giving background on Jumpstart.

“For everything we wanted, (Canadian Tire) was there for us,” said Beaulieu.

Pike said that money stays local and helps children in the Amherstburg area. Brian Brouillette, a manager at the Amherstburg location, added that the program is administered locally through Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) and doesn’t necessarily have to be used for sports.

“They may not be into sports but the money can work for them too,” said Brouillette, noting arts and crafts programs can also be paid for through Jumpstart funding.

Numerous schools, businesses and organizations have also helped donate to Jumpstart, added Brouillette.

Beaulieu added that the River Canard Knights of Columbus #5642 are planning their 2019 car show for late-August and have booked a rain date for next year as well.

Groups interested in operating pro shop at Libro Centre

By Ron Giofu

 

While the Canadian Tire Pro Shop will cease to operate in the Libro Centre, other groups are interested in continuing to offer such a service.

The current pro shop will close March 28 and there are rumoured uses for the space, including offices for town employees. Members of the Amherstburg Admirals ownership group contacted the River Town Times stating they are one of the groups interested.

Gaspare Spada, who owns the team with Matt Fox and Wes Ewer, confirmed they sent in a proposal to the town.

“We already have relationships with these groups and would provide them with required services they need,” said Spada. “The transition would be a smooth one.”

Spada said they are confident in their abilities to run a business, noting their rent is paid on time.

“We operate the Admirals here and are in good standing with the town,” said Spada. “We are in the process of renewing the lease for the Admirals and we could include this venture in that term.”

As for discussion of turning the pro shop into offices, Spada said “I’m not aware of that but owning some properties myself, it makes no sense to give up rental dollars for offices. We’ve had meetings in regards to raising user fees for ice rental to create additional income for the town and it would make no sense to take a step backwards and lose rental income. There are some smart people employed by the town and on council. I can’t see this happening.”

Even if it did, Spada said the Admirals remain interested in operating a pro shop at the arena.

“After some discussions among our group, if the town chooses to use that space for their own use, we would consider relocating the pro shop to a different area of the arena if they would allow,” he said.

Efforts were made to contact another of the groups known to be interested in renting the space but those attempts were unsuccessful. There are reports that other parties are interested as well but their identities are unknown as of press time.

Canadian Tire Pro Shop in Libro Centre closing at end of March

 

By Ron Giofu

While both sides describe their relationship as positive, the Canadian Tire Pro Shop will be closing at the Libro Centre at the end of March.

The Town of Amherstburg was informed of the business decision recently and local Canadian Tire dealer Stephen Pike confirmed it on Saturday.

“On March 29, 2018, at the end of this hockey season, the Pro Shop will be closed. It was a very difficult decision to decide to wind down the Pro Shop as we have enjoyed the opportunity to serve the sports community from the Libro Centre location,” Pike told the River Town Times in a statement. “We will continue serve and support the community with a wide array of sports and hockey equipment, as well as skate sharpening services at our Canadian Tire store location at 380 Sandwich Street S. in Amherstburg. We would like to thank the Amherstburg community for their patronage, it has been greatly appreciated. We would also like to thank the Town of Amherstburg for their support and opportunity to operate the Pro Shop over the years.”

The Canadian Tire Pro Shop inside of the Libro Centre will be closing at the end of March.

CAO John Miceli said it was “strictly a business decision” by Canadian Tire and that no decision has been made yet as to how to utilize the space.

“We’re going to examine what we are going to use the space for,” he said. “We have internal needs but nothing has been finalized.”

It is too soon to say whether the town could issue an Request for Proposals (RFP) to have another pro shop owner come in or whether the town can re-use the space for other needs, Miceli added.

“We’re going to look at all options and address everything with council,” said Miceli.

Miceli said he understood Canadian Tire’s decision from a business perspective.

River Lights, Canadian Tire team for Holiday House Tours

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The River Lights Winter Festival kicks off this Saturday and the Holiday House Tours follow Nov. 25-26.

To help celebrate the latter, a local business has teamed with River Lights’ Holiday House Tour committee to aid in the presentation of the homes.

Volunteers from the Holiday House Tours were at the Canadian Tire store in Amherstburg last Wednesday afternoon decorating three Christmas trees that will be displayed in the Sandwich St. S. store. River Lights co-ordinator Sarah Van Grinsven said that River Lights receives a donation in return for the tree decorations.

The fifth annual Holiday House Tour will see professional decorators showcasing their talent in nine locations including extravagant waterfront properties, to designated heritage sites, and grand country homes.

“With the donation from Canadian Tire, we decorate the homes with Canadian Tire products,” said Van Grinsven.

The Holiday House Tour
committee, which is part of the River Lights Winter Festival, was at Canadian Tire last Wednesday afternoon decorating Christmas trees that will be used in the store. In exchange for decorating the trees, Canadian Tire made a donation towards the Nov. 25-26 Holiday House Tours. Canadian Tire’s Stephen and Paige Pike and Scott Miller joined committee members Sarah Van Grinsven, Jen Ibrahim, Michelle Lecours, Corine Jones, Elizabeth Davidson and Carla Lauzon Abson.

Included in the $25 ticket price is tea service, a holiday craft sale and, new this year, a Christmas Tree Dress Exhibit.  The Christmas Tree Dress Exhibit will showcase eight individually designed creations, each made from spruce, pine, or fir and holiday décor.

“It’s fashion with a twist and cannot be missed,” Van Grinsven stated.

Tickets are being sold at Sobeys in Amherstburg, Country Bliss, Dusty Loft Antique and Collectibles, Windsor Crossings Premium Outlets, online at riverlights.ca as well as the Gordon House, the latter being located at 268 Dalhousie St.

Stephen and Paige Pike, owners of the Canadian Tire store in Amherstburg, said they are happy to be involved.

“River Lights is a great community event we wholeheartedly support,” said Paige. “Sarah and her volunteers do a great job.”

Paige added that it is a “win-win” for all involved.

For more information on the River Lights Winter Festival, call 519-736-4642, visit www.riverlights.ca or e-mail riverlights@mdirect.net.