Culture Days

Culture Days comes to Amherstburg



By Ron Giofu


Culture Days came to Amherstburg on the weekend with rock painting, live performances, tai chi, walking tours and other celebrations of local culture.

The two-day event was centred around Navy Yard Park. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo believed it was a great event, noting that he experienced “pretty steady” crowds.

“I think when people think of Amherstburg, they think of our history and culture,” said DiCarlo.

Elizabeth MacDonald was one of the plein air painters during Saturday’s portion of Culture Days.

As many municipalities held their own Culture Days events and Amherstburg “fits right in perfectly” with them.

One of the events last Saturday was “Ice Cream with a Cop,” an event which saw members of the Windsor Police Service and Amherstburg Police Service on hand giving out ice cream vouchers. Also on hand was a police cruiser with two different designs on them – one featuring the Amherstburg police design with the soldiers on the side with “Amherstburg Detachment” and a Windsor police badge while the other was a more Windsor-centric design with “Amherstburg Detachment” on it.

The mayor said one design had a clear advantage.

“From the people I talked to, the Amherstburg cars (with the soldiers) are a no-brainer,” said DiCarlo. “I like that we are a community that always presents options so we had two options.”

Emily Feng paints a rock for the “Amherstburg Rocks” initiative (top left) while historian Robert Honor conducts a walking tour.

DiCarlo did remark that a youth didn’t like that design that it was too intimidating for him, but for the most part the Amherstburg-themed design was the most popular.

“So far, (the public) has said that’s the the side they like,” said DiCarlo. “No surprises there.”

The town announced via press release Tuesday morning that the option with the soldiers on the side, similar to the current Amherstburg police cruisers, was the one that was chosen. More details will be provided in next week’s issue.

Elizabeth MacDonald and her plein air artist group were also part of Culture Days.

Historian Robert Honor (right) conducts a walking tour of the downtown core Sunday morning.

“We come down here to Amherstburg to paint a lot,” she said, noting they also travel to other Essex County municipalities.

MacDonald noted they were invited by the town for the event but indicated they were happy to come.

“We love (Navy Yard) Park,” she said. “There’s so much to paint here. The people in town are great too.”


Culture Days returning to Amherstburg Sept. 29-30



By Ron Giofu


The Town of Amherstburg will once again be busy the weekend of Sept. 29-30.

Amherstburg will participate in the national Culture Days program this weekend

“National Culture Days is a great opportunity for our community to celebrate our history, stories and different forms of art. Culture is what makes our community unique,” explained tourism co-ordinator Jennifer Ibrahim. “We hope that families come out to the King’s Navy Yard Park during the event times and enjoy some casual hands on activities offered. Whether it be enjoying a First Nation drumming demonstration or creating painted rocks, this is a great time to reflect on what makes us special.”

All across Canada, municipalities and cultural organizations invite residents and visitors to engage in thousands of free activities and performances that showcase and highlight the rich history and culture of each independent city or town.

Events in Amherstburg will run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day, and the town states that guests are encouraged to enjoy hands-on activities, a variety of art mediums, and “to revel in a number of heritage-based and cultural expressions.”

This year includes a marine exhibit at The Gibson Gallery, the Provincial Marine at the Commissariat exhibit, a performance by the Spirit of the Four Directions Singers at 1 p.m. Sept. 29, a narrative history walking tour by local historian Robert Honor, and on-site painting by the Windsor Essex Plein Air Artists in Kings Navy Yard Park and more!

Rock painting as part of the “Amherstburg Rocks” program will be one component of the Sept. 29-30 Culture Days event. The town’s events in the downtown core are free but events at Fort Malden National Historic Site carry an admission charge. (RTT file photo)

Honor’s walks start at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. behind the Gordon House both days.

New this year the police department are getting involved with a fun opportunity to have ice cream with a cop!” said Ibrahim. That event will be Sept. 29 only.

As part of the “Ice Cream with a Cop” component of Culture Days, the community is being invited by the town to vote on one of two proposed designs for their “updated vehicle fleet” when Windsor police takes over Jan. 1, 2019. The winning design will be unveiled later this year, a press release from the town states.

“Ice Cream with a Cop” is described by the town as “an interactive community engagement initiative designed to bring law enforcement and community members together, discussing any questions concerns regarding the transition, or policing as a whole. Police officers from both Windsor Police Services and Amherstburg Police Services will be on hand to greet the public and will distribute a coupon for a free scoop at the Waterfront Ice Cream Parlour to the first 200 guests.”

“Amherstburg is always pleased to participate in the national celebration of Canadian culture,” Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said in a press release. “Amherstburg is a hub for Canadian history and culture. It’s a great time to explore what we have to offer at many of our local sites.”

For a complete schedule of event times and locations, visit or call (519) 730-1309. People can also visit the tourism department’s Facebook page at or follow them on Twitter at

Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada will also be busy the weekend of Sept. 29-30. There will be the “Fort Malden Heritage Fair” that runs 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday with Sunday also seeing a “lumberjack breakfast” served from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

The event is described on Fort Malden’s website as follows: “Fort Malden comes alive for one special weekend with an array of exhibits, demonstrations, and entertaining shows from local heritage and cultural organizations. See antique vehicles, local museum displays, falconry, puppet shows, musical entertainment, and living history demonstrations. Visit historic merchant tents where you can purchase 19th century kettle corn, doughnuts, pottery, candles, quills, and hand-woven baskets, or support the Friends of Fort Malden’s BBQ and craft beer garden.”

Admission to Fort Malden’s event is $4.90 for adults, $4.40 for seniors and $1.75 for youth. The “lumberjack breakfast” is $9.80 and stew will be available for $4.90.

Fort Malden’s website is and their Facebook site is


Culture Days brings communities together across Canada



By Jolene Perron


The national event of Culture Days brought communities across the country together to celebrate culture and continue our Canada 150 celebrations.

John Penner tries his hands at juggling with the Windsor Circus School Rocks during Culture Days Sept. 30.

The free event brought a collection of kids activities, the interactive Royal Canadian Navy bus, tinsmithing, Integrity Admirals player signing, the Windsor Circus School teaching attendees to spin plates and juggle, historic walking tours and so much more all to the Kings Navy Yard Park. Additionally, the event allowed the Nifty Needle Workers to bring out pink bins to place throughout the park to allow for collecting donations of yarn.

“The collaboration and enthusiasm from the community has been outstanding,” Town of Amherstburg tourism coordinator Jennifer Ibrahim. “Anderdon Child Care, Windsor Circus School, St. Peter’s ACHS College School, Amherstburg Freedom Museum, Park House Museum, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Gibson Art Gallery, Nifty Needle Workers, Integrity Admirals, Windsor & Essex County Plein Air Artists are all organizations that took a lead to get involved and share their passions with the public.”

Emiko Shirai (left) and her sister Sophia Shirai look at the painted Amherstbrug Rocks during Culture Days Sept. 30.


The whole idea for the event came from an art council in Quebec. According to, in 2007, after seeing the success and impact of Quebec’s Journee’s de la culture weekend, the leaders of Canada’s largest arts organization commissioned a feasibility study to assess the viability and appropriateness of launching an annual cross-country celebration of arts and culture. Since it’s official launch in 2010, Culture Days has generated enthusiastic interest, participation and support from a rapidly growing network of artists, organizations, municipalities as well as the private sector and public sector and media across the country.

Owen Cargill paints an Amherstburg Rock during Culture Days.

“Our community has so much history and talent to showcase,” said Ibrahim. “National Culture Days is a great opportunity to share our skills, engage our community and create a vibrant and unique atmosphere of learning and fun.”

Culture Days and Rendezvous heading to Amherstburg later this month


By Ron Giofu


With the Canuck it Up Festival held last month, the town’s tourism department is now focused on two more events.

Culture Days will be held in Amherstburg Sept. 30-Oct.1 with the bulk of activities planned for King’s Navy Yard Park. That will coincide with the Rendezvous Voyageur and Fur Trader encampment being held at Fort Malden National Historic Site, with that event being held in co-operation with the Maidstone and Area Historical Society.

The two-day Rendezvous event will feature canoes on the Detroit River, a camp frying pan competition, a camp pea soup competition, presentations and storytellers which will include the likes of Seamus Gunn, Tibert the Voyageur, author Rob Malo among others. Re-enactors and participants that are currently scheduled include Provincial Marine Amherstburg, the Niagara Metis Council Voyageurs, the St. Clair Voyageurs from Michigan, the Windsor-Essex Canoe Club, the Ontario Fur Management Federation, Archery Windsor and the Maidstone Voyageurs.

Culture Days is coming to Navy Yard Park Sept. 30-Oct. 1 with Rendezvous to be at Fort Malden National Historic Site that same weekend.

Culture Days is coming to Navy Yard Park Sept. 30-Oct. 1 with Rendezvous to be at Fort Malden National Historic Site that same weekend. (Special to the RTT)

The Culture Days portion of the weekend will include kids activities, the Nifty Needleworkers creating a community scarf with the help of new and experienced knitters, Amherstburg Rocks! Painting with the Amherstburg Integrity Admirals, games, horse drawn carriage rides, performances and demonstrations by the Windsor Circus School and a Sunday afternoon performance by the Essex Community Concert Band.

There will also be a Canada 150 juried exhibit at the Gibson Gallery, tours of the Boblo Blockhouse (ferry fees apply), walking tours conducted by local historian Robert Honor and storytellers from the Amherstburg Freedom Museum in Navy Yard Park.

“They really complement each other,” said tourism co-ordinator/visitor information centre manager Jen Ibrahim of the two events.

Other partners helping to present the Culture Days event include St. Peter’s ACHS College School and Anderdon Child Care. There will also be tinsmithing at the Park House Museum as well as the chance, for a small entry fee, to see the museum’s “Her Story: 150 Years of Women in Canada – Fashion, Politics, and Gender Roles” exhibit.

Culture Days is coming to Navy Yard Park Sept. 30-Oct. 1 with Rendezvous to be at Fort Malden National Historic Site that same weekend.

Culture Days is coming to Navy Yard Park Sept. 30-Oct. 1 with Rendezvous to be at Fort Malden National Historic Site that same weekend. (Special to the RTT)

Ibrahim said there will be a lot of hands-on activities that weekend and both sites.

“All of our town’s stakeholders are engaged and looking forward to it,” said Ibrahim. “This is an economical event for our community and beyond.”

Activities are scheduled to run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days.

For more information on the event, contact the town’s tourism office at 519-730-1309, visit or visit the tourism department’s Facebook page at