Fort Malden Heritage Fair a combination of recent events



By Ron Giofu


Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada presented its first “Heritage Fair” last weekend, but it was a combination of events that people have experienced before.

The event saw military re-enactors and encampments, a “trade zone” with blacksmiths and potters, cannon firings, entertainment and more with interpretation officer Alex Dale noting they tried to fit in a cultural theme as well.

Dale noted that Fort Malden has held Military Heritage Days for over two decades and there was an aspect of that in the two-day Heritage Fair. There was also a display from Mark McGuire and his antique bicycles and a steam engine from the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine Museum.

Joelle and Brynn Goegebeur from the Canadian Great War Society were at Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada’s Heritage Fair the weekend of Sept. 29-30.

“What we decided to do is to expand it to include culture and heritage,” he said. “We’ve invited several museums and cultural organizations.”

Many Amherstburg museums were invited along with the local cadet corps and United Empire Loyalists with other museums and organizations from around Essex County also invited. Dale said that was a hit with teachers, as there was an education day last Friday with over 200 students. The teachers enjoyed the fact that students could experience a number of different museums all in one place, Dale added.

Dale explained that they usually do these events in August but when the “Rendezvouz” event was held last year, Fort Malden decided to keep it in September as part of the Culture Days weekend.

“It’s an event where we’ve taken a number of events and kind of combined them,” Dale said of the Heritage Fair. “It is a good opportunity to bring local heritage groups together.”

A number of Fort Malden programs were also offered from the cookhouse to the barracks, he noted, but added they are always looking to do new projects and events. He noted the Escape Room Festival as an example of a new way of attracting the public to Fort Malden.

Tina Ferrari takes aim during an archery demonstration as part of Fort Malden’s Heritage Fair Sept. 29.

The next event at Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada is the Candlelight Tours. That event is scheduled for Oct. 13 with tours running at 6 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:15 p.m. and 9 p.m. Advance registration is required.  For tickets, please call Fort Malden at 519-736-5416, or e-mail Cost is $12.10 per person.

The House Youth Centre is bringing its “Haunted House” back to Fort Malden Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27 from 6:30-10 p.m. each night with the last admission being 9:40 p.m. That event features spooky scenes by local students and is a fundraiser for the House Youth Centre. No pre-registration is required for the House Youth Centre “Haunted House” as tickets are sold at the door. Tickets are $9.80 with half of the proceeds going to The House.

For more information on Fort Malden or its programming, visit



Local high school students invent, make their own pizzas



By Ron Giofu


Students from General Amherst High School’s food and culture class got some practical experience.

The Grade 11 students got a chance to demonstrate what they have been learning during a trip to Naples Pizza. Teacher Eric Campbell said they have been designing pizzas with “a cultural theme” including with American, Italian, Mexican and seafood themes among others.

“We’re trying to experiment with new flavours,” explained Campbell. “(Naples Amherstburg owner) Fil (Braga) has been great. He’s a really good community partner.”

Students from General Amherst High School’s food and culture class (above) walked over to Naples Pizza where they got a chance to try their hands at making new kinds of pizzas.

Students from General Amherst High School’s food and culture class (above) walked over to Naples Pizza where they got a chance to try their hands at making new kinds of pizzas.

Naples also hires several General Amherst students, he added.

Campbell said he started the partnership last semester and continued it during the current semester, though said he hopes to do it every semester from now on.

“(The students) end up with a broader understanding of food from around the world and where food comes from,” he stated. “It’s a good life skill.”

Campbell also said that students are not only learning about flavours and cultures, but they are getting first-hand restaurant experience as well.

“Most of them don’t have restaurant experience,” said Campbell. “They are getting to see how a restaurant runs.”

Campbell added that it was nice to see how creative the students were getting during the trip to Naples. He hopes to stoke that creativity through even more community partnerships.

“I’m hoping to find more community partners,” he said.

Holleigh Lawrence gets her opportunity to make a pizza as she spreads sauce on the dough.

Holleigh Lawrence gets her opportunity to make a pizza as she spreads sauce on the dough.

Jordan Pillon, one of the students in the class, enjoyed the trip.

“It’s fun. I liked it,” he said. “I learned how to make a pizza. It was a good experience.”

Holleigh Lawrence also had a good time during the trip to Naples.

“It was fun making pizza. My favourite food is pizza. I could eat pizza the rest of my life,” said Lawrence.

Braga said he was proud to partner with General Amherst.

“It’s good to see the kids getting interested in cooking,” said Braga.

The partnership came about through his friendship with Campbell, with Braga adding that he went to the school to judge a cooking contest at Campbell’s request and the partnership grew from there.

“It gets the kids involved and lets them be creative. It’s fun to do,” he added.