Fort Malden National Historic Site

“Haunted Fort” scares up funds for The House Youth Centre



By Ron Giofu


Despite having to battle rain on some evenings, Fort Malden National Historic Site and The House Youth Centre teamed up to put a scare into local youth and adults.

The two organizations teamed up to present the “Haunted Fort” again this year with half of the proceeds going to The House. Program co-ordinator Jessica Jarvis said the volunteers this year were “wonderful” as they had 25 per night, many of them differing from night to night.

The House Youth Centre teamed with Fort Malden National HIstoric Site of Canada for the annual “Haunted Fort” again this year. It was held on two successive weekends, with the last date being Oct. 27.

“Fort Malden has been amazing,” she added. “All we do is find the volunteers to scare people.”

Though it started each night around 6 p.m., Jarvis said most attendees waited until after dark to come through “when the ambiance is better.” Fort Malden staff helped put up tents and other infrastructure used for the Haunted Fort as well as carving the pumpkins.

While past years have seen people travel in groups throughout Fort Malden and be scared by volunteers who had to follow a script, this year was more of an “old school scare house” where people took a self-guided walk through the grounds and buildings at Fort Malden and had volunteers in makeup and masks try to scare them.

“It seems to be going well,” Jarvis said last Friday night. “People like it.”

Jarvis added that The House and Fort Malden National Historic Site have been in talks since July to iron out the details and get things finalized.

The proceeds that will be designated for The House will go towards programming.

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


Free admission day at Fort Malden this Saturday

Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada is offering free admission this Saturday.

According to a news release sent out by Parks Canada, it states the federal government “celebrating families and the importance of our protected areas with free admission to Parks Canada’s places for youth 17 and under, starting in 2018 and beyond.”

Parks Canada states that  is also pleased to offer free admission or lockage for one day at Parks Canada’s places across the country this year, noting this is a special thank you to the millions of Canadians who celebrated Canada 150 with Parks Canada in 2017 when more Canadians than ever before had amazing experiences at Parks Canada’s places.”

Free admission day is site-specific and the date is determined by each national park or historic site. It is important to note that only admission is free on free admission day. Fees for recreational services and goods such as camping and firewood, boat launches, transportation, or special tours remain.

Fort Malden has determined its free admission day will be Saturday during the Amherstburg Uncommon Festival. However, a special event during the evening will still require an admission charge.

Activities will include musket demonstrations, noon day gun, a tactical artillery demonstration, and a Marquee Escape room. Later in the day, starting at 5:30 p.m., Fort Malden will host a Murder Mystery event. A special fee of $12.10 will be charged for this presentation.

For a complete list or dates for each national park or national historic site please visit Parks Canada’s website.

“National parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas represent the very best that Canada has to offer. They and tell the stories of who we are, including the history, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous peoples. Fort Malden National Historic Site is a national treasure, and on Free Admission Day, I invite Canadian families, youth, and visitors to our country to explore it and connect with Canada’s nature and history,” stated Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada.

Canada Day festivities ramping up as holiday approaches



By Ron Giofu


Canada’s 151st birthday is coming up and there are a number of festivities planned again this year to celebrate.

The Canada Day activities return to Fort Malden National Historic Site with a number of new and familiar events for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Jennifer Ibrahim, tourism co-ordinator with the Town of Amherstburg, said this year’s Canada Day will feature a lot of the same family-friendly activities as in previous years.

“It starts at 9 a.m. with the most patriotic run in our nation,” said Ibrahim, in reference to the Canada D’Eh run/walk that is presented by Running Flat. “I hope our community comes out and cheers on the Canada D’Eh runners. It’s so much fun.”

Opening ceremonies for the Canada Day festivities is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Fireworks annually thrill the thousands of people that attended the Canada Day event at Fort Malden. This is an image of “stacked” photos of several fireworks. (PHOTO BY ADRIAN HARTE)

Ibrahim said St. Peter’s ACHS College School will be joining the Amherstburg Admirals in field hockey games all day with a kids’ activity centre also to be featured throughout that Sunday.

Among the entertainment will be performers from the Kerri Brown Vocal Studio and the Rivertown Dance Academy with singers and bands to include Red and the Barron, Kerri & Joseph and Fresh Breath.

“Our headliners this year are Ashley Lynn & the Spurs,” said Ibrahim. “They are a crowd favourite.”

Ashley Lynn & the Spurs take the stage at 8 p.m.

There will also be children’s robotics activities featuring A-Team Robotics, pony rides courtesy of Sarah Parks Horsemanship and Zumba, the latter scheduled for 7 p.m.

Fort Malden National Historic Site will also offer its own programming throughout the day.

“Not to be missed is the fireworks finale,” added Ibrahim.


Fort Malden National Historic Site welcomes March Break campers



By Ron Giofu


Youth from around the area converged on Amherstburg last week to learn a bit about the town’s history.

Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada held its annual March Break day camp From March 12-16 with a variety of different activities, most of which were historically-themed, presented.

“It’s been good,” reported interpretation officer Alex Dale. “For most of the days, we’ve had 15 or so kids and lots of activities.”

Holly Lucier from Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada explains what they will be making in the cookhouse to a group of children.

The week featured scavenger hunts, crafts, making food in the cookhouse and other hands-on activities for children. There were also movies played for the children.

“It’s been fun,” said Dale.

Dale stated it was the third consecutive year for the current format, which saw children stay all day at Fort Malden. The activities were held from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

The children were from around the area, not just Amherstburg, said Dale. He said Fort Malden National Historic Site’s Facebook site got the word out with some of the students being returnees from previous years. Some came from as far as Niagara Falls and Orangeville, said Dale, as they were in the area visiting grandparents for March Break.

“I think it’s been a lot of fun,” said Dale. “We’ve done (the March Break program) in so many different ways.”

Fort Malden won’t officially open for the season until May 19, though, when it will reveal its newest exhibit, titled “The British Wore Red?”  According to Parks Canada, the exhibit will feature a timeline of military uniforms, clothing and artifacts from Fort Malden’s history.

Amelie Kinnish breaks an egg and puts it in a bowl with the help of Holly Lucier March 15 at Fort Malden National Historic Site’s March Break camp.

There will also be the first-ever Escape Room Festival June 16. Local escape room companies will bring numerous timed puzzles to Fort Malden with different themes. That event will also include live entertainment, food and beverages.

On July 1, Fort Malden will host the annual Canada Day event in conjunction with the Town of Amherstburg.  As in years past, the event will feature “cool activities and entertainment” and will end with a fireworks display along the Detroit River.

More information and a list of special events can be found on the Town of Amherstburg’s website at or Parks Canada’s Fort Malden page at

Fort Malden’s Facebook site is


—With files from Jonathan Martin