Ian MacRobbie

River Lights Winter Festival partners again with Enbridge

River Lights Winter Festival has received support from Enbridge again this year, with this year’s sponsorship amounting to $15,000.

“This is our eleventh year of the River Lights Winter Festival and the fourth year that Enbridge has supported the winter events. With Enbridge’s sponsorship we are able to continue to boost programming and light up our town with the beautiful light displays which have become a signature backdrop in historic Amherstburg,” says Mark Usher, long time committee member of the River Lights Winter Festival.

The event kicks off Nov. 18 with the town’s tree lighting ceremony and the opening night of River Lights. A movie, fireworks and activities from the Park House Museum and Provincial Marine are planned.

“It’s going to be better than last year,” said Usher.

“Enbridge is one of Canada’s largest renewable energy companies and we are proud to help support the solar powered displays at the River Lights Winter Festival,” says Ian MacRobbie, Enbridge’s Eastern Region General Manager, Power Operations. “As the owner of the 15 megawatt Amherstburg solar facility – which generates enough power to supply nearly 2,400 homes – this partnership is a natural fit for our company and we look forward to sharing the holiday spirit with the Amherstburg community once again this winter.”

River Lights board members and volunteers accept a $15,000 from Suzanne Shea (far left) of Enbridge. Enbridge is the primary sponsor of River Lights again this year.

River Lights board members and volunteers accept a $15,000 from Suzanne Shea (far left) of Enbridge. Enbridge is the primary sponsor of River Lights again this year.

Suzanne Shea represented the company at a cheque presentation last Wednesday at the Gordon House and called River Lights “a great event.” She said she came with her six-year-old daughter and four-year-old son to the event and plan on driving in again this year.

“It was exciting,” she said. “All of the lights are solar powered which fits in with our theme.”

The six week-long festival includes the hundreds of solar-powered custom made light displays, the life size Gingerbread Warming House showcasing the annual Gingerbread House Contest and free crafts and hot chocolate. The program runs until Dec. 31. Animated and themed solar powered displays begin to illuminate starting at approximately 5:30 p.m. every night at the Kings Navy Yard Park and Toddy Jones Park.

Approximately 6,000 people attended opening night last year, with the events preceded by the Essex Region Conservation Foundation’s “Super Santa Run.” Overall, River Lights organizers estimate 25,000 people pass through the festival.

 

Town’s nuclear plan gets assist from Enbridge

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The town’s nuclear plan is being updated and a grant from Enbridge will help in case that plan has to go into effect.

Enbridge gave a $3,500 cheque to the Amherstburg Fire Department Wednesday afternoon as part of the company’s “Safe Community Program.” The program sees grants awarded to local first responders to purchase safety equipment, obtain professional training or deliver educational programs that help save lives.

“They are an excellent corporate partner,” fire chief Al Reaume said of Enbridge.

The $3,500 grant will specifically be used to purchase dosimeters, devices that measure radiation. Reaume said that an ideal reading is zero but if that number starts to rise, it means a person is absorbing radiation.

There will be one dosimeter purchased for each of the Amherstburg Fire Department’s nine vehicles.

“It’s a start,” said Reaume. “Ideally, we’d like to have one for every firefighter. That will happen over time as a budget item.”

Reaume said the existing nuclear plan features outdated contact information with some of the people listed having since retired. There are other issues with it as well.

Enbridge gave a $3,500 grant to the Amherstburg Fire Department as part of Enbridge's "Safe Community Program." The cheque was presented Aug. 17 and it will be used to purchase dosimeters to help keep firefighters safe in case of a nuclear event. The fire department is currently updating its nuclear plan. From left: assistant deputy fire chief Ron Meloche, fire chief Al Reaume, Enbridge general manager Ian MacRobbie and Enbridge senior community engagement advisor Suzanne Shea.

Enbridge gave a $3,500 grant to the Amherstburg Fire Department as part of Enbridge’s “Safe Community Program.” The cheque was presented Aug. 17 and it will be used to purchase dosimeters to help keep firefighters safe in case of a nuclear event. The fire department is currently updating its nuclear plan. From left: assistant deputy fire chief Ron Meloche, fire chief Al Reaume, Enbridge general manager Ian MacRobbie and Enbridge senior community engagement advisor Suzanne Shea.

“It was contradictory in many areas,” said Reaume, noting there are references to a 16-kilometre evacuation zone and a 23-kilometre evacuation zone.

“It’s a matter of updating it and working with the province,” he said.

While there is a cost to updating the plan, Reaume said the department believes that should be covered by others.

“We feel Amherstburg should not have to absorb any of the costs,” he said.

That funding should come from the province or the Fermi II nuclear plant in Michigan or both. Meetings have already been held with the province with another meeting to be set up with Fermi II officials.

“Fermi has been extremely co-operative,” said Reaume.

Part of the plan also involved medicine known as “KI pills” which is potassium iodide that assists in blocking radiation from being absorbed by the thyroid gland. If it was pre-distributed in case of a nuclear emergency, it would involve only about 300 homes within a 16-kilometre primary area, Reaume said.

Plans are still be formulated for how to deal with the area outside of the 16-kilometre zone.

The entire plan is being modeled after other municipalities in Ontario with similar plans, as Reaume indicated there is “no need to re-invent the wheel.”

Despite the planning, Reaume said he doesn’t want to alarm the public, noting there have been no incidents in the past.

“It’s just a precaution,” said Reaume. “Nothing has ever happened to date. This is just a precautionary measure. We are just doing our due diligence.”

The town did a tabletop emergency exercise in the spring and Reaume said a full exercise is planned for next year. He noted LaSalle and Essex would be impacted by a nuclear event as well and have been asking for an exercise for several years “so we’re going to” have one.

Ian MacRobbie, general manager with Enbridge, said “Safe Community Program” is designed for just that, to keep communities safe. He said similar grants have been made in previous years for such things as gear, boots and pagers.

“We have a great relationship with (the Amherstburg Fire Department),” said MacRobbie.

Describing working with the fire department as “a wonderful fit,” MacRobbie said that Enbridge is happy to continue that partnership. He added that the company, which operates the Amherstburg Solar Farm locally, has sponsored the Roots to Boots Festival in 2012, the Sails to See Festival in 2013 and is an ongoing sponsor of the River Lights Winter Festival.

Enbridge returns as River Lights presenting sponsor

 

River Lights Winter Festival is continuing to shine and improve on their festivities thanks to a generous community investment from Enbridge’s Amherstburg Solar Farm.

“This is our tenth year of the River Lights Winter Festival and the third year that Enbridge has stepped up and supported the winter events,” said River Lights co-ordinator Sarah Van Grinsven. “With Enbridge’s sponsorship we will be able to boost programming and continue to light up our town with the beautiful light displays which have become a signature backdrop in historic Amherstburg.”

The River Lights Winter Festival received a $15,000 donation from Enbridge Wednesday morning. This is the third year Enbridge has become a presenting sponsor. They give the donation early to assist with the planning of the event. From left: River Lights committee members Mark & Karen Usher, Enbridge community engagement advisor Suzanne Shea, Enbridge GM Ian MacRobbie, River Lights co-ordinator Sarah Van Grinsven and River Lights committee member Norm Ross.

The River Lights Winter Festival received a $15,000 donation from Enbridge Wednesday morning. This is the third year Enbridge has become a presenting sponsor. They give the donation early to assist with the planning of the event. From left: River Lights committee members Mark & Karen Usher, Enbridge community engagement advisor Suzanne Shea, Enbridge GM Ian MacRobbie, River Lights co-ordinator Sarah Van Grinsven and River Lights committee member Norm Ross.

“Enbridge is one of Canada’s largest renewable energy companies and we are proud to help support the solar powered displays at the River Lights Winter Festival,” says Ian MacRobbie, Enbridge’s Eastern Region General Manager, Green Power & Transmission. “As the owner of the 15 megawatt Amherstburg solar facility – which generates enough power to supply nearly 2,400 homes – this partnership is a natural fit for our company and we look forward to sharing the holiday spirit with the Amherstburg community once again this winter.”

MacRobbie added Enbridge is “happy to help once again” and that the company’s background includes sponsorship of the Roots to Boots and Sails to See festivals. MacRobbie said tourism officials were consulted as to where they could help next and River Lights was suggested.

“This has been a great fit for us,” said MacRobbie.

This year’s River Lights program will begin with a new adult evening “Downtown Holiday Night” Nov. 18 followed with the traditional municipal tree lighting ceremony Nov. 19. The program runs until Dec. 31. Animated and themed solar powered displays begin to illuminate starting at approximately 5:30 p.m. every night of the festival at the King’s Navy Yard Park and Toddy Jones Park.

Enbridge, River Lights Winter Festival partner for another year

 

Representatives from Enbridge were at the Gordon House last Tuesday to present a $15,000 cheque to the River Lights Winter Festival. From left: Enbridge general manager Ian MacRobbie, River Lights board member Norm Ross, Enbridge senior community relations advisor Cynthia Lockrey, River Lights board member Ward Yorke, River Lights administrator Sarah Van Grinsven and River Lights board member Wayne Mickle.

Representatives from Enbridge were at the Gordon House last Tuesday to present a $15,000 cheque to the River Lights Winter Festival. From left: Enbridge general manager Ian MacRobbie, River Lights board member Norm Ross, Enbridge senior community relations advisor Cynthia Lockrey, River Lights board member Ward Yorke, River Lights administrator Sarah Van Grinsven and River Lights board member Wayne Mickle.

By Ron Giofu

On a hot, steamy day at the Gordon House, it was time to think about the River Lights Winter Festival.

Representatives from Enbridge were on hand to present River Lights administrator Sarah Van Grinsven and several of the board members a cheque for $15,000 July 28.

“This is year two of a three-year commitment,” noted Enbridge’s senior community relations advisor Cynthia Lockrey.

Lockrey added the company likes the fact that River Lights is a free festival and one that is geared to families.

“It’s a great festival,” she said.

Enbridge developed the Amherstburg Solar Farm and general manager Ian MacRobbie said the company has been involved with the Amherstburg community for four years. He said Enbridge wants to be involved in communities they have assets in.

Van Grinsven pointed out that River Lights organizers can be more confident in their planning thanks to Enbridge’s pledge of support.

“With us knowing Enbridge is giving us constant support, we are able to plan things ahead of time and get things going,” she said. “There are a lot of plans for this year.”

River Lights is planning a “Boogie Fever” fundraiser for Nov. 8 at the Verdi Club with the festival itself opening Nov. 15 and running through Dec. 30. Other than the busy opening night (which includes the tree lighting ceremony), Van Grinsven said there are numerous other activities planned including the house tours, a holiday village and the return of the gingerbread warming house.

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