Libro Centre

Ontario Provincial Artistic Gymnastics Competition almost here


By Ron Giofu


The Ontario Provincial Artistic Gymnastics Competition is coming very soon.

The gymnastics meet will be at the Libro Centre April 5-8 and will be hosted by Rose City Gymnastics. The top athletes in Ontario will be participating with athletes coming in from as far as North Bay and Ottawa.

The main ice pad and soccer domes will be buzzing with activity, with women’s gymnastics runs being Thursday (April 5) from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. in Gym A and Gym B from 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. On Friday, events run from 8:30 a.m.-7:45 p.m. in Gym A and 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. in Gym B.

On Saturday, women’s events run in Gym A from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and Gym B from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. and Gym B from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

The men’s gymnastics runs are scheduled for Friday (April 6) from 11 a.m.-9:20 p.m., Saturday 9:40 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday from 9:40 a.m.- 1 p.m.

More volunteers are needed, specifically on April 4 at noon to help set up the equipment.

Should the public have any questions regarding volunteering, please contact Rose City Gymnastics by e-mail at or phone 519-999-2802. Forms are also available at the Libro Centre.

Admission will be by cash only.

Prices are $12 per adult (18+) for a one-day pass, $20 for a two-day pass and $28 for a three-day pass. Seniors (55+) and students (11-17) will have to pay $8 for a one-day pass, $13 for a two-day pass and $18 for a three-day pass. Cist for children (6-10) are $5 for a one-day pass, $8 for a two-day pass and $12 for a three-day pass.

Children five-and-under will be let in for free.

Town council, business owners participate in workshops on Community Improvement Plan



By Ron Giofu


The Town of Amherstburg and its partners from Monteith Brown Planning Consultants held workshops last week where people got a chance to give input towards the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) and urban design guidelines.

The workshops were held at the Libro Centre March 5 with business owners invited during the afternoon session while town council received an opportunity to participate during a late-afternoon meeting.

A series of questions were put to the participants with those involved asked to brainstorm answers. Questions included what is most important to you in the downtown core and what is missing, what is the biggest opportunity to attract visitors, what are the biggest challenges for attracting businesses to Amherstburg, how can the town improve its street facades and how to incorporate heritage into designs.

Members of town council and administration discuss the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) and urban design guidelines during a workshop held at the Libro Centre last Monday night.

Answers ranged from the obvious – the need for a hotel – with others including a desire for increased accessibility, downtown Wi-Fi, more parking, better traffic flow, transportation and a more accessible waterfront.

Manager of planning services Rebecca Belanger said 60 businesses were invited to the afternoon session with 15 people showing up. At the session with council a few hours later, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and councillors Leo Meloche, Diane Pouget and Rick Fryer joined members of administration in participating in the sessions.

There were some council members concerned the study didn’t go far enough.

Fryer said “you need to look at other areas rather than the downtown,” believing more attention should be paid to smaller hamlets. Meloche said having a busy downtown core is important but so too are the other areas of town.

“Building a vibrant downtown core will lead to trickling into other areas,” said Meloche.

Consultant Michael Clarke from Monteith Brown Planning Consultants listens to some of the conversations.

Meloche added that other areas are sometimes “forgotten” and that more attention should be paid to them, but Pouget said the downtown was the mandate of this particular study. She said the next council may proceed with a larger project.

Belanger said policies in the town’s Official Plan direct how to go forward with the CIP and that if the town were to look at secondary settlement areas, it “may be a larger process” as amendments to the Official Plan might have to occur.

CAO John Miceli said businesses and developers will need to get on board when the plan is implemented. As for the Duffy’s property, he said it is at the environmental assessment (EA) stage now and that further development is included in the 2019 capital budget.

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.

Local skaters get taste of competition world



By Ron Giofu


Young and beginning skaters with Skate Amherstburg got a taste of the competition world last Friday night.

The organization presented its third annual “Mini-Fun Competition” Friday night at the Libro Centre and Skate Amherstburg board member Lauren Kawai stated that it involved around 30 skaters ranging in age from six to 12.

Entrants in the Feb. 23 Skate Amherstburg “Mini Fun Competition” take a bow after performing.

“We do this inter-club competition to get their feet wet in the competition world,” explained Kawai. “It gets them excited to be a part of competitions in the future.”

Kawai added that Skate Amherstburg hopes that it will not only build enjoyment for such competitions, it could lead to success as well.

“We hope it eases their transition into the big leagues,” she said. “They like (the Mini-Fun Competition). They get to wear pretty dresses and have their photos taken and the parents get to take videos.”

There were 19 events from jumps to cross cuts with competitors getting to choose which events suit them best.

Participants in the third annual Mini-Fun Competition being put on by Skate Amherstburg gather for awards Feb. 23 at the Libro Centre.

“It’s kind of like track-and-field style,” said Kawai. “They pick whichever events they’d like to enter. They picked two events each.”

Participants included Abby Warnock, Abigail Capeling, Addasyn Taylor, Adrean Dawson, Alivia Piper, Annabelle Roehrich, Ava Danelon, Cali Swinton, Dellah Bedal, Eden Pare, Emily Fox, Jolie Demars, Lainey Wood, Lauren Bondy, Lauren Colman, Lily Impens, Makayla Clarke, Mallory Bezaire, Paige Mayhew, Paige Paquette, Rae Demitroff, Regan Moniz, Samantha Bergeron, Sophia Bergeron, Teaghan Laframboise, Zoe Zdziarski, Charlotte Szewczuk, McKenna McDowell and Gracey Foster.

Preparations continuing for Ontario Provincial Artistic Gymnastics Championships


By Ron Giofu


Preparations are continuing to host the top male and female gymnasts at the Libro Centre this April.

The Ontario Provincial Artistic Gymnastics Championships start April 5 and run for four days with Rose City Gymnastics being the host club. Athletes ranging in age from 9-20 are anticipated with some of the nation’s highest calibre gymnastics to be presented in the main ice pad and in the indoor soccer facility. Meet director Diana Giorgi said the women’s competitions will run Thursday-Sunday that weekend and the men’s competitions will go Friday through Sunday.

Approximately 1,200 athletes are expected as well as about 5,000 spectators.

Rose City Gymnastics is hosting the Ontario Provincial Artistic Gymnastics Championships at the Libro Centre April 5-8. Hopefuls gather for a group picture last Friday night.

Women’s events will include vault, bars, beam and floor while men’s events will include vault, horizontal bar, rings, pommel hours, floor and parallel bars.

“This is the best of the best in Ontario,” added Lisa Deklerk, meet co-director.

The levels range from beginners to advanced, which is determined by either Gymnastics Ontario or Gymnastics Canada and is based on age and skill. Athletes will train from 16 to 25 plus hours per week. Some levels will be able to attempt to place in the top of their respective category and qualify to represent Ontario as part of Team Ontario at the Eastern Canadian Championships in the beginning of May or the Canadian National Championships in the end of May. The national championships are also being held in Ontario as they are to be held in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Lindsay Chia and Sophia Spadafora recently represented Rose City Gymnastics and did well at the Elite Canada meet.

The Ontario Provincial Artistic Gymnastics Championships will also need to be staffed with about 200-300 volunteers for the weekend. Giorgi said a police clearance is needed to volunteer.

Should the public have any questions regarding volunteering, please contact Rose City Gymnastics by e-mail at or phone 519-999-2802. Forms are also available at the Libro Centre.