Music for Belle Vue’s Renaissance

WSO presents “Music for Belle Vue’s Renaissance”



By Ron Giofu


A large crowd of music lovers came to Christ Anglican Church last Tuesday night to help raise funds towards the restoration of a 200-year-old mansion.

“Music for Belle Vue’s Renaissance” was held with 118 attending and the event raising $6,650 for the Belle Vue Conservancy. The music was performed by the Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO) under the direction of conductor Peter Wiebe and musical director Robert Franz. Baritone Adam Iannetta performed with the WSO at points during the concert.

“It’s a nice house,” said event chair Linda Jackson, as she scanned the crowd inside the Ramsay St. church.

Jackson, who oversees corporate outreach for the Belle Vue Conservancy, said they were pleased to partner with Christ Anglican Church for the second consecutive year and bring the WSO back to Amherstburg.

“(The concert) is in a wonderful venue,” she said. “Some of the bricks from Belle Vue built part of this church.”

A total of 118 people came out to the Belle Vue Conservancy’s “Music for Belle Vue’s Renaissance” held May 1 in conjunction with Christ Anglican Church and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO).

This year is a milestone year for Belle Vue, Jackson pointed out, as the main portion of the building officially turns 200-years-old. The main block of the Dalhouise St. mansion was completed in 1818, she noted.

“We are celebrating Belle Vue’s 200th birthday,” Jackson explained.

The Belle Vue Conservancy said they appreciated the event sponsors, with Jackson stating the sponsors included Bornais Insurance, Families First Funeral Home and Scott Elliott and Mike Bezzoubkin from Amherstburg Chevrolet Buick GMC. The event also had support from local high schools, as Jackson said music students from both General Amherst High School and St. Thomas of Villanova volunteered.

Belle Vue will soon “get a facelift,” Jackson added, as work should begin soon on the new roof. Town council recently awarded a tender valued at $258,400 plus HST to Robertson Restoration.

The Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO), under the direction of conductor Peter Wiebe, performs May 1 at Christ Anglican Church.

The work will put Belle Vue in its “proper place as a 200-year-old national historic site” with Jackson also calling it “a national treasure within Windsor-Essex County.” The money is there for the roof, Jackson told the audience, and the next phase is currently being fundraised for.

“Now, it’s on to the windows,” said Jackson.

Jackson revealed that the town will be hosting public consultation sessions regarding Belle Vue May 29 and June 6 at the Libro Centre.

“The public is invited to come out and be part of Belle Vue’s restoration,” said Jackson. “Belle Vue truly belongs to all of us. We will open her doors again.”

The next fundraiser for Belle Vue is May 27, the Downton Abbey-themed “Rhododendron Garden Tea Party.” That event will feature 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. sittings in the King’s Navy Yard Park. Tickets are $30 each and people will also be able to view a garden dress display and participate in a costume contest for women, men and children.

Soloist Adam Domenico Iannetta sings as part of the concert.

Tickets are available at The Dalhousie Bistro, the Gordon House or Amherstburg Sobeys.

and online at

“The rhododendron gardens are one of the focal points of King’s Navy Yard Park each spring,” says Mayor Aldo DiCarlo. “We will be honored to welcome visitors with the new garden tea program. When the gardens are in full bloom, it’s an amazing spectacle and at this time of year, a great Mother’s Day gift idea!”

Rev. Bill Strang from Christ Anglican Church stated that Belle Vue isn’t the only place in Amherstburg that is two centuries old. He said Christ Anglican Church celebrates is 200th anniversary in 2019.

“We will be having a number of events next year,” said Strang.

For more information on the Belle Vue Conservancy, visit, “like” their Facebook page at or “follow” them on Twitter at

Belle Vue Conservancy “rocks” thanks to musical performance



By Ron Giofu


The Belle Vue Conservancy and musician Rick Rock teamed up for a fundraiser Friday night with the aim of restoring the 200-year-old Belle Vue home on Dalhousie St.

“Rockin’ for Belle Vue” was held at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 with Rock performing music from different eras following dinner. Michael Prue, treasurer with the conservancy, said the expectation is that the roof will be replaced later in the spring.

Following completion of the roof, the next phase of the restoration project will be the windows.

“One day, it is going to be open for all of us,” said Prue.

When it was built in 1816-19 by Robert Reynolds, the deputy assistant commissary general at Fort Malden, it was seen as a symbol of hope. The home, also occupied by Reynolds’ sisters when it first opened, is now seen as symbol of the town’s resurgence in the modern day as well, Prue indicated.

“It will be the pride and joy of the community,” he said.

The conservancy was pleased to team with Rock, with Prue stating that “Rick is a well-known fixture in the town.”

Rick Rock performs during “Rockin’ for Belle Vue” April 13 at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157.

The next scheduled fundraising event for Belle Vue is “Music for Belle Vue’s Renaissance.” The May 1 event features the return of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO) and is being held at Christ Anglican Church, located at 317 Ramsay St., starting at 7 p.m.

Tickets for “Music for Belle Vue’s Renaissance” are $25 and available at the Gibson Gallery, Sobeys Amherstburg and the Gordon House. They are also available online by visiting and clicking on the “Events” tab.

The direct link for “Music for Belle Vue’s Renaissance” tickets is

A reproduction of Peter Rindlisbacher’s painting of Belle Vue is displayed at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 during the “Rockin’ for Belle Vue” event. Rock performs in the background.

Following the WSO concert, the next fundraiser is planned for May 27. That will be the Amherstburg Rhododendron Garden Tea Party in King’s Navy Yard Park.

The Downton Abbey-themed event, run in partnership with the town’s tourism department, will feature 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. sittings in the park among the blooming rhododendron gardens.

The tea party portion will be a ticketed event and will feature a unique garden dress display. A Downton Abbey- inspired costume contest for women, men and children to denote the fascinating eras of Belle Vue, is one of the highlights of the program, the town stated in a recent press release.

For more information on the Amherstburg Rhododendron Garden Tea Party, visit or People can also phone 519-730-1309. Tickets are $30 and available at The Dalhousie Bistro, the Gordon House, Sobeys and Amherstburg town hall.