Rick Rock

Belle Vue Conservancy planning 2019 events



By Ron Giofu


The Belle Vue Conservancy’s schedule of events for 2019 is filling up.

The conservancy, whose goal is to pay for the restoration of the historic 200-year-old mansion on Dalhousie St., has plans for several events in the coming months. Conservancy president Shirley Curson-Prue explained that they are planning one event per month in the spring as not to do too much.

The first event is fast approaching, as “Rocking for Belle Vue” occurs this Saturday at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 with a roast chicken, potato and vegetable dinner planned from 5-7 p.m. with the music of Rick Rock to follow until 10 p.m. Tickets for that event are $20 and tickets are available at the Legion and the Gordon House or by calling Carolyn Davies at 519-736-9433.

The next event the Belle Vue Conservancy will be presenting will be the Windsor Symphony Orchestra concert at Christ Anglican Church entitled “Palladio.” Curson-Prue noted there is music relating to the theme that the WSO has found and that will be played as part of the April 24 concert. It is the third concert that the Belle Vue Conservancy and WSO have teamed up on.

Tickets for the WSO concert will be $20 but they are not on sale yet. For more information on the show, contact Stephanie Thomson at 226-280-7080 or e-mail her at stephanie.thomson@bell.net. More news on the concert and ticket sales should be available in the next couple of weeks.

Belle Vue, as seen March 17, 2019.

A final date has yet to be established for the May event, but that will be another “Nine & Dine” golf event at Sutton Creek Golf Club. Further details on that will come in the upcoming weeks.

“People seem to like that particular version although people who want to play 18 holes are welcome to do that,” said Curson-Prue.

There also will be at least one, perhaps two, Jazz Nights again this year with more details to come as those events get closer. There has been Jazz Nights with New Orleans and Memphis themes and Curson-Prue said they are looking at one with a Motown theme.

Another cleanup at the Belle Vue property is also in the works for the spring. The grounds still look well, Curson-Prue believes, but they will soon be putting out a call for volunteers to help them once the event is scheduled.

“They came out in droves last time,” she said. “The work they did that weekend was just dynamite.”

Curson-Prue indicated they are revising their window sponsorship program and further details on that will be presented to the town. The windows the conservancy are aiming to have installed would be reminiscent of the 1920’s.

“Family commemorations I think are big,” said Curson-Prue. “I think people are interested in commemorating their families and this is a way to do it.”

A lot of anonymous donations have also come in, she added, and they are hopeful that continues with work continuing on trying to land corporate donations and sponsorships.

For more information on the Belle Vue Conservancy or to donate, visit www.bellevueconservancy.com or call 519-736-7586.

Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy returns this Sunday



By Ron Giofu


Classic car lovers will be in their glory this Sunday.

The annual Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy show returns to the downtown streets with the show running from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. There will also be vehicles, weather permitting, packing Toddy Jones Park.

It will also be a somewhat historic year, as long-time event chair Eleanor Renaud will be overseeing her final car show. Renaud told the committee of her upcoming retirement last week.

“I am hoping that someone steps up,” she said, noting a few people have expressed interest. “It would be a shame to let it die. We’re at the top of our game and we want to keep it there.”

There were approximately 125 vehicles that took part in the first Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy show with that number swelling to 600 last year. Renaud said they are hopeful to match the latter number again in 2018 assuming the weather co-operates.

“We’re a fine, oiled machine with how we work together,” Renaud said of her organizing committee. “I think we have it running smoothly.”

Renaud joked that after 13 years, “I’ve had my run” and said the decision to retire from her post as chair was bittersweet.

“It’s certainly been rewarding. It’s like watching your child grow,” she said. “It’s time for new eyes and fresh blood to take it a different way.”

Renaud said she would like the show to have a “younger vibe” and bring in younger volunteers to help move the show even further along.

The annual Amherstburg’s Gone Crazy Car Show returns this Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The show will be on the downtown streets and will be the final one for organizing committee chair Eleanor Renaud, who is retiring.

This Sunday’s show will feature Bigg Wiggle on the main stage in Toddy Jones Park, with Renaud noting they are “back by popular demand.” Rick Rock and the Party Crashers will perform on the downtown stage located near the Richmond St. and Dalhousie St. intersection.

Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy attracts car owners and car lovers from across the region, Renaud pointed out.

“You hear from people all the time that ‘yours is the best (show) in southwestern Ontario,’” said Renaud. “I say it’s our location.”

Between the riverfront and being in the downtown core, “we just have the ambiance going for us that no one else has,” she added.

Pre-registration is underway and Renaud said they already have people planning to come to Amherstburg from the Greater Toronto Area and Kitchener. One of the many trophies awarded at the end of the show will be for the people who travelled the longest distance.

The food at this year’s car show will again be from Smashed Apple Gourmet Catering, with Renaud stating that other restaurants and shops in the area also can benefit from the large crowds.

“It’s a big day for all the downtown merchants and vendors,” she said.

Vendors will include Xcentrick Auto Sports and Coate’s Coatings. Joe Meloche Ford is the platinum sponsor.

“If anyone is looking to volunteer, we’re always looking for extra hands,” said Renaud.

Gates open at 7 a.m. and registration runs from 9 a.m.-12 noon. Road closures will remain similar to previous years, with portions of Richmond St., Dalhousie St., North St., Ramsay St. and Rankin Ave. to be closed off to the public for the duration of the car show.

For more information on the Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy Show, call Renaud at 519-736-4020 or visit www.amherstburgsgonecarcrazyshow.com.

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 www.bellevueconservancy.com and clicking on the “Events” tab.

The direct link for “Music for Belle Vue’s Renaissance” tickets is https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/music-for-belle-vues-renaissance-tickets-44196601224.

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 www.amherstburg.ca/teaparty or www.facebook.com/amherstburgconnection. People can also phone 519-730-1309. Tickets are $30 and available at The Dalhousie Bistro, the Gordon House, Sobeys and Amherstburg town hall.

Belle Vue Conservancy planning two fundraising events, new roof coming



By Julianna Bonnett


The Belle Vue Conservancy is planning a pair of music-themed fundraisers to help fund the building’s restoration, with actual construction work possible in the near future as well.

Conservancy vice president Carolyn Davies said they looking to begin putting a new roof on the historic 200-year-old home as the Belle Vue Conservancy is hoping to restore the building as soon as they can. Roof restoration is expected to begin this spring.

Following the restoration of the roof, the next project the conservancy is looking to undertake is the restoration of the windows.

“The Belle Vue is one of the top ten endangered historical buildings in Canada and that’s why it’s so important to us,” said Davies.

The Town of Amherstburg owns the building with the Belle Vue Conservancy charged with the duty of raising the funds to pay for the restoration. CAO John Miceli said there has been a bidder’s meeting for the roof replacement on Belle Vue.

“The Belle Vue Conservancy has raised funds and would like to replace the roof. We are moving in that direction,” Miceli told the RTT in an e-mail.

The first fundraiser will allow people to rock the night away with Rick Rock and his music at “Rocking for Belle Vue.”

The Belle Vue Conservancy, in partnership with Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157, is having a fundraising dinner, silent auction and music by the well-known entertainer, Rick Rock.

“It’s a time to rock the night away with great music from Rick Rock. I suggest everyone build up their appetites and put on your dancing shoes,” said Carolyn Davies, vice president of the conservancy.

The Rick Rock night will be April 13 starting at 6 p.m. at the Legion Br. 157 and the menu will include chicken, vegetables, scalloped potatoes, salad and dessert all for $25. Tickets are available at the Gordon House, Legion Br. 157 or by contacting Davies at 519-736-9433.

A display of the History of World War I veterans who healed in the Belle Vue after the Great War when the home was a respite care residence will be available.

The second fundraiser will be “Music for Belle Vue’s Renaissance” and will take place May 1.

Back by popular demand, people are invited to join the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and the Belle Vue Conservancy as they celebrate spring to raise funds for Belle Vue at the event at Christ Anglican Church.

“We started this event a year ago and it was a tremendous success. It was sold out and we did not have enough seats, so we are eager to see how this year goes,” said Davies.

Joining the WSO will be Windsor’s own Adam Iannetta, who, according to Eventbrite.com, has wowed audience with his rich baritone voice.

“Music for Belle Vue’s Renaissance” will run from 7-9 p.m. Tickets for this event are also $25.

For more information go to www.bellevueconservancy.com or www.windsorsymphony.com and search under “Education & Community – Community Outreach.” People may also call event chair Linda Jackson at 226-345-0628.

The public is also invited to “Like” the Belle Vue Conservancy’s Facebook page and follow them on Twitter by searching “@BellevueMatters.”

—With files from Ron Giofu

Local musician planning concert to benefit Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission


By Ron Giofu


The music of Rick Rock is known throughout Amherstburg and surrounding areas and he will be using his music to give back to a local charity Feb. 2.

Rockworld and Showtime Productions will be presenting the “Simply Queen” live tribute concert at the Caboto Club in Windsor as a fundraiser for the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission. Rock is one of the promoters of the concert and will be performing as Freddie Mercury at the show.

“I have been performing for Amherstburg’s food mission for many years, as a volunteer musician for their events such as their Christmas volunteer dinner and any function (vice president) Shirley (Hitchcock) and (president) Tim (McAllister) asked for help with.”

The Simply Queen band will be performing a benefit concert for the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission Feb. 2 at the Caboto Club in Windsor. (Photo courtesy of www.simplyqueenband.com)

Rock said he lives in Amherstburg and while other missions around the region get more assistance, he feels the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission “gets left out” in large, regional fundraisers.

The Simply Queen band will be performing a benefit concert for the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission Feb. 2 at the Caboto Club in Windsor. (Photo courtesy of www.simplyqueenband.com)

“Even though the concert is in Windsor, I want to take care of the mission in Amherstburg,” said Rock. “I have a special place in my heart for Amherstburg and for the people here. I love Amherstburg. I feel it’s the pearl of Essex County.”

Between ticket sales, a silent auction and any further donations, Rock is hopeful of raising anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 for the mission. Donations of canned goods and non-perishable food items will also be welcome.

Other members of the Simply Queen band include Windsor-Essex County musicians Mitch Taylor on bass and Phil Charette on drums plus other musicians from the Toronto area.

According to Rock: “Simply Queen performs all the iconic songs that made Queen one of the most legendary rock bands of all time, and faithfully recreates the grand scope of Queen’s live shows, both musically and visually, with attention to detail capturing the amazing live Queen experience that filled stadiums around the world.  No backing tracks – it’s all live, and ‘Guaranteed to Blow Your Mind!’”

Rock said if they get 400-500 people at the concert, “we’re happy,” but clearly wouldn’t mind if they topped that.

“If we get more, that would be dandy,” he said.

Simply Queen performed a concert last year that benefitted the Canadian Diabetes Association Windsor District and Rock said that drew over 700 people.

The Simply Queen band will be performing a benefit concert for the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission Feb. 2 at the Caboto Club in Windsor. (Photo courtesy of www.simplyqueenband.com)

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. The Caboto Club is located at 2175 Parent Ave. in Windsor, at the intersection of Tecumseh Road East.

Advance tickets are $20 and are available online thru www.ticketscene.ca  or cash at the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission as well as the Bod-E-Tone Kiosk at Central Mall in Windsor. If tickets don’t sell out by the Feb. 2 show date, tickets will be available at the door for $30.

If there are businesses or individuals that wish to donate cash or a door prize, please contact Rock by phone at 519-567-7520 or by e-mail at rrock88@gmail.com.

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission also has a newly designed website, found at www.aburgmission.ca. The site is geared towards providing information on what the mission needs most, any upcoming events, support received from the community and other items of community interest.