Binged out? Can't take anymore Netflix ? A treat from Margaret Lindsay Holton

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

May 3rd, 2020



Just how much Netflix can you take?

You get to the point where you’re bushed – enough. The Crown was great – good history but I’ve had enough. It was becoming predictable.

One gets tired of the American need to shoot everyone.

Holton H&S

Margaret Lindsay Holton,

Margaret Lindsay Holton, an area artist has treated all of us to something we’ve heard about; may  have even listened to – but don’t really remember.

Should I tell you what she has shared or ask you to trust me and click on the link below.

I’m going to go for the trust angle.

You won’t regret it – this is more Canadian than the Calgary Stampede or that beer commercial.

This isn’t Holton’s work – it is something she is sharing

Try it – the quality is superb – you will want to share it.
Click here

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Margaret Lindsay Holton's newest title 'Trillium' to be released at A Different Drummer on December 7th.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 19th, 2018



She describes herself as a “provocative Golden Horseshoe artist and author,and is inviting people for a ‘MEET & GREET’ book signing of her new novel, Trillium, at A Different Drummer Books, in downtown Burlington, at 513 Locust Street, on FRIDAY, December 7th, from 7 to 8pm. There will be cider & cookies on hand too!

Holton H&S

Margaret Lindsay Holton

Margaret Lindsay Holton, tackles a number of timely issues in this latest work under the guise of an adult hybrid historical novel. This epic family saga spans 250 years, from the 1750s to 2001 and follows three families as they arrive, strive and survive in the Niagara wine-making region of Ontario.

It all starts with nineteen year old Tom Hartford clings for his life to a boulder halfway down the Niagara Falls gorge.

An award-winning writer of two other ‘Canadian manners’ novels, ‘Economic Sex’ (1985, Coach House Press) and ‘The Gilded Beaver’ (1999, Acorn Press Canada), Holton uses the dialogue of a multitude of characters to demonstrate the enduring influence that ancestors have on future generations. The author describes the work as a “memorable sweep of local history that includes, as example, unsavory aspects of WW2 when Italian-Canadians fought at the European front but were also incarcerated in Canada.

Trillium FRONT MLH“Nuanced yet deliberate, Holton’s sub-text also invites contemplation about our changing social habits, manners and mores as a result of manufacturing innovation. When automobiles, TVs and the birth control pill became household commodities, they irrevocably altered how we interact.

“This epic story comes to a conclusion just as the internet and the new digital age is taking off within campus environments in the early 2000s. It’s worth remembering that Facebook, Twitter, and the internet as we know it, now so commonplace, did not exist a mere two decades ago.

Long an active artist of the area, born and raised on a North Burlington sheep farm, Holton’s main studio is now on the Hamilton Beach strip.

City View Park

Holton has very strong views on the artificial turf put in the City View Park

Holton is also a political activist who tackles environmental issues mercilessly. She foresees a political reckoning when the artificial grass in the City View park has to be ripped out. The park, located on Kerns road near Dundas St, west of Brant St, is a 165-acres of both active and passive park amenities including 3 artificial turf sports fields.

The park is within walking distance of the Holton family homestead.

If unable to attend the ‘MEET & GREET’ on December 7th, an epub edition, and an alternate US-made print edition, will be available in early Spring 2019 via

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Margaret Lindsay Holton named an Alumni of Influence by U of T.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

May 22, 2018



Margaret Lindsay Holton got a notice. She has been named as an ‘Alumni of Influence’ Award by the University of Toronto

Super nice was the way Holton described the nomination that was made anonymously.

Holton H&S

Alumni of Influence – Margaret Lindsay Holton

Ceremony is in November. Holton said that “So often artists work away (because we MUST) with little thought of recognition or even sales. When it all comes together – when others recognize the effort, large and small – it’s an unexpected THRILL!

She adds that the anonymity is heart-warming: it will pleasantly plague me for the rest of my life!

Well deserved.

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Burlington native Margaret Lindsay Holton to do a SOLO show at the Hamilton rescue station.

theartsBy Pepper Parr

August 31, 2014



Those people who earn their living as artists – have a rough row to hoe. Artists get asked to do any number of things for free. We all assume that their art is far too expensive and we want to buy too cheaply, hold it until the artist become famous and then sell for a fortune.

Holton H&S

Margaret Lindsay Holton

Burlington artist, Margaret Lindsay Holton is having a family-friendly SOLO art exhibition in the Hamilton Beach Rescue Community Hall at 316 Beach Blvd, on the Hamilton Beach Strip, Sunday, Sept.14th, 2-5pm. FREE lemonade, with free parking at the back of HBRU. ‘

Holton summer haze cover

Summer Haze; Piano improvisations on a century-old Bell Upright – Performed by Margaret Lindsay Holton

Holton ranges over several disciplines – never adverse to trying something new and different. Along with her art, Holton will be releasing a CD, Summer Haze; Piano improvisations on a century-old Bell Upright.

Pinhole photography is something Holton has been doing for years. She describes this as “the oldest known form of photography on the planet first used in Asia around 500 B.C, and in the West, around 500 A.D.

For Holton this is photography without the use of lens or fancy gadgetry that lets a small pinhole of light into a completely blacked-out cavity. This incoming ‘pinhole’ of light creates a reverse image of what the pinhole is facing, in other words, a ‘negative’. Today, from this ‘negative’, a ‘positive’ print is pulled using conventional darkroom developing techniques. In other words, the ‘positive’ photo image is what you see as a ‘finished’ photograph.

Holton Bailey'sBrow.mlh

Leaves you with the sense that you are seeing both summer and the beginning of the fall colours.

Holton is fascinated that any ‘image’ can transfer without any mechanical intervention. She likes how this process forces her to ‘slow down’ in the act and art of taking pictures. Pinholing is the epitome of ‘slooow photography’. An exterior shot, on a good bright, cloudless day, can easily take 3-4 minutes of exposure depending on the camera she am using. She only get ONE shot per camera. Interior shots can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, again, depending on the incoming pinhole light source.

Holton SugarShackFreelton.mlh

Sugar Shack: Crisp feel, strong colours – about as Canadian as you can get.

Hamilton Spectator art critic Jeff Mahoney had this to say about Holton pin hole work: “Perhaps more than any of the other arts, photography is the horse that memory rides on. Music can take us back, but it is not documentary in nature. And literature, for all its reach, precision and poetry, remains essentially abstract, from a sensory point of view, everything left to the imagination.”

“A memory is not what happened, it is not the thing that is being remembered. It is a shadow of what is being remembered, and a picture is a shadow of that shadow.”

“We try to get at memory to get at the life, the time, the emotion behind them. But the sources are no longer available and immediate to the direct senses. Their residue in the brain gets mixed up with static; extraneous feelings, psychic noise, dream and mental error. We use pictures and other media to get at memory, to fix it. And that confuses an already confused issue even more. Pictures are partial stories, subject to perspective and quality of light, leaving out much — smell, sound, touch, temperature, heart rate, context.”

“How are all these ideas contained in Holton’s art? In two ways. Computerized photo collage and pinhole photography. In the first, the collages, Holton uses computer manipulation to layer several colour photographic images, sometimes of the same subject taken from different and/or overlapping angles, sometimes of different subjects. Now this is what memory looks like. Or at least feels like.”
“Memory’s Shadow confirms our impression of Holton as an important mixed-media practitioner, with a genuine artist’s eye and a probing intellect.”

This is an artist worth spending some time with.

Holton SummerBreeze.mlh

Moody, soft use of colour leaves a sense significantly different than the Sugar Shack piece.

Directions: If driving in from either Niagara or Toronto on the QEW, take the Eastport Drive ‘turn off’, and then turn into the ‘Hamilton Beach Community’ via Beach Blvd. Beach Blvd is only one long road for the length of the beach strip. The Hamilton Beach Rescue Unit – 316 Beach Blvd – is on the west side.

If you want to follow Holton – make a note that she is partaking in ‘Doors Open’ on Sept 27th at the Different Drummer Books, signing copies of a new WW1 short story anthology, ‘Engraved: Canadian. She has one story in the 16 piece anthology.

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Holton says: 'The cream is rising in the arts world - Humanity Will Make It.'

opinionred 100x100By Margaret Lindsay Holton

May 5th, 2020



I was asked by the editor for my opinion about “where the arts are going with the virus getting in the way of everything.”

Ok.  This is where I think the arts are going …

The arts are exploding at the moment. Previously under-paid and unpaid TALENT is foregoing the traditional means of gaining venues, exhibitions, funding, acceptance & credibility through mainstream society. Instead, they are moving over to internet streaming services to connect, learn, engage and get paid from the #screenaddicted.

And it’s going completely tribal. Creative hubs are emerging and coalescing around talent.

Listen >


The cream is rising.

As example, on Twitter, a vibrant, international #writingcommunity ~ (with the best being unabashedly local), is tearing up how thoughts are shared between others.

There are now incredible opportunities to meet some of the best minds thinking about our era and current predicament. (Supplied links in bio profiles connect you to immediate purchase options if you want to pursue their thoughts further.)


Margaret Atwood – has a huge following.

But note, some authors are more engaging and engaged than others. In literature, Stephan King, J.K. Rowlings, Margaret Atwood and Diana Gabaldon are heavily followed so the chance of a one-on-one interaction, or reaction, with them is near nil. Surprisingly interactive ‘thinking’ twitterers are Robert McFarlane, Colette of ‘Bealtaine Cottage’ and Canadian business woman, Arlene Dickinson. All the above are worth following.

Arlene Dickenson

The Arlene Dickinson profile began with a television program – she has used social media to maintain and built on that and is now seen as a savvy successful business woman

Next is Youtube. To give you an idea of how good it is, I seldom watch Netflix at all anymore. I subscribe to channels by personalities or institutions that compliment my varied interests. A favourite of mine is the Oxford University Debating Society. They bring in guest speakers, to an oak podium or armchair, interview them, then open up the floor to questions from mostly undergraduates. Stephen Fry, Elon Musk, the founder of LinkedIn, and controversial Katie Hopkins of the U.K. have all spoken. It keeps the mind ticking.

Twitch is busy with the below 30 crowd. I’m not on it. Example:

Next is Instagram. For visual artists it’s both a gods-send and a devil’s curse. A gods-send because they can post their work. A devil’s curse because they can post their work.

Instagram is the great visual equalizer. Authenticity and talent is immediately evident. When you realize that the eye decides faster than the word, it’s clear there is a lot of junk that pretends to be ‘art’ on Instagram. No-one has to waste their time with those ‘art’ accounts. Instead, satisfy your visual hunger and follow WHATEVER interests you. Example, there are plenty of innovative and fascinating people around the world producing amazingly practical ideas for their communities ~ and none are “artists” in the ‘traditional’ sense of the word. Meaning, a skilled furniture restorer who shows his meticulous repair work on a stunning 18th century marquetry-inlaid English armchair is lightyears ahead of the imagery of a smeary graffiti artist who yells, yet again, about the ‘angst-of-the-artistic’.

#Photographers (amateur and professional) do very well on Instagram. Just remember that photographers are primarily framers not creators. So, look THROUGH the photos to understand what philosophical perspective the photographer is trying to sell you. ~ Example: Do they honour and pursue beauty, or are they all about the ugly? Ask yourself: why? Follow accordingly. Then, explore some more …

Finally, Facebook. Facebook is like your lovely Aunt’s cozy and inviting house. It’s always fun to visit, to catch-up, to joke and reminisce with family and friends. But you don’t live there. Artists will readily share their work there, looking for ‘Auntie’s approval’, but they definitely go elsewhere for ‘intensity’.

The best ‘art’ IDEAS, in my opinion, at the moment, are found on Twitter and Youtube. Lesser known mainstream news links are popping up and trending under #hashtags on Twitter, like The New Yorker Magazine with this insightful piece under hashtag, #COVID19 ~ ‘The Coronavirus & Our Future’.

As for some of the other sites, like TikTok of WhatsApp, I am not on those platforms, so, cannot comment. Perhaps someone else could add their two cents about those platforms. Personally, I don’t know any notable thinkers active over there. If you know of any, kindly supply links.

We’ve seen examples above of how artists are adapting in the short term. But how will #COVID19 impact the arts and the local, national and global arts communities long term?

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the centuries, human beings can and will adapt to survive and thrive. Artists and the arts are often the markers that lead the way. Watch how the best among us manoeuvre ~ and follow them.

It is unlikely that we will head en masse to the Cineplex or our local bookstores anytime soon, but that does not mean you can’t have a ‘watch party’ with family or friends through the technology of Facebook or ‘visit’ through Zoom. You can support local book retailers by phoning in your order. (Amazon is not the only game in town.) Many booksellers have made timely and sensible provisions to get your ordered books to you.

Of course, there will be casualties in the ‘commerce of art’, just as there will be in the larger economy. (Airlines are taking a beating. Even famed investor Warren Buffet is dumping airline stocks.)

Rest assured though, creative new initiatives and innovations will emerge. As is happening.

The invention and development of the internet, in our lifetime, offers access to ANYTHING. Embrace that.

Be sure too to brush up and build ‘off-screen’ resilience skills so that this necessary ‘transition’ is less fearful and overwhelming.

Why not take this #isolation time to learn to better prepare and cook nutritious meals for yourself and others? Savour anew those time-honored human rituals of ‘making’ as much as tasting. ~ Adapt. Survive.

Share this heart-warming Youtube ‘bedtime story with your wide-eyed, wondering children or grand-children ~

Humanity Will Make It.

Holton H&SMargaret Lindsay Holton is an artist, she identifies herself and her work as “naive-surreal-folk-abstracts”, a descriptive moniker that demonstrates how her work falls outside of traditional and current ‘art schools’.

 She is a typographer, a pinhole and photo-collage photographer, a furniture designer and furniture maker – learned that at the hands of her father.  She was raised on a sheep farm in north Burlington, graduated from MMR high school, graduated from the University of Toronto.  Holton has written 11 books.  

She has created over forty short documentary films, under 15 minutes each.

Holton received the Alumni of Influence award by University College, University of Toronto and was nominated for the Premier of Ontario Arts Award.




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Short film to get commercial showing at Cine Starz - Holton gets a bit if a break.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 22, 2106



She has made it to the big screen!

Well – in a manner of speaking.

Holton H&S

Margaret Lindsay Holton

Margaret Lindsay Holton took her latest film to the public last September and got a more than polite response.

It was a short film with all the production problems that every film bumps into – they are just tougher to manage when the budget is shorter than the film.

But it was produced and then what? The best that happens to most of thy get sown at small film festivals where everyone says something polite and he artist goes looking for money for the next production.

Holton however is persistent if nothing else. She convinced the people at CineStarz to show her film in a commercial setting. People are going to have to pay to see the film just the way they would pay to see any other film.

This is a limited engagement – the CineStarz people may have required Holton to guarantee a limited number of ticket sales.

Frozen Goose coverIt’s an interesting film, poignant, funny in a Canadian way at times. Hopefully Holton will get the word out to every high school student studying film to attend – it is worth seeing as a nice piece of works that touches on a significant issue.

Holton refer to the event as a “Very Special ‘ONE-TIME’ Canadian THEATRICAL RELEASE at :

Cinestarz, 460 Brant Street, (Downtown Burlington) on December 18th, at 3 o’clock.

The Frozen Goose is based on a short story of the same title written by M.L.Holton, published by Seraphim Books.

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What happened to civility? - When did words start losing their unifying potency and meaning?

By Staff

October 7th, 2021



Margaret Lindsay Holton, rely on her to do something different.

She has put together WHAT and calls it GROUP THINK; it has been in the works since the release of her second album, CANADADA: TAKE TWO, in 2017.

MLH explains:  GROUP THINK explores several issues that have been brewing since we’ve settled into this ‘new normal’. – How are we really doing?

And, are we really ready for time travel? Will we leave Nature behind, again? The primary focus though is on language. Across the media spectrum, our words have become increasingly volatile, vulgar, and violent. – Why? What happened to civility? – When did words start losing their unifying potency and meaning?

Have a listen to these musical ‘sound thoughts’ and read my notes on the album.

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Two weeks left to nominate someone as one of Burlington's Best.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

February 1`5th, 2018



Burlington’s Best Committee is reminding anyone who is planning on submitting a nomination for a Burlington’s Best Award that the deadline is Feb. 28, 2018.

Nominations for the Burlington’s Best Awards, formerly known as the civic recognition awards, opened January 2 for eight award categories.

Burlington’s Best Awards is an awards program that honours Burlington’s most outstanding citizens. The winners in all categories are revealed at a celebration held in May of each year.

Best - stained glass

Each recipient is given a stained glass piece that is handcrafted by Teresa Seaton.

There are eight award categories:
• Citizen of the year
A person whose volunteer activity has made a significant and sustained contribution to the vibrancy and wellbeing of the Burlington community in 2017.
• Junior Citizen of the year
A youth, 14-18 years of age, who has made a significant contribution to the Burlington community in 2017.
• Senior Person of the year
A person, 55 years or older, who has advocated on behalf of seniors and/or made a significant contribution to the Burlington community in 2017.
• Environmental Award
An individual or group that improved and/or protects Burlington’s environment in 2017.
• Arts Person of the Year
An individual who has contributed to the arts in Burlington as an artist, patron or advocate including, but not limited to, visual arts, media arts, musical arts, performing arts and literary arts in 2017.
• Community Service Award
An individual or group whose volunteer activity has contributed to the betterment of the Burlington community in 2017.
• Heritage Award
An individual who has demonstrated a commitment to the preservation of Burlington’s heritage, and has volunteered their time in an effort to support the preservation of Burlington’s heritage in 2017.
• Accessibility Award
An individual, organization or business that has made significant contributions to increase access and participation of people with disabilities in the Burlington community in 2017.

2017 Best winners

The 2016 winners pose with their awards. From left to right: Jim Clemens (Heritage), Sylvia Baliko, Tetra Society (Accessibility), Dave Page (Senior), Mayor Rick Goldring, Marion Goard (Community Service), Dorothy Borovich (Citizen of the Year), Mehr Mahmood (Junior), Kale Black (Environmental) Absent: Margaret Lindsay Holton (Arts Person)

Visit to nominate someone deserving of civic recognition for their hard work, compassion and dedication. Nomination forms can be completed online at or by picking up a nomination form at the clerks department at City Hall, 426 Brant St.

Calah Brooks, chair of the Burlington’s Best Committee said:  “When preparing your submission, it’s important to have specific examples of how and why your nominee’s impact and contribution deserves civic recognition. Also, be sure to include the required testimonials from folks who have been involved with the nominee so a full picture can be painted of how and why they made a difference in our community. The City Clerk’s office is available to assist with any questions”.


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Who has served this city BEST in 2017? Awards being given in eight categories.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 2nd, 2018



The city does it every year.

Citizens are asked to think of who was the very best at growing the city in a number of categories.

Burlington-Best-Header-847x254This year the Burlington’s Best Committee is challenging residents and organizations to “show us Burlington’s Best citizens.” Nominations for the Burlington’s Best Awards, formerly known as the civic recognition awards, are now open for eight award categories. Nominations will be accepted until February 28, 2018.

Burlington’s Best Awards is an awards program that honours Burlington’s most outstanding citizens. The winners in all categories are revealed at a celebration held in May of each year.


The 2016 winners pose with their awards. From left to right: Jim Clemens (Heritage), Sylvia Baliko, Tetra Society (Accessibility), Dave Page (Senior), Mayor Rick Goldring, Marion Goard (Community Service), Dorothy Borovich (Citizen of the Year), Mehr Mahmood (Junior), Kale Black (Environmental) Absent: Margaret Lindsay Holton (Arts Person)

The Committee mandate is to recognize citizens of Burlington who have brought favourable publicity and honour to the City of Burlington, to increase awareness of the committee so all citizens of Burlington have the chance to be recognized for their achievements.

There are eight award categories:

Citizen of the year
A person whose volunteer activity has made a significant and sustained contribution to the vibrancy and wellbeing of the Burlington community in 2017.

Junior Citizen of the year
A youth, 14-18 years of age, who has made a significant contribution to the Burlington community in 2017.

Senior Person of the year
A person, 55 years or older, who has advocated on behalf of seniors and/or made a significant contribution to the Burlington community in 2017.

Environmental Award
An individual or group that improved and/or protects Burlington’s environment in 2017.

Arts Person of the Year
An individual who has contributed to the arts in Burlington as an artist, patron or advocate including, but not limited to, visual arts, media arts, musical arts, performing arts and literary arts in 2017.

Community Service Award
An individual or group whose volunteer activity has contributed to the betterment of the Burlington community in 2017.

Heritage Award
An individual who has demonstrated a commitment to the preservation of Burlington’s heritage, and has volunteered their time in an effort to support the preservation of Burlington’s heritage in 2017.

The nomination form can be accessed HERE.


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City lauds the very BEST at an awards ceremony - Borovitch named Citizen of the Year

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 12th, 2017



There were 24 people nominated with eight of them named the city’s BEST in different categories.

The awards were presented at an event at the Royal Botanical Gardens – a positive shift in venue for the event.
Burlington’s Best Awards are managed by a citizen’s committee established in 1965 with the mandate of recognizing Burlington residents who bring honour to the city and make a difference in the community.

The Burlington’s Best categories include:
• Heritage Award
• Community Service Award
• Environmental Award
• Arts Person of the Year
• Accessibility Award
• Junior Citizen of the Year
• Senior Person of the Year
• Citizen of the Year

The Citizen of the Year Award is given to a person whose volunteer activity has made a significant and sustained contribution to the vibrancy and wellbeing of the Burlington community.

Dorothy Borovitch

Dorothy Borovich: 2016 Citizen of the Year

Dorothy Borovich has been a community builder for more than 15 years. She co-founded Youthfest, an initiative that brought together community not-for-profit agencies, city, business and youth leaders to promote youth philanthropy and engage in volunteerism.

Borovich encouraged youth to take on community involvement and volunteering as a lifestyle in order to gain a sense of belonging. Through her fundraising efforts, a permanent endowment fund with the Burlington Community Foundation was established and continues to assist youth in their community endeavours. Borovich also founded the Crystal Ball, a significant source of annual funding for Joseph Brant Hospital, and the Healthy Reflections event which raises funds to assist women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Borovich is described as an inspiring leader; her commitment and passion has made Burlington a better city.

The Heritage Award went to Jim Clemens. He is no longer a Burlington resident but the city owes him a huge debt of gratitude for heading up the Citizen Heritage Advisory committee that solved the problems and did what the city had not been able to do.

Clemens Jim - Heritage

Jim Clemens given the 2016 Heritage Award.

The award is sponsored by Heritage Burlington, a City of Burlington citizen advisory committee made up of 14 volunteers who provide advice to City Council on issues related to the conservation of Burlington’s cultural heritage.

The award goes to an individual who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the preservation of Burlington’s heritage, and has volunteered his or her time to support the preservation of Burlington’s heritage.

Clemens has been a leader and supporter of heritage and culture in Burlington for many years. He has a deep knowledge of the issues and legalities that influence Burlington’s capacity to preserve its heritage. As a past member and Chair of Heritage Burlington, he was instrumental in the development of the document “A New Approach for Conserving Burlington’s Heritage” resulting in the implementation of the Burlington Heritage Property Tax Rebate Program. Through his work with the Burlington Historical Society and Heritage Burlington, Jim has demonstrated an ongoing commitment and dedication to maintaining Burlington’s heritage for future generations.

The Community Service Award, sponsored by COGECO, is given to an individual or group whose volunteer activity has contributed to the betterment of the Burlington community.

Marion Goard

Marion Goard given the 2016 Community Service Award.

Marion Goard  was chosen for this award – she believes a better community is the responsibility of every individual and she strives to find ways to contribute to Burlington. She is the co-founder of 100 Women Who Care Burlington, an organization of 100 women who donate $100 four times a year to four different charities – $10,000 per charity.

The Environmental Award is sponsored by Walker Environmental Group, a leading waste management company that develops solutions for environmental challenges.

Kale Black was chosen for this award.

Burlington Transit Youth Ambassadors gather in a bus shelter. Front row: YAs Benoit, Shaan, Billi and Harrison. Back row, BT’s Sandra Maxwell, YA Kayla and Burlington Green advisor Kale.

Kale Black, upper right given the Environmental Award for 2016.

He is described as a shining example of how one person can truly make a difference. His journey to champion the environment began while attending Aldershot High School and since then, he has dedicated almost nine years of his life striving to create a better planet and benefit the community.

Black has hand-sorted more waste at Burlington festivals and events than any other individual in the city and his active participation and team leadership at 44 community events has resulted in the diversion of 61 tonnes of waste from the landfill. Black is best known in the community for his extensive contributions to inspiring and engaging local youth to grow up green and has taught fun-filled, educational workshops to 7000 Burlington children. Black is an environmental and community champion who actively leads and serves as a steward for our environment and the youth of Burlington.

His hard work and dedication to environmental initiatives in Burlington, including protecting the rural environment and valuable green space, has touched many lives. Black has pushed for environmentally sustainable policy and decision-making and has led the BurlingtonGreen team to grow as an effective, impactful organization through various programs, services and advocacy campaigns.

The Arts Person of the Year Award, known as the K.W. Irmisch Award, went to Margaret Lindsay Holton, a woman who has made a significant contribution to the arts and as an activist she has stood up and spoken out about environmental issues and where the city was getting it wrong.

This is a woman who does not want to understand what no means.

It is interesting to note that two people who have made significant contributions at the cultural level have been recognized. Kudos to the selection committee for seeing things through

Holton - Margaret Lindsay large

Margaret Lindsay Holton: 2016 Arts Person of the Year

Holton is a well-known Burlington born artist and activist who has made significant contributions to the community. Her 25 minute short film called “The Frozen Goose” had a cast made up of local cast and crew – keeping the production “grassroots” and grounded in this area. Accessibility Award

The Accessibility Award went to the Tetra Society, an organization that recruits skilled volunteers to create customized assistive devices for people with physical disabilities and enhances the health and quality of life for thousands of people with disabilities.


A chair being built by the Tetra Society

They design and build a wide variety of “gizmos” such as communication adaptations, eating and drinking utensils and educational and recreational aides for people of all ages and abilities. The Tetra Society is a hidden hero in the Burlington community that is invaluable in enriching the lives of others.

Mehr Mahmood founded Youthfest in 2002 and was named the Junior Citizen of the Year last night.  They avidly promote the importance of youth in our community; developing youth responsibility and action in the community by connecting youth to meaningful volunteer opportunities and available supportive service. The winner receives a $500 bursary, courtesy of the Bank of Montreal, which has been a leading and supportive partner since the inception of Youthfest.

The award is given to a high school student, 18 years of age or younger, who has made a significant contribution to the Burlington community.

Mehr Mahmood

Mehr Mahmood, on the right with Burlington MP Karina Gould.

Mehr has made significant contributions to the Burlington community through her volunteer work as a volunteer. She has contributed her time, energy and talents to many organizations including Burlington Public Library, 3 Things for Burlington, Halton Mosque and the Compassion Society. Mehr has been an inspiration and natural leader on the Library’s Teen Advisory Board in the development of a program called Fusion, which brings teen volunteers and teens with developmental disabilities together.

Mehr a compassionate young woman and is dedicated to growing acceptance and inclusivity in our community.

Dave Page was named the Senior Person of the Year Award that is given to a Burlington resident aged 55 years or older who has advocated on behalf of seniors and/or made a significant contribution to the Burlington community.

Dave Page

Dave Page: 2016 Senior Person of the Year

Page has been an active volunteer with the Age Friendly Housing Committee for more than five years and demonstrates his passion for the need for affordable, accessible and safe housing for older adults living in Burlington.

He played a vital role in the development of the Halton HomeShare Toolkit, a guide to support older adults to stay in their home and share it with a home seeker who can help with household responsibilities.

In addition, Page is responsible for the creation of a conversation circle where Halton Multicultural Council’s newcomers and refugee groups can practice their English speaking skills. Burlington is richer for having a man like Page who silently goes about supporting the health and well-being of the community through his volunteer activities.

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Burlington's Best to be recognized and celebrated on May 11, at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 28th, 2017



The 2016 nominees for a Burlington’s Best Award were released by city hall this morning.

A total of 24 nominations were received in eight categories, including a new Accessibility Award. Nominations opened on December 1st and closed February 28, 2017.

Burlington’s Best Awards is an awards program that honours Burlington’s most outstanding citizens. The winners in all categories will be revealed at a gala celebration on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Tickets to this event are $35 per person or $280 for a table of eight. The event includes a light buffet and cocktail reception. Tickets can be purchased at the Service Burlington counter at City Hall, 426 Brant St., or by contacting Wanda Tolone at 905-335-7600, ext. 7458 or

One winner will be selected in each of the eight award categories. This year’s nominees are:

Citizen of the Year
•Dorothy Borovich
•Don Crossley
•Fareen Samji

Junior Citizen of the Year
•Michelle Fornasier
•Mehr Mahmood
•Brianna Moore
•Alexandra Todd
•Leah Verral
•Michael Williams

Senior Person of the Year
•Dave Page
•Susan Stasiuk

Environmental Award
•Kale Black

Arts Person of the Year Award
•Margaret Lindsay Holton
•Jim Riley
•Erica Villabroza
•Henry Ward

Community Service Award
•Marion Goard
•David McKay
•David Vandenberg
•Matt Walker

Heritage Award
•Jim Clemens

Accessibility Award
•Learning Disabilities Association of Halton
•Sodexo Canada
•Tetra Society
Mary Kay Aird, Chair of Burlington’s Best Committee commented that ““There are so many people in Burlington doing great things. Each year, the committee looks forward to reviewing the nominations and meeting those who strive to make our community the best it can be.”

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The smaller, local cultural scene grew this year - there is hope - now to give them decent funding.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 5, 2016


In September there will be two cultural events that will spell the end of the summer season on the community based cultural scene.

Frozen Goose cover

While yet to take place the Premiere of The Frozen Goose adds to the film work being done in the city –

MoonGlade will be the fourth No Vacancy event and well known artist Margaret Lindsay Holton will premiere her latest short film – The Frozen Goose

Burlington has a Performing Arts Centre and an Art Gallery plus a Museum that are handsomely funded by the municipality.
There are dozens of other small groups whose performances get done because committed volunteers make them happen.
These small groups struggle to stay alive financially – but stay alive they did.

Debra Pickfield sponsored a Shakespeare production at her ThinkSpot location in Lowville.

KooGle cast

Traditional summer theatre fare – that turned out to be a hoot. Kudos to KooGle for putting this one on.

The KooGle Company put on the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Performing Arts Centre; where despite precious little marketing and promotion support from BPAC they had two sold out performances and more than respectful audiences during the two week run.

The Lowville Festival did their thing for the second year and are convinced that what they set out to do last year has legs and are planning for a third year.

Crowded and noisy Midsummer

Trevor’s Copps production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was perhaps the most ambitious and successful summer theatre event – despite what the weather tried to do to him.

Trevor Copp spent a number of years convincing the Royal Botanical Gardens that the grounds were a great place to hold an outdoor theatre production; August saw a two week run of A Midsummer Night’s dream – despite weather that just didn’t want to co-operate. The venue, which started with 220 seats and was able to ramp it up to 270 – it was a sterling event – well worth doing next year.

Has the city reached a tipping point – a time when there are enough well run events to draw visitors to the city?

Are we at the point where smaller tour operators can fill a bus and bring them to the city to take part in a cultural event? Not quite – but there is movement.

What is needed to grow ourselves culturally to the next level? Anyone with any experience in the cultural field will tell you that events bring in people – the Sound of Music draws thousands of people who are not Burlingtonians. They are also comfortably funded by the city.  RibFest does the same thing.

The Art Gallery runs its programs throughout the year and draws a lot of traffic during the summer.

The Performing Arts Centre has yet to come up with a theme that can get bums into seats during the summer. There are many opportunities to develop programs or partner with other groups to put the venue to good use.

Barbara Lica JAzz BPAC A

Barbara Lica gave the city a taste of some really pleasant contemporary jazz on the Plaza at the Performing Arts Centre – it was part of their August program.

The Centre does have to be given credit for the excellent Jazz on the Plaza program it offered last year and continued this year and also for adding events on Tuesday’s for younger people.

Trevor Copp and his Tottering Bipod Theatre looks as if he is going to be able to put on another production next summer – by the time the Café will, hopefully have its liquor license so patrons can enjoy a glass of wine at the end of a show – perhaps even during intermission.

Jude Johnson #2

Jude Johnson singing Forever Young – she had them standing on their feet.

The Lowville Festival people are looking for a way to make use of the grounds at Lowville Park – they really like the idea of using the outdoors – with maybe a large tent as a theatre.

Rob Missen waxed eloquently as he spoke of “the sound of Bronte creek” bubbling away serving as a back drop for the musicians or the actors. Getting outdoors would allow them to attract larger audiences; the church halls in rural Burlington do have their limitations

There is a much healthier local culture scene; the arts have become a hive of activity – but they still need help. All the city departments have submitted their core budget and the hinted 3.5% plus tax increase might mean there isn’t all that much cash to spare.

AGB - Vanpresentation

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon managed to get the Art Gallery the funds to pay for the van that will be in the field taking art to the community.

The artists have decided to be more proactive and formed an Arts council that they hope will allow them to get a little more from the city (good luck on that one) and be in a position to get funding from the province.

Burlington’s MPP is now a cabinet minister heading up the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport; she will do as much as she can for the home team – let’s hope that she remembers the little guys and doesn’t shower the Art Gallery, Museum and Performing Arts centre with provincial money.

It has been a good season – there is hope.getting new - yellow

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Well known cultural advocate and passionate environmentalist ready to premier her latest short film - The Frozen Goose

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

August 23, 2016



Margaret Lindsay Holton has been a fixture on the Burlington culture scene for a number of years – she has also been a passionate advocate on environmental issues.

There are those who will remember the pin hole cameras she used to make and many who will remember her art.

The most recent short film – The Frozen Goose will be premiered at the Art Gallery of Burlington September 11th.

Holton H&SShe has done film work before; Frozen Goose is her production from start to finish – a process that put her through all the wringers that film production impose on people.

She started out with a budget of $87,000 – that got dropped to $15,000 when a sponsor she was sure she had took a pass. The $11,000 budget she paired things down to was what she had to go forward with. “I had to make it work” was the way Holton explained the drive and persistence she brought to the production.

She did some crowd funding – that’s seldom the deal those offering the service make it out to be.

The next step was to sell some of her art – had that not raised the needed funds – the family heirlooms were perhaps next.

Film producers spend as much time on the financial side as they do on the actual production of the film – and the production side is never a cake walk.

The production had 140 shots taken during 11 scenes in 11 different locations.

“One of the scenes required solid lake ice, but there was none to be had at the designated lake location, so, last minute, an alternate shallow pond, frozen solid, was used.”

Holton - Margaret Lindsay largeOriginally published as a short story in 2014 – The Frozen Goose focuses on the struggles of a rural Canadian family coping in the aftermath of World War One. Loss, anger and deep misunderstanding mingle with tender trust – and love – as a broken family inch towards the future.

It’s a part of the First World War experience that has never been fully explored.

“I got the filmmaking bug after working as a Production Assistant for the commercial film house of Roseanne McWaters & Derek VanLint back in the early 1980’s” she said, adding, “I went on from there to co-produce, co-direct and script a 54 minute ‘experimental documentary’ :In the Eye of the Hunter” with a Ryerson University Film & Photo Arts grad, Jane Walker Manchee, that was broadcast, 2 years later, on Rogers Cable 10.

Holton Bailey'sBrow.mlh

Margaret Lindsay Holton is an established artist as well as a filmmaker. Her work consistently sells quite well.

Holton SugarShackFreelton.mlh

At times Holton takes a sparse, almost minimalist approach to canvas. she has a strong following.

It was a big hit on the late night cable TV world; had a novel interactive ‘open-response line’ (predating the internet) that allowed viewers to verbally comment on the show after every broadcast. Comments were eye-opening, insightful, at times unnerving – and always invigorating. The film ran on Cable for 6 months in a late night slot.

Deepening her filming skills Holton attended two week-long Canadian Film Production industry seminars: one in New York City, and the other in Brockville, Ontario, (where she met the incomparable Peter Wintonick. Canada’s best documentary champion.) Peter and Holton became – and remained – good friends until his recent passing . Holton also worked one short summer as a P.A. in the Publicity Department at what is now called the Toronto International Film Festival, aka TIFF.

Holton has shot over 40 shorts, less than 20 minutes each. These have usually been embedded in published stories.

Cameron Brindle a 'Charlie' in TFG - Photo Credit - MLH Productions

Cameron Brindle is a budding young thespian, who turned 9 in January. Growing up, he showed a love of all things theatrical from a very early age. He honed his original talent as both an actor and director in countless games of dress-up with his sister, before starting his formal training in drama classes at the age of 4. For the last two years, Cameron has focused on improving his technique and developing improvisation skills, as an active member of the Waterdown-based Creative Theatre Company. He also regularly presents in school assemblies and is a member of the Glenview School Primary Choir. Cameron loves history, travelling and playing with his friends. He is an expert on all things ‘Star Wars’, and dreams of being a Jedi when he grows up. The Frozen Goose is Cameron first film.

The cast consists of youngsters Hannah Ralph & Cameron Brindle who join acting veterans – Leslie Gray,
Rod McTaggart and John Fort.

Hannah Ralph as 'Bella' in TFG - Photo Credit - MLH Productions

Hannah Ralph – ‘Bella’ Hannah entered the Hamilton arts scene at an early age. She had her first stage debut at the age of 6 at the semi-finals of the Rise to Fame Youth Talent Search at the Western Fair. At the age of 14, Hannah has become an accomplished vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and actor. She is currently a member of the internationally recognized Hamilton Children’s Choir. She has performed most recently at Polyfolia Music Festival in Normandy, France, the Hamilton Juno awards, the PanAm games in Toronto, and as a cast member of the production of Apocalypsis at the Luminato Festival in Toronto. Hannah has also trained in the theatre with Lou Zambrogna of Hamilton’s Theatre Aquarius and has been the lead in local productions of The Wizard of Oz and Pinnochio. Hannah is currently attending acting classes at Lewis Baumander Acting Studios and studying privately with Michael Gordin Shore, in Toronto, where she is pursuing her acting career.


Holton is a member of the Filmmakers Alliance of Burlington (aka FAB.) and was, at one point, a very active member of the arts collective that has gone formal and is now calling itself an Arts Council.

The film is being premiered on September 11th, with two showing – one at 3:15 pm and a second at 4:00 pm at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

The film has a run time of 25 minutes.  There will be a ‘live’ musical interlude by fab folk group, with fiddler David Clarence MacLean, WhiskeyEpiphany, entertaining between shows.

Whiskey Epiphany is a Celtic/Acoustic/Folk band from Southern Ontario, Canada. The band was formed in 2011 and includes principal songwriter and vocalist/guitarist Mike Gravitis, his sister/vocalist Lianne Gravitis, bass/guitarist and banjoist Jack MacLean, his father/fiddler and mandolinist David Clarence MacLean and Dave Gould on percussion. Whiskey Epiphany performs regularly at many venues, festivals, corporate functions and weddings in Canada and the USA.

Tickets for the Premiere are available on-line ONLY.  Link is HERE




Leslie Gray as 'Helen' in TFG - Photo Credit - MLH Productions

Leslie Gray – ‘Helen’ Leslie Gray as ‘Helen’ in TFG – Photo Credit – MLH ProductionsActor, singer, dancer, choreographer, director, Leslie has worked in all aspects of the performing arts. TV/Film credits include Emily in Hacks (Comedy Network), Featured Photographer in Terry (Shaftesbury) and has appeared in Riding the Bus with my Sister (dir. Anjelica Huston), Darcy’s Wildlife, Missing, The West Wing, Man of the Year (with Robin Williams) and many more. She has on camera training with Jayne Eastwood, Bernadette Jones, Millie Tom, Laura Jones, Crystal Proctor and Anne Tait. Leslie is also a musical theatre performer with training from Sheridan College and has performed in over 40 musical productions across Ontario. She is currently the co-artistic director, along with her husband Christopher, of Burlington’s professional theatre company KooGle Theatre Co. This July Leslie will be playing “Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere” in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Leslie also teaches at Burlington Dance Academy (musical theatre and tap), Centre Stage Theatre School (guest teacher) and ArtHouse (musical theatre workshops).


John Fort as 'Tom' in TFG - Photo Credit- MLH Productions

John Fort is a Hamilton-based actor, known for his supporting roles in CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries and assorted indie low-budget productions. Known as a ‘scrapper’, John is an accomplished martial arts student, and has taken acting workshops with the Performing Arts Guild in Toronto under David Rotenberg, an advocate of the ‘method’ style of acting. John’s favourite actor is James Dean.




Rod McTaggart as 'Uncle Harry' in TFG - Photo Credit - MLH Productions

Rod McTaggart is an actor, entertainer and musician, recently known for his riveting performance in John Logan’s RED at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. In 2014, he played in Adam Riggio’s ‘You Were My Friend’, Gary Santucci’s ‘Democracy is Dead’ and Norm Foster’s ‘Under the Bright Sun’. A mature actor, Rod centered ‘stage left’ after working as a Stage Manager for the Oakville Drama Series. His film experience includes, ‘Infirmity'(2016), ‘This is How We Walk’ (2012) – selected for The Short Film Corner at Cannes, and ‘Happy Birthday Day’ – selected for TIFF in 2012.

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Culture days - Day 2 Saturday - more stuff to take part in than it is possible to cover - what a feast!

Culture days - heartEvent 100By Staff

September 26, 2015


Culture Days has become a model opportunity for citizens, businesses, and all levels of government to collectively help lead the development of Canada through the development of the arts and cultural life of our communities. Volunteers lead and contribute to the success of Culture Days at every level.  It is a grassroots, collaborative movement that works.

There is a national advisory board, a national board of directors with some very powerful and effective people sitting around the table. There are then Tasks Forces within each province.

The national objective is create opportunities for people to explore, discover and participate in arts and culture in every community across the country. In 2014, the fifth annual Culture Days event took place in more than 850 Canadian cities and towns, with attendance topping 1.6 million Canadians. Last year, more than 1650 activities were presented across Ontario.

The purpose is to hold events that will feature free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate “behind the scenes”—and to discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, and designers at work in their community.

For the next three days you get to see what Burlington has to offer in the cultural world.

Saturday 26th
Morning Yoga in Civic Square

Time: Class 1 – 8 to 8:45 a.m., Class 2 – 9 to 9:45 a.m.

Location: Burlington City Hall, Civic Square, 426 Brant St., Burlington, Ont.
Description:  Come and enjoy free yoga classes open to all ages and abilities. Participate in 45 minutes of fundamental postures. This practice is focused on body awareness, breathing and feeling good. Bring your yoga mat and an open mind!

Organizer: AnyBodysYoga,,, 905-869-0255

Music Lessons for all Ages
Time: 9 to 11:30 a.m.

Location: Burlington Music Centre, 2311 New St., in Central Park, Burlington, Ont.
Description: Music is for all ages – you can learn to play an instrument at any age! Speak with music teachers, test out instruments, learn some more about the effects music has on the human brain and how it improves learning, social skills, ability to multi-task and more.
Organizer: Rob Bennett,,, 905-335-7807

BTTB - O canada

Sit in with the Burlington Teen Tour Band during Cultural Days

Burlington Junior Redcoats Marching Band
Time: 9 to 11:30 a.m.
Location: Burlington Music Centre, 2311 New St., in Central Park, Burlington, Ont.
Description: For ages 9 to 13. Come and sit in with or march beside band members at a regular Saturday rehearsal. The event is to be held outside weather-permitting, and inside if weather does not accomodate. Previous music knowledge is not required, so come on out and see what it is like to be a young member of a marching band!
Organizer: Rob Bennett,, 905-335-7807

Celebrating Burlington through Photos
Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Tourism Burlington Visitor Information Centre, 414 Locust St., Burlington, Ont.
Description: Celebrating 30 years of tourism in Burlington through photos, featuring local attractions and famous Burlingtonians from the past and present. Activities include interactive displays, hands-on activities, a scavenger hunt, and more!
Organizer: Tourism Burlington,,, 905-634-5594.

Music and Meditation by the Lake – Celebrate Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Day
Time: 10 a.m. to noon
Location: Spencer Smith Park – Gazebo, 1400 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, Ont.
Description: Join us for collective meditation on live flute music. Experience Raag Durga interpreted by Francesca Smita Soni, a William Blake Duet, Tim Bruce (actor and music therapist), Sunny Levi (Opera singer), bhajans singing, and inner centre chakra workshops with Ontario Yogis.
Organizer: Free Sahaja Yoga Meditation, 905-484-2068,,

Doors Open Burlington
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Locations: see complete list below
Description: Doors Open Burlington will feature sites located in the downtown and waterfront areas of our city. The event will highlight important buildings, organizations and landmarks that make Burlington a culturally vibrant place to live, work and visit. Admission is free.
Participating sites include: Joseph Brant Museum, Art Gallery of Burlington, Spencer Smith Park, Gingerbread House Gardens, St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Eglise Saint Philippe, Different Drummer Books, Burlington Central High School, Burlington Masonic Centre, displays at Tourism Burlington, Vintage Motors at Burlington Central Public School, and the Holy Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukranian Church. Visit our website for event details at

Site list:

Joseph Brant Museum: 1240 Northshore Blvd. E, Burlington, Ont.
Art Gallery of Burlington: 1333 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, Ont.
Vintage Motors at Burlington Central High School: 1433 Baldwin St., Burlington, Ont.
Different Drummer Books: 503 Locust St., Burlington, Ont.
Eglise Saint Phillipe: 472 Locust St., Burlington, Ont.
Gingerbread House Gardens: 1375 Ontario St., Burlington, Ont.
Holy Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukranian Church: 419 Pearl St., Burlington, Ont.
Burlington Masonic Centre: 463 Brant St., Burlington, Ont.
St. Luke’s Anglican Church: 1382 Ontario St., Burlington, Ont.
Tourism Burlington: 414 Locust St., Burlington, Ont.
Spencer Smith Park: West Lawn – Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, Ont.
Burlington Central Public School: 638 Brant St., Burlington, Ont.

Organizer: Doors Open Burlington,,, 905-332-9888

Different Drummer fine line

The Different Drummer Book Store – well worth a visit

St Lukes - narrow picture

St Lukes Anglican church – one of the riches pieces of Burlington’s history.

Gingerbread house


Etsy: Made in Canada Marketplace
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel and Conference Centre, 3063 South Service Rd., Burlington, Ont.
Description: Etsy: Made in Canada is a national grassroots initiative celebrating the crafters, collectors and artisans in local communities across Canada. Made in Canada marketplaces will pop up in 33 cities on September 26, 2015. Explore handmade wares and vintage goods in an artisan marketplace.
Organizer: Jacqueline Hunter, show director, Etsy Canada,, www., 289-239-8163

Celtic Music Performance
Time: 11 to 11:30 a.m.

Location: City Hall, Civic Square, 426 Brant St., Burlington, Ont.
Description: Enjoy 30 minutes of Celtic music presented in a light orchestral format.
Organizer: Celtic Fiddle Orchestra of Southern Ontario,, 519-219-0757

Burlington Student Theatre Presents: Burlywood
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: City Hall – Civic Square, 426 Brant St., Burlington, Ont.
Description: Burlington Student Theatre will feature local artisans in theatre, music, dance, film, photography, visual art demonstrations and interactive opportunities. Performances by: Burlington Student Theatre, Halton Dance Network, wushu and Chinese lion/dragon dance demonstrations and performances! Join us for free, family friendly events.
Organizer: Rainer Noack,


An example of the work Donna Grandin does.

Collaborative Acrylic Painting and Art Display in Civic Square
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: City Hall, Civic Square, 426 Brant St., Burlington, Ont.
Description: Visual artist Donna Grandin will start a painting and then encourage the public to collaborate on it. Individuals will have the chance to express their creativity and add to the piece. The painting will be completed in the artist’s studio on October 2, and one of the participants will be chosen at random to win the collaborative painting.
Grandin was born and raised in the Carribean, and has been living in Burlington since 1998. She exhibits and sells her art in both the Carribean and Canada. Locally, her work can be found at Art Etc., the Art Gallery of Burlington or Blue Roots Art Studio.
Organizer: Donna Grandin, fine artist, Blue Roots Art Studio,, 905-639-3419

Photo-Acrylics by Beth Bennett
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: City Hall, Civic Square, 426 Brant St., Burlington, Ont.
Description: ‘Photo-Acrylics’ is a combination of Bennett’s photography and acrylic painting with a twist – the look and feel of painting with wax. Bennett is happy with her art when both photography and painting elements are visible yet cohesive. She has also photographed a brick wall and would like community input on how to turn this photography into a “photo-acrylic”. What should be placed on this brick wall? Come out and share your ideas!
Organizer: Beth Bennett,,, 905-333-9868

B Town Sound Record in Studio and Sing on Stage
Time: 1 to 3 p.m.
Location: 919 Fraser Dr., units 9 and 10, Burlington, Ont.
Description:  We invite everyone to have a tour of our recording, rehearsal and event facility as well as the new addition of our music school. We welcome you to sing on stage to karaoke tracks with the instruments we have at the studio, or with instruments that you have brought with you.
Then you will get the opportunity to sing in the isolation room of the studio and feel what it is like to record a hit song!
Our clients include: Silverstein, Billy Talent, Finger Eleven, New World Son, and Youtube star Walk off the Earth
Organizer: B Town Sound, Robyn Pauhl,,, 905-308-0026


BAC outdoors from the east side

See the Art Gallery through practiced eyes.

Free Gallery Discovery Tours
Time: 1 – 1:40 p.m.; 2 – 2:40 p.m.; 3 – 3:40 p.m.
Location: Art Gallery of Burlington, 1333 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, Ont.
Description: Free guided tours of the Art Gallery of Burlington in conjunction with Doors Open. Tours will be approximately 40 minutes in length.
Organizer: Art Gallery of Burlington, 905-632-7796,,

Guild Demonstrations

Time: 1 to 4 p.m.
Location: Art Gallery of Burlington, 1333 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, Ont.
Description: Free demonstrations by our 7 guilds in their studios. Participating guilds include the Burlington Fine Arts Association, Burlington Handweavers & Spinners Guild, Burlington Fibre Arts Guild, Burlington Rug Hooking Guild, Latow Photographers Guild, Burlington Sculptors & Woodcarvers Guild, and the Burlington Potters’ Guild.
Organizer: Art Gallery of Burlington, 905-632-7796,,

Teresa Seaton, a stained glass artist has been a prime mover behind the annual Art in Action tour - and is now part of the newly formed Arts and Culture Collective.

Teresa Seaton, a stained glass artist has been a prime mover behind the annual Art in Action tour – she will be doing workshops as part of Culture Days.

Stained Glass Demonstration – Copper Foiling Method
Time: 1 to 4 p.m.
Location: 654 Spring Gardens Rd., Burlington, Ont.
Description: Teresa Seaton, a fifteen-year veteran of stained glass, will be demonstrating her copper foiling techniques as she completes a stained glass panel. Teresa’s gallery features a large selection of her latest works and now exhibits the work of established and emerging Canadian artists.
Organizer: Teresa Seaton,,, 905-510-5030

DIY BookArts: Hardcover
Time: 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Location: Burlington Public Library – Brant Hills, 2255 Brant St., Burlington, Ont.
Description: Using the library’s bookbinding equipment and supplies, build your own hardcover book to take home. Personalize it with a painted book cover. No bookbinding experience required. Ages 18 and up.
To register, call 905-335-2209
Organizer: Burlington Public Library – Brant Hills,,, 905-335-2209

Time: 2 to 3 p.m.
Location: City Hall, Civic Square, 426 Brant St., Burlington, Ont.
Description: The Halton Dance Network’s presentation of ‘heartBEATZ’ is a transformative event that embodies HDN’s mandate to build community in and through dance. A local choreographer will collaborate with drummers and a dance collective from the three communities to create an original dance work. We will also invite a local dance studio to showcase a dance number from their current repertoire. ‘heartBEATZ’ will conclude with a community interactive dance experience/workshop involving the audience and all dancers.
Organizer: Halton Dance Network, Kate Lowe,,, 905-637-5408

Celtic Fiddle Music: In Canada and Abroad
Time: 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Burlington Public Library – Central, Centennial Hall, 2331 New St., Burlington, Ont.
Description: Alana and Leigh Cline talk about the history of Celtic music in Canada, and perform tunes from Cape Breton, Newfoundland, Scotland and Ireland. You won’t want to miss this foot-stomping, hand-clapping, feel-great musical experience in celebration of Culture Days!
To register, call 905-639-3611 ext. 1321
Organizer: Burlington Public Library – Central,,, 905-639-3611 ext. 1321

Holton - Margaret Lindsay large

Margaret Lindsay Holton – a Hamilton based artist who works in several mediums has put together an innovate program that marries poetry to ping pong.

Ping Pong and Poetry – with Margaret Lindsay Holton
Time: 2 to 4 p.m.
Location: Burlington HIVE, 901 Guelph Line, Burlington, Ont.
Description: Join in the fun as Golden Horseshoe poet and painter, Margaret Lindsay Holton, bats bon mots and balls in a playful ‘ping pong and poetry’ Round Robin. Poets will unleash a few lines of potent poetry her popular poetry collections, ‘On Top of Mount Nemo’ and ‘Bush Chord’.
Organizer: Margaret Lindsay Holton, owner/author of Acorn Press Canada,, 905-393-5196

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Noted area author announces plans for a film using local talent in front of and behind the camera.

theartsBy Pepper Parr

August 14th, 2015



When there is a media release from Margaret Lindsay Holton we read it with both interest and anticipation – for we seldom know where she is going to come from or go to next.

Holton is a writer, an artist, a photographer and in her own way a political activist – add to each of these a passion that is usually very focused. With Holton you know you are going to have a robust conversation.

MLH credit Jeff Tessier

Margaret Lindsay Holton Photo by Jeff Tessier


I recall the piece she wrote for the Gazette on a gas station attendant who put more gas than she wished to purchase in her vehicle; she wanted him to take out the portion she did not intend to purchase.

Holton’s next initiative is a film based on a published short story Holton wrote.

The Frozen Goose, first published in the critically acclaimed cross-country World War One anthology, ‘Engraved: Canadian Stories of World War One‘ , the story follows a back-woods Canadian family as they cope in the aftermath of The Great War …Their lives have been shattered. There has been Great Loss. And then – a horrific incident occurs that tests the very last shreds of their Survival Capabilities …

Holton will direct; cinematography will be handled by local photographer Mark Zelinski. The intention is to shoot in the first week of February, 2016.

The cast includes two veterans of the local stage;  Leslie Gray, co-founder of Koogle Theatre Inc, and Rod McTaggart – known for his recent performances at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre and Theatre Aquarius.

Newcomers to the set include Evan Cook and the brilliant young starlet, Hannah Ralph – of Hamilton.

Frozen Goose logoHolton intends to contribute a percentage of the net revenues to support The Red Cross of Canada.  “Without The Red Cross” said Holton,” life would be very bleak for many throughout the world.”

However, before the cameras can roll funds have to be raised. Holton is launching an IndieGoGo campaign which is an online approach to raising funds.

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Burlington artist profiled in a collection that celebrates Canadian talent.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 26, 2015


Brick Books, a London Ontario shop is celebrating 40 years of publication with an innovative ‘Celebration of Canadian Poetry’ for the entire year. Burlington artist Margaret Lindsay Holton has been profiled in ‘Week 13’ of the year long program.  Dr. Carol Soucek King of California wrote the profile.

Canadian arts talent tends to get overlooked – our sports talent seldom fails to get star treatment – artists,playwrites, poets and actors seem to get forgotten.  Dr.King, refers to Holton’s book “Bush Cord” as a “really a wonderful collection for ‘wordsmiths’

The book, which went into a second edition is described by King as “the most recent collection of poetry from Canadian artist, Margaret Lindsay Holton, clearly demonstrates Holton’s talents as a wordsmith, an art photographer and a true-blue Canadian spirit.

Holton H&S

Margaret Lindsay Holton – was the picture taken with a pin-hole camera?

“In it, her deeply thoughtful and richly poetic evocations are accompanied by a striking selection of her own pinhole photographs. (Holton has, amongst other activities, exhibited her pinhole and photo-collage photography for over two decades.) The entire book unfolds cover to cover with the spacious airiness of the vast Canadian landscape. It is, thus, my honour to salute this relatively ‘unknown’ Canadian poet during this 40th anniversary year of Brick Books’ publications of new and established voices in Canadian poetry.

“Holton became my long-distance associate and friend two decades ago, when we started communicating between her studio in Southern Ontario and my residence in California. At that time, other outstanding international artists, knowing that I was compiling and writing Furniture: Architects’ and Designers’ Originals said I must see the work of a Toronto-based Canadian furniture designer, Margaret Lindsay Holton. I did not know her work then, but I soon discovered it. I was in absolute awe. A number of her finely crafted pieces – all visual poetry in wood so lustrous and charmingly turned that each one begs to be caressed — became an important focal point within the chapter on international bed design in my final book project.

“From the very beginning of our email exchanges, I soon realized that Holton was as equally creative with words. Then in 2002 her first book of poetry, ‘On Top of Mount Nemo’ was published by Acorn Press Canada of Ontario. A decade later, I read her last poetry collection, Bush Chord. Both are deeply moving, filled with rapture as well as precautionary tales. Both are so ‘her’.
To Holton, the soul of language, as much as photography, is light:

“In my pinhole photography,” explains Holton “light enters a tiny pinhole to create an atmospheric illuminated image on photographic paper. In poetry, a single word bounced between two can pinprick an ‘aha’ moment. Language, well used, is a form of light.”

Poetry and pinhole photography are, for Holton, highly engaging art forms that, she says, “allow me to interact, almost dance, beneath the full and brilliant bounty of sunlight and ‘word-light’. Both disciplines can enlighten, enhance and enlarge our everyday perceptions. We all can see anew.”

From the opening poem through to the last of Holton’s Bush Chord, the reader finds such re-envisioning of our daily life and experiences:

Bush Chord
pine poplar willow and punk wood
spit and spark
while bone hard elm birch apple and oak
hum harmonious
fine hard woods – good wood to burn
these wonder instruments pressure whistle
chattering, cheering, cackling
crackling within a hesitant cyclone of light
flickering flames
of sublime delight, warming slow, they give us life
parse this minor miracle of mega bio-physics
of holy fire drawn down
from primal sun
through leaves to rugged root shoots far flung
look here now
to this instant, brilliant burn
an intense unrehearsed liquid fire –
a sound symphony of sun struck lyres
complete and sacred
a rare but common gift
the honey musk smell of jumbled bush wood
burns deep into primal memory
(remember those crisp sun-filled fall days
of cutting, gathering, splitting, stacking,
carrying, piling, drying, and cursing
those back breaking loads?)
to get to this
this calm clear moment
to these bush chords

Holton has been a fixture in Burlington, a troublesome one in the minds of some. She seldom backs down from a point of view she has formed. In the past Holton has written for the Gazette -we hope she will return at some point.

One of her columns had her going up against an gas station owner who had filled the tank of her pick-up truck when all she had asked for was $20 worth of gas. You know who won that difference of opinion. Holton was quite comfortable with the suggestion the gas station owner made about him having someone suck the extra gas out of the tank.

If you make the mistake of telling Holton how much you liked the new City View Park – do step back – Holton has words for you about the “plastic grass” that has been installed.

Dr. King adds that she had “written some decades ago about the expertly crafted warmth, charm and wit that she brought into her award-winning furniture designs. These qualities are so deeply inherent in her Self that it should be expected that they would be cornerstones for everything else she does, especially those items produced by her writing hand.

Holton - Margaret Lindsay large

Margaret Lindsay Holton with one of her pin-hole cameras

Other titles, and items, that she has created over a forty year period include: ten books, (with her second novel, The Gilded Beaver by Anonymous, winning the Hamilton Arts Council Best Fiction Award of 1999); a newly released musical CD, “Summer Haze”; her exquisitely drawn “Lindsay” ™ typeface circa 1980; an experimental 54-minute documentary “In the Eye of the Hunter” that she co-produced, co-directed and wrote in 1984-86; the fine furniture that she designed under her MLH Productions banner (now in many notable collections worldwide, including The Royal Ontario Museum) and, last but not least, her signature and eclectic ‘naive-surreal-folk-abstract’ oil paintings.
Holton may be obscure and a relative ‘unknown’ to some in the hip urban art matrix, but her literary and artistic output, to date, is very impressive when seen from this great distance.

It seems to me that her inherent qualities of warmth, charm and wit first manifested in the works she produced when she began her artistic career apprenticing with her father, the late cabinetmaker, Luther Janna Holton of Holton Fine Furniture, Hamilton, Ontario in 1984.

Under his tutelage, she discovered and developed her own unique sense of “form,” and “harmony.” These design disciplines are rooted in time-honoured traditions, yet expressed, in Holton’s unique way, very contemporarily, with a very personal flair. These qualities have served as repeated metaphors in her assorted artworks that she then designed and made through her own studio, MLH Productions.

Holton SugarShackFreelton.mlh

In recent years Margaret Lindsay Holton has turned to painting – she holds an annual sales exhibit of her work

Today, Holton no longer designs or produces award-winning Canadian fine furniture. “In truth, the market was just too small for the calibre of work I was producing.” More’s the pity. Instead, she has shifted her focus to a more public display of her pinhole photographs, her written works and her signature paintings. Holton has exhibited widely in Canada and beyond, and she has won various jury awards and honors in those disciplines as well.

Holton Bailey'sBrow.mlh

A Margaret Lindsay Holton piece that was shown at a recent exhibit.

In sum, Holton has a distinct philosophical perspective that, in essence, could only radiate from her location on the planet. Her perspective stems from a deeply felt devotion to the magnificence of Nature “in her own backyard” and to the effervescent wonders of Life in Nature’s sphere. She is often mythical in her outlook, as much as she is literal in her production. How quirky of her to call herself a ‘canajun’ in ‘Canadada’! She is acutely aware of her distinctness that both separates her and joins her deeply to the land of her birth.

There are a lot of miles left on the moccasins Holton wears – might be time for a retrospective on everything Holton has done.  If we Canadians don’t celebrate our own – no one else will.

More information about Margaret Lindsay Holton.

Carol Soucek King, MFA, PhD, is author of twelve books on design. Her thirteenth book is Under the Bridges at Arroyo Del Rey: The Salon on the Spiritually Creative Life Its focus is the positive and uplifting thoughts that can provide substance to one’s own home, material and spiritual, and that are the purpose of the Salon she founded over nineteen years ago. Her website.

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Call has gone out for possible mural locations around the city. What could large scale murals do for Burlington?

News 100 redBy Staff

January 21, 2015


The city wants to make the streets look nicer. A number of years ago they installed really nice looking bike racks – they were attractive – so much so that many people didn`t use them – they didn`t know they were bike racks.

Bike rack

Lovely public art – it’s a bike rack. Hard to tell what its purpose is – needs a small sign – Park your bike here.

Margaret Lindsay Holton, a local artist,  tells of a person she saw chaining their bike to a pole that was beside one of the bike racks – the rack was so attractive people didn`t realize what they were for. “That was one of those occasions I wished I had had my camera with me” said Holton.

At some point the city might add small signs to the racks – saying what they are – they are very nice.

Through its public art program, the City of Burlington is inviting the public to provide suggested locations and themes for a series of local murals and is offering three ways to comment between now and Feb. 6.

“This is a great initiative that will Increase local artist participation in the City of Burlington’s public art program,” said Angela Paparizo, manager of arts and culture. “We’re excited to engage residents in the creative process through mural site selection and community storytelling and hope they will take advantage of the opportunity to shape art in their community.”

Murals are a new thing for Burlington.  There was a poster put up on a building – the garage at the foot of Locust Street – that has great potential as a mural site.

Murals - Toronto soldiers

Scarborough, Ontario went for murals in a big way. Might Burlington see work of this quality?

Scarborough took to mural art in a big way and has done a great job.  It will be interesting to see what the Burlington art community does.

There is a fine mural on the Flat Iron building on Front Street in Toronto that has stood the test of time.  Unfortunately the city mural program does not apply to private buildings.

The Burlington Mural Project is designed to tell local stories using local artists.

Murals - scarborough

Could this have been Burlington when it had radial lines in the city?

The program has a budget of $5,000 to $10,000 for each mural and will commission small to medium-scale murals throughout the city, with one mural location and story selected for each of Burlington’s six wards.

Mural - Flat Iron Bldg Toronto

This mural on the Flat Iron building on Front Street in Toronto is on a private building. Burlington has decided its mural program will be on just city buildings – pity.

These submissions will be reviewed by the city’s Public Art Implementation Team (PADIT) and a jury of citizens. Locations and artists will be chosen based on public input. The murals will be open exclusively to local Burlington artists. Free learning opportunities will be offered to artists who may not have experience creating public art and/or murals.

This program was developed in consultation with members of the local arts community. In October 2014, a brainstorming session was held with members of the local arts community. Based on this session and feedback, a Program Guide has been developed. Click here to access a copy.

Artist applications for the selected mural projects will be released in late February 2015.

The city will have a Public Art Booth at the Lowville Winter Games on Sunday, January 25 – share your ideas.

There is no limit on the number of submissions per resident.

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Mayor explains his first four years: Was it enough to get him re-elected?

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 19, 2014



Ten days ago Mayor Rick Goldring was strolling towards an acclamation; it was in the bag. He didn’t have a campaign office, he was attending events for other candidates – he didn’t attend the kick off for the Meed Ward campaign in ward two.

By noon of Wednesday this week it was a much different picture; a campaign office was being set up and the campaign committee was coming out of its country club state of mind; suddenly there was a contender and while Burlington didn’t know that much about the guy – he was real.


Mayor Goldring read the Procedural Bylaw carefully and found a way to collude with the city Clerk to shut down a member of his council.  The days of innocence for this Council came to an end Monday April 8th, 2013

Mayor Goldring read the Procedural Bylaw carefully and found a way to collude with the city Clerk to shut down a member of his council. The days of innocence for this Council came to an end Monday April 8th, 2013

The Gazette had made plans to interview the Mayor to talk about what he felt he had achieved the first term and what he wanted to achieve during his second term which, at the time, seemed like a sure thing.

Goldring won the office of Mayor handily against former Ontario cabinet minister and then Mayor Cam Jackson. In the 2010 election he was angry with what he thought Jackson was doing to his city and while there were a number of position papers – the 2010 election didn’t have that sharp a focus.

Burlington knew Goldring as the guy who had been on Cogeco cable TV for years and was the council member for Ward 5 where he didn’t get into any trouble. There was an opportunity to do more with the PanAm Games in Sherwood Forest Park, but that opportunity got away on both Goldring and the city.

The 2010 election was one that Jackson lost more than it was Goldring winning.

Goldring and MLH

Margaret Lindsay Holton keeps the Mayor on his toes.

Goldring was stiff during the first three years of his term. He didn’t seem to have a grip on the job and was often directionless. His relationship with staff at city hall during the first six months was terrible; there was little respect for the man – some of the comments made reflected very poorly on staff.

Goldring was fortunate in having Frank McKeown as his Chief of Staff – without him at that time Goldring would have been a total failure. McKeown gave Goldring the psychological base he needed to grow into the job.

The Goldring we are seeing now is a man who is much more in control of his job. There weren’t very many people who saw Goldring as a strong leader but some of his more recent decisions suggest he is growing into the job. He is going to grow a lot more in the next 45 days now that he is being seriously challenged.

The Gazette asked Mayor Goldring to talk about his achievements during his first term and then what he would like to see achieved during his second term.

His first four years is set out below. His thoughts on the future will follow in a day.

The re-elect Goldring web site sets out Goldring’s commitment and priorities to the electorate:

My Commitment to You:
• Provide open, accountable and effective decision-making.
• Respect your tax dollar.
• Keep residents informed and engaged.
• Provide leadership through collaboration.

My Priorities:
• Cultivate a prosperous and sustainable economy.
• Protect and enhance greenspace.
• Foster vibrant and safe neighbourhoods.
• Continue to build a healthy, sustainable and prosperous community.

Not all that much in the way of specifics, but it is early in the campaign and when the above was written Goldring didn’t think he had a campaign to wage.

Goldring said he is proud of the change in the relationship between council and city staff. Former Mayor Cam Jackson took an approach to staff that was seen as disruptive. Goldring feels he has mended that relationship.

Goldring mentioned that the city had given the hospital the first $5 million of the $60 million it had undertaken to provide.

Cheque 4.75 million

Goldring is pleased with his performance on the pier and the way that matter was settled. He didn’t actually say the city won the dispute, but he appears to want to take credit for getting that file closed. Not as sure the public feels this file was properly closed.

When council decided not to put the turbine atop the observation deck - was there any reason for constructing an observation deck?

When council decided not to put the turbine atop the observation deck – was there any reason for constructing an observation deck?

The pier was to have a turbine at the top of the observation deck that would produce energy that would be fed into the electricity grid. The city would not get any money for that electricity but it would not have to pay for the electricity it used.

A mammoth screw up within the Engineering department led to a situation that had BurlingtonGreen asking – pleading actually, that the turbine be maintained. Mayor Goldring thought the time for this type of energy initiative had come and gone and said at the time there might be some way to put something solar beside the pier – but that thought came to nothing.

If there was not going to be a turbine on the pier then there was no need for the observation deck either. There was a missed opportunity to cut a significant chunk out of the construction cost; the observation deck doesn’t add all that much to the pier.

Goldring is pleased with the re-launch of the Economic Development Corporation. It took far too long to dismiss the former Executive Director and get a new crew in place. Frank McKeown, the Mayor’s former chief of staff, was appointed to the position last June and there hasn’t been a single media release other than to announce a luncheon/networking event that had been scheduled before McKeown was appointed. (We stand partly corrected on this one – the BEDC did release the September Newsletter this morning.)

Senior staff and city council realize it has a lot of work to do to bring new business to the city. In 2012, 2013 – and probably the numbers for 2014 will show net negative growth in the tax revenue from the industrial, commercial and institutional sector of the tax base.

Goldring turning sod Palladium

The Mayor knows the city needs more commercial and industrial development – getting it is proving to be the tough part. Is the Mayor out there selling hard enough?

The city cannot cover its costs from the residential sector – it must get more from the commercial side – and while there is some construction taking place – it doesn’t appear to be enough.

There doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency; there is what Deborah Pickfield, head of Thinkspot, calls a “high level of complacency”. But the Mayor is happy with the way things are going.

When he came to office Mayor Goldring said he would keep tax increases to 10% and he did that – thank goodness Ward five Councillor Paul Sharman forced a 0% increase during the first year of this council’s term. Had he not done that the city would have experienced something in the order of 15% increase over the four year term.

It is this kind of \"flim flam\" playing with numbers that ticks off the voters.  They can handle the truth - so give it to them.Mayor Goldring took out one of those fancy pocket calculators that gives you whatever number you want and said during our interview that “over the four years the city experienced tax increases that were 15% less than inflation. And if you add up the numbers the way Goldring did – he is not wrong.

To get that 15% Goldring adds all the levels of government that tax you. The Region of Halton did not increase their tax level – which made the Burlington numbers look quite good.

Goldring takes credit for how well he has communicated with the community – and on that level he has done very well. He has taken to social media in a big way – not sure how many people are actually getting the message, but he is certainly sending out the signal.

His Inspire Burlington series of speakers was a very good idea. Goldring brought people like Ken Greenberg, a noted planner and Andre Picard, the best public health thinker we have in this country to Burlington. Goldring didn’t say if he was going to continue the program in the next term.


Mayor Goldring chats with then Minister of Transportation Kathleen Wynne.  He wasn't buying what she was selling then.  Saturday the Mayor will squire the Premier around Ribfest.

Mayor Goldring chats with then Minister of Transportation Kathleen Wynne. He wasn’t buying what she was selling then.  Now that Wynne is Premier can the Mayor develop the relationship? One time provincial Liberal candidate Karmel Sakran, stands between Goldring and Wynne.

Rick Goldring has always been an environmentalist. He once ran as a candidate for the Green party.

He takes more credit than he deserves for stopping the HGTA highway the province was thinking about ramming through the Escarpment from Kilbride into Lowville.  John Taylor, Councillor for Ward three, was the stronger player on that file. During that period of time the Mayor was still getting the feel for the job.

Goldring takes the position that he was the person, who did all the talking to the province.

He wants credit as well for the decision not to allow a Nelson quarry expansion. That magnificent community response was due more to the PERL (Preserving the Escarpment and Rural Lands) crowd. The city did spend a lot of money on the legal side of that dispute.

Sheldon Property, June 5th looking up at

This Appleby Lline resident wonders if the Court decision will mean this pile of earth will be hauled away.  Or does the decision mean she has a claim against someone for the damage done to the value of her property/

When Mayor Goldring first saw the small mountain of earth on this  Appleby Line property he was reported to have said he was “appalled”.  Is the city going to be able to resolve the problem or are they looking at yet another court case?

The site plan problems with the Air Park is something Goldring wants credit for as well. The city did a great job on that file, but as I sat through council meetings I never got the sense that the mayor was leading that parade. City staff found themselves with a serious problem that, truth be told, they should have been on top of – but when north Burlington residents made enough noise the then city manager Jeff Fielding directed general manager Scott Stewart to make things happen – and things did happen.

City hall and the Region bought into the Vince Rossi Kool Aid and drank heavily from that bottle, believing that the Air Park was federally regulated and there was nothing the city could do. It was Ward six candidate for Council Vanessa Warren, who did the research and made it clear to the city that the Air Park ownership was wrong.


Mayor Goldring feels now that not accepting the pay raises that were due in 2010 and 2011 was "perhaps a mistake".

Mayor Goldring feels now that not accepting the pay raises that were due in 2010 and 2011 was “perhaps a mistake”.

A Mayor truly in touch with his community would have had his ear closer to the ground and seen this one coming. However, once informed the city did move on the file and won the two court cases.

Burlington has achieved a result that will benefit every municipality in the country – which is a much more laudable thing to have said of us than that “best medium sized city in the country”.

Mayor Goldring was very effective in working with the other municipalities to develop a revised site plan by law that should go into effect next week.

While the Mayor wasn’t tuned in enough with the residents of north Burlington, he is now on top of that file and expects to work with people at the federal and provincial levels to come up with plans that have the city at the table, when whatever development is going to be done at the air park is decided.

Mayor Goldring is proud of the new City View Park which will be the location for soccer team practices during the PanAm games.  Burlington was/will be paid $1 million for the use of the park while training takes place. But the public will not be allowed on the grounds while the teams practice.

It is a sterling park and over time the city will become very proud of it – the work up there isn’t completed yet.

Cootes ParadiseThe Cootes Paradise and the Randall Reef are two projects dear to the Mayor’s heart. The Randall Reef, while actually in Hamilton, has been polluting Burlington Bay water for years. It is the second worst toxic site in Canada. The huge glob of toxic sludge is to be capped with a massive concrete box that will seal everything. “Over time” said the Mayor “the water Burlington uses will be much cleaner and safer.” The Region’s water treatment facilities ensure that our water is safe – so there isn’t a problem. The sealing of that toxic sludge ensure that it won’t work its way into the water system.


The Goldring family whoops it up the night of the 2010 election.  Same scene for 2014?

The Goldring family whoops it up the night of the 2010 election. Same scene for 2014?

Mayor Goldring is proud of the Community Energy Plan and he has every right to be proud. Did you know that Burlington has a community energy plan and do you have any idea as to what it is going to do for you? Didn’t think so.

That plan is a solid initiative that came about because some very smart people put their minds to a serious problem. It is very good forward thinking – but nothing seems to be happening. On the energy front what Burlingtonians did see happen was a request by Burlington Hydro for a rate increase to cover the cost of cleaning up from the ice storm last December.

Tomorrow we will write about what the Mayor has in mind for the next four years – assuming he wins more votes than the other two candidates.
Rick Goldring’s re-election web site.


That turbine on the pier.


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City View Park overcomes some initial opposition – reviews are good.



By Pepper Parr and Walter Byj.

BURLINGTON, ON.  August 8, 2013.  It’s a great park, closer to Hamilton than it is to most Burlington residents, and it has a chance of being a small part of the PanAm Games when they come to town in 2015.

There was a time when Burlington looked as if it might get quite a bit of the PanAm action but some slipping and sliding on the part of city hall and a real dose of NIMBY from the west end of the city and all Burlington gets now are some practice games to watch. They will take place at City View Park.

The city’s newest park is being developed in stages. Couple of soccer fields now open, playground operational and getting a lot of traffic. The advent of the Pan Am games in 2015 will see some top level soccer practices taking place in the park.

Located at the intersection of Dundas and Kerns Road the park will have five soccer fields along with two baseball diamonds for the sporting enthusiasts with seating for approximately 1,500 spectators.  In addition there would be playground areas,  walking trails though the wooded area along with large open areas.  Parking could accommodate 650 vehicles and a pavilion would be built for washrooms and change room facilities.

The site takes up 165 acres and will be the largest park in the city.  Ireland Park is 19 acres; Central Park is 22 acres; Lowville Park is 26 acres and Sherwood Forest Park is 29 acres.

Those are not bags of topsoil – they are rolls of plastic grass.

Carpeting for a soccer field – some are not convinced that plastic grass was the best idea for the soccer fields. We will know in ten years when it has to be taken up.

Opposition has been a part of this park’s development almost from the beginning. There was some debate over the decision to use what got called plastic grass – Astro Turf was the product name.  Margaret Lindsay Holton, now a Hamilton resident, was consistently vocal on the way the park was being developed and called the decision to use artificial turf an eco-disgrace.  An appeal to the Niagara Escarpment Commission reduced development to a crawl but that got settled and in went the construction equipment.

This stand of trees on the south side of Dundas has to come out to make space for an equipment – storage shed and parking for staff.

There was nothing about this stand of trees that made them a “must save” but that didn’t matter to BurlingtonGreen. They take the position that every tree is worth saving – it takes 20 years to grow new ones – and we aren’t doing anywhere near the re-placing that could be done on the City View Park grounds.

Then there was opposition to cutting down a decent stand of trees to put in maintenance sheds.  BurlingtonGreen wasn’t able to convince the city to put the equipment housing somewhere else.

Great view of Burlington Bay and the Skyway bridge from the south end of City View Park.

The idea of an additional park came to the surface in 2002 and by 2010 the city decided upon what it believed it needed and what it would take to fully complete the park – $22 million.  Parts of the Bruce Trail run through the property;  there are several ponds and lots of walking space at the south end of the park.  There is a great view of Burlington Bay and the Skyway Bridge from the edge of the old Kerns quarry which is the southern limit.

With seating for 1500 people going in at some point – could the park become “home” for the Bandits?  We could pull in some of the Hamilton traffic from that location?



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Tall ships line up off the pier as they prepare to enter Burlington Bay. Public getting some value out of the pier.


By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON. June 28, 2013.  I didn’t see Rick Wilson out on the pier this afternoon with a telescope but there were around 100 people who were up on the observation deck or crowded around the rail of the pier watching the five tall ships manoeuver and getting in position to pass through the canal, under the lift bridge and into Burlington Bay where they were to sail around the bay letting people on both the Hamilton side and the Burlington side see these majestic vessels catch the light winds before they tie up at the various piers they have been given for the duration of their stay in Hamilton.

Wilson, a history buff who will, if you let him, tell you more than you ever wanted to know about the War of 1812 battle that took place on the lake just off the foot of Brant Street, or so some believe, that changed the outcome of the War of 1812 that lasted three years.

They weren’t easy to see but they were certainly out there; five tall ships lining up to pass through the canal and into Burlington Bay where they will tie up in Hamilton for the weekend.

Today, there were five tall ships, easing their way into the canal.  There were supposed to be six – no idea where that last one got to – but the five were out there on the lake.  Many wondered why the ships didn’t come in closer to the pier – wind was not all that good and they had to be far enough out on the lake to be able to line up in procession to get through the canal.

The public gets some value from their $15 million pier (true cost is going to be $20 million) as they watch Tall Ships prepare to sail into Burlington Bay.

It was expected they would all drop their sails as the went through the canal but at least one went through with all their rigging up.

The tallest mast on this ship had to have a hinge placed on it so it could clear the lift bridge that lets her into Burlington Bay.

The tallest of the ships, the Solandet,  had to put a hinge on part of their tallest mast – it was just a little too high to pass underneath the lift bridge safely.

The sky was a little overcast, weather muggy, rain off and on – not the best weather in which to see these ships.  They will be in Hamilton Friday through to Sunday.  Tours are available.

The expectation is that all the ships will sail out of Burlington Bay at the same time.  Exactly when that will happen isn’t all that clear.

There are more than a dozen ships taking part in what is billed as Tall Ships 1812 Tour with different ships showing up at different ports.  St. Catharines, Dalhousie are among those that will be visited.

The Niagara, one of six Tall Ships that will tie up in Hamilton after taking part in a sail past around Burlington Bat.

None of this matters to Rick Wilson, his mission, driven by his passion is to have a plaque set up on the Burlington Heights to replace the one  that everyone now agrees is just plain wrong.

Here they come.

Slip over to the links and read that tale of the role British ships sailing off Burlington played in winning the War of 1812 where ships  fired cannon balls and iron shot at each other.  For those who dive as a hobby – there are cannon balls to be found at the bottom of Lake Ontario –possibly  right off the front of Spencer Smith Park.

  Our colleague chose to catch the ships as the passed through the canal.  She made a better choice than we did.

Margaret Lindsay Holton has written for us in the past.  Some of her columns can be seen at:Terra Greenhouses and Are you nuts?

Tall Ships passed through the Burlington Canal under the Skyway Bridge mid-afternoon on Friday, June 28th.
Black and white photo montages by Margaret Lindsay Holton – Mid-career artist and author from the Golden Horseshoe Region of Ontario, Canada.

Passing through modern history.

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