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Mountainside Pool is going to get 'artsy' - artists invited to submit ideas.

By Staff

August 16th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Mountainside Pool is going to get a mural

The City is seeking Expressions of Interest from professional artists or artist teams to create a mural. The mural is for a large exterior wall as part of the Mountainside Pool Revitalization Project.

This is a two-stage competition.

In Stage One, artists will submit their qualifications and an Expression of Interest Statement.

In Stage Two, three artists will be short-listed to create a full design proposal. Shortlisted artists will be given an honorarium of $1,500 to create their design proposals.

Architect’s rendering of the pool that is now complete – mural to be installed.

A citizen advisory committee of local artists, residents and stakeholders explored project goals and themes. Artists are invited to respond to one or more aspects of the project goals determined by the Mountainside Pool Mural Steering Committee.

Who can apply?
This competition is open to professional artists or artist teams. Applicants must demonstrate the capacity to oversee the design, fabrication and installation of a large-scale mural in a public space. The selected artist/artist team must be available for meetings with project staff and the Steering Committee. We encourage submissions from artists from equity seeking groups, including 2SLGBTQ+, Indigenous, Black, and racialized artists, as well as deaf artists and artists with disabilities.

The Mountainside Pool Mural Project Goals:
• Create a contemporary, professional mural that is welcoming to families and pool users
• Reflect a spirit of inclusion, community building and belonging
• Demonstrate an understanding of or connection to the Mountainside community
• Celebrate the unique natural environment surrounding the facility; Mountainside is a neighbourhood in a natural setting (i.e. wood lot, connections to Niagara escarpment, etc.)
• Artists are encouraged to consider ways to incorporate community engagement into their project design (not mandatory)

The recreation Centre was given a total makeover – use of wood through made the entrance very welcoming. Very little cinder block anywhere.

Mountainside Pool Revitalization Project
Mountainside Pool revitalization project is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2023. Once the revitalization is complete, the facility will be a fun and welcoming multi-use outdoor swimming pool that invites the community to participate and experience swimming and water play while encouraging an active and healthy lifestyle.

Deadline Activity

Sept. 16 Expressions of Interest responses due

By Oct. 31 Three artists selected for shortlist (develop detailed design proposals)

Dec. 16 Detailed design proposals due

Jan 2023 Public consultation; interviews with shortlisted artists

Feb 2023 Winning proposal is selected; artist enters into a contract with the City of Burlington

May/June 2023 Mural is installed; public unveiling

Related news story:

Makeover of the Mountainside Recreation Centre

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Take part in the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation event at Spencer Smith Park on September 30th

By Staff

August 15th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON  

 

The City is inviting community groups and local indigenous communities to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at Spencer Smith Park on September 30th  between 4 and 7 p.m.

An indigenous dancer – it will be interesting to see if performances like this will take place on the 30th

The city will provide free space within the park for groups to set up their own displays, interactive events, or information booths.

“This is an official open invitation to the community to set up an information booth, display or interactive event to help work towards a better understanding of the past as a way forward to a better future.” Says Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture.

Groups wanting to participate can register by contacting the Festivals and Events office HERE  . There is no cost for groups hosting an event or display and there is no cost for people to attend.

Details for participating groups

  1. Set-up time: 2 to 4 p.m.
  2. Event time: 4 to 7 p.m.
  3. Tear-down time: 7 to 8 p.m.
  4. City to provide park access and insurance only
  5. No electrical or water hook-up will be available
  6. Participating groups must bring all resources/supplies such as tables, chairs, tents, stage/riser,.
  7. Tents must be no bigger than 10 by 10 feet
  8. No staking anything to the ground. Tents should be secured with weights
  9. No parking. Participants are to use available downtown parking. Vehicle access to the park for drop-off must be pre-arranged indicating number of vehicles entering between 2-2:30 p.m. Vehicles must be removed from park no later than 3 p.m. Tear-down begins at 7 p.m. and vehicles may be brought back into the park at that time for load in

Details and updates can be found at burlington.ca/events.

 

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How to tour a town - Bronte Village tour taking place now

By Staff

August 15th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Historical Society got an invitation from a group in Oakville to take part in a tour of Bronte Village that is being held during the balance of August and early September.

For those who want to get a look at the way Oakville is promoting their communities to their citizens – you might want to take this in.

Your chance to get a close up and personal look at Burlington takes place on September 10th Doors Open Burlington will be held.

Virtual content will be available year-round.

The event showcases the infrastructure and cultural landscapes that shape and define the community. Doors Open is a province-wide program under the Ontario Heritage Trust.

Join us to catch a behind-the-scenes look at cultural and historical sites around Burlington. Explore the city and discover the stories of Burlington.

 

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First of four Jazz on the Patio sessions was a fine occasion

By Pepper Parr

August 13th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The weather was perfect – the setting was good.

The one hiccup with the sound system didn’t get in the way of a solid presentation from Amanda Martinez as she sang her way through an all Latin programme.

There was hardly a space to put a chair – this year there were tables set up on the sidewalk.

Tables were set up on the sidewalk creating more space for the several hundred that attended

There were people across the street sitting on benches and about 20 chairs were set up inside the Performing Arts Centre.

This was the 13th annual Jazz on the Patio programme that is put on and is free to everyone.

There are sponsors – this year it was the Burlington Downtown Business Association.

It was a good performance – soft, easy on the ears with just enough energy to appreciate the artists.

Martinez draws on her Mexican – South African roots …

Career highlights include headlining the Blue Note jazz club in NYC, the FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the Pan American Games in Mexico and Canada.

This afternoon she enchanted an audience that is getting used to not being in a rigid pandemic routine.

The band members were good – there was one especially nice session where the flugelhorn was put to very good use.

For many the afternoon was their first outing in a long time.

It was a quiet audience – on occasion there was a polite burst of applause.

Burlingtonians certainly show up for these events – but you never get the impression that the music has gotten into their bones.  No one danced in the space inside – and there was plenty of room.

A few people swayed to the music and one woman stood up and clapped and waved her arms in the air.

But that was about it.

This a decidedly seniors crowd – its always been that way for this event.

We left after the first of two performances.  Bumped into some friends, caught caught up on their lives and noticed that a lot of people were going to stick around for the second performance.  Given that seating is really limited – wondered is that fair.

This is a free public event – let’s let everyone get a seat at the table.

 

There are two performances on Sunday:

 

 

People stretched out – took in a nice lazy summer afternoon.

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New work at the AGB will slowly decay over the course of the exhibition - mirroring cycle of life, death, and return to the earth.

By Staff

August 12th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Noni Kaur has used a a superstitious Indian phrase to name and define the exhibot that opens at the AGB on August 16th,  The work was curated by Jasmine Mander

Nazar na lage loosely translates to “knock on wood”, a superstitious Indian phrase meant to ward off negative energy. Artist Noni Kaur’s vibrant rangoli work welcomes visitors back into the gallery after years of pandemic upheaval. A cultural practice in India and Singapore, the art of rangoli uses coloured materials to decorate floors in domestic and public spaces. Traditionally made from powder pigments, flowers, rice, or sand, this practice attracts positive energy for celebrating auspicious occasions.

The shape of Kaur’s rangoli begins with an O, a historic symbol of feminine energy. As the work morphs and curves, it begins to take on an abstract human form.

Kaur’s work highlights the effect of cultural conditioning on labour-intensive rituals of preparations. The process takes months to complete – beginning by hand-dying mounds of desiccated coconut and then forming the design in situ. The shape of Kaur’s rangoli begins with an O, a historic symbol of feminine energy. As the work morphs and curves, it begins to take on an abstract human form.

As time passes, the desiccated coconut and non-toxic materials allow the artwork to become a repository of energy for the microbial systems living in the installation.

The mylar window works depicts the microbial formations occurring deep in the rangoli. Images of the cellar forms are projected on the sculptural floor installation as the sun’s light changes throughout the day.

As the work slowly decays over the course of the exhibition, it mirrors the cycle of life, death, and return to the earth.

Noni Kaur

Noni Kaur is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist and educator. Kaur’s works are an embodiment of her response to intersectional identity across cultures and communities as a Singaporean woman of Punjabi descent in Canada. Her immersive, reactive, multi-sensory installations bridge gaps between gender, culture, the body, and the non-human world, through her expansive, topographical landscapes of desiccated coconut installations. The works are live conversations about lived experiences, assimilations, materiality, rituals, and bridging gaps of the human and post-human environments.

Kaur’s work has been featured in international venues including: the Havana Biennale, Cuba; the Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka, Bangladesh; the Fukuoka Triennale, Asian Art Museum, Japan; White Columns, New York; the Henie Onstad Kunstenter, Oslo, Norway amongst others. Kaur lives and works in Toronto, Ontario.

AGB Hours

Tuesday & Wednesday 10 AM – 9 PM
Thursday – Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM
Sunday & Monday CLOSED

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Jazz on the Patio - now an established annual event - August 13 to 14

By Staff

August 11th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Probably the best summer offering in the city.

The Performing Arts Centre has been pitting on their Jazz on the Patio for at least five years – it might be seven.

The talent they bring in is usually super.

JAZZ ON THE PLAZA – Four different acts over two days – taking place on the Performing Arts Plaza – all free – just get there early to get a seat.

WEEKEND OF AUGUST 13-14, 2022

Every summer, BPAC presents some amazing Jazz performers as part of our annual Jazz on the Plaza. This free outdoor event is attended by over 1,000 people annually.

Amanda Martinez will perform on Saturday August 13th at  4pm; Shuffle Demons will perform on the same date at 6pm

On the 14th Clerel will perform on Sunday August 14th at  2pm and Laila Biali will perform at 4pm

Amanda Martinez

Saturday,  August 13, 2022 at 4pm

Approx. 75 mins. No intermission.

Amanda Martinez a Toronto-based singer/songwriter whose music exultingly blends her unique Mexican and South African roots with flamenco soul.

Amanda Martinez is a Toronto-based singer/songwriter whose music exultingly blends her unique Mexican and South African roots with flamenco soul. Her solo CDs have garnered her multiple nominations for Latin Jazz Performer of the Year, and her songs have appeared on three Putumayo world music collections: Bossanova Around the World, Latin Dreamland and most recently, Cafe Latino. Her third and latest CD “Mañana” was helmed by GRAMMY-winning producer Javier Limón and is set for release in 2013. Limón, whose production credits include acclaimed singers such as Buika, Mariza and Diego el Cigala, hails Martinez as “one of the greatest voices in the world.”

Martinez has headlined at the legendary Blue Note jazz club, at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Festivities in South Africa, and at the 2011 PanAmerican Games in Guadalajara, and is now honorary co-chair of PanAm 2015’s Ignite program. She will be performing in a series of countdown concerts to the 2015 Games, as well as speaking at events connecting athletes and sports fans with musicians and art lovers.

“She captures the raw emotion and passion of Latin Music making us sit up and listen” – CBC Radio

SHUFFLE DEMONS

August 13th – 6 pm

These “demons” are energetic and move around when they perform. Lots of sound.

The Shuffle Demons are a high-energy Canadian band that blends virtuosic jazz and funk playing with eye-catching costumes and over the top stage antics to produce an incredible show. A hit at festivals all over the world, the Shuffle Demons are a crowd pleasing, full-on musical group that backs up wild stage antics with phenomenal playing by some of Canada’s most talented musicians.

The electrifying musical fusion that The Shuffle Demons brought to life almost 30 years ago has entertained audiences around the world with their genre bending sound. Saxophones, upright bass, and wild percussion backed up by incredibly solid musicianship and a highly entertaining show will leave you wanting more!

“It’s not every day you hear a band with three saxophones plus bass and drums with such solid energy that this band can serve.” – The WholeNote

CLEREL

Sun Aug 14, 2022 at 2pm

Approx. 75 mins. No intermission.

Clerel: A beautiful fusion of instrumentation layered with melancholic lyrics

Although he grew up singing with his grandmother, Clerel did not learn how to play an instrument until he was in University. We are thankful he picked up that guitar as he is now bringing us breezy and soulful music that earned him a spot on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show.

Living in Montreal, Clerel is Camaroonian born, a cultural influence heard and felt in his music. His music is also heavily influenced by American soul and jazz with deep roots in his experiences as an African immigrant living in the West. Experience the African drum beats coupled with guitar and trumpets in songs such as Lonely Dance. A beautiful fusion of instrumentation layered with Clerel’s melancholic lyrics.

LAILA BIALI

Sun Aug 14, 2022 at 4pm

Approx. 75 mins. No intermission.

Laila Biali – “ability to meld traditional jazz with contemporary pop so effortlessly that neither style seems out of place on the same record” – Spinner Magazine

Laila Biali takes the best of pop, rock, classical, world and soul, informs it with her expertise in jazz, and weaves it into her musical arrangements and original songs. Laila has presented her music at prestigious venues spanning five continents including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Tokyo’s Cotton Club, Peru’s El Festival Internacional de Lima, and Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The talented Biali is a multi-award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter and pianist and has toured with Chris Botti, Paula Cole, Suzanne Vega and recorded with and supported Sting. Her accolades include “SOCAN Composer of the Year” and “SOCAN Keyboardist of the Year” at Canada’s National Jazz Awards.

“It’s not every day you hear a band with three saxophones plus bass and drums with such solid energy that this band can serve.” – The WholeNote

 

 

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Registration for fall recreation programs opens August 20

By Staff

August 10th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If we think Fall – will the Summer change?

Is city hall giving us the “bums” rush – talking about the fall recreation program while we are enjoying wonderful summer weather.

The City of Burlington’s fall recreation programs will open for online registration on Saturday, August 20.  Adult program registration begins at 9 a.m. and swimming and youth program registrations begin at 11 a.m.

All programs are currently available for viewing online at burlington.ca/recreation.

These two are pleased as punch with their effort.

Adult programs include sports, games, fitness, craft and art activities, social events, discussion and learning options and more for adults of all ages and skill levels. In-person and virtual courses are offered.

Aquatics offers a variety of programs including youth, adult and private swim lessons and leadership courses. There are also preschool, school age, youth, or leadership programs.

If you are interested in joining the Junior Redcoats or Burlington Teen Tour Band, email bttb@burlington.ca for more information.
Programs open for non-residents to register on Friday, Aug. 26, at 9 a.m.

Assisted Registration
Residents who need extra support or do not have online access to register for programs, can call 905-335-7738 for staff-assisted telephone registrations.

The customer service team is available through email at liveandplay@burlington.ca or 905-335-7738, Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Recreation Fee Assistance
Recreation is for all, regardless of financial situation. Recreation Fee Assistance is funding made available to Burlington residents or families who need help to pay for City of Burlington recreation programs. For more information, or to apply, visit burlington.ca/feeassistance.

Two thins of concern:

The registration assistance – it is no longer a one on one situation – the help is at the end of a telephone line and getting through is said to be a challenge.

Add to the the price increases: No mention that the increases are steep.

 

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Finding a way to recognize those that truly serve the community - city hall wants your ideas.

By Pepper Parr

August 10th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

 

The City of Burlington has amazing residents that do incredible work to support the  community.

Through the years, the City has had a variety of programs designed to celebrate and recognize community champions. In 1965, a program called Civic Recognition was started and evolved most recently into Burlington’s Best, where individuals were nominated by the community and recognized in several categories. A volunteer committee assisted in evaluating the nominations and determining the recipient of the award in each category.

As the City continues to evolve, we are looking for your input about the best way to celebrate and recognize the significant contributions of those who do work to support our community.

The city administration is looking for community input on what this new initiative could look like.

Click HERE to get the survey. Share your thoughts and ideas. It will take approximately five minutes.

Having monitored and attended these events for years the Gazette would like to make the following suggestions.

Parents should not be allowed to nominate and have their children accepted as worthy of recognition, the person nominating cannot be related tto the nominee.

The event should be free.

There should be a lot of food available.

It should be held in a location where hundreds can show up

Don’t have members of council involved in the decision making process – let them approve the program and then get out of thee way – Oh – maybe a photo op if they insist (they will) and let it go at that.

Gordon Schottlander – D Day landing survivor who came to Canada at the end of the ward and has served his community ever since.

The closest event we have seen that got close to what can and should take place is the recent Jubilee awards that were handed out to 73 people.  The problem there was people asked others to nominate them and a lot of people that seem to “collect” awards were once again recognized.  At the Jubilee event there was a single standing ovation given to 104 year old Gordon Schottlander .

Everyone who stood knew what they were standing up for – it was a wonderful moment.

These events are important but they should not become stepping stones into a political life.

For those who do complete the survey – think about what can be done.

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The curtain will rise and the Season will begin - a SOLD OUT event in the first 30 days

By Staff

August 9th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The announcement today from the Performing Arts Centre  must have taken a lot of weight off the shoulders of people who have had to sit and wait for the lock-downs to be lifted.

There have been events at the Performing Arts Centre but it was far from the “show business” they were supposed to be doing.

The curtain for the Season will rise on September 15th.   Air Supply will be first on the programme.

The announcement read:  “After a long couple of years of pandemic closures, re-openings, and restrictions, The Burlington Performing Arts Centre (BPAC) is thrilled to be reopening our doors and sharing our 2022/2023 Season which begins September 15th, 2022.

Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell’s mutual air zodiac signs, spent a decade at the top of the charts and released nearly an album per year for almost 20 years

September 15th Air Supply, the iconic Australian pop band that was founded in 1976 is back in Canada and kicks off our 2022/2023 Season. The band that was named for both Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell’s mutual air zodiac signs, spent a decade at the top of the charts and released nearly an album per year for almost 20 years leaving a long legacy of love songs. Russell and Hitchcock will be gracing our stage, performing hits such as “All out of Love”, “Lost in Love”, and “Without You” on Thursday September 15th at 8:00pm.

September 20th, We are excited to welcome Tom Cochrane with Red Rider back to BPAC again this year on Tuesday September 20th at 8:00pm. Cochrane’s contribution to the Canadian music scene is immense and spans over 4 decades. Even after releasing 17 albums over the course of his career, filling larger arenas, theatres and festival stages, Tom Cochrane says those early days that built character and helped him find the content for many of his songs that he performs to this day, never leave him.

Tom Cochrane

Tom is one of only 3 male singer songwriters to have a diamond certified album in Canada, selling over a million copies. Songs such as “Life is a Highway” and “Lunatic Fringe” have made it to the international charts and will possibly be performed on our stage next month!

Johnny Reid

Our first SOLD OUT show of the Season is Love Someone – An Intimate Evening with Johnny Reid. Performing on Thursday September 29th and Friday September 30th at 8:00pm, there are only a few single seats available for purchase online. What a wonderful sign for the performing arts that everyone is ready to be back in the theatre!

Glass Tiger

Rounding out our first month of the Season is Glass Tiger on Friday October, 14th at 8:00pm. Enjoy iconic cuts like the 1986 release “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)” to their recently released album “33”. The new album takes the classic Glass Tiger sound with a new, raw, maturity that the band says is them coming back to their original roots of picking up a guitar and starting a band!

This is a show not to miss!

 

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All Guilds annual exhibit ends on Saturday at the Art Gallery - fascinating place.

By Staff

August 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We all know how hot it is – and we might be running out of places we can visit where it is cool.

Apply COOL to the All Guilds annual exhibition that celebrates the guilds who make, learn, share, and teach at the Art Gallery of Burlington

There is the Burlington Fine Arts Association,

Some work done by a member of the Burlington Sculptors and Carvers,

Burlington Handweavers and Spinners Guild,

Latow Photographers Guild,

Burlington Potters Guild,

Burlington Hooking Craft Guild,

Burlington Sculptors and Carvers,

and the Digital Arts Guild of Burlington.

AGB Hours

Tuesday & Wednesday 10 AM – 9 PM
Thursday – Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM
Sunday & Monday CLOSED

 

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Last week Council went for a $39million spend to build a new Skyway Arena - Stolte chose fiscal prudence and voted no.

By Pepper Parr

August 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

This is a long article.  It focuses on one new arena but sets out how this council is going to spemd to provide the infrastructure it thinks the city needs.  See it as a cautionary tale.

Council met on Thursday to decide if they were going to go forward with the construction of a new Skyway arena in ward 5.

Referred to as the Skyway Arena – the structure in place now was taken out of commission WHEN because it no longer met the rules related to Freon.

The rink was small.

The city did a lot of planning on this project – it was to be carbon free, solar panels on the roof, two regular size ice pads, pickle ball courts, community rooms and a walking track.

The new Skyway arena will be to the north of the proposed 6 story Lakeside Plaza development. Not a word was said about the development plans during the decision to spend $37 million

Way back when Councillor Paul Sharman was first elected he tried, in vain at the time, to get in touch with the owner of the plaza that had seen better days. It took a couple of years but eventually there was a development proposal that included eight structures.

During that time the Burloaks Park was completed – it is one of the better parks in the city that is seldom crowed that way Spencer Smith Park is.

The community amenities will include pickle ball courts, meeting rooms and a Walking Track.

This is the background behind the decision to spend twice as much as was originally planned on the Skyway arena.

The decision was to a contract for the construction of the new arena to Norlon Builders London Limited for $37,021,769.55

Staff asked that Council

Approve the revised total budget of $39,433,100 with revised financing proposed.
Authorize the additional funding of $2,000,000 from Tax Supported Debt; $403,000 from the Corporate Accessibility Implementation Project and $4,710,100 from the infrastructure renewal reserve fund.

Significantly looking structure for an arena – walking track, community meeting rooms and pickle ball courts make it more of a community hub. Something badly needed in the community.

What makes the development awkward is that it is a 1.4 km and a quarter away from the Bateman high school site that the city is in the process of buying – the public will not know much about the cost until sometime in September when the deal is expected to close.

The figure of $500 million was mentioned by Councillor Stolte, who was sanctioned by the Integrity Commissioner for revealing information that was discussed in a closed session of Council. The figure Stolte made public was, as she explained it, an approximation.

The Bateman and the Skyway arena are all about creating more in the way of space for a growth in population that will add three new communities to the city around the GO stations.

The Bateman and the Skyway development are in the south east sector

Lisa Kearns Councillor for ward 2 asked a procurement question, wanting to know how far into the process was the tender?

Staff had already decided who should be getting the job – all they needed was approval from Council to go forward.

Jennifer Johnson on the left, listening to a resident when public feedback was being gathered about the residential plans.

Jennifer Johnson, the staff member who oversaw the redevelopment of the WHICH ONE explained that three compliant bids and were ready to give the contract to Nolan for $37 million plus.

Given that Councillors are in the middle of an election Kearns wanted to be seen as being on top of everything said: “I’m looking to understand or hear what within the bid tender document and or agreed upon by those compliant bids would potentially help the city in a situation where the vendors work fell short or compliance with specs was not met. Those types of things. I want to understand what our insurance plans are, so to speak, so that we can be very much guaranteed that we have the best quality for our you know, the best quality when this work gets undertaken?

Johnson explained that “through our pre-qualification, we went through two rounds for general contractors where we asked them to qualify, electrical, mechanical and landscape because those were a very big component of the project. So they actually had to name the consultants they were using and had to close the bid with them. So through the pre-qualification process, we knew who those trades were, they were local trades, good trades. And basically, we pre-qualified five general contractors prior to even releasing the tender documents.

Solar panels on the roof will cover a lot of the electricity costs?

“Our specifications were very tight, because we tried our best to include designs that were all locally sourced. We also went through a review process with the consultants to ensure that all the equipment that we included in the design and specifications were still able to be sourced without you know, extended lead times. Contractors, are obligated to fulfill their contract under that lump sum.

The Skyway arena is in ward 5, Sharman territory. He said: Just slightly more than half of this cost is more than the city expected, but this is not a unique situation- that’s happening to everything. The question raised from time to time is should we wait for things to get better? The Staff report concludes that it’s going to be at least five years before the current pressure on costs decreases.This is not going to get better. If we don’t do it now.

It’ll just get worse and where does that leave us? It raises all sorts of concerns about improving the infrastructure in the city and increasing the infrastructure in the city. And we’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it. But for now, I believe that we’re doing something that is badly needed by the city. We need the ice pads and the community rooms and the walking track.

Bateman won’t solve the ice pad problem, it won’t provide the walking track for the seniors who live in the immediate arena. And the pressure to build the pickle ball courts. So we’re going to be there. This is a wonderful addition to our recreation facilities in Burlington. Much needed, much appreciated. And we can just hope that cost isn’t going to be with us as a problem for ever.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte took a much different position. “I’ve certainly brought up concerns before about the commitment to projects located 1.4 kilometers away from each other. We’ve made a huge commitment to debate and project and I just feel very uncomfortable with as Councillor Sherman has brought up the increasing cost of this which I know is realistic. I know that costs are going up across the country. We’re all aware of that. But the reality is too is that by utilizing the limited funds that we have available to us and the limited room that we have in our debt capacity limit, we’re committing most of our eggs into two baskets that are in the southeast corner of Burlington and I’m just not convinced that that’s an appropriate decision for us to be making at this time.

That walking track and a community rooms would be nice. I think that we could scale this project back to ensure that we have the ice rinks and I think that we could make sure that we have transportation options available to seniors to get them up to the proposed community rooms that we hope to have at the maintenance project. And that would leave us some funding available to ensure that we are able to take care of other infrastructure projects and that we have other opportunities to use our debt capacity limit because there certainly are a lot of a lot of other projects around the city that need attention. I wasn’t in support of this before. I’m still not. I know that it would be a great project if money were no object, but money is an object and I won’t be able to support this today.

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan said: “This is a higher price than we anticipated. No doubt about it. We’ve made the Skyway a priority for a long time. I believe we can still pursue upper level government funding and I’m sure we will but we can’t just bring everything to a standstill.

Ward 1 Councilor Kelvin Galbraith said: “I’m in support of this. I am part of the ice user group that knows there is a big need for another ice rink. It’s the ice users have been hurt for the last couple of years now that Skyway has been taken out of the inventory and replacing it with a full size rink is very important and will be very valuable to the ice user groups.

“I think the city needs more of these type of facilities and the longer we wait, the more expensive it will get. I think the time is now and I’m prepared to support this today.

Lisa Kearns put her financial concern, chase down the details spin on the building of a new arena.

Lisa Kearns joined what was now a majority of Council and said: “I think the whole conversation we’re having here is really reflective of the petulance that I’m starting to see around some of these really, really big ticket items. We know that we’ve already committed to prioritizing Skyway community centre and it feels a lot like this is one of those projects that we’re so far into that is difficult to turn around in, in response to escalating prices. Now, in my view, there are two things to look at here. One is of course the community value which we can’t put a price tag on it’s clear we do need more ice rinks. And in fact, we need the type of ice rinks that can host and hold tournaments and things of that nature so that we can really capitalize on those additional tourism dollars especially in light of having our municipal accommodation tax now ushered in so we do need to look at this really big picture.

“It’s one thing to award a tender. It’s another thing to award a tender with really strong terms that despite escalating costs still puts the city in the driver’s seat around ensuring the diligence used around those funds. Those are many types of causes like clawback clauses, there’s the dispute resolution, there’s payment terms certainty of terms limitations of liability. I want to be really really sure that when we are embarking on projects this high visibility and this high of a price tag we have covered all our bases.

The table below shows the change to the Total Project Cost over the last three years. The lowest compliant bid has resulted in an increased construction cost to $36.7 million, including soft costs, and project contingency, the new total project cost is estimated at $39.4 million (including the parks revitalization component). This is an increase of 22% from the Class A, most recently completed in March 2022 or $7.1 million.

It’s really important that we don’t have bumps along the way from today’s meeting where we’re proving this to when we can actually open the doors and welcome our residents across the city into a facility like this. I do want to also put on record and echo the comments of Councillor salty in that I am worried about our debt limit and our debt threshold. We still have a really big ticket in very similar proximity that hasn’t even had its capital costs disclose to the public yet. And that will no doubt require some support from our tax base and of course from our infrastructure renewal reserve fund so that fun will quickly be dwindling and it’s I’m hopeful that they’ll be a lot left for some of the other areas where we are really putting a focus on growth.

I am supporting this today with caution. And you know putting everyone involved in this in this project on notice that we want it to be an absolute and true success and we want it to be handled with the greatest level of diligence as possible.

The project was short 7 million – they dug into reserves and pushed $2 million onto the backs of the taxpayers – by taking out a 15 years debenture at 4.5%. Don’t you wish you could get that interest from your bank

Councillor Sharman added later in the meeting before the vote saying he recognized that his comments about money were made the way they were said because I think that it’s just a fact of life that cost is increasing. The arena had to be closed because the Freon system became illegal. Otherwise, we would have continued to have Skyway arena open, but it was grossly inadequate. It was built in the 60s. It was no longer up to standard in terms of installation and efficiency and effectiveness and it was undersized so it needed to go. So it’s going to be built. I think that’s one point with respect to money or No, I have a fairly reasonable understanding of money and my view of the world is very oriented towards future cash flow and where it’s coming from.

Paul Sharman: “I have no concerns about money.”

“I have no concerns about money, it will be resolved and especially in Parkland dedication, even if I do think it’s a bit rich it’s going to pay for a lot of stuff. We will still be building within the urban boundary. We will have the cash to pay for the facilities we need for another 70,000 people in the course of the next 30 years. And if anybody’s thinking differently than I ask you to talk to me, because planning and cash flow forecasting is an important way of thinking and I have no concerns about the money. And that’s about it for me. I’m delighted that we’re getting on with this.

Mayor Meed Ward decided it was her turn to take a kick at the can. “I am really looking forward to the ground-breaking in October. We know that we need more community facilities for our growing population period full stop – we are at capacity, we are bursting at the seams. This will be a facility that is used and loved by people from across Burlington the ice pads the community meeting space the parkour out front and also it will be really the future of how we build community facilities in Burlington. It will have solar panels on the roof. It will be a low carbon building, that is the future and we are not done yet. Our community amenities our parks or community centers have not kept up with the growth that we have seen in population in Burlington – this is one more opportunity to not only refresh what was there before, but expand it. The Walking Track is was really important.

It’s not so much about what we spend, it’s what we spend on and this there’s no question in my mind that this has been a priority. And so we just need to get on with it. We need to because the price isn’t gonna get any cheaper. And the cost escalation that we have seen is due to factors that are outside of the city’s control for sure and there’s no time like the present to get going.

This will put us at 11% debt ratio, our city imposed ratio is 12 and a half so we’re still well below that. The province imposes a debt ratio of 25%. Tax supported debt is only one of many sources of funding. We have reserved funds – revenue from users that will come back to us. I know the pickle ball courts will be very well used and played.

We have just increased and really level set the development charges that we will be charging for new growth and our Parkland dedication fees we were way behind, leaving money substantial amounts of money on the table.

I’m enthusiastic about finally getting on with this centre and we will mean we need more we’re not done we are not done yet with parks and community centres. Because we still have a lot more growth coming and we still have some catching up to do. And we have the money. We have the money to do it.

We do need a recorded vote on this. So I will turn it over to our clerk to take the recorded vote.

Councillor Bentivegna had some interesting questions and concerns about what was going to happen to the taxpayer.  His views will be covered in a seperate article later in the week.

Councillor stuck to her guns; the only Council member to talk about fiscal prudence.

City Manager Tim Commisso sat in on the meeting – didn’t say a word

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Freeman Station to be open on Saturday - posters on Lakeshore Road will be in place all weekend

By Pepper Parr

August 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Lots to do in the weekend ahead of us.

Station will be open on Saturday

The Freeman Station is going to be open from 10 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday.   They will be accepting Food items for the Food bank; keep that in mind when you do your shopping.

Heritage week is coming to a close – the collection of signs depicting the city’s past will be up all weekend – word is they might be around for part of next week as well.

When David Craig came up with the idea for the large posters few thought they would be so popular.

When awards are being handed out for the bright ideas one has to go to Craig.

One of the best ideas in some time. The public got to see the historical routes of the city.

 

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Lakeshore Road, south side at entrance to Spencer Smith - now a history classroom

By Staff

July 31st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A must see.

The Burlington Historical Society has installed a dozen or so poster board setting out just some of the history of the city.

How many of then did you know about?

Worth the time.  Be quick though – the 2 foot by 4 foot posters printed on thin sheets of aluminum come down August the 8th.  The mostly black and white photographs are courtesy of David Craig.

 

Installed by the Burlington Historical Society

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Michael Coren to Lead a Panel Discussion on Working for Peace at the Performing Arts Centre on Monday

By Staff

July 31st, 2022

Burlington, on

 

Superb summer weather. Why would anyone want to be indoors?

Perhaps something that will give your brain a bit of a buzz. No – not THAT kind of a buzz.

One where conversation and thoughts and different points of view on a daunting but critical subject.

Peace.

One Burlington meets at the Performing Arts Centre from noon to 4:00 pm on Monday.

Tomorrow, Monday, at 12:15 pm in the Studio Theatre Rev. Michael Coren, known for his controversial history as a conservative journalist and TV presenter before his change of heart and subsequent ordination in the Anglican Church.

Coren will lead a panel of thinkers on the subject of “Working for Peace”.

Panelists come from a range of experience as faith leaders and educators.

Two Prayer Rooms are available for a little private time away from the crowd.

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Kid's Mini Fest - August 13th at three different city parks

By Staff

July 30th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There a number of commercial organizations in Burlington that go out of their way to give back to the city in which they do business.  Of course the events they sponsor keep their name in the public eye with a favourable view.

Nothing wrong with that and we congratulate those that see their role as working with the public to make Burlington a better place.

A fun example of this Giving Back is:

THE ROCCA SISTERS PRESENT – KIDS MINI FEST!

Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At three locations:
Brant Hills Park (2255 Brant St.)
Cumberland Park (562 Cumberland Ave.)
Millcroft Park (4520 Millcroft Park Dr.)

 

Great picture!

 

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Burlington Golf & Country Club ranked 61st on a list of 100

By Staff

July 30th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington has its name on a new list.

A panel of 101 golfers travelled across the country and judged golf courses on nine criteria.

They ranked 100 golf courses and said that the Burlington Golf and Country Club was # 61 on their list

The course opened in 1924.

Ranked 61st out of 100.

The judges noted that the removal of many trees has made a big difference to the original Thompson design

So much for the urban canopy.

The SCOREGolf Top 100 courses in Canada.

What began as a grading of the country’s top 15 tracks in 1988 grew to a list of 25 in 1990, to 50 in 1994 and 100 by 2000.

Initially the ranking was completed by a small group of mostly golf professionals. Today the ranking is done primarily by public players or private club members.

The list is released every two years.

The Hamilton Golf and Country Club ranked #4

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That neighbourhood party Meed Ward and Bentivegna attended - the rules were clear - no alcohol.

By Staff

July 27th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Gazette asked for some comment on the street party that was partially funded by the city and attended by the Mayor last weekend.

Here is the response from Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture:

“Love My Neighbourhood is a program that has been running for several years. It provides a one-time per year grant of up to $500 per neighbour, resident or street section, condominium, or apartment group in Burlington.

“Not all applications require the full $500 support. These funds support the neighbourhood with nominal costs associated with insurance coverage, equipment rental fees and entertainment with the neighbours also contributing to the overall event.

“Organizers must agree to provide a free and inclusive event or activity to their community. Invitations are often sent by the organizers to their local councilor or all members of council.”

There is a list of what is what is and is not covered by funding.

The information on the city website is crystal clear on alcohol and cannabis:

Is that wine in those glasses – maybe it’s water.

Is alcohol or cannabis permitted?
“The City will not fund or permit the purchase of any alcohol beverages, tobacco or cannabis products. Alcohol or cannabis products are not permitted at Love My Neighbourhood events or on public property.”

Here is the link to the rules for those applying for a grant – they are lengthy and they are very clear.

Director Glenn said: “To date, we have approx. 70 applications for 2022.”  And adds: “Hopefully this helps clarify.”

To some degree it does.  We will ask now if there is a procedure in place to recover the grant and will Glenn advice members of Council individually what the rules are?

The one thing this incident has done is raise the profile of the program.

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New volunteer program launched to centralize all City volunteer opportunities

By Staff

July 25th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City has launched a new centralized volunteer program to better serve volunteer needs.

You can now access City volunteer postings in one place to learn how to get involved. All volunteer opportunities with the City can now be found at burlington.ca/volunteer.

Michelle Dwyer, Manager of Engagement and Volunteers doing a little volunteering of her own.

As volunteer postings are shared year-round, residents will be able to apply for opportunities in areas such as:

Adult Programs
Advisory Committees
Animal Shelter
Aquatics
Child, Youth and Family Programs
Festivals & Events
Skating
Student Theatre
Tyandaga Golf Course

Recruiting for fall program volunteer opportunities will be posted in August. We encourage residents to check out the fall positions for the Animal Shelter, Child, Youth and Adult Programs and Swimming.

People can create a profile through burlington.ca/volunteer to receive email updates on new opportunities as they become available. Each volunteer posting will include requirements for that opportunity which may differ depending on the scope of work.

Michelle Dwyer, Manager of Engagement and Volunteers said: “Our residents make a positive impact volunteering in our community every day. The City felt it was important to bring together all of the City volunteer postings shared across different platforms into one easy to find location. Our new volunteer program is intended to be helpful for everyone from students looking to complete volunteer hours for school to the active seniors giving back to Burlington.”

What Dwyer didn’t say is that the city also saves a bundle on staffing costs when volunteers take on the work.

Our understanding was that Volunteer opportunities were handled by Community Development Halton for the four municipalities in the Region where two Heather’s: : Johnson and Thomson were running a Regional wide program.

 

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How far into the public trough will candidates shove their snouts ? Using neighbourhood program funds to throw a party for the Mayor seem to be Ok

By Pepper Parr

July 24th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

What would we do without attentive, sharp eyed readers who know the smell of dead fish when it gets near their nose ?

Here is what came in today:

Are you aware of this? This is from the Mayor’s Facebook page.

What a great way to campaign on the taxpayers dime and look like a hero at the same time.

Why are the taxpayers of Burlington funding private street/block/condo parties? So I can plan a party at my condo building and the city will help pay for it?

Our taxes are already high enough. Is she going to attend every one of these parties along with the sitting councillor for the area?

The timing of this seems very questionable. I discussed this with several people – they were all dumbfounded.

Would love for you to investigate and report on. I keep thinking that I must be missing something.

Why Mayor Med Ward thought this was acceptable – taking part in an election event that was paid for with tax payer dollars ?

It wasn’t just the Mayor that was sucking on the public “teat”; ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna was in their as well.

What the reader is referring to is a city program that was put in place to give neighbourhoods and opportunity to get to know one another better and to improve parks, playground, spruce up the ravines.

The deal was, the last time we looked at it was the people applying had to come up with half of the amount they wanted to spend.  That half could be “in kind”.  The purpose of the grant, in the past at least, had to be spelled out and reviewed by Parks and Recreation.

Sparks will fly on this one.

It was a good program.  I doubt very much that this version of the program as it played out was approved.

I expect bot the Director of Parks and Recreation, the people who run the program and the City Manager will be making phone calls on Monday.

The stunning part is that the Mayor was quite alright with seeing tax payers dollars used to pay for a campaign event.

You wonder sometimes just how far a politician will put their nose into the public trough?

The purpose of the Love My Neighbourhood program is set out pretty clearly on the city web site:

Director of Parks and Recreation Chris Glenn has this to say about the program: “Now more than ever, we need to build our sense of community and connections with our neighbours. This program is designed to help remove some barriers and build stronger connections among neighbours and communities by putting people together and having fun.”

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It became clear to a packed room at the Art Gallery that something wonderful had taken place - the best in us was on display

By Pepper Parr

July 22nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

Part 2: Queen’s 70th Jubilee celebration

Half way through and Karina Gould calls for a break – asks people to mingle, get some coffee, juice, maybe a cookie.

This crowd didn’t need any coaxing.

What the room experienced, and by this time the extent of what was taking place was very clear.  The city was getting a look at people who have made the city what it is.  Gould explained that the 150 word descriptions were written by the nominators – Gould’s office just typed it out.

Everyone knew some of the people who were recognized but I don’t think anyone knew all of them.

The whole was greater than the sum of the parts and we could see it – it was in the room with us.

The list of those being called forward continued..

William Leggitt
Bill has led many local and international projects through the Rotary Club, including the development of vegetable and fruit gardens in Guatemala, providing latrines to communities without water, and enabling clean water projects. He regularly participates in local food drives, fundraisers, and had worked to support the sponsorship of refugees. Bill always gives the best of himself to make his projects successful.

Lisa Lunski working with a volunteer at Wellington United Church

Lisa Lunski
Lisa has been the leader of Friday Night Community, a community service organization that has provided no-cost meals as well as clothing, snacks and so much love and care to people in the Burlington community. During the pandemic, she pivoted to support the community with pickup and drop off meal options.

John MacMillian
Born in Cape Breton, John joined the Canadian military and became a paratrooper. After moving to Burlington, he started his own company which grew to include 65 employees. John has been a leader in community AA groups for over 52 years and has mentored and counselled thousands as they overcame their addiction to alcohol, enabling them to return as healthy members of their families, workplace and our community.

Nick Manz
Nick has been the President of the Burlington Centaurs Rugby Club since 2017. Through his volunteer efforts and leadership, he has raised the rugby club from the lowest branch division to one of the top clubs in the Province with the Men’s team competing in the highest level of representative competition. Nick has increased the rugby club’s community involvement with a focus on the youth by growing the sport at the grass roots level. He actively supports women in sport in leadership roles and has recently created the Mixed Ability Rugby program, and inclusive sport program for the community.

Brian Mather
Brian had a major stroke while he was a university student. Since then, he has been involved in Burlington Stroke Recovery, and has been the President for 25 years. He also started Halton Stroke Fellowship, and during the pandemic, he regularly made calls to all members, to check in on them. He also happens to have a beautiful singing voice!

Jim McDonnell
Jim has a genuine interest and energy for helping others. He is the current President of Able Sail, a 45 year volunteer at the Sailing and Boating Club, an active Rotarian, an usher at his Church, and a member of the Burlington Seniors Centre. He didn’t let COVID slow him down, and worked to ensure he gathered friends for safe outdoor exercise, and remained fundraising for important local and international causes. His ‘formula’ for thriving as an older adult is “stay connected, stay curious, and keep moving as you help others every day.”

Blair McKeil
Blair has been deeply involved in marine transportation for most of his life, and lead his family business McKeil Marine, growing it to one of Canada’s largest marine transportation companies. Although no longer involved in the day-to-day, he provides support and mentorship. He supports countless organizations in youth, education, arts, innovation, environment, hospice care, business and much more. Blair’s focus and personal sense of duty to his community is evident in all that he does.

Nancy McKenzie
Nancy began a unique initiative during COVID called Meals of Hope, which now runs five shifts out of Port Nelson United Church. They supported Wellington Square and Gore Park Community Outreach Program. She is an active participant in a Winter Clothing Drive and supports the LGBTQ2+ community through Affirm Ministry Group.

Linda Simmons conceived of and launched Writing the Rollercoaster – Stories of Riding Out the Pandemic in Burlington. She is proudly wearing her Jubilee pin.

Sylvia McNicoll
Sylvia was a part of Writing the Rollercoaster – Stories of Riding Out the Pandemic in Burlington. She helped to record videos, offered free writing workshops, read submissions, and edited stories. Writing the Rollercoaster launched in September 2021 to the delight of the authors and readers. The book was also offered free of charge to the public at various locations throughout Burlington.

Raffick Rennie Mohamed
Raffick has been involved in the community for 50 years. He has had many roles at McMaster University and Humber College, was on the St. Mathews Committee for English for Immigrant Mothers, and has been involved in the Burlington Mundialization Committee, the Halton Islamic Association, HMC Connections, and the Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Committee.

Sam Muia
Sam is one of the most energetic and positive volunteers at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. He is always smiling, enthusiastic and willing to help in any way he can. He is a strong presence in the warehouse and donation area when he is volunteering. Sam is always happy to chat with donors and let them know why their support is so key to our success, and he never steers away from heavy lifting.

Dr. C. Rajasekara Murthy
Dr. Murthy has made contributions, nationally as well as internationally, devoting over 35 years as a Senior Research Scientist at the Centre for Inland Waters and Professor at McMaster. One of his major achievements was the establishment of the Karnataka Environment Research Foundation, an NGO in Bangalore, India. Dr. Murthy represented Canada in several international Scientific and Technology transfer initiatives through UNESCO/UNDP/ UNEP, and the WHO. As Scientist Emeritus, he is still very active in mentoring, visiting professorships at major institutes and conducting international lectures.

Louise Paddock
Louise volunteers at her church and within apartment building’s community. She has created the Three C’s Program at her apartment, Crafts, Cooking, and Conversation, which has been a bright light for many residents. She also helps with grocery delivery, and bake sales, fundraising for local charities.

Brent Paszt
Brent has been involved in Rotary for many years and has chaired Ribfest numerous times, garnering lots of support for the community. A previous Board Member at the Carpenter Hospice, he chaired the Hike for Hospice. All this while raising two lovely daughters.

Stephan Pichocki

Stephan Pichocki
Stephan is a key figure in the Ukrainian community in Burlington. For 17 years he has been the President of the Tyrsa Ukrainian Dancing school, and a member of Holy Protection Parish Council. He is also a member of the Downtown Business Association. Since the war in Ukraine began, he has worked to support Ukrainians at home and abroad. He has organized a rally, cochaired a fundraiser concert, acted as an interpreter with HMC, collected monetary and physical donations, and helped refugees settle.

Connie Price

Connie Price
Connie is a prominent figure in Aldershot and advocate for seniors. Within her active involvement at St. Matthew’s Church, she has participated in a number of initiatives including food collection drives and providing free masks to the public. Connie works with Parks and Recreation to provide senior outdoor exercise areas around the city, has pushed for park upgrades, and works to ensure seniors in the community stay informed.

Janice Skafel

Mae Radford
Mae has had an extensive nursing career. She was as a volunteer manager at VON Hamilton and oversaw multiple community health support services. She also served on Burlington’s Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women, the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the Board at Joseph Brant Hospital, the Carpenter Hospice, and the Rotary Club. In Mae’s words… “As a nurse, my interest has been to care for people, to help them achieve comfort and relief from any pain, physical, mental, emotional or spiritual”

Shirley Robinson
Shirley has served so many in need in Burlington. She was an outstanding volunteer at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Patrick’s Conference, the Catholic Women’s League, and the Compassion Society. In her many roles, she has paid social visits and acted as a listening ear, delivered food, and run food drives.

Nancy Romic
Nancy manages Shifra Homes, supporting young pregnant woman and mothers. She has turned this wonderful home into a sanctuary for women and their families to come to rely on. A mama to many, her generosity and kindness, her ongoing commitment to these young women and their children’s futures is inspiring and deserves recognition.

Amy Schnurr
Amy is an environmental leader in our community as the Executive Director of Burlington Green. Amy is a shining example of community contribution and does so without a public spotlight. She has nominated so many other volunteers for awards over the years and her tremendous contributions are also worthy of recognition. She has also served as the chair of the Save General Brock Park Committee.

Gordon Schottlander

Gordon Schottlander

Gordon is a WW2 and D-Day veteran, who fought alongside Canadian soldiers. He has given his time to the Chamber of Commerce, the Burlington Planning Board, the YMCA Planning Committee, the Knights of Columbus, St. Gabriel’s Church, the Moon in June Race, and was founding chairman of the Burlington Family YMCA, and much more. He is a family man (he has 15 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren!) a businessman and has received the key to the city.

This one was special.  With his certificate in hand Gord stood during an extended standing ovation.   Proud, grateful this 104 year old soldier stood tall.

Rene Schuster
Rene is the founder and leader of the Burlington Dad group, which serves a pivotal role within the community of Burlington. Under Renes leadership the Burlington Dads have raised over $400,000 for local charities and families in need. Without Rene this couldn’t have been done, not to mention his community group has a following of over 5000 members now. Rene with the Burlington Dads hosts several events a year for the community of Burlington.

Dennis Scott
Dennis has dedicated his life to fostering inclusion within his community. As the Chair of the Halton Black History Awareness Society, he ensures that Black history is taught as Canadian history. He also supports the arts community through the Halton Freedom Festival. Through his dedication and perseverance, Dennis worked to ensure that Burlington was the first city to declare Emancipation Month in North America.

Elaine Scrivener
Elaine has served with the Burlington Volunteer Bureau, Burlington Downtown Business Association, Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington, Boards of Joseph Brant Hospital and Foundation, Burlington Art Centre, Burlington Downtown Partnership, Community Development Halton, and the Burlington Museums Foundation. Elaine recognizes the importance of her role as mentor, and sustainer and actively steward new volunteers into community engagement alongside her husband Bernard.

Lynda Simmons
Lynda Simmons conceived of and launched Writing the Rollercoaster – Stories of Riding Out the Pandemic in Burlington. Lynda worked to create writing videos, offered free writing workshops, read and edited submissions, and planned a launch event. The book launched in September 2021 to the delight of the authors and readers. Copies of the books were also offered free of charge to the public through the library system and businesses across the city.

Janice Skafel
Janice Skafel has been a tireless supporter of refugees assisting more than four families to come to Canada and settle here over more than twenty years. She worked within St. Luke’s Church to form the Burlington Downtown Refugee Alliance and has acted as chair. She also organizes Advocacy Breakfasts which brings in guest speakers. An invaluable leadership skill is her ability to encourage and enable others to bring their own unique talents and abilities and to contribute and lead.

Richard Slisinski
Richard has been involved with the Polish National Union of Canada for 27 years, having held positions as President, VP, Treasurer and more. He has never ended energy and devotion and is constantly fundraising for events. He has also volunteered with Halton Region Youth Soccer for 20 years as a coach and mentor, acting as a shoulder to lean on for many youths.

Murray Sutherland
Murray Sutherland has been the Colour Guard Commander with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 60, in Burlington, and is now the current president. He has spent countless hours organizing Remembrance Day parades for the last 15 years and has acted as a mentor for many members. His write ups have been used in books, he has spoken at the US Department of Energy, and was invited by the International Energy Agency in Paris to present his take on the emerging energy scenario. He has also taught Oil, Geopolitics and the Middle East at McMaster University.

Rashid Husain Syed
Rashid is a global energy expert, having writing extensively and spoken around the world. He is a regular columnist in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, Arab News, and other outlets, and has had his work featured in a book. He has chaired several global industry conderences and also occasionally teaches at McMaster University.

John Tait
John was President of the Burlington Rep Hockey Club, the Eagles from 1997 – 2020. John has consistently stressed the importance of not only skill development, but the personal growth of the athletes as people. During his time as President of the Eagles, he fostered the growth of the Gift of Giving Back, which has since raised millions of meals and hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial support for local beneficiaries such as the Salvation Army, The Burlington Food Bank, Food for Life, the Compassion Society, Halton Women’s Shelter, the Carpenter Hospice and the ROCK.

Joseph Tassoni
Joseph is a leading member of the downtown Burlington community and innovative fashion designer. All of his product in locally and his nominator can be quoted as saying “I have seen him late at night cutting and sewing away!”. He supports the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation, the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation, and the Halton Women’s Place. Joseph is a great resource for other businesses owners, always encouraging and supporting them.

David Vandenberg

David Vandenberg
David has served in volunteer leadership positions within over 10 organizations and helped raise over $350,000 for charities and non-profits. Recently, he helped lead the meal program at Wellington Square. He now is an Advisor for Canadian Tire Jumpstart where he manages the builds of their national inclusive play projects.

Peter John VanDyk
Peter is an incredible ambassador for Burlington, philanthropically and in the business community. He volunteers his time with the Sound of Music Festival, the Burlington Holiday Market, the Taste of Burlington, the YWCA Hamilton, and many more. No matter how busy he is, he always seems to find ways to support other businesses & include those left on the sidelines.

Roy Voorberg
Roy has been an Auxiliary Constable with Halton Regional Police for the past 25 years. Each year he has volunteered hundreds of hours assisting sworn officers on patrol, doing RIDE stop checks, at large scale community events like Sound of Music or Ribfest, managing traffic at road races, doing searches for lost individuals, canvassing for evidence, home safety evaluations for the public and a myriad of other community-safety oriented tasks. He has mentored dozens of new Auxiliary Constables over that time and has been a Sergeant for much of the last decade providing administrative support, training and moral & morale support for those reporting to him. Whenever there’s an issue, he’s the pillar we’ve turned to.

Sheila Waldron
Sheila is a volunteer with Crafts, Cooking, and Conversation. She has also given her time to arrange theatre visits for members of the group, promoted reading and walking, and helped out in the community garden. She remains a regular volunteer at Joseph Brant Hospital.

Dean Walker
Dean Walker has made immeasurable contributions to a more inclusive Canada, especially for Deaf Canadians. Dean founded the Burlington Association of the Deaf and has been an advocate and expert in equity and access. He has contributed to policy in provincial legislation and worked to accommodate deaf individuals in the justice system. He has volunteered with the Ontario Association of the Deaf, for 25 years, acting as Executive Director for 3 years. He has also coached the 1981 Ontario Deaf Olympics basketball team and was Head Coach for the Deaf Canada baseball team in the 2000 World Tournament.

George Ward
George is a longtime resident of Burlington and has been active as a volunteer in many causes throughout the years, especially in politics. George believes in getting involved w

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