Let your pictures show how you love culture. Contest prizes are certainly worth the effort.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

August 11, 2017



This looks interesting.

If you are in the city, attending or taking part in a cultural event – take some family picture of all of you at the event and send the pictures into the theme is to have you celebrating Canada’s 150th by capturing your love of art and culture. Enter a photo of yourself or your family taking part in a unique cultural experience anywhere in Canada.

Love culture - photo contest

The prizes are interesting. There are a couple of dozen Gazette readers we know who will be entering this contest.


You could win a prize pack valued at over $1500* including a DSLR camera, 24 Cineplex movie passes for a year, and more!

Here is the web site to enter your pictures – all the details are there.

There are a number of corporate sponsors – the largest appears to be Sun Life

Culture pic contest sponsors

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Merchant of Venice to open at the Rock Garden on Monday August 14th. Rehearsals indicate a well produced and fun show is in store.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

August 10th, 2017



We seldom realize just how much of our commonly used phrases come from the pen of William Shakespeare.

If you take in the upcoming production of The Merchant of Venice that will take the grassy lawn of the Rock Garden at Royal Botanical Gardens you will hear dozens of phrases that you use frequently without fully realizing where they cane from.

Merchant full cast

The cast from the left: Chris Reid/Shylock, Michael Hannigan/Antonio, Alma Sarai/Portia, Shawn Coelho-DeSouza/Prince of Morocco and Lorenzo, Claudia Spadafora, Jessica, Isabel Starks/Ensemble, Jamie Kasiama/Nerissa, Zach Parsons/Bassanio, Jesse Horvath/Launcelot.

Trevor Copp tells people that in the Merchant “Money makes the world go ’round: Portia has it. Bassanio wants it. Shylock lends it. Antonio owes it – and it will cost him dearly.

“Dark in its humour and bawdy in its romantic hijinks, The Merchant Of Venice takes audiences on a journey of love, mercy and (in)justice.

The cast of

Marchant Intern and Alma

Isabel Starks and Alma Sarai during rehearsals taking notes on changes.

Chris Reid/Shylock,

Michael Hannigan/Antonio,

Alma Sarai/Portia,

Shawn Coelho-DeSouza/Prince of Morocco and Lorenzo,

Claudia Spadafora/

Jessica, Isabel Starks/Ensemble,

Jamie Kasiama/Nerissa,

Zach Parsons/Bassanio,

Jesse Horvath/Launcelot

is in final rehearsals – they will put on two performances in St. Catharines before opening at the Rock Garden May 14th.

Is St. Catharines going to be Burlington’s Peoria – the city that many live productions try out on before hitting stages in Manhattan?

The schedule is August 14th to the 18th, 21st to 25th; the 28th and September 1


Tickets are available at:

Merchant - plays antonio

Michael Hannigan plays Antonio,

This is the second year that Copp has mounted Shakespeare at the Rock Garden which provides the perfect atmosphere for a night of inspiring theatre under the stars. This is a very physical production that has a number of the 2016 crew returning to the stage.

The event was basically sold out last year; opening night RBG staff had to bring out additional seats. Heck even the Mayor was on hand – he didn’t stay for the full performance.

We sat in on a full rehearsal earlier this week. There a couple of line drops and some last minute change suggestions. Copp includes his staff at almost every level – certainly on the content of the production. Blocking and movement of different actors on the stage is a collaborative thing; more often than not he will say “sure, why not”.

Merchant - Trevor with laptop

Copp: focused, intent but wide open to ideas and suggestions.

His direction however is tightly focused – he doesn’t miss a thing and has a way of working with each actor in a way that works for the actor. While Copp is a dance artist in his own right – he doesn’t drag around a lot of ego with him.

The cast works well together – they like each other and share the ins and outs of their daily lives. These are educated and informed people with a sense of humour and some sharp wits as well. The black humour is not to be shared.

Each performance will include a half hour intermission with garden tours available during that time.

The Rock Garden will close to the general public at 5:30 p.m.  Garden opens at 6 p.m. to those who have purchased tickets. Seating is first come first served.

Midsummer - cast and audience

Great audiences last year – superb production coming this year.

The performance is rain or shine however in the event of inclement weather, RBG will determine at 5 p.m. if the theatrical performance will be cancelled. To check for a cancellation please check our Facebook page or call the weather hotline at 905-527-1158 ext. 404.

Your ticket will be valid to attend a future show of your choosing. Please call 905-527-1158 ext. 516 to arrange your new date. For those with dinner reservations, dinner service will go ahead as planned. If the performance is cancelled while in progress, please see the event staff to reschedule for another performance date.

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Some of the smartest, sweetest jazz to be heard in this city will be played on the Performing Arts Patio this weekend - and it is all free.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

August 10th, 2017



It is one of the events that those living downtown know about and make sure they get to the Performing Arts Centre early enough to get a seat.

Jazz - SROIt is the annual Jazz on the Patio – a joint effort between the Performing Arts Centre and the Burlington Downtown Business Association that is free.

Those who get there are treated to some of the smartest – sweetest jazz you are going to hear in this town.

And there is a cash bar,

And – given the way weather has played with us this summer – in the event of rain, the performance will be moved inside the venue.

Jazz BDBA event #1

Jane Bunnett

The line up this year includes:

Friday, August 11
7:00pm – 9:00pm –

 Four-time JUNO Award winner, two-time Grammy nominee soprano saxophonist/flautist Jane Bunnett brings the soul of Cuba to the hearts of Canadian music-lovers. Along with her new and exquisite all-female sextet: Maqueque.

Saturday, August 12
7:00pm – 9:00pm,

 Biali is an award-winning Canadian pianist and vocalist, who has has been garnering world-wide recognition for her music. Her accolades include SOCAN Composer of The Year, and Keyboardist of The Year at Canada’s National Jazz Awards.

Jazz BDBA #2

Amanda Martinez

Saturday, August 12
3:00pm – 5:00pm

 Amanda Martinez is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter whose music 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.

Sunday, August 13
3:00pm – 5:00pm

Born in Scarborough, Kellylee Evans is a chameleon-like performer, whose natural charm and improvisational jazz vocal style have shined on her adventurous journey through jazz, soul, pop and hip-hop over the past decade.

Every square inch of the patio is taken up – some people sit on the sidewalk on the other side of the street to listen to the music.

It is unfortunate that Performing Arts staff have in the past taken up some of the prime space – this is a public event – not a perk for staff.

The downtown lifers know a good deal and they arrive in droves.

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Area’s Amazing Things To Do Before You Are 12 at Mountsberg and Crawford Lake Conservation Area.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

August 8th, 2017



Summer days should be filled with play – time spent lying on your back looking at the clouds, building forts, hunting for frogs, and exploring!

Turn back the clock and make some time childhood memories at Mountsberg and Crawford Lake Conservation Area’s Amazing Things To Do Before You Are 12 event this weekend on Saturday, August 12 and Sunday August 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

snake - touch a

Touch a snake before you are 12

Families can spend the day checking things off a list of “Amazing Things To Do Before You Are 12”. Make a nest like a bird, touch a snake, make a masterpiece, learn to make fire without a match, and play to your hearts content. You won’t want to miss the fun at this year’s mud pie kitchen at Mountsberg or at the Archery range at Crawford Lake. Live snake and raptor presentations round out a day full of family fun.

Regular park admission applies, and Halton Parks members can show their pass for admission.

Birds nest

Learn how to make a bird’s nest – before you are 12.

Author Richard Louv introduced us to the dilemma of the growing disconnect between children and nature in his ground-breaking book “Last Child in the Woods”. He coined the term Nature Deficit Disorder which aptly describes the poor physical and emotional health of children and adults due to the lack of direct exposure to the outdoors. “Amazing Things To Do Before You are 12” event was created in response to provide fun, active outdoor play for busy families.

Mountsberg Conservation Area is located on Milburough Line, five km west of Campbellville, ON, between Highway 6 South and Guelph Line. This 472 hectare park includes extensive wetlands, forests, fields, and a reservoir. For more information please call Mountsberg at (905) 854-2276 or e-mail mtsberg@hrca.on.ca.


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Statistics tell us a lot more about the make up of the country and the way we live as people. What's happening to the concept of the family?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

August 3rd, 2017



Statistics Canada released more of the census data it collected during 2016.

We get a tighter look at data about families, revealing changes in marriage rates, how much longer Canadians are waiting to start families, and how many families live under different roofs — be it because one parent is working in another part of the country, or because they are older parents choosing to live apart.

The statistics show the varying and ever complex definition of family in Canada, which — like language — seems certain to prompt governments and service providers to rethink their policies and offerings to meet demographic dynamics.

Some graphics on what has been learned so far from the data. Interesting.

StatsCan - Young adults 2016

This suggests they might never move out.


StatsCan - seniors 2016

The older folk seemed to have figured it out – staying together probably means live live longer as well.


StatsCan - common law 2016

Quebec has always been different – but tat much different is surprising.


StatsCan - household make up 2016

Nationally – this is what we look like. Which do you fit into – and do your neighbours also fit into the sector you are in ?

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Almost totally SOLD OUT weeks before the curtain rises: Annie Jr to be performed at the Drury Lane Theatre.

artsblue 100x100By Staff

August 3rd, 2017



Every artistic director wishes for words like these:

KooGle Theatre Company is very excited to announce that they are presenting a Youth Musical Theatre Summer Intensive for youth ages 8-18 – culminating in a production of ANNIE Jr.

Annie jr short logoAll actors have auditioned for a role in this production.

Tickets are on sale now! Only $10 each!

Saturday August 19, 2017 1:30pm – SOLD OUT
Saturday August 19, 2017 6:30pm – SOLD OUT
Sunday August 20, 2017 1:30pm – TICKETS AVAILABLE

Performances at
2269 New St., Burlington

For tickets, please email us at
call 905-633-8788

Excited they should be.  Leslie and Christopher Gray, Co-Artistic Directors at KooGle Theatre work very hard at getting productions to the stage and then hoping that the audience reaction is good and that tickets are bought based on the reaction to the show.

When they brought the Putnam County Spelling Bee to Burlington a few years ago and put it on a stage at the Performing Arts centre the response was good. There were a couple of SOLD out nights, but nothing like this.

Weeks before the curtain goes up for the first time there is just the one performance left for which tickets are available.

Extending this show would make real sense.

Has something like this happened in Burlington before?


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The Food Trucks at the Joseph Brant Day in LaSalle Park are not to be missed. Smokey maple bacon poutine - on Monday August 7th.

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 3rd, 2017



For Canada’s 150th birthday, the Museums of Burlington are celebrating Joseph Brant Day at LaSalle Park with all things Canadian.

2017 Brant festivalThis year, revel in the food truck rally highlighting Canadian ingredients.

Enjoy the main stage entertainment by local performers. Interact with local organizations and businesses, hosting a variety of fun games and activities.

You will sure find something to love from our long list of exciting features, including: a “Made in Canada” vendors market, henna tattooing, live art performance, community mural project, and many more!

Museum Board has plans for a major upgrade to the Brant Museum - is this a place for you and your skill set?

The Joseph Brant Museum as it looks today. It has been closed for close to a year and probably will never again be open to the public.

But you may not hear very much about the $10 million expansion that is to take place at the Joseph Brant Museum on Lakeshore Road.

Before packing things in for the summer city council approved the provision of a $1 million dollar top up sum to ensure that all the funding was in place for the construction of the new updated museum that will turn the replica structure into an administrative office that the public won’t get anywhere near. What is now the museum will be pivoted and moved a short distance while construction of the new museum, much of which will be underneath a large pile of earth.


Artists rendering of the proposed re-development of the Joseph Brant Museum.

Neither the Museum staff or the Museum Foundation have said very much about just what is going to be in the new structure other than to say that it will be 300% bigger than what is in place now.

One would have thought that the Joseph Brant Day would have been an excellent opportunity to tell the public about these big big plans.

This time next year the construction will be well underway.

For this year what the public gets is

11:30 Opening Ceremony
12:30 First Nations Pow Wow Dance Demonstrations
1:30 Halton Dance Network Interactive Dance Workshop
2:30 Curious Canadian Critter Show
3:30 Bar Blue Sea Live Band

At various times during the day there will be Interactive First Nations Drum Circles


Brant Day - Food truck line -2

Food Trucks have proven to be very popular at the annual Joseph Brant Day celebration.

Feast at the Food Truck Rally. This is a really smart addition to the Brant day celebration. The dishes being offered are said to be inspired by Canadian ingredients.

Enjoy a smokey maple bacon poutine, a True North burger, maple cotton candy and more!

There’s something for everyone: Dora’s Express, Luchadore Gourmet Streatery, Cafe du Monde Creperie, Pappas Greek, Sweet Temptation Cupcakery, MeatVentures, and Triple Treats.


Explore the vendors market which will showcase the work of local artisans and businesses. Plan to visit the Purpal Paisley Soapery, Ruff Trade Ties/ Little Kitchen Helpers, The Davidson Co., She’s Got Leggz, In Front Design Studio, Voxx Life, Healing Treasures, Woodfully Wooden World, The Good Red Earth Soap Company, Pandamonium Publishing House, Rubber Ducky Co., Life lounge Chiropractic and Health Centre, Papas Pens by Bill and more.

What would Joseph Brant have said about all this? Maybe his peers knew what was best for Brant when they moved his remains from Burlington to Brantford where they rest in peace today.

Brant tomb in Brantford -Mohawk chapel

The Brant tomb sits just outside the Mohawk Chapel near Brantford.

Joseph Brant – the man.

Just who was this man Joseph Brant, the corner stone of the city’s history ?

The Museum staff tend to tell the public very little about the man who was given the land grant that Burlington was built on. Lest he be totally forgotten – here is a short version of his story:

Mohawk Leader. Born on the banks of the Ohio River to Tehonwagh’ kwangeraghkwa of the Wolf Clan of the Mohawk. In his early youth, Thayendanega became a favorite of Sir William Johnson, the British Superintendent of Northern Indians of America.

Thayendanega was among a number of young Mohawks who were selected by Johnson to attend Moor’s Charity School for Indians at Lebanon, Connecticut where he became known as Joseph Brant.  That school evolved into what today is known as Dartmouth University.

Brant was always pretty good at getting grants from the British, but this Council probably isn’t going to hear his argument.

Joseph Brant was frequently painted by British artists who were keen to capture his image – he was very popular during his several visits to the United Kingdom.

Brant left school at about age 13 and followed Sir William into battle during the French and Indian War. He became Sir William’s aide in the Indian Department, administered by the British out of Quebec. In August 1775, the leaders of the Six Nations of the Iroquois League met in council and decided that the growing conflict was a private affair between the British and the colonists, and that they should stay out of it. Brant denounced the Iroquois League’s decision to remain neutral and called the Americans the enemy of all Indians. He feared white expansion would push the Iroquois off their lands if the colonists achieved independence. Brant used his influence to engage the League for the British, four tribes, the Mohawks, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas entered into an alliance with England.

Brant property boundary on Allview

The oak tree on Allview, a street that runs off the North Shore Road, marks the western boundary of the land grant given to Joseph Brant.

The Oneidas and Tuscaroras ultimately sided with the Colonists splintering the confederation. Brant received a Captain’s commission in the British army and was placed in charge of the Indian forces loyal to the Crown. Brant took part in the Battle of the Cedars in 1776, German Flats, and Cherry Valley in 1778, establishing a formidable reputation for himself. At war’s end, Britain abandoned its Indian allies in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, when it ceded the Crown’s claim to land south of the Great Lakes and accepted peace terms that contained no mention of tribal rights.

2_Joseph_Brant_Painting_George_Romney-1200x500Brant retained his commission in the British Army and was awarded a land grant on the Grand River in Ontario by Governor Sir Frederick Haldimand in 1784. Brant led almost 2000 Iroquois Loyalists from New York to his grant where they settled and established the Grand River Reservation.

In this portrait Joseph Brant is seen wearing the gorget given to him by King George III. That gorget is the most important piece in the collection at the Joseph Brant Museum.

In this portrait Joseph Brant is seen wearing the gorget given to him by King George III. That gorget is the most important piece in the collection at the Joseph Brant Museum.

This land grant was separate from the 3000 plus acres he was granted in what became Burlington and whee he built a home. The current museum is a replica of the house he built.

Brant traveled to England in 1785 and succeeded in obtaining compensation for Mohawk losses in the American Revolution.

He encouraged the Mohawk to adopt Christianity and support British style schooling. His translations of Saint Mark’s Gospel and the Book of Common Prayer into Mohawk were published in 1787. Brant died at about 65 years at his home in what was then known as Wellington Square which came to be known as Burlington.

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Art Gallery releases its fall program -

News 100 yellowBy Staff

August 2nd, 2017



The Art Gallery of Burlington has released their program for the fall.

Family Saturday Sessions
AGB kids withj artChildren Ages 8 to 14: $5
Adult Member: $7.50 | Adult Non-Member: $10
Family of 4 (Member): $20 | Family of 4 (Non-Member): $25
Saturdays | 1:00 – 3:00pm

There will be sessions on:

Sept 23: Rug Hooking
with Lisa Meecham – Register Now

Oct 14: Printmaking
with Kevin Willson – Register Now

AGB darkroomOct 28: Metal Embossing
with Heather Kuzyk – Register Now

Nov 4: Darkroom Photograms
with Deborah Kanfer – Register Now

Nov 18: Clay Masks
with Dawn Hackett-Burns – Register Now

Dec 9: Embroidered Felt Buttons
with Samantha Goeree – Register Now

Kids Classes

AGB print makingJunior Guild – Mini Makers (8 classes)

Age: 4-12 years Member: $175 | Non-Member: $200
Saturdays | 10:00am – 12:00pm | Sept. 23 – Nov. 18

Creative Playdates (10 classes)
Ages: 2-5 years + grown-ups
Member: $100 | Non-Member: $125
Fridays | 10:00 – 11:00am | Sept. 8 – Nov. 17

Home School Art Immersion (12 classes)
Age: 6-10 years
Member: $200 | Non-Member: $225
Mondays | 9:30am – 11:30am | Sept. 11 – Dec. 4

Teen Classes

Teen Potters (8 classes)
Age: 13+
Member: $175 | Non-Member: $200
Saturdays | 10:00am – 12:00pm | Sept. 23 – Nov. 18

Artist and Curator: Parade Float (9 classes)
Ages: 14+
Member and Non-Members: $25
Saturdays | 1:00-3:00pm | Sept. 23 – Nov.18 and Sunday, Dec. 3

AGB PA daysP.A. Days

Member: $30 | Non-Member: $40
Monday, September 25 & Friday, October 6

NEWOpen Studio Drop-in

Community Drop-in Studio

Fine Arts (13 weeks)

For Adults 16+ who need a studio space to work in – drop by and work on your own independent projects. The onsite facilitator will show you how to use the equipment.

Member and Non-Member: $10 for 4 hours or 10 visits for $90
Students (Valid Student ID): 10 visits for $75
Tuesdays | 1:00 – 9:00pm | Sept. 5 – Nov. 28

Pottery (13 weeks)
For Adults 16+ who need a studio space to work in – drop by and work on your own independent projects. The onsite facilitator will show you how to use the equipment.

Member and Non-Member: $10 for 4 hours or 10 visits for $90
Students (Valid Student ID): 10 visits for $75
Wednesdays | 7:00-10:00pm | Sept. 6 – Nov. 29

Adult Classes
Beginning in September

AGB Adult classesClay Date (1 class)

Pottery by Hand (6 classes)

The Foundation of Painting (10 classes)

Painting the Canadian Landscape (10 classes)

The Foundation of Drawing (10 classes)

Pottery Your Way (10 classes)

Beginners Throwing Workshop (9 classes)

Intro to Stained Glass (1 class)

Sip & Paint Social (1 class)

For a full description of each Adult Class including date, time, cost and instructor please see the course outline on our website.

Beginning in October

AGB Starting in OctoberWeaving Basics and Beyond (10 classes)

Intro to Stained Glass (1 class)

Stained Glass Panel Original Design and Fabrication (6 classes)

Clay Date (1 class)

Hooked on the Maple Leaf (4 classes)

Encaustic Painting Techniques: The Whole Ball of Wax (2 classes)

Basic Watercolour (8 classes)

For a full description of each Adult Class including date, time, cost and instructor please see the course outline on our website .

Beginning in November

AGB starting in NovemberPottery Decorating Techniques (6 classes)

Sip & Paint Social (1 class)

Enamel Buttons are Back (4 classes)

Handmade Statement Ring (4 classes)

Clay Date (1 class)

For a full description of each Adult Class including date, time, cost and instructor please see the course outline on our website.

The Art Gallery of Burlington is funded by an annual grant from the city of Burlington, fees charged for events and additional financial support it gets from the provincial government, provincial agencies and private sector sponsors.

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Community needs tools to complete the building of a neighbourhood playground on Sunday August 13th..

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 1, 2017



The KaBOOM! Aldershot community planning committee are looking for gardening and construction tools to help build a new playground at Bolus Gardens Parkette on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017.

A few volunteers are also needed to join Foresters FinancialTM, and non-profit KaBOOM! to create the new play space, which will serve more than 1,200 children and their families in the local community.

The design for the new playground is based on drawings created by neighborhood children at a special Design Day event that was held in June when community members met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Foresters Financial to design their dream playground. The drawings inspired the final playground design.

KaBoom visual

Designed by the kids – assembled by the community – they need to borrow some tools to get the job done.

Volunteers are asked to bring tools and community residents and businesses are encouraged to loan or donate items such as garden hoes, wheel barrows, various drills, hammers and saws. Please see the complete list at www.burlington.ca/bolus or contact Kim Napier at 905-335-7600, ext. 7900. or kim.napier@burlington.ca.

Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to register at https://www.tfaforms.com/4618494. There are limited spots for this opportunity.

Since 1996, KaBOOM! has been dedicated to ensuring that all kids get the balance and active play they need to thrive.

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy lives and communities.

Foresters Financial is a KaBOOM! Founding Partner and National Partner.

Bolus Parkette is on Francis Road south of Plains Road East.

Related article:

Parkette adjacent to proposed community re-development.

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Artist commissioned to create public art for city recreation locations brings an impressive background to the task.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

August 1st, 2017



With the selection decision made Ken Hall now has to move into production mode and begin the process of creating large aluminum based ribbons that will be painted a bright red metallic paint that will go up on three of the city’s sports and recreation locations: Mainway Arena, Brant Hills and the Nelson Recreation centre.

During the selection process the public didn’t get to see much of work Ken Hall had done elsewhere. Shown were conceptual drawings that were a hint at what was being suggested.


Rendering of the aluminum ribbon Ken Hall has been commissioned to install on the Brant Hills recreation centre, Similar ribbons will be placed on two other recreation locations.

Once the public had been given an opportunity to voice their views on  a selection of artists who made the short list, the task of refining the concept, ironing out some of the wrinkles and getting a production schedule in place became the focus.

One shift was that none of the art was going to be on the ground. All the ribbons will be attached to the building. There was a concern that something on the ground could be mutilated by vandals. They will not be illuminated which is unfortunate – they would look rather stunning in the evenings if they were lit up. Not enough money in the budget for that feature.

Hall has done public art for Cambridge and Georgetown, Ontario and has an interesting piece of work being created for Waterloo.

The work he is best known for is his Legacy, a piece of sculpture that was named Hope by children who lived in the community where the whale the sculpture is based on was washed ashore.

In 2002, the body of a female killer whale was found stranded on the North Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. Just offshore, a healthy young male hovered close by, refusing gentle attempts to guide him into deeper water.

Although the orphaned male orca was saved, it was soon learned that the female’s body carried one of the most toxic loads of chemicals ever recorded in a marine mammal. She had the highest levels of PCBs and DDT ever found in an orca.

“Hope’s story” explained Hall “inspired me to create an installation that would illustrate the fragility of our ecosystems, and highlight the cost of ignoring our impact on our environment.”

Hall - Killer whale

Ken Hall’s Legacy currently on display at the Ontario Science Centre.

Legacy, the name given to the piece of work, is a life-sized, anatomically correct orca skeleton that has been hand-carved from recycled cedar, meticulously following scans of Hope’s skeleton taken during her necropsy.

The cedar was donated to Hall by the people of the Pine River Valley around the Orangeville part of the province where he lives and created the sculpture that is currently on display at the Ontario Science centre. More than three million people have viewed this piece of work.

The art work was built so that it could be taken apart and shipped to the different locations.

Dr. Peter Ross, Director of Ocean Pollution Research Program, Vancouver Aquarium said “Ken’s ‎spectacular reclaimed cedar killer whale skeleton provides a poignant opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to share critically important stories about ocean conservation.

“Highlighting the plight of one of the most iconic creatures on the planet, this evocative piece of art has the potential to connect people to their environment.”

Hall studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, did a couple of years’ studies and co-op work placements but didn’t earn a degree. He switched to Fine Arts before graduating.

His mechanical engineering studies ave him the background that he now uses for his installation art.

The original assembly work was done at the Dufferin County Museum where the staff were not completely sure what it was that Ken Hall wanted to say with the sculpture.

Hall with whalesculpture

Each of the 46 vertebrae were crafted by Ken Hall -(shown) from re-cycled cedar.

Once 11 of the 46 vertebrae were carved, Hall realized just how big of a project this would be—it took him six months of full-time fabrication to make all the pieces (there are over 200 bones that make up the sculpture).

The sculpture was completed and put on display at the Dufferin County Museum & Archives in Ontario. Sometimes accompanied by projection lights that provide a water-like effect and orca vocalizations playing in the background, the finished piece gives visitors a feeling of being underwater.

That feeling is what Hall wanted to provide people walking through the exhibit—one that highlights our connections as humans to the Earth and our ecosystems, like Hope and her community in the Pacific.

Which brings us back to the Ken Hall aluminium ribbons that will adorn three sports/recreational structures in the city.

The installation artist brings a rich history to the task. Something to keep in mind when you look at those ribbons when they go up later this year.

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Erica Pickering, a Burlington student to perform at CNE Rising Star competition

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

July 31st, 2017



The CNE has been running their Rising Star Talent Competition program since 1987.

Each year young boys and girls from across the province enter the competition that runs for xx days at the Canadian National Exhibition.

The talent competition showcases young artists between the ages of 6 to 21

Contestants are judged on their natural ability, audience appeal, stage presence and the quality of their performance

Erica Pickering, a 12 year old grade 7 student at Sacred Heart where she says her best subjects are English and languages is a Rising Star contestant.

Erica puts in 25 hours a week on training but doesn’t talk in terms of a dance career for herself. She likes the look of interior design and decorating but is typical for a girl hr age – she is “considering her options”

Erica Pickering dancer

Erica Pickering, a contestant in the CNE Rising Star competition.

Erica sings and dances and does some acting; commercial work is something she thinks she might like to do. She sees herself as a “triple threat”

Erica has this pixie look to her. The photographs of her as a performer are not the girl that you talk to in the back yard of her home.

The Erica on a stage has a very polished professional look to her.

In an interview she is confident; doesn’t look to her Mother for the answers to questions and doesn’t hesitate to tell you what she thinks – and does so very politely.

“Dancing is hard work” she will tell you but she must be doing something right: she was one of the top five in the Atlantic City event.

Now it is on to the CNE competition which is an event you must apply to for consideration.

There are usually more than 100 participants in the numerous categories.

The event is described as a “nice show” one that doesn’t have the meanness that is often seen on the events that have a reality aspect to them.

That is so Canadian: decent, polite, clean and fun – which pretty well sums up Erica Pickering.

The Gazette will follow her performances.

The Rising Star schedule is:
Junior Preliminaries: Friday August 18 – Monday August 21
Junior Semi-Finals: Monday August 28 & Tuesday August 29
Junior Finals: Saturday September 2
Youth Preliminaries: Tuesday August 22 – Sunday August 27
Youth Semi-Finals: Wednesday August 30 – Friday September 1
Youth Finals: Sunday September 3

The Grand Champion of the junior competition will receive $1,000. The Grand Champion of the youth competition will receive $2,500.

Youth division is 13 – 21 years of age ; the Junior division is 6 – 12 years old

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Othello will be in Lowville this Wednesday evening - just the one performance - not to be missed.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

July 30th, 2017



If you do what many of us do – plan your week on Sunday you might want to give some thought to slipping up to Lowville to take in a performance of Othello at Thinkspot where you can sit outside on a large large lawn and watch gifted actors perform one of Shakespeare’s plays.

Getting out in the middle of the week to watch a play isn’t the way most people spend their time – unless of course they are on vacation.

Hamlet - Lowville Festival - people on grass

Driftwood Theatre performing at Thinkspot in Lowville

Whether you are on vacation or putting in time at the office – Wednesday evening – 7:00 pm the Driftwood Theatre Company will take to the outdoor stage and give you an interpretation of Othello that you will not have seen before.

Lowville has been the locale for a number of artistic endeavours. The annual Lowville Festival is now an established event that has shown admirable resilience getting off the ground. With three years behind them and respectable sponsorships in place – they can be expected to do nothing but grow.

Thinkspot has been welcoming the Driftwood Theatre to their location for a number of years. Lowville has become one of the more than 20 locations that Driftwood performs at each year.

At the end of the production, always to boisterous rounds of applause, some of the deeply committed audience for the works of William Shakespeare gather around a fire place and talk about the merits of the performance and the how’s and why’s of what the director chose to do.

Othello graphicUsing  Canada’s United Nations role in Cyprus as the backdrop for a production of Othello is both a brave and audacious decision.

The experience is well worth the time and the locale is one to be treasured.

This is a Pay what you can event with a suggested $20.

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Burli Blast Festival - Saturday - 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at Sherwood Forest Park. Burlington Youth Soccer at its best.

sportsred 100x100By Staff

July 28th, 2017



The Burlington Youth Soccer Club (BYSC) is hosting its “Burli Blast Festival” this Saturday, July 29th to celebrate the end of the soccer season for the U3 – U6 age groups in their Outdoor House League program.

BYSC girlsThe Burli Blast Festival is an event dedicated to celebrating the successes and achievements of the players and volunteer coaches over the course of the summer season. There are over 800 players in these age divisions, and with parents and coaches, the expected attendance is upwards of 2,500 people.

Burli Blast will take place from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at Sherwood Forest Park (at the end of Fairview Street past the Appleby GO station) in Burlington. The festival will feature 60 mini soccer matches and medal presentations spread throughout the morning and afternoon.

byscThe BYSC has also invited many of its community partners that are providing bouncy castles, carnival games, food, and prizes. The BYSC invites the Burlington community to come out and enjoy the day, regardless of whether your child plays in their programs. An information tent with staff will be in attendance if you have questions about any BYSC programs or if you are interested in registration.

For more information about Burli Blast Festival or other BYSC programs, visit www.burlingtonsoccer.com or call 905-333-0777.

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Canada Summer Games open today in Winnipeg - no one from Burlington appears to be participating.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

July 28th, 2017



Some 450 athletes, coaches, managers, support staff, technicians and mission staff from across Ontario are set to represent the province at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Games begin today in Winnipeg.

CanGam - CanoeKayak-headerIt is at events like the Canada Summer Games that athletes get to test themselves; do they have what it takes to move on to International events? Most, if not all, of the Canadian Olympians took part in the summer games – an event held every four years.

Every sport imaginable is played giving young Canadians to move from beyond their community or province to a national stage.

The list of sports played is exhaustive. It includes: Athletics, Baseball, Basketball, Canoe/Kayak, Cycling, Diving, Golf, Rowing, Sailing, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball and Wrestling

Competing at the Canada Summer Games allows Ontario’s athletes to gain the elite competition experience that they need to excel on the world stage. More than 4,000 athletes from all of Canada’s provinces and territories will compete in 16 sports at this year’s Games, which take place from July 28th to August 13th, 2017.

CanGames - Cycling-headerOntario’s year-round support for its high performance amateur athletes is part of Game ON: The Ontario Government’s Sport Plan. A key priority of Game ON is our Quest for Gold support for athletes, which provides direct funding to high performance athletes to help with the costs of living, training, sports equipment, coaching and travel to competitions. 105 athletes competing at this year’s Canada Summer Games are receiving Quest for Gold funding.

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Canada Games, this country’s largest multi-sport event for young athletes.

Ontario placed first at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec, with 213 medals – 95 Gold, 69 Silver and 49 Bronze.Can Games Rowing-header

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MPP will be in chat mode next Wednesday - look for her on her bike at the Pier

News 100 redBy Staff

July 27th, 2017



She wants you to join her on the Pier for a bike ride and a chat next week.

McMahon with a bike

Eleanor McMahon before she was elected to the provincial legislature.

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon has used riding a bike to great advantage in her political career – she was one of the driving forces on Share the Road before she was tapped to run for public office in Burlington where the Tories had owned the seat for more than 70 years.

There is a provincial election on its way – June 7th, 2018 and McMahon, like every MPP, is out and about meeting people.

She is a strong campaigner, one of the best in the Region and bonds well with people.

McMahon bike meet upSo – if you want a couple of minutes with your MPP and can get out on your bike – be at the Pier on Wednesday, August 1st at 6:00 pm.

But don’t drive your bike – that’s a no no. Not sure the MPP was fully aware that bikes are not permitted on the Pier

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What Ken Hall will do to some of the recreational sports facilities with his public art.

artsblue 100x100By Staff

July 25th, 2017



Ken Hall has been selected by a community jury, with input from public engagement, for the Spirit of Sport public art project.

Born in Toronto, and educated at the University of Waterloo in Mechanical Engineering and Fine Arts, Ken’s work is characterized by his ability to exploit a wide range of media, allowing him to seek out the fundamental form of expression for each piece; ranging from public sculpture to interactive digital artwork.

Ken Hall explaing a piece of his work to students

Ken Hall explaining a piece of his work to students

The project is part of the City’s ongoing Public Art program.

Online and in-person public engagement took place in February and gathered feedback from 135 residents, which helped inform the jury’s decision.

The Spirit of Sport public art project aims to celebrate Burlington’s long history of sports excellence, on both an amateur and professional level. A series of three small to medium-scale, exterior public artworks will be installed at the following: Mainway Recreation Centre, Brant Hills Community Centre and Nelson Recreation Centre.


The front of the Brant Hills sports complex with its red ribbon

These locations were selected as they represent a broad range of types of sport as well as different levels of play, ranging from children/youth to competitive play.

The artwork is being created over the summer and will be installed in fall 2018.
Artwork Concept

To honour this Spirit of Sport, red ribbon-like sculptures will celebrate active living and inclusive community participation, while engaging and welcoming the public to the recreation centres.


A free standing sculpture that will be part of the Mainway Recreation Centre

The red ribbons reflect key components of many activities, such as the flowing rhythm of gymnastics; the curved, red stitching on a baseball; the goal line in hockey; and the finish line in track and field, among others.

The fluttering ribbon is a perfect form for these sculptures, having long been associated with sporting excellence; whether being used to support medals won at competitive events, or as a means of celebrating participation in community activities, such as awareness walks for issues like breast cancer.

The association with medals is particularly relevant given the City of Burlington’s rich history of sporting innovation, which includes: Dr. Frank Hayden, founder of the International Special Olympics Movement; Melville Marks Robinson, founder of the Commonwealth Games; along with numerous Olympic athletes and coaches, including Melanie Booth (soccer) and Angela Coughlan (swimming).

The rolling ribbon also celebrates a heart-healthy, active lifestyle, calling to mind the visualization of a heartbeat on an ECG machine. The red colour represents the circulation of oxygenated blood, reminding us that regardless of age, ethnicity or gender, we all benefit from active physical and social participation.

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Hairspray takes to the stage at Performing Arts this Thursday

eventspink 100x100By Staff

July 24th, 2017


They have been bringing Broadway to Burlington since 1978.

This week they will be bringing you Hairspray!

HairsprayBurlington Student Theatre, where children and youth can participate in a range of performing arts opportunities.

The programs focus on the wellness and development of our young people, fostering empathy, courage and critical thinking within a safe and nurturing environment. Participants practice the tools and transferrable skills they need to feel good about themselves and act with confidence in their everyday lives.

Student Theatre brings out the best in youth through experiences in the performing arts, building confidence and developing the tools and transferrable skills to help youth feel good about themselves, while empowering them to create their own lives. With your support, youth are empowered to create a better world.

Later this week – on Thursday, the students will perfrom HairSpray, the story of a 1960s Baltimore, dance-loving teen Tracy Turnblad auditions for a spot on “The Corny Collins Show” …and wins! She becomes an overnight celebrity, a trendsetter in dance, fun and fashion. Perhaps her new status as a teen sensation is enough to topple Corny’s reigning dance queen and lead society into a new age!

Tickets: Adult $18 Youth $15 Click to get to the box office


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Barometric pressure impacts the results of an attempt to complete an Evertest challenge on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 24, 2017


The first ever Halton Everesting challenge Saturday along Kerns Road didn’t end the way organizers had hoped.

After beginning the one-day vertical ‘climb’ of Mount Everest at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, remaining riders George Orfanogiannis and Matt Zielinski had to call the event at lap 69 (just short of 73 laps of the 4.9-kilometre loop)) due to malfunctioning measuring equipment.

What are a bunch of cyclists doing on Kerns Road pretending they are climbing Mount Everest? They were “Everesting”.

George Orfanogiannis’s eight year old son Joey was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in January of 2016 and has been battling the disease since then.

Joey is currently at a point where the disease is being maintained. His doctors hope to be able to say it is in remission if his current maintenance program goes well through to 2019.

Joey on the rock

Joey – ready to take on whatever comes his way.

Joey is now on daily chemotherapy medication and monthly visits to the hospital. He had to be homeschooled for a year but has returned to his school and is looking forward to getting back to class in September.

The “Everesting” was to raise funds and awareness of the cancer that has invaded Joey’s young body.

George was a cyclist with the Oakville Morning Glory cycling club; they took up the challenge of driving up and down Kerns Road in Burlington until they had ridden the equivalent of 29,029 feet in elevation – which is the height of Mount Everest from its base camp.

They did all the paper work and set up stuff with the Everest organization – they are the people who oversee the challenge for any group that wants to create a target they can work towards achieving.

The day of the “climb” turned out to be less than stellar, drizzly rain was an on and off thing throughout the day but that didn’t deter Joey for as much a minute. He was running all over the place serving people lemonade. His day took a huge surge when a Burlington Fire department truck rolled into the parking lot and Joey was made an honorary fire fighter and got to wear fire fighters clothing and have his picture taken. Big moment for Joey Orfanogiannis.

Joey - bike rider 60+

Non the worse for a stern lecture from a police officer fr blowing through stop signs one of the cyclists checks in with the family.

Half an hour earlier a police cruiser slide into the parking lot. The officer had pulled over a couple of the cyclists who were blowing through stop signs at speeds in the 60km range – on the downhill portion of Kern Road. No tickets – but stern warnings. All was forgiven when the police officer bought himself a tall lemonade.

Things weren’t going as smoothly for the “climb”

At the approximately 315-kilometres point, the cyclists were “feeling good and ready to go the distance” said Orfanogiannis.

But something didn’t seem right, the riders “did a quick recalculation” and found that the device that measured altitude had been affected by the day’s air pressure, and had “robbed us of 60’ for every climb we did.”

“That would have taken the ride to 88 laps and pushed us to 6 a.m. We were ready to go to 6 a.m., but the issue became was going to rain again and we thought if we get to 6 a.m., what happens if the rain robs us of more laps; does it become too dangerous to finish?”

“We stopped just short of what should have been 27,064’ but on the device doing the actual measurement was reading 23,000’ (Everest is 29,029’) The ride doesn’t count unless it is measured on by the software that takes all the data and calculates just how many feel of elevation the cyclists have completed.

What no one told the riders from Morning Glory was that atmospheric conditions were part of the calculation – lots of clouds meant a different barometric pressure reading on the measurement device.

But these riders wouldn’t be considered hard-core cyclists if they gave up after their first attempt.
“We gotta get up it. I won’t stop until I get it and neither will Matt,” said George

Orfanogiannis came up with Halton’s first Everesting attempt, not just as a challenge for himself, but to raise funds and awareness in support of research into pediatric oncology; his son Joey, 7, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in January of 2016.

Joey father - confirm

George Orfanogiannis

“When my son was going through treatment I always told him I wouldn’t ask him to do what I wouldn’t do. I asked him to climb a mountain so I owe him a mountain,” said Dad.

Orfanogiannis said the event was incredible nonetheless based on the hundreds of people who came out to support the cyclists, not just fellow riders but members of the community and those touched by cancer. Two thousand dollars was also raised.

“Four young children came down at midnight with their parents to donate their allowance money,” said Orfanogiannis, a selfless act that moved him to tears.

The next day a small group of girls had set up their lemonade stand on Kerns Road, raised $130 and donated that to the cause as well.

The residents along Kerns Road were so moved by the effort that they said they will ask the city to close the road next year and make it a much bigger event.

Orfanogiannis and his team “knew what we were in for physically and emotionally, it was devastating when we realized we came this far only to be robbed by technology.”

Joey laps poster

Lap chart at 2:00 pm on a rainy Saturday afternoon. The challenge began at 4:30 am. They made it to lap 69

George Orfanogiannis isn’t all that good at giving up. He reports that “there is currently open dialogue with Strava the software that manages the data for rides and there may be a chance the realize the error in the technology and be willing to correct it – if that is the case I would need to climb the hill eight more times which I am prepared to do.”

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Othello in the open in Lowville - one night only.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

July 24th, 2017



When the weather works for us this time of year the days get described as those lazy hazy days of summer. The evenings still have warmth in the air and a bit of a breeze makes being outside pleasant. Being in the country gathered with friends and enjoying a play and then talking about it with people around a camp fire is about as Canadian as you can get.

That’s what it is going to be like in Lowville on August 2nd – when those who were taken enough with the Driftwood production of Shakespeare’s Othello gather with the director to talk about why he produced the play he did.

Hamlet - Lowville Festival - people on grass

Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and settle in for an evening of Shakespeare’s Othello as done by the Driftwood Theatre.

It is usually a small group that gathers around the pit in which a nice fire glows. Deep seated Muskoka chairs are pulled into the circle and the conversation goes on late into the evening.

Othello is being produced by Driftwood Theatre and put on in more than 20 locales around the province this summer.

Debra Pickfield of Thinkspot has brought the travelling troupe into the hamlet of Lowville for the past three years.

Pickfield believes that it is the sense of community we have that helps us survive as a society and that community happens when people come together to listen to each other, take part in a social event. Bringing people together is the vision and mission of Thinkspot – it made sense to extend that vision more deeply into the community.

People drift into the open space yards away from the fire pit bounded by trees on three of the four sides, set up their lawn chair or spread out a blanket and settle in for an evening of Shakespeare.

Othello graphic

Othello – at Thinkspot in Lowville – one night only. august 2nd – actors take to the stage at 7:30 pm.

Driftwood is known for the interpretations they do of whichever Shakespearian production taken on.

Othello, a searing tale of race, jealousy and revenge, is being done against the backdrop of the 1974 Canadian Peacekeeping initiative in Cyprus where our Armed Forces were caught in a life and death struggle on that small island in the Mediterranean.

The production is one of those Pay what you can events with $20 suggested.

The actors take to the stage at 7:30 pm

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Nelson Pool Splash Pad - Service Disruption Monday July 24, 2017

notices100x100By Staff

July 23, 2017



The Splash Pad at Nelson Pool will be temporarily out of service from 10:30am to 2:00 pm,  Monday July 24, 2017 for maintenance.

The pool will remain open for all scheduled swims. Service to the splash pad will resume at 2pm.

Nelson Splash-Pad

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