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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Rare and pricey coffee available free to anyone who will in turn give it away or use it as a fund raiser.

News 100 greenBy Staff

July 22, 2017



Got this from a specialty coffee marketer who has inventory she is not going to be able to use. The product is rare and pricey. She wants to give the coffee away but it has to go to someone who in turn is either going to give it away or use it as a fund raiser.

I would like to donate 12 gift-tins of rare & prized CIVET COFFEE for silent auction or other prize uses, for charities having events within the next month.

The retail value of this rare coffee is $50 each, so hopefully they can help raise $600 out in the community.

The reason I am donating them is that they are ‘best before’ the end of August 2017. That does not mean they will be ‘bad’ after that, but they cannot be sold and will not be good as prizes after that.

Please share this with anyone you know having an event (or who could have some other use for them – such as volunteer appreciation for a volunteer who is a specialty-coffee lover?)

Have them contact me at this email address: cj@cjscoffeefundraising.com

BONDOWOSO, EAST JAVA, INDONESIA - AUGUST 11: Civets is eating coffee during the production of Civet coffee, the world's most expensive coffee in Bondowoso on August 11, 2009 in East Java, near Surabaya, Indonesia. The coffee, also known as Kopi Luwak, is produced by the civet (a small squirrel-like arboreal mammal) which eats the coffee berries or red coffee cherries, the beans inside which pass through its digestive tract, expelling them undigested as faeces. The faeces are then cleaned, dried and lightly roasted to make the coffee. Coffee from Indonesian civets is considered to have the best aroma, and it is the unique enzymes in the civet's stomach which give coffee its bitter taste. It retails for USD100 to USD600 per pound but only around 1000 pounds make it to market each year and supply is very limited. A small coffee house (Heritage Tea Rooms) near Townsville sells the coffee for AUD50 per cup, alongside limited international stores such as Selfridges in London. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

Civets is eating coffee during the production of Civet coffee, the world’s most expensive coffee. A civet (a small squirrel-like arboreal mammal) which eats the coffee berries or red coffee cherries, the beans inside which pass through its digestive tract, expelling them undigested as faeces. The faeces are then cleaned, dried and lightly roasted to make the coffee.

What is Civet Coffee? It is certainly a different gift or fund raising item – different enough to actually work.

Kudos to the coffee merchant for coming up with a way to manage her inventory and give back to her community.

Civet coffee

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Community to celebrate the Nelson park baseball diamond upgrades.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 22, 2017



An event next Thursday is going to pull together a number of interests in the city and give people an opportunity to get outside and do some fixing up of a facility that has been home to baseball since it came to the city six years ago.

The Nelson Baseball Park Neighbourhood Group wants to celebrate the completion of the Nelson Baseball Park beautification and fencing improvements project at the Burlington Herd baseball game on Thursday, July 27.

Herd T-shirtThe Herd will be playing the Toronto Maple Leafs – the team that broke the 25 game winning streak the Barrie Baycats had achieved – those guys play some serious baseball.

The pre-game ceremony begins at 7 p.m. and attendees are encouraged to come early to get a seat and participate in some of the pre-game fun.

Entrance to the ball game will be free, a 50/50 draw and a BBQ in support of the Terry Fox Foundation.

The beautification and fencing improvements were done with the support of community volunteers and funding from the City of Burlington’s Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund program.

That fund is a favourite of the Mayors and was part of an initiative that the Parks and Recreation department dove into a number of years ago when they brought in Jim Diers who had done some incredible work in Seattle to juice up the thinking at Parks and Recreation.

Burlington was not able to get community responses that were as involving as those in Seattle but the program has begun to take hold.

The work being done at Nelson Park is a good example. It is similar to what a bunch of elementary students did with their ball diamond at Lakeshore Road elementary public school.

Bandits last gme 2013 - Dad and the boys

Site lines and picnic tables have been improved.

If you know Casey Cosgrove then you know that there isn’t a baseball game he can avoid. All it takes is the crack of a bat to shift his focus. When his community of “baseball enthusiasts” heard about this baseball ‘gem’ we have in our neighbourhood park and learned that the sight lines were in need of improvement so that a baseball game could be viewed clearly, without obstruction they gathered to tackle this project together.

The City of Burlington’s Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund provided much of the financing and they have been able to improve the fencing and freshen up the baseball buildings, stands and picnic tables in Fenway green, a famous baseball colour, to make the neighbourhood baseball park a first- class facility for players and spectators.”

Will someone be throwing the ceremonial opening pitch? Don’t let the Mayor near the ball. When he took on that task back in the days when the team was known as the Burlington Twins he let fly and the ball dug into the ground a couple of yards before the plate.

Nelson Stadium, part of Nelson high school facilities, which is adjacent to Nelson Park, has plans of its own to improve those grounds.

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Brand new pool - yet to be officially opened is closed for unexpected preventative maintenance.

notices100x100By Staff

July 20th, 2017



Nelson Pool Service Interruption – Lap Swim Cancelled Friday July 21, 2017

Nelson pool renderingThe lap swim at Nelson Pool will be cancelled from 8:30am-10am on Friday July 21, 2017 due to unexpected preventative maintenance.

The pool will be open for regular service at 10:30am.

Hold on – isn’t this a brand new swimming pool that has been operating since July 8th and is getting ready for its official opening in August – with the Mayor and the Ward Councillor in attendance?

What is it this time?

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Just over a minute of pure raw energy - fascinating!

eventsred 100x100By Staff

July 20, 2017




That is something to watch. All that energy.

Quite a show. Video lasts just over a minute.

Runs for just over a minute – astounding, CLICK HERE


Lightning - Sussex

Lightning display over Sussex in the UK yesterday evening

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Nelson pool has been open since July 8 - Mayor will make it official on August 1st - entry fee waived that day

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

July 19th, 2017



The city is hosting a celebration to officially mark the opening of the new Nelson pool and splash pad from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Nelson pool grand opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting. Admission will be free all day, and there will be family activities and giveaways.

Nelson pool Rendering

Artists rendering of the Nelson pool which has been open since July 8 – reader says it’s beautiful.

The Mayor and Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison will be on hand for the photo op.

The ceremony will take place at noon. The pool party is from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The pool has been open to the public since July 8th.

Nelson Splash-Pad

That water bucket would be a good place for the official opening photo op.

The upside for the public is the free admission. A comment from a reader read: “New one is beautiful! Tried it out yesterday. Pricey, at $6.50/adult swim (Oakville is $4), but what a lovely facility. So glad the city decided to make the investment. Now they just need to make it affordable!”

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73 trips up Kerns Road will amount to an elevation of 30,000 feet; a lot of cyclists are going to try and achieve this on Saturday.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

July 19th, 2017



Everesting – do you know what it means?

Think Mount Everest and the attempts that are made to get to the top.

A group has created an event that will have cyclists driving 2.4 km up Kerns Road 73 times which would be equal to the 30,000 feet that has to be climbed to get from the base of Mount Everest to the peak.

The 29,029 vertical feet climb on bikes, over the course of 20 hours, to equal climbing the summit of Mt Everest.

The event is seen as the Ultimate Mind-Body Challenge; this will be the first Everesting attempt in Halton.

The 29,029 vertical feet climb on bikes, over the course of 20 hours, to equal climbing the summit of Mt Everest

When : July 22nd 2017
Where: Kerns Road Burglington Ontario
Start: Lap 1 is 4:30 am eastern

Why? Joey Orfanogiannis.


Joey Orfanogiannis with family and friends

At 6 years old Joey and his family lives were changed forever. On January 4th, 2016 they had to hear the words “your child has cancer”, words that would thrust him into the challenge of his life at a very tender age.

Joey was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia “A.L.L.”

When most kids would be counting the minutes until recess, Joey was counting “arm pokes” – how many needles he would receive for blood tests prior to receiving a port into his chest which would become a pathway for chemotherapy and give him a break from all the needles. He would count spinal taps to administer chemotherapy that would protect his brain.

He would face numerous setbacks and painful surgeries coupled with nights that would leave him reeling in pain.

Through it all Joey never wavered and never backed down, he stood tall when most would fall and fought back when most would give up. We are happy to report that Joey is winning the fight with the same determination and looking forward to the word “remission” in March of 2019

Through it all, the statistics for children’s cancer became deeply troubling to his parents.

Aside from cancer being the leading cause of death in children, as well as the medical issues that occur after cancer survival from the heavy medication, one of the scariest facts is that children’s cancer research is grossly and consistently under-funded. It receives just 4% of government funding on an annual basis.

Joey’s parents knew something had to be done and wanted to help in an immediate and impactful way. They knew the challenge needed to be daunting, something that seemed as insurmountable as fighting cancer, and from that idea the Everesting event came to life.

It’s important to remember that no matter how difficult it may be to climb the cumulative height of Mount Everest over nearly 20 hours, it pales in comparison to the challenges faced by Joey and the many children battling cancer every day.

Joey will be running a lemonade stand and all the proceed will be going towards fighting cancer.

Grupetto will be serving coffees starting from 9am till noon.

Riders from the 30 top cycling clubs in the province will be taking part including the elite team Morning Glory from Mississauga and CCF Racing from Burlington.

The road will not be closed – it is seen as a very quiet road in a cycle friendly community.

Anybody can ride and no one will be ask do donate as the riders are coming to support the cause of fighting cancer and to bring awareness about how many kids are affected.

All Proceeds go directly to the Toronto Sick Kids and Montreal Children’s hospital for research funding in support of Pediatric Oncology.

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A Gazette reader asks: Is this a great country or WHAT!!??

Comment 100By Pepper Parr

July 18, 2017



Here is why we like the work we do.

We did short piece on the slice of pizza that will be available at the Pizza Pizza outlets in the Burlington. It was a promotion from the pizza chain that is celebrating the 50th anniversary.

A Gazette reader comes back with:

“How come the plains rd pizza pizza is not participating?” (We left the typos in the comment.)

We have no idea why the Plans Road outlet isn’t participating – and we will look into that.

Minutes later another reader adds that:

“…and you can wash your Pizza Pizza down with a FREE root Beer at A&W this week Saturday July 22 2017.
Is this a great country or WHAT!!??”

So there is some good news from time to time.

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Burlington's Town Crier recognized and awarded First Place in a competition. Beachway resident helps out with the cost of cleaning the uniform..

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 18th, 2017



David Vollick has been serving as the Town Crier for the city of Burlington for at least five years.

He gets called upon to ring his bell and bellow out the message he is in the room to deliver.

A number of months ago during the day the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation was trying to set a new Guinness Book of Records record for the largest crowd forming a letter of the alphabet.

They did their level best to get a crowd that would form a huge J in Spencer Smith Park.

They didn’t quite make it – the falling rain didn’t help.

Vollick Dave

David Vollick in “full throat” making an important announcement. Vollick was awarded First Place in a recent Town Crier competition.

But Vollick was there with his footwear covered in mud.

We asked Vollick a sensitive question – who pays the cleaning bills? David looked at the ground and sadly said that he was still playing the cleaning bills.

A Beachway resident offered to send Vollick a cheque to cover the cost of some of the dry cleaning.

When Vollick appeared before city council saying he was setting himself up as a Town Crier for the city – the biggest question was – how much is this going to cost us?

Vollick said it wasn’t going to cost the city anything – he would just like their blessing for what he was setting out to do.

He did wonder aloud if there might be some support for the cost of dry cleaning the uniform that he has to get done twice a year. They didn’t offer a dime but the city calls on him frequently.
Chisellers treat people like that.

However there has been some sunshine in Vollick life. He recently entered a Town Crier’s contest in Easton, Pennsylvania where he was awarded “First Place”.

In his constituency newsletter Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven thanks David “for representing Burlington and the Museums of Burlington.”

But nothing for the cost of cleaning the uniform.

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Not quite a free lunch but still a mighty fine deal - one day only!

eventsorange 100x100By Staff

July 18th, 2017



There is no free lunch – right?

But a slice of pepperoni and cheese pizza slices for 99 cents – from a brand name operation is as close to free as you’re going to get.

And onion rings at 50 cents is reason enough to head out to a Pizza Pizza this Saturday.

To entice you to get there early – there are $10 gift cards for the first twenty five people who show up at the four Pizza Pizza locations in Burlington,

Why the close to free lunch?

Pizza Pizza 50th logoIt’s Pizza Pizza’s 50th anniversary and they are celebrating with a pizza party for the whole family! The four Pizza Pizza locations in Burlington will be hosting community pizza parties on Saturday, July 22 as a way to thank its customers for their continuous support during their 50 years of operation.

WHEN: Saturday, July 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE: Pizza Pizza

2184 Mountain Grove Avenue
3537 Fairview Street
2201 Brant Street
 2485 Appleby Line

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Shakespeare plays to be performed at two location: Othello in Lowville and Merchant of Venice at the RBG Rock Garden.

eventspink 100x100By Pepper Parr

July 18th, 2017



August is going to Shakespeare month for those who enjoy the bard.

Othello will be on an outdoor stage in Lowville where Thinkspot sponsors the Driftwood Theatre Company annually,

The single performance will be on August 2nd – 7 pm; bring an outdoor chair.

Later in the month, Trevor Copp will direct the Merchant of Venice at the RBG Rock Garden.

Last year, the first that Copp used the RBG location, was stellar in several ways.

Midsummer - cast and audience

Last year’s production of Midsummer Night’s Dream was the first time Trevor Copp mounted a play at the RBG – it was an outstanding success. Audiences loved the outdoor setting.

The cast of Midsummer Night’s Dream was fresh, energetic and used the outdoor location to great effect.
Weather and traffic did its best to hobble the event but the audience was true and they put up with the rain delays.

A QEW accident presented the cast from getting to the location – no problem – just re-schedule.

The Merchant of Venice will run from August 14 – September 1, 2017. Monday – Friday, 7:00PM (No Saturday shows.)

Copp sets out the story line:
Money: 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. And for the second consecutive year, Trevor Copp will direct the production; Copp is the founder and Artistic Director of the Tottering Biped Theatre.

The Shakespeare at the Rock ensemble create a strikingly physical, playfully contemporary, abridged re-imagining of one of William Shakespeare’s classics.

Shakespeare at the Rock began with a simple idea: that audiences and emerging artists alike need not quench their creative thirsts in Toronto or elsewhere; that beautiful and captivating work is done right here in our own backyard; that local artists can stay local and still be paid for their work.

Last year’s inaugural production was a unanimous success in this respect: sold-out crowds, a total attendance of over 2000 patrons, and a cast comprised of many recent graduates from McMaster, Brock, Waterloo, and Sheridan Theatre programs.

Returning to tell this season’s tale of ‘a monster made not born’ are the ever-talented Jesse Horvath, Zach Parsons, Claudia Spadafora, Alma Sarai, and Micheal Hannigan. In addition, this year’s ensemble is enlivened by the artistry of newcomers, Chris Reid, Jamie Kasiama, and Shawn DeSouza-Coelho.

Tickets through the RBG Box office.

Hamlet - Lowville Festival - people on grass

Hamlet; a previous Driftwood Theatre production performed outdoors in Lowville. Othello will be produced this year – August 2nd.

Othello is a Driftwood Theatre production. The troupe travels the province each summer doing a different Shakespeare play.

Thinkspot has sponsored the company for a number of years.

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Classical and electronic to come together at the RBG Rock Garden July 20th.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

July 16, 2017



A string quartet and an electronic band playing outdoors on a sultry summer night.

Illitry - by Martin Bazyl

Illitry will perform with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra at the Rock Garden. Photograph by Martin Bazyl

It’s part of what summer is supposed to be and on July 20th at 7:00 pm the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and the electronic band Illitry will perform together at the RBG Rock Garden.

Rock Garden sign

One of the gems Burlington shares with Hamilton.

They will be performing work by both classical and contemporary composers.

Catch a mini guided tour of the Rock Garden during intermission. Admission to the Gardens is included with the price of ticket.

Cash bar and concession items will be available for purchase prior to the concert and during the intermission.

Rock Garden AFTERDARK: Stick around following the show to have a drink and enjoy the tranquility of our famous garden, meet the musicians and listen to their favourite tunes.

Garden opens at 6pm to those who have purchased tickets. Seating is first come first served.

Tickets available at:  CLICK HERE

Ticket prices:

Adult (13 years and older) $30.00
Senior*** / Student** $21.00
Child (4-12 years old) $15.00
Toddler (1-3 years old) Free
Babes in Arms (0-12 months) Free

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Get yourself nominated as one of the 150 special people in Burlington.

eventsred 100x100By Pepper Parr

July 16. 2017



It’s a little like the gift that keeps on giving.

If you thought the Canada 150 theme was just for Canada Day – think again.

The Ontario Liberals plan to get all the mileage possible out of that one by renaming the event at Ontario 150.

It looks as if each provincial Liberal is going to hold an event at which you the public get asked to nominate 150 people as special.

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon tell us she is “so thrilled to announce a call for nominations for the Burlington 150 Awards! “

McMahons 150“In a year focused on celebrating our province and country,” said McMahon “let’s honour 50 women, 50 men and 50 youth who embody the qualities and values that make our province great and who have dedicated their time and talent towards community service in Burlington.

Burlington150 celebrates people who contribute to:

Celebrating diversity/inclusion
Building community/capacity
Protecting the heritage of Burlington
Protecting the environment
Promoting a healthy community

You don’t even have to live in Burlington to be nominated but “their work must have had a direct impact on our community. You are not limited to the number of people you wish nominate!

Nominations close September 30, 2017.

McMahon at Up Creek - side view - smile

McMahon out in the community.


1. Website: www.eleanormcmahon.onmpp.ca
2. Email: emcmahon.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org [Subject: “Burlington150 Nomination”]
3. Phone: 905-639-7924
4. Mail: 472 Brock Avenue, Suite 104 Burlington, ON L7S1N1

This wouldn’t be a way to collect names of people that can be called upon to vote for the re-election of the Burlington MPP in 2018 – would it?

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Outdoor swimming pools closed for the day.

notices100x100By Staff

July 13th, 2017



A brand new swimming pool that has been open less than a week gets closed due to heavy rain and forecasted thunderstorms. There is no justice.

The city has closed all the outdoor pools today, Thursday July 13, 2017.

Mountainside Pool and Splash Pad, Nelson Pool and Splash Pad and LaSalle Wading Pool and Splash Pad will re-open Friday July 14, 2017 on their regular schedule.

Nelson swimming pool

Nelson swimming pool.

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What is the weather going to do for us today?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

July 12, 2017



Weather is always a conversation topic.

Weather determines much of what we do – If it is raining you aren’t going to go shopping and that impacts the retailers.

Heavy snow – allow more time to get to wherever it is you are going.

Brilliant sunshine – head for where there is water if you don’t have to be in an office at a desk.

Weather just is – we make the best of it each day.

Knowing what the weather is going to be like for a day comes from a number of sources. Radio is usually the top source – the two weather TV channels have huge audiences.

Sometimes just looking up and you can tell what the weather is likely to be for the day.

Our roving photographer captured this scene this morning.

Looks like a pretty decent day waiting for us.Skinner on a sunrise July 12-17

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Former MPP didn't like what the Brant Museum had planned several years ago.

opinionandcommentBy Eric Cunningham

July 10th, 2017



A number of years ago, the late Eric Cunningham, a former member of the provincial legislature for nine years, made some comments on the “project details” of a plan to improve the Joseph Brant Museum and the “expansion” to a “Community Heritage Centre.”

In 2008 when the comments were made the museum was looking for $8 million to totally rebuild the museum and expand its size by more than 300%. Today that cost has risen to $10 million

Eric Cunningham

The late Eric Cunningham.

Cunningham was pretty blunt: “Frankly, until this was drawn to my attention, I knew about as much about the plan, as I did about the Museum itself. This Museum is owned and operated by Burlington taxpayers. It has been open to the public since 1942. It houses artifacts “owned and used” by the late Joseph Brant, as well as the Eileen Collard Collection of Historic Costumes and Textiles.

“The operating funds are largely derived from Museums of Burlington (read taxpayers) which supports the Ireland House on Guelph Line. Currently, taxpayers are paying $552,000. per year to support these two facilities.

“I know little about Ireland House except that it is a nice building. What I know about the Joseph Brant Museum is that people in the “witness protection program” could stay there without fear of being caught….because hardly anyone goes there.

“I was horrified to learn that my local Ward One member of Council favours a scheme to expand the Joseph Brant Museum by 14, 000 square feet at a cost of almost $8 million. Almost $2 million capital costs would come from Burlington. With the exception of an additional $2 million from donors, the balance would come from Ottawa and Queen’s Park (read taxpayers). Eight people currently work at the Joseph Brant Museum, and there is a recommendation to Council that we should add one more at a price tag of $35,000.

“After living in Burlington on and off since 1954, I paid my $4. and made a visit to the museum for the first time. Two very nice young women greeted me. I saw a photo exhibit by the late Frank Wright which frankly could be displayed anywhere. There was some form of a replica canoe in the front room. Anyone wanting to see anything regarding Chief Brant had to go upstairs.

“What was there was pretty slim. Old photos of the Town back when. The “costume” section was not memorable.

Burlington Museums will be doing a themed newspaper on the War of 1812 for distribution in the community. Brant's son John will play a prominent part in the festivities this year.

The Joseph Brant Museum.

“I signed the guest book. Likely less than five hundred guests signed the book since 2007. Mausoleums get more traffic than this place.

“On a per capita basis, the Joseph Brant Museum gets less traffic than the RBG, our Cultural Centre across the street, and most church basements.

“It matters little to me that the Joseph Brant Museum expansion plan (tripling the size?) may be paid for by other levels of government. Those are taxes that we all pay. Money advanced for this ill-advised nonsense will need to be borrowed as both senior levels of government are running deficits.

“By all means buy some new paint for the Joseph Brant Museum and keep pushing the school tours. But no more tax money for this foolishness.”

Eric Cunningham died at the age of 65 on January 1, 2015

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City to decide this evening if it is going to backstop a request for an additional million for the Brant Museum re-build.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 10th, 2017



Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster asked her colleagues to “backstop” the Museum Boards $1 million request so that the work on the plans that will triple the size of the Joseph Brant museum can begin.

Lancaster is banking on the province to come through with the needed funds – if they don’t – the city will not get back the funds it advanced.


A small museum that was focused on the story of the man who basically founded the city could undergo a significant change today.

“I wanted to provide you with an update on the Joseph Brant Museum and to seek your support for moving the project forward” said Lancaster at a Standing Committee meeting last week.

The following funds have been committed reported Lancaster:

City of Burlington: $2,120,000 committed, with the same amount allocated
Joseph Brant Museum Foundation: $2,589,559 committed, but not yet fully raised
Federal Government: $4,479,000 committed through Cultural Spaces Fund
Provincial Government: $500,000 committed through Ontario Trillium Foundation

Total Committed Funds: $9,688,559

Lancaster reported that there is “an approximate funding gap of about $1M. The city has a request before the Provincial Government for the remaining funding.”

She added that “Previous estimates of the total project cost were about $10.4M, those estimates were based on construction starting in early 2017. Staff have noted that the project cost may be higher depending on when construction begins; there is usually a premium on construction costs if substantial work occurs over the winter months.

Lancaster was asking that the city provide funding from the Capital Purposes Reserve Fund,

Councillor Marianne Meed Ward, who was chairing the meeting, asked if Lancaster’s motion could be amended to have the Museum Foundation promise to repay the city the money the city was being asked to put up was not received from the province.

“No” was the quick blunt response from Lancaster.

Along with the request for funds was a mention of the need to transfer some property from the hospital to the city.

Brant Museum rendering

The replica of the original Brant House will be pivoted and then raised to create a new street level entrance.

The property on which the museum sits has a bit of a checkered past. It was a 3,450 acre tract of land Brant got from the Missisauga’s. Brant built the house and lived in it for some time. He farmed about 100 acres and was said to have developed “a fine orchard”.

At some point the property slipped into the hands of the federal government. Some of the land appears in the Joseph Brant Hospital financial statements as the “Brant Trust”


Aerial of the architect’s rendering for the new museum.

The city now needs to get that trust transferred into its hands – a task that is not going to be a slam dunk.

While the facts are not completely clear, the land appears to have been kept in a Trust that is managed by the hospital.

At one point former Mayor Walter Mulkewich remembers measuring the distance the Brant Museum had to be moved to allow an expansion to the hospital.


It will be a substantially different building and be the entrance way to the Beachway community that the city has planned. Lakeshore Road will be a much different place when all this is done.

At the time Mulkewich said he remembers a trip to Ottawa where talks took place with the then department of Public Works to get the permissions needed to move the Brant house the couple of hundred yards that were necessary for the hospital to add to their structure.

The city has its Finance department working on the land transfer.

The motion Lancaster was putting forward called for the Director of Finance to report back to Council in September providing an update on the land transfer, updated capital costs, operating impacts and the provisional financing required.

Lakeshore Road to hospital

Lakeshore Road today: This point in the road is just past where the new museum will be built.

The debate on the matter last week was limited to comments from Councillors Craven, Sharman and Lancaster with Meed Ward serving as Chair disagreeing with Lancaster on a number of points.

Councillor Dennison, who has never been a fan of tax payers money being used for all that much in the world of culture. Councillor Craven said it was time for a sophisticated city to have a sophisticated museum.

The motion for the “back stop” funding was approved. Neither the Mayor nor Councillor Taylor spoke to the motion.

There are a lot of questions about both the funding and just what is going to be done at the much bigger museum operation. Will it even be a museum? The public will never get inside the building that is a replica of the original Brant house. The house will be used for administrative purposes.


The gorget, presented to Brant by King George III is perhaps the best piece in the collection.

The actual Brant collection borders on pathetic. The “library” is a collection of books that do not appear to be catalogued and are pretty tattered. There are a number of very good paintings and the museum does own the gorget presented to Brant by King George III.

Don’t mention the words “ongoing research” about Brant – no such thing. There isn’t anyone on staff that knows all that much about the man.

There seems to be a drive to create a place that can house touring shows that the city can attract.

In all the chatter about a “world class” museum no one from either the Museum Foundation or the Museum Board has ever outlined the kind of event the city would have taking place in the space.

Museum Doyle

John Doyle – Burlington Museum Foundation

Museum Larry Waldron

Larry Waldron – Burlington Museum Board

The funds that the Museum Foundation has raised came from a bequest to the Museum Foundation that turned out to be a lot larger than many expected. We are talking millions here.

Larry Waldron and John Boyle have worked for more than a decade to get a new museum built – they need just another million to get shovels into the ground.

City council was told that the Museum Board has a business model that will cover any increased operating expenses – that business model has yet to see the light of day. Given the level of transparency of Museum affairs in the recent past – nothing should be taken for granted.

A number of months ago the Museum was closed – a fact that was not revealed to anyone at the time. Lancaster who was on the Museum Board representing the city wasn’t aware of the closing.

At the time the Brant Museum was closed it was because of the re-building of Lakeshore Road which made sense – the decision to not re-open without at least making the city council representative aware of the decision is something that was never satisfactorily explained.

Barb Teatero JBMF

Museum Board Executive Director Barb Teatero appearing before city council.

One can only imagine the conversation that took place between Councillor Lancaster and Barb Teatero, the Executive Director of the Museum Board that manages both the Brant Museum and Ireland House over that matter.

Another concern is the location of the much enlarged museum. The entrance will be on Lakeshore Road which will become the main entrance to the Brant Hospital – including ambulance traffic. That road is a single lane as it rounds the museum – the tour buses that are going to ‘bring those thousands of visitors to the museum’ has the potential to clog traffic.

Far too many questions for city council to put up $1 million that they may never see returned.

The Motion that was approved at Standing Committee was passed. It now goes to city Council this evening: July 10th.

Whereas, the City of Burlington continues to support the expansion of the Joseph Brant Museum; and

Whereas, with the financial contributions from the Federal and Provincial Governments, the Museum Transformation project is closer than ever to being realized; and

Whereas, the city has a request before the Provincial Government and we continue to work with them to secure the remaining funds

Therefore, be it resolved that the Council of the City of Burlington:

Support the continuation of staff and the Museum Foundation efforts to resolve the transfer of lands; provide updated costing for the project; and ensure the fundraising campaign is underway

Approve provisional financing in the amount of $1M from the Capital Purposes Reserve Fund subject to not realizing further Provincial Government funding

Direct the Director of Finance to report back to Council in September 2017 providing an update on the land transfer, updated capital costs, operating impacts and the provisional financing required.

The motion which goes to council this evening July 10th, has the potential to become a rabbit hole that will be home to tales of wonder.

Related article

A second opinion.

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Teen Tour Band to celebrate its 70th anniversary at a concert this evening at the Central Park Band shell

eventsred 100x100By Staff

July 9th, 2017



The city will celebrate the Burlington Teen Tour Band’s 70th anniversary at a concert on Sunday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Central Park Band shell.

Will the citizens be out marching in the streets along with the Burlington Teen Tour Band when the city announces they have settled all the pier related lawsuits in a closed mediation session?

Burlington Teen Tour Band opened The Pier.

The BTTB started in 1947 in a room on top of a store on Brant Street with 75 young and eager musicians. Since that time the BTTB has grown into Canada’s Premier youth marching band.

Burlington is probably the only city in the country that has a band that represents the citizens at all major events and flies the city’s flag at events around the world.

The FAmily room is one of those spaces that just works. Here the Burlington Teen Tour BAnd marches into the room with every instrument blaring away. It was a great day for the Centre and the day the BTTB made the place their home base. The Centre needs more events like this.

The BTTB opened the Performing Arts Centre.

The BTTB represented the city in Holland during the 75th Anniversary of the end of WWII and will march in the Rose Bowl parade later this year.

Bring you chairs and take in a significant celebration – something the city can be very proud of.

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Pinemeadow splash pad literally goes down the drain - community support needed for a change - word from the ward Councillor wouldn't hurt.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

July 8, 2017



The Pinemeadow Park splash pad is currently out of order due to an electrical failure.

It has been determined that the existing electric system is beyond repair and requires a full replacement.

The cost to replace the electrical system is not within a reasonable budget, therefore the splash pad will be removed and not replaced. There is an opportunity to add a Natural Playground to the park (see below).

Pinemeadow Park is still open. During the removal of the splash pad, some areas of the park may be closed for safety during construction.

Earlier this summer, the Ireland Park splash pad opened as planned, and was installed to replace Pinemeadow Park splash pad. The Ireland Park splash pad is accessible to people with disabilities, greater water conservation, has supporting park facilities, and serves the larger community.

Pinemeadow Park – Natural Playground Opportunity: A group of residents looking to construct a natural playground at Pinemeadow Park was successful at securing $5000 from the city to assist them in developing a natural playground (see below for What is a Natural Playground).

Natural parks

Natural Parks are a totally different approach to what children get to play with and on.

There is an opportunity to expand the natural playground and add a water element into the project, thanks to a potential donation from a private foundation but a show of community support is needed. The funder needs to see community is willing to assist in the design and build of certain aspects of the playground.

If you are interested in getting involved connect with Denise Beard, Manager of Community Development, at denise.beard@burlington.ca and follow the existing community Facebook group at www.facebook.com/BurlingtonNaturalPlaygrounds.

Becky Ellis, 905-335-7600, ext. 7363 is an additional resource person at city hall.

The city has substantial amounts of money in its various reserve funds – to tell the public that the Pinemeadows splash pad is beyond repair and that the “cost to replace the electrical system is not within a reasonable budget” is quite a bit less than the residents of the best mid sized city in the country deserve.

The ward Councillor might want to provide the constituents with a more detailed explanation and then find the funds needed to fully repair the splash pad.

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