41st edition of MUSIC HALL opens at Drury Lane

By Staff

March 28th, 2020



After being dark for more than 500 days, Drury Lane opened their 41st edition of MUSIC HALL and are back making live audiences smile, laugh and cheer.

“For 47 years, Drury Lane Theatrical Productions has enriched the cultural life of community by providing art that people can indulge in,” said MPP McKenna. “Having staged 136 productions over its storied history, Drury Lane’s musical productions impact artists, musicians, volunteers and audiences from Halton, Hamilton and

After being dark for more than 500 days the Drury Lane theatre reopened for their 41st production of Music Hall

The Ontario government recognizes the important contributions of theatre and the arts in our community. The $50,000 grant provided to Drury Lane by the province’s Community Building Fund will help ensure live theatre in Burlington for years to come.”

Normally presenting four productions per year, Drury Lane was forced to close its doors, like so many community groups and small businesses. Drury Lane’s primary source of funding – ticket sales – was eradicated. Thanks to the $50,000 grant, Drury Lane was able to pay for the things necessary to resume its activities and use their savings to pay the bills associated with having their own building, nicknamed The Loft, on New Street.

Now that the group can sell tickets again, it can return to being a vibrant member of the Burlington Arts & Culture community.

“The Community Building Fund grant was critical to allow Drury Lane to exist and continue to do what it does best,” said Carol MacKenzie, Artistic Director of Drury Lane Theatrical Productions. “Theatre’s primary source of revenue is ticket sales. Without that, we can’t survive. The grant kept us going and allowed us to return to providing a stage for local artists to perform and for Burlingtonians to enjoy and laugh along with others in a live audience.”

Celebrating its 47th Season as Burlington’s premiere musical theatre company, Drury Lane Theatrical Productions, a charitable organization, plays an important role in Burlington’s Arts & Culture community. In a normal year, Drury Lane impacts over 10,000 patrons, artists, and volunteers, providing the joys of stage musicals.

Matinées at 2:00 PM: March 27, April 3, 10, 2022

Evenings at 8:00 PM: March 18, 19, 25, 26, 31, April 1, 2, 8, 9, 2022

Tickets HERE

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Return to the Front page

AGB: dramaturgy - a theatrical art form - something to be experienced

By Staff

March 25th, 2022



This is the last month to see The Characters: Act III by Erdem Taşdelen at the Art Gallery of Burlington.  Closing April 16th, the The Characters: Act III is the final act of a three-part audio installation.

An exercise in dramaturgy and dystopian reflection, the works are based on the narratives of 30 stock characters and performed by voice actors from scripts developed by the artist.

These fictional characters are recognizable archetypes representing a specific set of behaviours or thoughts. Their defining traits are borrowed from the work of Theophrastus, a Greek author of the 4th century BCE, who produced the first known set of character sketches in history, describing types of people such as “The Pennypincher,” “The Faultfinder,” and “The Grouch.”

Peculiarly, all these 30 types, together titled The Characters, depict negative traits.

Some scholars have speculated that a supplementary volume comprising positive types must also have existed, or at least been planned. In the absence of these, however, Taşdelen’s reading takes on a comical and poignant quality through its rather bleak representation of human nature. Curated by Natasha Chaykowski, the first two acts of The Characters were presented in Calgary, Alberta at The Bows (formerly Untitled Art Society) in partnership with EMMEDIA (2019) and in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at AKA Artist-Run (2020).

Tuesday – Friday 12 PM – 5 PM
Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM
Sunday & Monday CLOSED


Return to the Front page

Mary Hill explains why she should be permitted to comment in the Gazette

By Mary Hill

March 20th, 2022


Mary Hill, a person we have not succeeded in satisfactorily identifying, took exception to our decision to restrict her commenting privileges in the Gazette because it looked like she was commenting using two different names.  She asked if she could write, in a respectful manner, a comment to what you today published stating a different point of view to yours.  The following is what she wrote:

The Gazette is in the process of putting in place a set of rules tat should prevent this type of thing from happening in the future.

“Hello, I am Mary Hill. I am not Margaret Riley. Margaret (Maggie) is my life partner. Not that that is anyone’s business. Though the Gazette seems to have made it everyone’s business.

I am writing this in response to the two Gazette pieces that have put Maggie and me through the wringer

Contrary to the thoughts of the Gazette’s editor/publisher, and I am sure some of its readers, Mary and Maggie are not one and the same.

Having straightened that out I must ask what would it matter if Mary and Maggie were indeed just one individual using two different identities to make comments in the Gazette? I don’t understand what the problem would be.

The editor/publisher is correct. Other publications do require authentication of who you are, as do many on-line retailers when one wishes to change account settings for example. Authentication is generally achieved by one of two methods. 1. via sending an email to the account holder’s designated email address. That email may either have an “authenticate” button or provide a code to be entered on the application. 2. via a need for the user to pick out of a line up of six pictures all those pictures that have a common feature.

Why do they require the authentication? In the email check cases it is a security check to ensure the account provider is indeed dealing with the account holder. The picture line up method is there to ensure the site is dealing with a warm bodied human and not a bot.

In neither circumstance does the account provider seek to confirm the identity being used is the actual legal identity of the account holder. Even providers like OLG allow for alternative identities to be used.

So why is that? The simple answer is to allow the account holder to maintain their complete privacy. What is the difference in placing a bet with OLG, or buying product from Amazon, or making a comment to the Burlington Gazette as either Steve Smith or James Jones. There is no difference.

The editor/publisher has said in his article he “needs to know” who the individual actually is. What’s the individual’s legal name, phone number etc. I ask the editor/publisher to explain here to the Gazette’s readers just why he needs that information? Does it have a bearing upon the validity of the comment submitted? Is there a legal requirement? I think neither. The Gazette’s editor/publisher can contact the commentator by email to assure himself the person is a real human and not a bot.

Even using my real name of Mary Hill exposes me to trolling, harassment and unwanted attention. I have heard stories of Gazette commentators not only getting hate mail through their email but also through the Canada Post mail. How does someone get a personal address? Generally it’s quite easy if one has a land line phone. Just go to the 411 look up website, put in the name and city, and bingo addresses pop up. An example:- an advocate for real names only appears to be Cathy Lanc, who commented righteously on both Gazette articles. Cathy I believe know where you live and your phone number. Does that concern you? Not that I would, but it would be easy to troll you. Maggie and I do not publish our phone numbers or our address in any “phone book”.

There are examples galore where an employee, prospective employee has, in my view unfairly, lost their job due to posting material on-line, sometimes years previously, that sat counter to how their employer saw the world. Using a pseudonym eliminates that concern.

As a result of the Gazette’s original article, both Maggie and I have had our personal lives made way more public than we would have liked. It is now obvious that we share more than an internet connection. Our status was our private concern. The Gazette has made it quite public. I question has the Gazette overstepped PIPIDA by publishing our names, email addresses and IP address without our consent. I have no desire to rake the Gazette over the coals, but it just shows how one’s identity and privacy can be easily exposed and potentially cause other issues. It shows how important it is to protect that personal information.

Our social environment is so completely different today from what it was just a few years ago. In the old days you write a letter to the editor of the G&M. It got published. But once hard copy newsprint in which it apperaed had been tossed into the garbage, it to all intents and purposes was gone from public scrutiny. Now, it is on the web forever. Even if you have a change of heart you cannot erase it.

So those are my views. But I think what is more important than my views is for the editor/publisher to explain or justify just why “he needs to know” the personal identity of a commentator.

  • What benefit does the Gazette or its readers get by the editor/publisher knowing the commentator is Jim Smith and not John Smith or James Jones as submitted with the comment? Answer, absolutely none.
  •  Why does the editor/publisher find the use of a nomme de plume or pseudonym, a practice used extensively in literary and journalistic realms for donkey’s years, to cause him an issue in this day and age. Answer, I have no idea.

All the editor/publisher has said is

“I still do not know if Mary is not the same as Maggie; just saying they are is not enough.  I need to KNOW that they are.”

Why is it not enough?

Why does he need to know?

What is his justification for that need?

He does not say.

I doubt he will. Why do I doubt that. Simple. Because there is absolutely no justification he can give.

Editor/publisher please provide your reasoning. Just saying you need it does not make it a valid need.

Editor/Publisher, please reinstate Maggie’s and my commenting privileges.”

Will you publish it?



Return to the Front page

City Bird poll winner to be revealed Monday evening


By Dave Tourchin

March 20th, 2022



The Bird Friendly Hamilton Burlington team will announce the winner of their recent online public poll to select a City Bird, at the monthly “Bird Studies Group” virtual event hosted by the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club on Monday evening.

Are these swans meant to be the bird that reflects what Burlington is all about?

A guest speaker from the Bird Friendly Hamilton Burlington team, Barry Coombs, will give a presentation on the group’s efforts to get Burlington and Hamilton certified under Nature Canada’s “Bird Friendly City” Program:

“A Certification Story – Designating Hamilton and Burlington as Bird Friendly Cities”

March 21, 2022, 7:30 pm – 9 pm   A virtual event open to everyone

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86797267165

The announcement of the public’s choice of City Bird for Burlington, and also for Hamilton, will be made near the end of the presentation.

The Bird Friendly Hamilton Burlington team was founded in December of 2020. Its primary goals are to help protect our wild birds, and to get Hamilton and Burlington certified under Nature Canada’s “Bird Friendly City” program, but the work won’t stop with certification. Learn about the status of certification and the many ongoing and future projects of this group that is dedicated to bird advocacy.

Related news stories:

Does the city need or wan an Official Bird

What are the options if there is going to be a city bird



Return to the Front page

Foundation created to identify and fully fund creative arts and exercise programs for those living with Parkinson’s in Halton/Peel.

By Tamara Boaden

March 18th, 2022



The Passion for Parkinson’s Foundation is a non-profit corporation . Our primary objective  is to identify and fully fund creative arts and exercise programs targeted specifically to enhance and support the lives of those  living with Parkinson’s in Halton/Peel.

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative movement disorder affecting 25 new people daily in Canada.  Next to medication, exercise is the most beneficial therapy for managing this disease.

My husband was diagnosed with  Parkinson’s in 2011 and I have experienced what this debilitating disease does and understand how important these programs are for people living with Parkinson’s Disease.

In May 2021, we  launched Parkinson’s in the Park ™which offered weekly walking, exercise, and Tai Chi programs in various parks In Mississauga.

In September 2021, we  expanded the walking and Tai Chi programs to Burlington.

Based upon our success and seeing the difference it made to our Parkinson Community, beginning April 2022, we are offering  and fully funding Arts and Exercise programs in Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington. Flyers are attached.

We plan to further  expand  our programs to Brampton and Milton by 2022/23.

We need your help to increase our community reach to attract new participants, volunteers, and financial supporters. Any assistance you can offer (i.e. share with your social media feeds, post flyers/brochures on community boards.





Return to the Front page

Who are we hearing from - and does it matter? It does

By Pepper Parr

March 17th, 2022



Earlier this month I made the decision to hold comments sent to us from a specific Internet Protocol address that was being used by two different names.

We suspected the two names wwere being used by the same person.

Our comments section is populated with boisterous, well informed people who comment at length. Frequently there is an exchange of views that goes on for a week or two.

We also get offensive, even libelous comments which we delete.  We have, on a few occasions, taken away the opportunity to comment.

Many online publications that have a comment section ensure that they have identified the writer and are satisfied they are real people.

I am always dismayed when a writer does not have the courage of their convictions and chooses to use a phony name.

Many of the comments made are from people who strongly support a particular viewpoint; we welcome those.

Some commentators take us to task for an article they feel was unfair or biased, we welcome those as well.

The general rule is: know your client – it applies to almost everything.  People who comment in the Gazette are not clients but we feel it is important that we know who they are – our concern is not with what they wish to say.

I don’t know Maggie or Mary.  One of them claims that there are a number of people writing under a nom de plumes – that may be true – we just don’t have the resources to track down every person who comments nor is it our objective.

We did on one occasion allow a person to identify as anonymous.  The person was commenting on a position the City Manager at the time had taken on how he would support his Staff during a very contentious municipal election.

The writer took exception with the City Manager’s position because the writer held a very senior position in another level of government, and was not authorized to speak for that level of government: the person could not use their own name.

Senior bureaucrats are discouraged from taking public positions.

In one comment made by Mary an adjective was used that we didn’t see as offensive. The person being referred to saw it differently.  They claimed it was a hate comment and wanted a criminal investigation.

The writer of the adjective apologized and we saw the matter as closed.

We however are still in the position of not knowing who the writers are.  We did reach out to talk to them – we do that frequently with names we are not certain are legitimate. Mary did not take up the chance for a discussion

It  got messy.

In the past I have come close to closing down the comments section.  While I think it is critically important, vital even, that people have a place where they can say what they think and where their peers can respond, monitoring the comments is a significant draw on our limited resources.

There are readers who ask:  “Does this really matter?  Loads of blogs on social media are not the real names of the authors.”

True enough, but the Gazette is not a blog; it is a credentialed on line newspaper that has been publishing for more than ten years.

A reader added: “Younger readers and bloggers often use pseudonyms, it’s no big deal. People are just having their say. Many actors, rappers and people with maiden names even though they are married, use different names and surnames.

“These women may be in some sort of relationship. There is also Anne and David Marsden, two people under one name. How do you know who it is commenting on the article, is it Anne or David? Now there is a comment on here just from David. Do David and Anne have the same IP address? If so, how can they be allowed to use the same IP address?”

The difference is that we know that David Marsden is real and we know that Anne Marsden is real.

“This could be an identical situation” said the writer, “some people have separate email addresses and some use a joint address.

“Lives are changing, we should all try to change or at least acknowledge changes. “… a good editor means keeping up with the changing times. I’m sure as I get older I may find it more difficult, too.”

I still do not know if Mary is not the same as Maggie; just saying they are is not enough.  I need to KNOW that they are.

There is no discrimination here.  Convince me that you are who you say you are and I am a happy camper.

I publish the Gazette, pay for it out of my pocket, and I am responsible for the content.

I would hope that those who choose to comment be responsible enough to properly identify themselves.


Return to the Front page

Will Council meet in an Open Session on the 22nd - masks are no longer required - in person delegations should be permitted

By Pepper Parr

March 12th, 2022



Will there be mayhem on the streets when masks can be off everywhere and almost anywhere on March 21st ?

What does that do to plans various organizations have to protect the people they care for ? The Hamilton-Wentworth School Board is reported to have told the province that they will require Masks in schools until April 15th.

With the Spring Break keeping schools closed, the concern that people travelling may bring the virus home with them; and the expected increase in social activity will bring together people who have not been together in the past increasing the opportunity for the virus to spread.

No masks in this picture: does that mean we will see every member of Council in their seats next week?

What will that do to our elected officials and the way they meet.

City Council is due to meet on the 22nd – will it be a virtual meeting, which appears to be the preference for most of the seven members on Council.

There is a bylaw in place calling for virtual council meetings – will that be the excuse that is used to require the meeting to be virtual?

The bylaw hasn’t prevented the Mayor from taking advantage of every possible photo-op.

The City Manager is reported to be working on the approach the city will take to opening things up and at the same time reporting on how many City Hall staff will work off-site and how many will work in city facilities.

There are some jobs that have to be performed at a city office; others that can be done by people working off site. The policy appears to be that a staff member is either an on-site or an offsite employee. They cannot switch from one to the other.

More clarity on just how this will be implemented and what the impact will be on the public can be expected soon given that the province has already started the process of getting to the point where there are no restrictions.

Why any of this is being done while we are still working with a pandemic befuddles us. When the World Health Organization moves Covid19 to an endemic – the restrictions can be moved.

What will we do if there is a sudden steep increase in infections ?

That appears to be a risk the politicians are ready to take.

Return to the Front page

Jefferson Salamander and his need to mate closes King Road until April 15th

By Pepper Parr

March 10th, 2022



Is this a love story – or just a story about a bunch of randy creatures looking for some action?

It’s Salamander mating season and they are migrating across King Road

He isn’t exactly pretty but nevertheless plays an important role in the local environment. Comes in different colours as well.

Spring is around the corner and the annual passage of the endangered Jefferson salamanders during their breeding migration will begin soon. King Road, near the base of the Niagara Escarpment to Mountain Brow Road, continues to be closed for construction of a nearby subdivision. The base of King Road will reopen to local traffic on April 15, once the salamanders are expected to finish their annual crossing.

Since 2012, the City of Burlington has closed the same section of road for the salamanders which are a nationally and provincially protected endangered species.

Expect to see this guy crossing King Road late at night – road is closed to protect him

About the Jefferson Salamander
In Canada, the Jefferson salamander is found in Southern Ontario in select areas of deciduous forest, mostly along the Niagara Escarpment.

Jefferson salamanders spend most of their lives underground. As the weather warms up and the spring rains begin, the salamanders emerge and migrate to breed in temporary ponds formed by run-off, laying their eggs in clumps attached to underwater vegetation. Adults leave the ponds after breeding. By late summer, the larvae lose their gills, become air-breathing juveniles and leave the pond to head into the surrounding forests.

Adult salamanders migrate to their breeding ponds during wet rainy nights. They show a strong affinity for the pond in which they hatched and can be very determined to reach it, sometimes causing them to cross busy roads.

The Jefferson Salamander was the largest part of the decision to not permit an expansion of the quarry in 2012

In the years the Gazette has been covering the story of the Jefferson Salamander – they were a critical part of the decision in 2012 to not permit an expansion of the Nelson Quarry – one would have thought they would get more recognition and respect.

Someone should begin a movement to have the Jefferson Salamander the official mascot of the city – heck they deserve hero status for what they have achieved.

Quick Facts
• The Jefferson salamander is protected at both the provincial and national levels. It was added to Ontario’s endangered species list in 2011.
• Jefferson salamanders have a grey or brown-coloured back, with lighter under-parts. Blue flecks may be present on the sides and limbs.
• Adult Jefferson salamanders are 12 to 20 cm long. The long tail makes up half this length.
• Unlike most small animals, Jefferson salamanders can live a very long time; up to 30 years of age.

Burlington Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith does his bit to protect the Salamander explaining that: “Not only do the residents of Ward 1 do their part to protect the Jefferson Salamander every spring, the whole community embraces this road closure to help preserve this endangered species. Over the past decade, these conservation efforts have helped to ensure the Jefferson Salamander population is given a chance to survive and thrive in the years to come. Thank you to everyone who takes this short inconvenience in stride to protect our beloved ‘Jeffy’.”

Hassaan Basit, President and CEO, Conservation Halton who is perhaps best seen as God Father to the creatures add that ““The decade-long partnership between Conservation Halton and the City of Burlington has resulted in the preservation of the Jefferson Salamander population. We are pleased to share that since the first King Road closure in 2012, we have observed no Jefferson Salamander road mortality in that area during the migration period.”

Return to the Front page

Top five ways to prepare for a safe and healthy March Break

By Staff

March 8th, 2022



As provinces lift restrictions, many Canadians are itching to travel. With March Break upon us, the team at COVIDdetect has pulled together top five ways to help remain as safe as possible during these times of excitement, and a little trepidation.

Premier Ford was masked when he got his vaccination. The rest of us can do it

#1 Get vaccinated – get boosted

Getting vaccinated ensures you are adequately protected against the virus. It lowers your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. With over 80% of Canadians with at least two doses, many provinces and territories are loosening restrictions and mandates. A booster shot can increase your efficacy to hold off severe infection from COVID-19.

#2 Wear a mask, wash your hands

Wearing a mask and washing your hands are additional precautions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. These sustainable and effective measures can cut the risk of transmission of not only COVID-19 but also other viruses and illness.

#3 Be prepared – have rapid antigen test on hand

Forget the hassle of having to find a rapid antigen test while you’re away or the worry of not being sure if you should gather with friends and family. Carry rapid antigen tests with you to test before and after social gatherings, travel on planes, trains, and automobiles (and on public transit). Taking a rapid antigen test is quick, easy, and convenient. It allows you to get the results within 15 minutes without leaving the house. It is the perfect way to have peace of mind and enjoy yourself.

#4 Plan your trip carefully

Have a plan. Planning ensures smooth sailing for a trip and helps calm nerves, especially if this is your first time traveling in a long time. Look for activities with smaller crowds and gatherings or scheduling the activity at off-peak hours. Understand local restrictions and public health guidelines so you know what to expect. Reduce your risk by choosing outdoor activities. Check local travel blogs and community websites for a list of possible activities.

Get tested

#5 If you’re not feeling great, take a test

If you are not feeling well take the time to investigate. Using rapid antigen tests and common sense will limit exposing your friends and loved ones to whatever ailment you may have. With a rapid antigen test, you can better understand your symptoms and make informed decisions on taking care of yourself and when to seek treatment if necessary.

If you’re still worried about COVID-19, plan activities that are close to home, have a backup plan if activities become too busy and be creative! Additional resources are available on the Government of Canada travel and tourism website.


Return to the Front page

Current and Former Youth in Care Now Eligible for Tuition Bursary at Sheridan

By Staff

March 8th, 2022



Sheridan College has announced a bursary program that will enable up to 20 eligible students to pursue post secondary studies this September.

The program is for youth currently or formerly in the care of child welfare, and is available to students of all ages pursuing their first post secondary credential and who meet the eligibility requirements.

This is a partnership with the Child Welfare Political Action Committee (PAC), and the Sheridan Bursary for Ontario Youth

“Post secondary education transforms lives and facilitating access to it is foundational to Sheridan’s mission as a leading educational institution and a responsible community partner,” said Dr. Janet Morrison, President and Vice Chancellor. “Sheridan is committed to delivering on this promise through an investment in thoughtful, long-term and systemic solutions, like this bursary.”

Sheridan has worked collaboratively for several years with local Peel and Halton Children’s Aid Societies and the Peel-Dufferin-Halton Ontario Education Championship Team to help youth currently or formerly in extended society care reach their post secondary and career goals.

Getting disadvantaged youth into a line like this becomes possible with the right financial support.

“This bursary is a significant milestone in Sheridan’s ongoing commitment to supporting vulnerable young community members by removing barriers to education,” added Sheldon Pereira, Vice Provost Student Experience and Enrolment Management. “We are delighted to join the Child Welfare PAC on their mission to ensure that every young person has the opportunity to work towards a bright and promising future.”

According to the Child Welfare PAC, there are approximately 12,000 young people currently in care in Ontario, and another 100,000 who have recently transitioned out of care. From age 18 to 21, those in care receive an allowance of approximately $875 a month. When this support ends, pursuing a post secondary education becomes more difficult.

Prospective students can learn more about Sheridan’s available scholarships and bursaries online HERE.




Return to the Front page

Traditional Ukrainian dinner - sold as Take Out only on March 25th

By Staff

March 7th, 2022



A massive banner made up of the Ukrainian flag colours displayed at the Rally on the weekend.

This is about as Ukrainian as you can get.

A Sausage and Perogie dinner – takes place on March 25th – Take Out only.

Take out only is a pity – it is a fund raiser but it would be something else to take part in a large hall filled with people sitting at tables eating good Ukranian food with traditional music piped into the room.

There is a war going on in their country – they need all the money they can get and they need all the support we can give then.

These people are afraid, courageous yes – but afraid about what is going to happen to their families and friends who cannot get out or who have chosen to stay and fight.

Return to the Front page

Koogle looking to cast two roles in 'Into the Woods' production

By Staff

March 7th, 2022



Another production, another opportunity for young people to learn if the stage is where they were meant to be.

Into the Woods is a 2014 American musical fantasy film directed by Rob Marshall, and adapted to the screen by James Lapine from his and Stephen Sondheim’s 1986 Broadway musical of the same name.

The graphic below tells the whole story.


Return to the Front page

People gather publicly for the first time in years

By Pepper Parr

March 7th, 2022



When people gather in public places there is always an interesting dynamic.

Some people are very earnest in what they say and do; others are quite passive – just there to see what’s taking place.

Pete Ward – Mayor’s husband, was on hand to take pictures and make new friends.

Orysia Foster nee Nebesny., wearing a bright headdress and full Ukrainian costume

Some of the people who were in front of City Hall Sunday afternoon caught the attention of our camera lens.

The strikingly attractive Ukrainian women in full cultural garb were everywhere.

The Mayor’s husband was taking pictures and making new friends.

The Mayor was mixing with people – fully engaged in conversation with some.

The leadership from within the Ukrainian community was issuing orders and getting flags up, donations boxes in place.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward in conversation with a resident during the Ukrainian Rally

It was a place to do a little politicking, to meet old friends and to be around hundreds of people and not HAVE to wear a mask.  Many did.


If you didn’t know where you were supposed to go – this woman, Natalia Nebesny, was making sure you did know.

Return to the Front page

Walter Mulkewich: An appreciation.

By Pepper Parr

March 6th, 2022



I don’t remember exactly where I first met Walter.  It was about the time that he and the late John Boich submitted their Shape Burlington report to city council.  It wasn’t very well received.  Some senior staff wanted parts of the report re-written.

I do remember the many times we had coffee, the occasions when we had him over to the house for dinner, and BBQ’s at his house in Aldershot.

Walter once took me on a long walk along the Waterfront Trail from the hotel to the canal and pointed to some of the plans that were talked about along the trail.  There was going to be some kind of a science exhibit structure along the way close to the canal at one point.

Walter knew everyone and once told me that anyone who wanted to do something in the city paid a call on the Mayor.

Walter loved the job of being Mayor.

He took me up Brant Street once and showed me exactly where the Freeman Station once stood.

He was part of a group of former Council members who decided it would be nice to get together once a month for lunch.

Joan Little, a former member of Council, former Mayor Mary Munro, former Councillor Linda Pugsley, Walter, and I would gather at whatever restaurant Joan Little chose.  I was the only person who had not been elected to office.  I did run for school board trustee in Scarborough – lost by 17 votes.

Later, after he retired from public office John Taylor joined the group.

The conversations were ripe.  There was a time when Burlington had 17 members of Council, meetings would still be taking place well after midnight.  The rule was that what got said at the lunch table stayed at the table.

Ever the gentleman, Walter never had comments on current members of Council.

Mary Munro, having some fun at Walter’s expense,  regularly asked him if what is now the Bridgewater development was approved on his watch.

Walter could always be relied upon for sage advice.  He listened carefully and even if he didn’t agree with you, there was that pleasant smile and you knew that you had to rethink your idea.

This afternoon people took part in the visitation.  We attend these things with heavy hearts and want the family to know they are being supported.

This afternoon was particularly difficult. Consoling a daughter who carried her grief and sorrow in her eyes; strong enough to hold back the tears knowing that Dad wasn’t a phone call away anymore.

Rest in Peace Walter – you have served so very well; you will be deeply missed.

The funeral takes place on Monday at the Burlington Baptist Church on New Street, at 10:00 am.  It is a by invitation only that will be streamed live by Smiths Funeral Home.

The link to watch the service via video is HERE

Related news story:

Joan Little on her dear friend Walter Mulkewich

Return to the Front page

Ukrainians Rally in front of city hall

By Pepper Parr

March 6th, 2022



They were out on the street, doing what they could to draw attention to the plight of their fellow countrymen.

They lined Brant Street smiling when horns were honked – a couple of hundred taking part in a Rally that was being repeated across the country.

The whole world knows; the whole world waits, praying that a peaceful end will be found.

For the 250 to 300 people who gathered on Brant Street – they didn’t seem to have a permit to use Civic Square and didn’t really care.

They wanted people to know and they wanted to be able to gather and draw what energy and hope was there for them.

Many of the politicians were seen – quite why the MPP was asked to speak was hard to understand. She was brief.

The priest from the Ukrainian Catholic Church said a prayer – different to see hundreds of people crossing themselves as the prayer was spoken.

He may not have fully understood the language but he was there nevertheless with his parents supporting a country he may not even know.

Orysia Foster nee Nebesny was everywhere – wearing that smile and letting is see what a Ukrainian dress looks like. So much colour.

Quite a few people wore their bright cultural clothing – one can’t call them costumes. Would that Canada had a history as colourful to display – the best we can do is a hockey sweater.

The event was put together on very very short notice by people from a part of the community who are quiet, hard working – industrious.

They take part in Canada Day fully aware of how fortunate they are to be in Canada and while their home country has had its problems, none of them thought it would come to what we are experiencing today.

The best they can do is gather, support each other and raise badly needed funds.  And hope.


Return to the Front page

Halton District School Board releases findings from Student and Staff Census

By Staff

March 6th, 2022



The Halton District School Board is releasing the findings of the Student and Staff Census conducted in the 2021-2022 school year in a phased approach between March – September 2022.

At this point we know how many students participated.

The release will begin with data on the identities of students and staff including language, ethnicity, race, Indigeneity, religion, gender, sexual orientation and disability.

At the March 2 Board meeting, a presentation of Phase 1 data of the Staff and Student Census was made to Trustees.

The HDSB conducted the voluntary Student Census from January to June 2021, and Staff Census from April to June 2021, as required by the Anti-Racism Act, 2017 and Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan to gather and report identity-based data. The Student Census was completed by 78 per cent of elementary students and 84 per cent of secondary students. The Staff Census was completed by 75 per cent of staff.


Following the release of identity data, perceptual (how students perceive their school experiences) and disaggregated data showing trends and patterns in special education, academic achievement and student experiences, will be shared between now and September 2022.

“The findings of the Student and Staff Census are intended to support every community to ensure we are meeting the needs of all students and staff in the HDSB,” says David Boag, Associate Director of Education for the Halton District School Board.

“This data provides us with new information about who our students and staff are to fully understand the needs of all staff, students and families. This will help support success and well-being, identify and eliminate discriminatory practices, systemic barriers and bias to provide equitable opportunities and outcomes, and allocate resources to support students and programs where the need is greatest.”

With the findings of the Student and Staff Census, the HDSB will continue to examine disparities and disproportionalities in opportunities and outcomes for students and staff, prepare action plans that align with the HDSB Multi-Year Strategic Plan 2020-2024 and continue to engage with stakeholders.


Return to the Front page

Mildred Austria on Ensuring that you never get too carried away when playing casino games

By Mildred Austria

March 7th, 2022



When it comes to casino games, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy balance, ensuring that you never get too carried away when playing. While casino games can be a lot of fun — and more accessible than ever thanks to online casino gaming — it also opens up the potential to fall into a downward spiral.

Let it be known that casino games at its core are meant to be enjoyed in moderation.

Let it be known that casino games at its core are meant to be enjoyed in moderation. Many people like to throw terms around such as gambling addiction when talking about casinos, but it doesn’t mean everyone falls victim. In fact, you can maintain a perfectly healthy balance while still enjoying your favorite casino games. All you have to do is keep a few tips in mind so you can make the most out of your opportunities.

Understanding slot machines

Perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of casino gaming involves slot machines, as it’s one of the most popular games — while also being entirely luck-based. It’s not something you can win out with skill, which means you have to be careful when going for slot machines.

One of the best ways to maintain a balance is to set a quota for slots. You can limit yourself to a certain number of tries, ensuring that you don’t get too carried away. There are also plenty of slot simulators out there that can show you just how likely you are to lose (or win) on any given day. It’s all about trying your luck, and the crucial bit is not to push your luck too hard.

Slot machines: They can be fun; they are a game of chance – set a limit and walk away when you reached that limit.

Want to win? Focus on a game

The thing about casino games is many of them are based on your skill and ability to read the table. Slots are the only ones that rely entirely on luck, which means it’s up to you to make the difference when trying other games. If you want to boost your chances, it’s better to focus on a single game to help increase your odds of winning. Learning the ins and outs of a game will help you learn about how to win, especially when watching the experts play. You can look into fantastic jackpot games at CasinoDays, giving you every opportunity to learn your favorite casino game.


Understanding when to fold

This hand isn’t going to take you anywhere. Fold.

Last but certainly not least, there’ll come a time when you’ll have to cut your losses and try again another day. The slots can teach you all about not pushing your luck, but the same thing applies to most other casino games. Even if you happen to be on a winning streak, it’s better to stop while you’re still on top. It can be tempting to go for even bigger winnings (and it’s not an impossibility), but you’re very likely to go home with nothing if you do. Learn when to fold, and you’ll have won half the battle.

Maintaining a healthy balance when playing casino games is all about maintaining discipline. There’s no need to listen to anyone warning you about the dangers of gambling if you know how to discipline yourself.


Return to the Front page

Drury Lane Theatre Productions: on stage March 18th to April 10th

By Pepper Parr

March 5th, 2022



The pent up energy and creativity in the community is slowly coming out of the restrictions imposed by various levels of government

Drury Lane Theatrical Productions will revive their annual Music Hall at The Loft at 2269 New Street, running March 18th to April 10th, 2022.

Burlington’s favourite and longest running review show returns as the 41st Music Hall premiering on March 18th and will again showcase the great music of today and yesterday and the talents of members of our community in a celebration of Music Theatre.

From left to right: Anne Kelly, Carrie Mines, Sheila Flis Photo credit – Merise Designs

With Direction from Gregory Flis and Music Direction by Donna Dunn-Albert, you’ll laugh and sing along with our talented cast of Misses (Sheila Flis, Anne Kelly, Carrie Mines, Stacey Tiller and Jennifer Welosky) and Misters (Randy Bridge, Bill Everett, Don Montgomery, Evan Delvecchio-Williams and Chairman Gregory Flis).

Join them as they celebrate the return to live performance after months of darkened stages with recognizable classics from Adele to Sondheim to the Old Tyme British Music Halls of the Victorian era.

Drury Lane’s Artistic Director, Carol Mackenzie explains, “Artists are aching to get out of Zoom rooms and onto a real stage where they can stretch their artistic muscles and experience the true joy of performance and connection with an audience. And audiences are starving for laughter and the energy of communal experience.  There is no better place to do that than the theatre – and at Drury Lane’s Music Hall.”

An audience member described one of our past shows saying, “Music Hall is like a “kitchen party” with music you live by, love with, cry because of, laugh at and sing along with. Music Hall is a belly laugh married to a tear rolling down your cheek.”

Buy Tickets and learn more about Music Hall at www.DruryLane.ca or call our Box Office at 905-637-3979. Follow us on Instagram (DruryLaneTheatre) and Facebook for more fun and information.

Celebrating its 47th Season as Burlington’s premiere musical theatre company, Drury Lane Theatrical Productions, a charitable non-profit organization, plays an important role in Burlington’s Arts & Culture fabric. In a normal year, Drury Lane impacts over 10,000 patrons, artists, musicians and volunteers providing the joys of stage musicals.




Return to the Front page

Looks like the Sound of Music is going to fill the air in June

By Staff

March 4th, 2022



With the Covid19 restrictions being lifted and the new infections numbers and hospitalization getting lower and lower – is there not a good reason to begin thinking about the Sound of Music?

They have put out their call for volunteers which means they are working on a boffo program for the summer.

Imagine the Sound of Music floating up from the lake and lower Brant Street packed with visitors.

Click here and become part of the party

The Sound of Music takes place the week leading up to Father’s Day! This year, our Club Series kicks off on Sunday, June 12th and the festival in Spencer Smith Park runs from Thursday June 16th to Sunday June 19th, 2022

Return to the Front page

Rivers steps away from the keyboard; Connor Fraser will write a column on what his demographic thinks

By Pepper Parr

March 2, 2022



We bid our Contributing Editor and long-time columnist Ray Rivers adieu and hope that he travels well.

Ray Rivers has been with the Gazette for at least eight years during which time he wrote an opinion column from a small L liberal perspective. He developed a following that kept him one his toes.  He also developed within the community, a better understanding on just what an opinion piece is.  There are some who still resent some of the stand Ray took.

Ray Rivers – who won the best that Trump would win`. I’ve been buying him good Scotch ever since.

It was my pleasure to stand behind him and support him every step he took.

He made a point of providing background links to support the positions he had taken.

In the years I have worked with Ray he became a friend, a colleague – someone who made my life bigger than it was before I met him at an event and knew before he knew that he would make a fine columnist.

We will hear from Ray again – right now he takes a break as he does his best to cope with the situation in Ukraine.  Ray covered a Canadian Army training camp while he was in  Ukraine and delivered a couple of hundred Canadian flag lapel pins made a number of friends as well.  Their safety is now top of mind for him.

Ray cannot be replaced; his time with us taught our readers that there is a place for opinions in a local on-line newspaper.

which brought me to Connor Fraser, a young man I met

A number of years ago I met Connor Fraser just before he left for the University of Toronto.  I fully expected the young man to do very well.

Set out below is some detail on just how well he has done.

Connor will write a column once a month, he wanted to be more frequent but it takes time to get into the habit of writing regularly – so once a week for now.

His first column will be on social media.

Connor was born in Hamilton in 1997, 1997 is a long-time resident of Aldershot.   He attended Waterdown Montessori School, Glenview Public School, Burlington Christian Academy and Aldershot High School, graduating in 2015. Passionate about the issues facing Burlington, Connor has volunteered for several local organizations and advocated to municipal leaders on building transit oriented, walkable communities. His career goal is to help Burlington – and Canada – navigate the challenges of transitioning towards a just and inclusive low-energy economy.

Connor Fraser

In 2020, Connor completed undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, with a BASc. in Engineering Science and a major in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Between 2018 and 2019, he worked as a member of the technology development team at Microchip Corporation (North San Jose, California) where he contributed to the design of computer memory for FPGA chips. While pursuing engineering studies, Connor volunteered for the U of T Human Powered Vehicles Design Team as a machinist and led the design of a rollover detection system for high-speed tricycles. During the summer of 2013, 2015 and 2017, Connor lived in Quebec thanks to support from the YMCA Student Work Summer Exchange, and the Explore Program and is decently proficient in spoken French.

Connor has returned to U of T to enrol in the dual Master of Global Affairs and Master of Business Administration program and is concurrently a Certified Financial Analyst Level 2 candidate.

He is a Senior Producer with “Beyond the Headlines”, a weekly public affairs radio show that airs on CIUT 89.5FM every Monday (October – April) between 11am and 12pm. CJUT is the student run radio station at the University of Toronto.

Connor describes himself as an integrative thinker who enjoys observing parallelisms within and between various subjects such as science & engineering, finance, psychology and international relations. In his free time, Connor enjoys throwing boomerangs, playing tennis, and hanging out with his amazing sister.

You’re going to like this guy.


Return to the Front page