Three days of culture, culture, culture - what will Burlingtonians decide to produce?

Event 100By Pepper Parr

April 27, 2015


Culture in Burlington took another step forward last week when a Culture Days information session took place at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

Noack interview - city culture days 014

Local artists were able to set up a booth in Civic Square at the 2014 Culture Days – most reported they did very well at raising their profiles.

It was a small crowd but several of the people who play major roles in how culture is marketed and delivered in this city were in the room
There is a non-profit organization that maintains a web site with everything anyone would want to know about cultural events in the province. Culture Days raises the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.

To make it really work the Culture Days organization say again and again – ya gotta register – and the earlier the better.
Register an event is what makes an event work. It is not the simplest thing to do. McLeod wasn’t able top get the computer she was using to project the process onto a screen but the Gazette went on line and gave it a whirl – and it does work.

There are four basic criteria to Culture Days activities:

1. Your activity is free to the public
All activities registered as part of Culture Days are free; that is, they cannot be ticketed or occur in a space that charges admission. If you have already planned a mix of free and ticketed programs, register your free activities with Culture Days, and simply let the public know that you have other activities available as well. Fundraisers or sales can happen in proximity to your free event as long as it does not overshadow or restrict/prevent access to free activities. Note: asking for voluntary donations or placing a donation box near the entrance is not the same as requiring donations.

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

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

2. The activity takes place during the Culture Days weekend: September 25, 26 and/or 27, 2015 Activities registered as part of Culture Days take place during this year’s Culture Days weekend, but you do not need to have three days of activities or activities that last all day. Even a single one-hour participatory event scheduled during the Culture Days weekend qualifies. If your organization already offers arts learning or outreach activities, simply schedule one of your regular events during Culture Days.

3. The activity is participatory
All Culture Days activities are participatory in nature. This means that your activity involves some kind of hands-on aspect or offer the public “backstage”/behind-the-scenes access to see how you do what you do. Invite the public to go beyond a typical audience experience and instead play a part in the creative process. For instance, if you are in a choir, rather than stage a performance, you might offer a workshop on how to sing or harmonize; if you own or operate a dance studio, you might offer a dance class; if you are involved in a community radio station, you could offer a guided tour of your studio. Engagement and participation is key, regardless of the activity. Don’t forget that fun counts too! People love to do what they normally don’t have a chance to experience. Refer to the activity types in the upcoming section for more participation ideas.

4. The activity is registered at
When you register your activity online, you officially become part of Culture Days and benefit from the national promotional campaign that directs the public to the website to discover activities in their community. Registering online also gives you the chance to be included in the national Public Relations and Marketing campaign. You can also sign up to get regular e-newsletters with valuable advice and news about Culture Days.

Activity Types and Categories
There are five basic participatory activity types that can be registered as part of Culture Days, encompassing a wide range of artistic and cultural categories/disciplines.

1. hands-on activity: create, help make or try doing something yourself
2. behind-the-scenes: see inside artistic spaces and get a peek at creativity in action (indoors/outdoors)
3. excursion: tour of more than one location (eg. art gallery crawl)
4. discussion: artist talks, panels, round-tables and other cultural conversations where you can learn and discuss
5. collective creation: contribute to a collaborative act or work or art

The criteria and the regulations have that distinct stamp of a bureaucrat on them – but the process does work.

The city's cultural planner is all the arts community has at this point.  There is some cultural mapping being done - which is useful in itself but won't do all that much to build the tremendous potential culture has in this city.  Angela Papariza will use her well developed culture background and training to work with people like Trevor Copp - not likely to see much more in 2014.

The city’s cultural manager guided Burlington’s participation in the 2014 Culture Days – Angela Papariza talks to Trevor Copp who took a plea to city council for a better cultural environment in the city.

On the last Friday of September (September 25, 26 and 27, 2015) many municipalities in Ontario celebrate Culture with a three day event. Burlington has done this for a number of years and will be doing so again this September.

Promotion is critical according the Catherine McLeod who runs the Ontario arm of Culture Days

Why Register an Activity? From highlighting your community, raising your profile and meeting new audiences, to networking and connecting with like-minded citizens, the reasons are multiple!


Some of the most exciting quilting ever done was on display at the Art Gallery of Burlington last year. It will be interesting to see how the Art Gallery chooses to participate in 2105

Highlight the Cultural Vibrancy of Your Community
Every corner of this country is full of creativity, arts and culture. By participating in Culture Days, you help your fellow citizens become aware of the many unique opportunities available to them and encourage participation in arts and cultural activities in your own backyard. You draw attention to the different cultures and heritages that contribute to the development and vitality of your community.
You cast a spotlight on the cultural organizations and individual artists in their midst.

From children’s choirs, “stitch and bitch” groups and performing arts organizations to art colleges, museums and design firms, there are myriad perspectives, experiences, disciplines and techniques to share and discover. Working together, Culture Days participants showcase the vibrancy of local arts and culture, and encourage everyone to discover something new, something different, and to re-connect with their own creativity and community.

Arts and culture initiatives and industries not only make a vital contribution to our dynamic economy but, crucially to the social development of our neighbhourhoods, regions and country, promoting life-long learning, creative thinking, resiliency, appreciation of diversity, compassion and so much more.

Sign Burlington CultureSpread the word. Arts and culture are important.
Make Worthwhile Connections, Meet New Supporters & Audiences
A significant amount of Culture Days activity organizers share space with other organizers during the weekend, often collaborating with someone or organizations with which they had not previously worked. Whether it is to create a hub of diverse activities in one area to attract visitors, or as an excuse to finally contact someone you’ve been meaning to connect with, Culture Days is the perfect opportunity to meet other creative people in your area, share resources, form new alliances that will last year-round, and meet new potential supporters and audience members.

Collaborations can also inspire unique cross-pollination among creative practices, connecting across sectors, cultures and generations.
Moreover, your participation in Culture Days can be the catalyst to create a legacy of strong connections between citizens, artists, cultural workers and their communities.


During the creation of the Spiral Stella the public provided artifacts that were bronzed and made a part of the sculpture that stands outside the Performing Arts Centre. Here children watch in amazement at how the moulds are made.

Develop Your Skills
Culture Days offers a fantastic opportunity to sharpen your promotional and organizational skills.
By taking advantage of the free tips and tools offered on the website, you can make the most of your Culture Days experience and apply everything that you have learned or improved upon year-round.
Whether it is leveraging social media for the first time as a promotional tool, organizing as a community, or connecting with people as passionate as you are, the vast and varied network of collaborators that makes up the Culture Days initiative is the perfect support system.
Learning works best when you have people to share it with, so don’t hesitate to get out there and put it all into practice, and be sure to not be humble about your successes!

Raise Your Profile
Culture Days offers helpful tips and tools to conduct your own promotion and media relations. It is a great opportunity to be featured in your local paper, association newsletters, or arts blogs, to name a few. Don’t hesitate to tell everyone about your unique activity.

In addition to being included in the national marketing and communications campaign, you might also take part in local or regional marketing initiatives. By pointing the general public to where your activity is registered, people in your community and beyond your usual circles will learn about you and your activity.

Benefit from your participation by collecting contact information, business cards and comments from your visitors. This is a chance to build your email list and collect glowing testimonials for your next brochure or website update. Just by sharing your passion and talents, you can recruit new members, clients or audience members on the spot.

AGB visitor scene

Making culture the focus of conversation is what the Culture Days committee feels will raise the profile of the arts in a community.

Unite To Make Arts and Culture The Topic of Conversation
Culture Days is the largest-ever collective public participation campaign undertaken by the arts and cultural community in this country. Last year, artists, cultural organizations, diverse groups and local organizers in nearly 800 communities registered some 7,500 events. The marketing and media campaign generated impressions in the hundreds of millions.

In the three years since its inception, one in three Canadians reported being aware of Culture Days – that’s more than 11 million people!
By participating, you promote and reveal the creativity of our citizens, creators, organizations, and communities through a vast Canada-wide marketing and public awareness campaign. Whether you create a new program or already have a relevant interactive activity planned, everything included in the Culture Days weekend pushes arts and culture into the limelight.

It all happens September 25, 26 and 27, 2015 – what artists do between now and then will determine just how successful the day is. Wish for sunshine!

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Workbook for planning the future of Burlington extended to May 4; Strategic Plan to get an upgrade

News 100 redBy Staff

April 27, 2015


Getting people to tell you what they think before decisions are made seems to be harder than listening to people who are unhappy with decisions that have been made.

City Council is about to begin the process of setting out the Strategic Plan they will use as a guide for the decisions they make for the next three years.

StPlan flip charts

Ideas and concepts were written up on sheets of paper and put up wherever there was space. It all got debated and boiled down to the Strategic Plan the city is now working with – that plan is to be reviewed and revised now.

The Strategic Plan created in 2011 was an excellent document. It did have some limitations but given that prior to 2011 the city tended to publish a booklet with a lot of nice picture and precious little in the way of content. 2011 was great.

The Plan adopted by Council was a long time in coming – staff and council took eleven half days to discuss and debate what the priorities should be – what they wanted to focus on and achieve in the term they were getting into.

They settled on three Strategic Directions:

Vibrant Neighbourhoods
Excellence in Government

McKeowen and Sharman

The body language tells it all – there was some,e vigorous debate during the creation of the best Strategic Plan the city has had in some time. Here Frank McKeown, current Executive Director of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff at the time and Paul Sharman city Councillor and a member of the Board of the BEDC

Whenever a staff report was prepared for Council the writers of the report were expected to show how the recommendation was related to those three directions

As part of public engagement, which hasn’t been all that good so far, the city is asking the public to download a copy of a Workbook that has been put together for any individual who wants to express an opinion. The Workbook is an opportunity to provide input into planning Burlington’s future.

The deadline for submissions has been extended until end of day May 4, 2015.

In its media release the city said: “To help set priorities, each Burlington City Council creates a strategic plan to match with the four-year term of council. The 2015-18 City of Burlington strategic plan will result in changes to the 2011-14 strategic plan, based on community feedback and changing needs.”

Taylor with Black smiling

The Strategic Plan was facilitated by Georgina Black; they couldn’t have done the job they did without her.

Prior to extending the deadline for comment the city had received less than 50 responses.

The workbook is available online or in hard copy and can be mailed on request. Strategic plan facilitators are on standby to help groups complete the workbook. Please contact, call 905-335-7600, ext 7378, or visit for details.

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Mayor's Intensification presentation will be given a second time - first one sold out!

Event 100By Staff

April 24, 2015


You make hay when the sun shines – that’s what the farmers will tell you.

Tansley WoodsMayor Goldring clearly knows when he is on a roll – the interest in what he has to say about intensification has filled all the seats at the Performing Arts Centre on April 28th – so there will be a second performance on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 7 p.m. at Tansley Woods Community Centre, 1996 Itabashi Way. Admission is free. Registration is requested by calling 905-335-7607 or emailing

Billed as an important discussion on the role of intensification in the community the Mayor will serve as the event’s keynote speaker. City staff will also be in attendance for the question and answer session.

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This is why we call it Earth Day

This is why we call it Earth Day!


We may not see the Harpy Eagle in Burlington – but then they are not likely to see the Snow Owl in Chile either.

Cornell bird

Harpy Eagle by David Tipling.

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Mayor to speak about intensification: One hopes there will be vigorous debate and a fulsome exchange of views – both are needed.

opinionandcommentBy Pepper Parr

April 22, 2015


Later this month we will see, for the first time, a policy initiative that the Mayor has put his mark on.

During Rick Golding’s first term, much of the thinking was done during his election campaign. He produced a number of excellent position papers that we will review once we hear what the Mayor has to say on intensification.

Mayor Goldring has realized that his constituents, to a significant degree, do not fully understand what is meant by intensification and how Burlington is going to face that challenge – and for Burlington this is a challenge.

Burlington flagsThere are parts of the city where any form of intensification is not going to get past the first sentence. The backlash in some communities will be so strong that the Mayor, and every member of this Council, will quickly move on to a subject that leaves smiles on the faces of the voters.

Ontario is changing and Burlington is going to have to change with it – it will not be an easy transition and the Mayor has decided this is a subject he can show some leadership.

During his first term of office Mayor Goldring sponsored a series of talks on subjects that he felt were important to the city. He brought in some excellent speakers, including Andre Picard one of the foremost thinkers in the country on health related policies. Goldring brought in Ken Greenberg, a noted planner who works out of Toronto for the most part and has been instrumental in changing some of the thinking on how municipalities relate to developers and how the two can work together.

This time the Mayor is going to make the presentation – it will be his show. He will pull together the content and decide how he wants to present the data he will have collected.

He will, we assume, explain the policy guidelines within which the city has to work and what he feels are some of the directions the city can take as it works to meet the population increases the province has imposed on the city.

“Intensification is an issue that has captured the interest of many Burlington residents” said the Mayor on his web site. “People want to know why our community is seeing more buildings, particularly in the form of mid-rise and high-rise structures. Hear about the federal and provincial policies that are driving intensification and how Halton and Burlington are managing these pressures. Learn where we are growing, as well as innovative ideas we are investigating.”

The event is titled: Building Burlington: Where to build in a city that is built out. Problem with the title is that the city is not built out. There are hundreds of acres of land left for residential properties and more than we need in the way of employment lands.

The free event is “sold out” ; with the room full the Mayor will be speaking to an audience that wants to hear what he has to say. One hopes there will be vigorous debate and a fulsome exchange of views – both are needed.

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Last day to join 12,000 others and take part in the annual CleanUp – GreenUp event

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 21, 2015


Last day to sign up.

Last year more than 12,000 people took part in the annual BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association Clean Up Green Up Day
The events starts at 9 am to noon on Saturday, April 25th, 2015. School and Business Clean-Ups are taking place during Earth Week (this week) from April 20th to 24th.

BG clean up graphicAs the city’s largest volunteer participation action event, Community Clean Up Green Up Day is an important (and fun) opportunity for citizens, community groups, schools, and businesses to come together, make a difference for our environment and take pride in our city by cleaning it up.

Once you’ve done your share – head back to city hall for a bite to eat and join in the celebration – the place is usually packed.
Registration closes on Friday, April 24th.

Register here;

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Councillor Dennison's OMB hearing to overturn a Committee of Adjustment decision begins Tuesday.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 20, 2014


At the end of each city council meeting members of Council get a couple of minutes to talk up the things they are doing in the weeks ahead.
They mention community meetings they are holding; right now the hot item is the CarFree Sundays that are taking place in May as a joint effort for wards 4 and 5 and a solo situation in ward 6. Each Councillor got a $10,000 stash of cash to put on the event.

Dennison-home-Lakeshore - small version

Councillor Dennison’s Lakeshore Road residence which has been designated as a heritage property is the subject of an Ontario Municipal Board hearing on whether or not the Councillor can seek a severance.

Aldershot doesn’t appear to have a population that uses bikes, cycling isn’t the sport of choice for Councillor Taylor and Councillor Meed Ward, who has been seen on a bike prefers walking tours of her ward.  She didn’t get any money for that.  Aldershot will have a walking tour – its third – for which the Council member got $500.

The delivering of these little news items is done in a friendly easy going matter. The council meeting is broadcast live via Cogeco television – the hope being that the voters will see what they are paying for in terms of elected talent.

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison either chose not to inform his voters that his long delayed Ontario Municipal Board hearing starts on Tuesday and is scheduled to last for four days.

"I don't want to hear anymore delegations" said Councillor Jack Dennison.

Councillor Jack Dennison tends to stick to his guns on an issue that impacts his personal interests. The need for a four day OMB hearing will cost the city a considerable amount of money.

This is the hearing that has the ward Councillor fighting a city zoning and Official Plan so that he can sever part of his property on Lakeshore Road and build an additional dwelling.

The event is a don’t miss for many of the Roseland residents – they didn’t need to be told.

Councillor Dennison apparently didn’t want the rest of his ward to know where he was going to be for the rest of the week.

The hearing takes place at city hall

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Red Cross does what hundreds of organizations do every April - thanks their volunteers - we wouldn't be who we are without them.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 20, 2014


Dozens of groups spent last week thanking their volunteers – the city would not be the place it is without those volunteers.

Flood Red Cross class - volunteers

Red Cross volunteers being taken through the routines they were to follow during their door-to-door work during the flood last August.

Sometimes the large organizations that have been around for more than a century get forgotten – the Canadian Red Cross is one of them
During the flooding last August it was the Red Cross that did much of the door to door work and learning where the flood damage was worst and passing that information along to the people that were doing the fixing up.

Throughout the year, volunteers from across the country, generously donate their time to improving the lives of the most vulnerable individuals and communities. “Not only this week, but each and every day, the Canadian Red Cross is sincerely thankful for the vast network of volunteers who are an integral part of this Society,” says Azima Vadsaria, Disaster Management Advisor for Halton, Hamilton and Niagara. “They are the reason we are able to make such a significant impact on those in need.”

The Red Cross has more than 20,000 volunteers nationally playing a critical role in contributing to all programs and services offered by the Red Cross.

Flood - Hodgson Peter - flood maps

Peter Hodgson, a retired police Staff Sergeant pointing out where the damage was in a specific part of the city during the flood last August.

More than 244 of those volunteers from across Halton and the province came together in Burlington to help those who had suffered devastating damage to their homes from the August 4th flood. In addition, volunteers delivered thousands of Meals on Wheels in Burlington, provided thousands of rides to medical appointments across the Region, and helped families that were forced from their homes by fires and other personal disasters and worked tirelessly in the Branch offices, ensuring that all programmes worked seamlessly.

Flood - Meed Ward with Peter Hodgeson + T shirt

Helping out during the flood involved anyone with willing hands.

“The passion and commitment that our volunteers carry out in their work is truly remarkable. It’s an honour to have such devoted individuals representing the work of the Red Cross from coast to coast across Canada,” added Vadsaria.

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Do you know your neighbours? Enough to help the police when there is an emergency?

News 100 redBy Staff

April 20, 2015


We see it every summer – police reports of break-ins and theft of property during the day when people are at work – or out of the house.

Police - know your neighbourThere was a report last year of a house being illegally entered at the front while the owners were in the back yard gardening.

Burlington is fortunate in that most people are quite vigilant and call 911 when they see something suspicious.

However, all too often the people making the phone call don’t have some of the information the police need.

Halton Regional Police Service recently put out a convenient form that they encourage people to use and stick up on the fridge.

You can print out this story and crate you own list of neighbours.

The police ask:

Do you know the first name of at least five (5) different neighbours?
Would you be able to tell police the address of the house behind you in the event you witnessed a break and enter?
Does your back door neighbour know your address?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, use the chart below and get to know your neighbours. And call 9-1-1 to report crimes in progress.

Police - Your neighbours

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Young girls prepare for the city wide GreenUp CleanUp event. Will you be part of it?

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 20, 2015


If we are taught young enough – the lessons are usually learned for life.

Brownies - Clean Up

Young girls learn about the world they inhabit and get ready to learn what Burlington does every year during the BurlingtonGreen CleanUp GreenUp campaign – this Saturday.

Last week the 24th Burlington Sparks and the 37th Burlington Brownies gathered at Rolling Meadows Public School for their introduction to keep the city we live in cleaner.

Girl guides 2 drawing Clean Up

Making their mark on the world they are going to grow up in.

Girl Guide chlk Clean Up

Paying attention to detail.

This Saturday, groups from around the city will be out gathering trash and tidying up after people who were less considerate.

Why so many tires end up in the creeks and ravines is hard to understand – but they are there.

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EARTH DAY is April 22nd - earth-loving celebrations are happening all month long!

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 13, 2015


2015 is shaping up to be a monumental year for the international climate movement, and Earth Day Canada wants to show the world that Canadians are ready, willing, and able to take meaningful action to support the health of our one and only planet.

A child with "Kids for a Clean Environment" helps

An Earth Day flag on display in Washington DC

Inspired by their 1992 Earth Day Flag that collected a total of 500,000 signatures from across the country, Earth Day Canada is again calling all Canadians to sign their 2015 Earth Flag and make a commitment to make Earth Day every day by doing your part to reduce carbon emissions 20% by 2020.

The 2015 Earth Flag will be taken to the COP21 International Climate Conference held in Paris this December where a new international agreement on carbon emissions will be signed.

How it works:
Signatures will be collected in person (at community events, schools, specific sites) and electronically through our website over the five months period from Earth Day, April 22, to September 22, 2015. These signatures will be placed or printed on pieces of cloth that will be sewn together to create a mosaic flag.

What unfortunately is not clear is how a person can send a signature or who in Burlington is collecting signatures. We asked the Earth Day organization but have not heard back from them.  We will do our best to keep you posted.

The flag will feature the Earth Day Every Day logo, as well as a 2015 pledge or pledges that represent the goals or commitments of Canadians to make deep carbon reductions.

The pledge:
I pledge to the best of my ability to help make the earth a safe and hospitable home for this and future generations.

We are working with school groups, youth organizations, First Nations, Faith Communities, Non-Governmental Organizations and individuals to revise the pledge for the 2015 Earth Flag. Stay tuned for the new pledge!

We plan to reveal the Earth Flag at an event in early November and collect the final signatures on the Earth Flag by those who will be representing Canadians at the Paris COP21 climate meeting.

In December at the COP21 meetings, Earth Day Canada will display the Earth Flag at a prominent location/event to portray the collective resolve of Canadians to reduce their carbon emissions.


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School board taking a closer look at growth in Milton and North Oakville - might result in some consolidation of schools in Burlington.

News 100 blueBy Walter Byj

April 17, 2015


The Halton District School Board was in a longer than usual Closed Session – close to an hour this time. No sword on what they talked about – the sense I got was that they may have been talking about a possible high school strike for Halton.

Once the doors opened the meeting moved briskly through a number of issues. The school calendar for the 2015/2016 was approved unanimously.

Bateman school sign

Are there too many high schools in the eastern side of the city?

The board then passed a motion that has the Halton Student Transportation Services hiring consultants to undertake a bell time analysis for both secondary and elementary students in an effort to find efficiencies and cost savings. Bell time is the buzz word for when schools start their day.

This program is awaiting the Catholic board approval on the same motion next week. The parameters and cost of the study would then be determined.

A motion to have time set aside for recognition of excellent achievement within the Halton board, student or staff, was forwarded to the next meeting pending further clarification.

The Long Term Accommodation Plan was then presented by Domenico Renzella, Senior Manager of Planning and Lucy Veerman, Superintendent of Business Services. The LTAP, references what the board is going to need in terms of facilities based on enrollment projections. The enrollment projections from 2015 to 2024 and the identifying of new capital project initiatives for the Board from 2016/17 to 2019/2020 were part of the report which the Gazette will cover in more detail soon.

The key takeaway was the explosion of enrolment and new schools in the Milton area and northeast Oakville with the corresponding decline in enrolment in Burlington and parts of Oakville. This could lead to potential school consolidations in the near future. The trustees were advised that there would be public consultation.

The Halton Student Transportation Services annual report for the fiscal year of 2013/14, said there were a total of 448 routes which covered 34,058 daily kilometres and transported 29,268 students for the Halton board and the Catholic board combined. The Halton board transported 18,834 students at a cost of slightly more than $19 million.

Mark Zonneveld, Superintendent of Education (Student Services), presented the Gifted Screening Interim Report which outlined the procedures of identifying, nominating and then accepting students into the gifted program within Halton.

Of the students that are initially identified as gifted, only 35% enter the program after further testing. Over the past five years, the number of students identified as gifted by grade four has risen to 4.3% For the 2013/14 year, 61 students were placed in the Gifted Programme in East Halton, 29 in the West and 30 in the North

The meeting concluded with Stuart Miller, Associate Director of Education, giving a Program Viability update. Over the past years, the French Immersion program has impacted somewhat negatively on the English program and the Program Viability Committee was formed to study this matter.

The committee has met three times to date and is reviewing the situation within the Halton area along with studying how other boards are affected along with potential solutions. The committee will meet again on April  20th, hopefully a more detailed report will be available to the next board meeting.  The public is not invited to take part in these meetings,

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Volunteers - the people who are there when you need them and ask for nothing in return are recognized.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

April 16, 2015


Would the world continue to turn without volunteers? There are a lot of people in the Burlington whose lives are better because of the many volunteers – and the lives of those volunteers are richer because of the work they do.

At about this time last year Community Development Halton created an award in the name of former Burlington Mayor Walter Mulkewich to recognize the work volunteers do.

Ann Coburn’s Director of Volunteer Halton, in handing out the awards made these comments:
We are witness this morning to the recognition of the work, generosity and impact of individual volunteers across Halton’s four communities. You and other extraordinary volunteers have said to us repeatedly, “it isn’t really me, it is about the group, it’s about the energy and commitment of my neighbours”.

This rippled through us at Community Development Halton that we created an award to celebrate those amazing and dedicated people who come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems in their community.

Mulkewich llistening

Walter Mulkewich, taking in a political speech on a sunny summer afternoon.

This award honours a citizen of Burlington, a citizen of Halton, Walter Mulkewich, who has worked and is working tirelessly to influence evolution and advancement in sectors such as the environment, economic development, social development, mental health, and the arts and culture. Walter epitomizes the characteristics of leadership: honesty, integrity, courage, and inclusion. He is a man graced by the passion for fairness, for social justice, and for human well-being.

In 2015, the committee is honouring, T.E.A.C.H., with the Mulkewich award.
T.E.A.C.H. is an acronym meaning Teach, Empower, Advocate for Community Health. T.E.A.C.H. is a Consumer Survivor initiative operating across Halton that provides peer support and advocacy to individuals experiencing mental health and substance use. All thirty+ volunteers have lived experience with the mental health and addictions system. Volunteers have been actively involved in numerous facets of education, support, training, counselling, outreach and promotion, even back office and administrative duties, marketing and event planning.

T.E.A.C.H. is an organization whose foundation has been built on the effort and inspiration of community volunteers. T.E.A.C.H. is guided by the “Recovery Philosophy”, which affirms that all people experiencing challenges have inherent strengths, and that they can – and will – get better.

Joseph Kiss - volunteer

Joseph Kiss, Rolling Horse Community Cycle. Joseph provides free bicycle repair and basic bike mechanics for children and adults in neighbourhoods across Burlington.

Having an organization such as T.E.A.C.H. has allowed individuals and their families to start a dialogue in the community surrounding mental health and addictions. T.E.A.C.H. assists us to better understand mental health and additions so that we can be supportive and inclusive. T.E.A.C.H. partners and collaborates with numerous social and health agencies building their collective capacity to support the growing needs of our citizens suffering from mental health and addictions.

For example, T.E.A.C.H. works with our local hospitals, P.O.S.S.E. (Peer Outreach Support Services & Education) , Halton A.D.A.P.T. (Alcohol Drug and Gambling Assessment Prevention and Treatment), Summit Housing, S.T.R.I.D.E. (Supported Training & Rehabilitation in Diverse Environments) and the Region of Halton, to name a few.

Yvonne Kato volunteer

Yvonne Kato is a holistic therapy volunteer at Breast Cancer Support Services, offering Reiki to members. Breast Cancer Support Services provides a variety of healing modalities to women living cancer, to help them ease the stress and side effects of treatment.

While much of the audience was made up of Volunteers taking part in the Breakfast event, Joey Edwardh, was not just speaking to the converted when she said: “The theme this year for National Volunteer Week is the ripple effect of volunteerism. A volunteer action is like a stone thrown in a lake: its effect has a direct impact. At the same time, like ripples, volunteer efforts reach out far and wide to improve communities..

Quoting Christine Mason Miller, Edwardh said: “When we focus our energy towards constructing a passionate meaningful life, we are tossing a pebble into the world creating a beautiful ripple of inspiration. When one person follows a dream , tries something new, or takes a daring leap, everyone feels that energy and before too long they are making their own daring leaps and inspiring yet another circle. “

Cavan Cook volunteer John Howard

Cavan Cook, John Howard Society, Burlington & Area. Cavan is a Mentor for Youth At Risk Development (YARD) program. He provides individual support to a young person focused on setting up and achieving positive goals.

She added: Like a pebble thrown into the water, volunteer action creates many ripples of inspiration and encouragement . Volunteers reach out beyond themselves to engage in kindness and caring for others. They are special people, with busy lives, who make time for others. They see and respect the dignity of their fellow men and women. In a thousand different ways they lighten the load for those who are burdened by illness, troubles or disadvantage.

Volunteerism has always been with us, we call it neighbours helping neighbours, supporting one another when affected by disaster, concerned citizens see a need in their community, form groups of like-minded individuals to address the need and create change.

Our Governor General, his Excellency The Right Honourable David Johnston, said the third pillar of Canada will be encouraging philanthropy and volunteerism. He went on to say that “Canadians have a long history of coming together and helping one another. Service to country shaped us, service to family and community sustains us, and this tradition of service will carry us forward into the future”

The Ripple Effect! Throughout history we can trace back to organizations that were formed to address areas of injustice and the social needs of society. In Canada, organizations emerged in direct response to a need in community all of which involved Volunteers as founders, supporters and front line workers.

Linda McKay with Mayor and Searles

Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring on the left with John Searles and Linda McKay who is with the Burlington Public Library. Linda McKay is a dedicated Visiting Library Service Volunteer at the Burlington Public Library. She delivers books to several customers, who are unable to travel to the library themselves, and they think the world of Linda.

One such as example , as it happened in our neighbouring community of Hamilton. In the 1950’s a group of mothers desperate to find a cure for polio, which was an epidemic at that time, formed the Marching Mothers and went door to door in their neighourhoods, collecting dimes for research. The Marching Mothers were instrumental in supporting the research of Dr. Jonas Salk, whose polio vaccine was released in 1955, putting an end to the epidemic. The Marching Mothers movement today is known as the March of Dimes.

This is only one example of an organization that made a significant difference in the lives of Canadians and exemplifies the Ripple effect of how the action of a few can and do change the lives of many.


The Seniors Ambassador Connector Program was pilot project in Burlington and the ripple effect is that it is now expanding to Halton Hills. Shown here are the Burlington Ambassadors.

The Seniors Ambassador Connector Program was pilot project in Burlington and the ripple effect is that it is now expanding to Halton Hills.
Volunteer Halton is privileged to work on a daily basis with like-minded individuals and groups who identify a need and move into action. We see every day individuals who answer the call for change, come together as strangers, connect through a cause and end up with lasting friendships. When asked volunteers always mention that they could not do the work without the support of their Coordinator, Manager of Volunteers.

These professionals dedicate long hours organizing, preparing and supporting the work of volunteers and volunteers themselves.  Today we recognize and celebrate the wonderful volunteers who come from all walks of life, different experiences and from all ages to create the ripple effect that changes lives and communities!

Edwardh chose to leave her audience with a pungent thought to ponder.

Noah’s Ark was built by volunteers
The Titanic was built by professionals.

That sort of sums it up – doesn’t it?

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Daytime residential break and enters in Aldershot community

Crime 100By Staff

April 16, 2015


On Wednesday April 15th 2015 between 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM, unknown culprit(s) broke into two separate homes on Glenwood Avenue in Burlington (Aldershot Community)

Culprit(s) broke a small glass door window at the rear of each home which allowed them to reach inside to unlock the door and gain entry into the home.

Once inside, culprits ransacked various areas of the home stealing cash and jewellery.

Anyone who may have observed any suspicious persons and/or vehicles in the area are asked to contact Det. Ellie Bale of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – Residential Crime Team at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2312 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Police would like to remind the public to remain vigilant in spotting and reporting any activity that appear suspicious.

The Halton Regional Police Service offers the following crime prevention tips to help reduce your chance of becoming victimized:

Lock your valuables in a safety deposit box.
• Install a loud audible house alarm.
• Secure your safes and lock boxes to the floor.
• Be cautious when allowing people you don’t know into your home.
• Report any suspicious behaviour to police.
• Keep a detailed inventory of your jewellery including photographs. This will assist officers in the event your property is stolen.
• Check with your insurance company to ensure you have adequate coverage for your valuables.
• If you encounter someone in your home, DO NOT CONFRONT THEM. Call 9-1-1 immediately.

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Head of the culture and heritage in Grande Prairie coming to Burlington to lead the AGB - wait till he sees the cost of a house in this city.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 7, 2015


The Art Gallery of Burlington announced today that they have appointed Robert Steven as its new President & CEO. Mr. Steven will assume his new post on 4 May 2015.

In a media release the AGB said: “The Board of Directors was looking for a very special leader who is capable of taking the Art Gallery of Burlington to the profile appropriate for the home of Canada’s largest collection of contemporary Canadian ceramics and to the level of community engagement that will best contribute to the quality of life of this city and region.

Robert Steven

Robert Steven appointed as President and CEO of the Art Gallery of Burlington.

We have found that leader in Robert Steven,” said Sandra Edrupt, Chair of the AGB Board. “We value Steven’s strategic business mind and believe that he can build synergy from our unique identity as both an art gallery and the home to the guilds of Arts Burlington.”

One of only 50 Canadian alumni of the prestigious Getty Museum Leadership Institute in Los Angeles, Steven’s educational background includes a Master of Museum Studies at the University of Toronto and a Fine Arts degree from the University of Waterloo.

Steven currently manages the Culture and Heritage Department of the City of Grande Prairie, where he oversees the City’s various cultural and heritage infrastructure and investments, including the three branches of the municipal museum. He caught the attention of the City of Grande Prairie, and now the Board of the Art Gallery of Burlington, through his impressive leadership of the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, an organization that he transformed, expanded, professionalized, and modernized over his seven and one-half years of service as both its Executive Director and Curator.

His successes in Grande Prairie led to his recognition with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Premier of Alberta in 2012 and the Alberta Venture Magazine’s selection of him as one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People for 2013.

Originally from Ontario, Steven’s earlier professional arts experience included rapidly increasing authority and responsibility at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery during a period of significant growth and change from 2001 to 2006. This encompassed roles as Preparator, Collections Management Project Manager, and Registrar.


Dennis Longchamps joined the AGB as Chief Curator. Dr. Longchamps also heads collections and educational programming

“Combining Robert’s strong arts executive and municipal leadership experience, with the strength of our Chief Curator, Dr. Denis Longchamps, who also heads collections and educational programming, we will have the leadership team that we need to take the Art Gallery of Burlington to the next level,” said Edrupt.

Many thought Longchamps would succeed Ian Ross who left the President and CEO role at the gallery on rather short notice after a 20+ year stint.

Kim Varian who led development for the AGB also left the gallery to work with her husband on the family business. Varian will continue with the AGB in a consulting and support capacity.

Grande Prairie has a population of 55,000+;median age is 30; average income is in the $126,000 range; a two bedroom apartment comes in at $1,115 a month – and here is the shocker for Steven – average house price is in the $316,000

Swarbrick at Womens International

Anne Swarbrick will now try retirement for the third or fourth time. It is not something she is very good at.

All this means that Anne Swarbrick, who was serving as the interim President and CEO can now return to what must be her third attempt at retirement

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What's On? - now you can find out.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 7, 2015


It isn’t the kind of graphic you can miss.

We wanted it big and bright to draw your attention to the Gazette’s newest reader feature.

WO dark blueWhile the words What’s On! aren’t unique – the concept was to create a place where whatever is going on in this city is posted.

In a recent survey we asked readers what else they wanted to see – more than 87% of the respondents said they wanted more information on what is happening in the city.

Our editorial staff will be putting in some of the information – anyone else can also add an event.

The feature is moderated – which means we see whatever is suggested and moderate it to ensure that it is “appropriate” and that the information is correct.

It will take a bit of time for people to get used to the feature and to follow the steps needed to complete an entry.

The feature will be useful for people who want to plan an event in the future but don’t want to conflict with some other event. All they have to do is scroll forward and see if there is a conflict.

There are some 400 events in the list – not all have been posted yet.

While this is a free service it is not meant for commercial operations too abuse.

In the very near future you will see information that is sponsored – which gives advertisers an opportunity to support an organization that is commercial in nature.

Services like this work if people comment on what is and what isn’t working. Please – comment and don’t be shy. We dish it out – we can take it.

Just don’t sue us – OK!

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Province to publish graduation rates: Halton Board released numbers yesterday.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 2, 2014


Ontario’s provincial high school graduation rate has increased again, with more students gaining the skills and knowledge they need to thrive and prosper.

The rate of students graduating within five years of starting high school was 84 per cent in 2014, which is 16 percentage points higher than the 2004 rate of 68 per cent. The percentage of students graduating in four years is 76 per cent, an increase of 20 percentage points since 2004, when it was only 56 per cent.

Since 2004, approximately 163,000 more students have graduated than would have if the graduation rate had remained at the 2004 level.
The provincial government is going to publishing school board level graduation rates from across the province. Ensuring parents, students, teachers and boards have access to consistent data will help inform efforts to improve students’ success.

It is difficult to fathom how publishing the graduation rate is going to help a student. It might help parents push their boards to improve the performance on teachers in high schools – seems like an expenditure that doesn’t need to be made.

The idea of sending anyone out in the world with anything less than a high school education is close to criminal. The only way to earn a living without a high school education is to steal or sell drugs – which is of course what far too many of them end up doing.

It would help too if the provincial government could work to create an economy that resulted in jobs for those who do graduate.

HDSB grad rates over 5 yr

Graduation rate for students who took five years to complete high school.

The Halton District School Board does keep graduation statistics. The Gazette education reporter Walter Byj will be reporting on this soon.

The graph below shows the rate of change for students who took five years to complete their high school education

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Spring GreenUp - Clean up registration now open.

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 1, 2015


It is close, you can almost feel it – but it isn’t here yet – is it?

The warm weather doesn’t have to be here to get BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association, in partnership with the City of Burlington, getting the word out on their annual event.

BG clean up graphicCitizens, schools, churches, community groups and businesses can participate in this year’s Community Clean Up Green Up events taking place from 9:00 to noon on Saturday April 25th and Saturday May 30th, 2015.

Since 2010, the city-wide clean-up efforts have collectively realized the retrieval and proper disposal of more than 10,000 kg (10 tonnes) of litter, with a record high of 13,500 participants in 2013 who registered to do their part to help make Burlington’s parks, streams, school yards, and neighbourhoods cleaner and greener.

Registration for this year’s events is NOW OPEN on the Burlington Green website

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Police will be out in force over the holiday weekend - enforcing the seat belt law.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 31, 2015


The Easter bunny may do the hip- pity hop thing – that’s not what the Halton Regional police are going to be doing – and they will not be handing out Easter eggs either – although the idea if Chief Tanner handing out coloured eggs does have some public relations appeal.

During the Easter long weekend the Halton Regional Police Service will be participating in the Spring 2015 Provincial Seatbelt Campaign
The campaign will run from Friday, the 3rd of April 2015 to Monday, the 6th of April 2015.

Police cruiser New_look

Expect almost every vehicle in the Halton Regional Police Service fleet to be out on the road over the Easter weekend. If you’re seen without a seat belt – $240 ticket.

Road users should be prepared to experience much higher volumes of traffic over the weekend, making it a particularly important weekend for all drivers, passengers and young children to be properly restrained, regardless of the distance to be traveled or anticipated road time.
“A properly worn seat-belt greatly increases the chances of surviving a motor vehicle collision.”

Front line officers, Community Mobilization Unit and District Response Team members will be engaged in targeted enforcement for this important provincial campaign.

A reminder to drivers should you choose not to buckle up you could face a fine of $240 and 2 demerit points, which will remain on your driving record for two years from the date of the offence.

If you happen to be a little short on points you might get a call from your insurance agent as well.

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Differences of opinion on how to resolve the coyote problem that is getting worse

News 100 redBy Staff

March 29, 2015


The Gazette did not have a reporter at the public meeting last Thursday when the matter of coyotes roaming the parks and ravines of the city was the major issue.

A few days after the meeting we got the following from a resident:

I was walking my dog at 11:30 along the paved trail connecting Burloak to Appleby line. A large Coy wolf was walking along the trail on its own. Clearly was not afraid of me and my large black lab which seemed small compared to this animal. Did not expect this at this time of the day and clearly it was not afraid of us.

I warned a lone jogger who turned and decided to jog in the opposite direction. During the winter I came across a number of rabbits that were being fed on as well. There is a danger from these animals. Clearly the city needs to do something about this.


A coyote sensing field mice beneath the snow prepares to pounce.

Glenda Dodd, a Hager Street resident did attend the meeting at Central arena and sent in the following;

“I would like to make comment on the resounding applause I received from people in attendance. It was for my objection to the proposed bylaw and the fact it is a difficult bylaw to enforce. The stand I took was that Improper Garbage Disposal is what should be controlled. The fact I received such overwhelming response to my remarks is the reason for this e-mail and request that you pay heed to what the people said by their applause.

“I know surrounding areas have “no feeding bylaws” but what good are they if in the meeting it was acknowledged that coyotes are a problem everywhere because of urban expansion. Why have a bylaw if it is already proven to be ineffective in our surrounding cities.

“A number in attendance, because of their personal encounters are now fearful of using their back yards, parks or having evening walks with their dogs, they were looking for more response about what is being done to remove coyote population.


Coyote den with pups.

Dodd adds: “Across from my house in the wee hours, I have seen a coyote walk up our street past the apartment building through the parking lot to the Hydro right of way. According to people who walk dogs, there is a coyote den not far from my area (I’m assuming from their description that it could be somewhere around or past Grahams Lane). I have not walked the area to find it.

Because of this proximity I feel as familiar as anyone in the City to speak regarding Coyotes and the proposed by law.  I strongly object to the proposed By-Law regarding feeding of animals.

“That is what they wanted, not a bylaw forbidding feeding. Whether there is a bylaw or not, if anyone suspects coyotes are being fed, a field observation would have to be made in order to apprehend whoever is doing and bylaw or not, if they really wanted to do such a thing would just become more evasive and discreet.

“I truly believe that instead of trying to redefine what a nuisance animal means the bylaw idea should be dropped altogether. Concentrate on something that can be enforced, like garbage and yard waste accumulation that houses mice and rats.

“We do not need a paint brush bylaw…Canada Geese and Seagulls are a specific problem then do what Midland did and enact a bylaw to prohibit the “Feeding of Canada Geese and Seagulls”

“As you admit, (Dodd is referring to either the Bylaw enforcement officer or the Mayor) it would be difficult to enforce such a bylaw, so why have it, to use in a worst case scenario, please. My comment was about not needing what was presented, that is what was approved via the applause I received. What the people wanted to know was what are you doing about the coyotes, they want them removed, not a nuisance feeding bylaw.

Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven, in an email response to Dodd said: “There was no “resounding applause.”
“What I heard was that people want support for the coyote problem. A wildlife feeding bylaw is a reasonable next step.

Councillor Craven may have felt his McMAster jacket would ward off some negative comment.  Don't think it did - every member of Council had their ears bent by the 125 people who showed up at the Mainway Arena SAturday afternoon.

Councillor Craven will often dress for the occasion.  In a previous public meeting he chose to wear his McMaster jacket.

“Yes, it would be difficult to enforce such a bylaw, but it would probably only be done on an exception basis to deal with the worst case scenarios. i.e. the gentleman in Tyandaga who is feeding the Canada geese in Fairchild Park to the point of damaging the park grass and attracting rodents….upsetting his neighbours.”

Unfortunately, the draft bylaw that was proposed does not appear to be on the city’s web site. We will work at digging this out and continue the discussion.

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