Ward 1 candidates

council 100x100By Staff

September 17th, 2018


Ward 1 map


Jason Boelhouwer
163 Old Orchard Rd., Burlington, ON, L7T 2G2

Vince Fiorito

Kelvin Galbraith
93 Queen Mary Ave., Burlington, ON

Arlene Iantomasi
772 Old York Rd., Burlington, ON, L7P 4X9

Andrew Paul Jordan
Townsend Avenue, Burlington, ON

Kevin Lee
Greenwood Drive, Burlington

Garry Milne
1674 Kerns Rd., Burlington, ON, L7P 3H1

Tayler Morin
1870 Green Meadow Dr., Burlington

René Papin

Marty Staz
773 Miriam Cres., Burlington, ON, L7T 1C7

Judy Worsley
629 Cedar Ave., Burlington, ON, L7T 2R4


Mark Carr will moderate the ward 1 debate.


Mark Carr – moderator for the ECoB municipal election debates.

Mark Carr is the on air host for Cogeco TV program The Issue.  He has been doing public television work for more than 20 years.

He has been involved in political life as campaign manager for four successful provincial and a federal elections.

He ran for public office and served as a city Councillor and Regional Councillor for ward 6 in Burlington.  He served as Chair of the Burlington Planning and Development committee and Budget and Strategic Planning committees. He is the recipient of Ontario Public Service Award in 2010 and 2017 and Medal of Volunteerism, from Government of Canada.

He is the Executive Director for a not-for-profit agency.  He has volunteered his time with Community Cares Halton (Police Services) Board of Directors, Oakville Dispute Mediators, Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Bereaved Families of Ontario and Board of Directors, Sustainable Development Committee.

Mark has moderated debates for several years iat both the federal, provincial and municipal levels.

Mark is an honours graduate in Communications and Conflict Management from the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel/University of Waterloo and is a long-time resident of Burlington.


ECOB logoECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington was formed in December of 2017 when a number of residents became concerned about the rate of and scope of development that was taking place in the downtown core.

Citizen engagement was a key issue.  Residents felt that Council was not listening to their concerns regarding their vision of what they would like their Burlington to look like.

ECoB set out to educate and inform residents.  They held an event for anyone wanting to run in the October 2018 municipal election and built a to scale Lego based model of what the city would look like with developments that were approved and planned.  The city administration said there wasn’t time to have this 3D model built – so ECoB did it.

They then set out to hold debates in each of the wards in the city, something that had not been done before as well as a debate for those running for the office of Mayor.

The organization is funded by donations from people who attend meetings.

Pure grass roots organization.

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Terry Fox Run for the cure - Sunday.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

September 15th, 2018



Terry Fox flag

The Terry Fox flag being raised at city hall.

The flag says it all.

Sunday is the day to put the truth to that statement – take part in the 38th annual Terry Fox Run for the work and research that will cure cancer.

Burlingtonians usually turn out in the thousands.  The year the run begins and ends at the Pier.

Be part of it.

Details and times:

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38th annual Terry Fox run on Sunday

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

September 14th, 2018



It is a tradition in this city.

Every September for the past 37 years Burlingtonians have run, walked and cycled in an event that raises funds for cancer research in the name of Terry Fox.

One of the city’s first sons, Casey Cosgrove,  was lost to cancer last year days before the run.

Fox run aerial

An aerial view of the “run” last year.

Thousands of people have done the “run”.

Last year they raised $103, 576, the 37 year total is $1,930,304

This year’s run is on Sunday September 16th

Judson - Casey and # 19

The Terry Fox marker – yards away from Lakeshore Road – the route he took when he ran through the city.

Burlington Schools last year raised $121,492 and in total they have raised $1,843,076

This year school run is Thursday September 27th


Terry Fox on his run through Burlington.

Burlington is one of the few, perhaps the only, city that has a monument to mark the day Terry Fox passed through the city.

The details:

The 38th Annual Burlington Terry Fox Run.

This year the Start/Finish is at the east end of Spencer Smith Park by the Pier in front of the Waterfront Hotel. This is a non-competitive family friendly event with runners registering at 8 am and starting at 9 am.

The family run begins at 10 am. Family run includes runners, walkers, strollers, roller blades, dogs, but unfortunately NO BIKES.

Following the run enjoy free food, face painting, balloon animals, massages, tattoos as well as a live band, DJ and MC’s.

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Public school board to host a human rights symposium in December; nationally recognized and respected indigenous leaders to take part.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 12th, 2018



The Halton District School Board is proud to be hosting a Human Rights Symposium this year to bring together educational and community partners to engage in vital conversations focused on Indigenous Rights and the current realities faced by Indigenous Peoples. The Symposium will take place on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel & Conference Centre (3063 South Service Rd., Burlington).



Jesse Wente


Susan Aglukark

A full day of learning is planned with breakout sessions. The symposium is highlighted by two keynote speakers – Canadian singer songwriter Susan Aglukark, followed by CBC broadcaster, film and pop culture critic Jesse Wente. An agenda and list of workshop presenters can be viewed here.

Registration for the Human Rights Symposium opens Tuesday, September 11, 2018. Registration includes breakfast, lunch, keynotes and workshops. To register now, click here.

blankets - all the land

A blanket ceremony done by Nelson high school students. The ceremony is a powerful depiction of the shrinking land mass that the First Nations used to have,

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Human Rights is the work and responsibility of all members of society,” says Rob Eatough, Superintendent of Education for the Halton District School Board. “As such, we’re looking forward to bringing educators and community partners together to listen and engage in focused learning about Indigenous rights and actions to move us forward in a good way.”

“The Halton District School Board recognizes the importance of engaging in vital conversations to challenge our thinking,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. “The Human Rights Symposium provides an opportunity for community partners to gather together to examine important issues connected with implementing the National Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action.”

For event details or support with the registration process, please email symposium@hdsb.ca.

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Rhythm and Beat to take over the Art Gallery during the launch of Culture Days in Burlington

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

September 12th, 2018



The Arts and Culture Council of Burlington (ACCOB), in collaboration with the City of Burlington and the Art Gallery of Burlington, is presenting a celebration of the City’s rich artistic and multicultural tapestry at the Art Gallery of Burlington on Friday September 29th, 2019 from 6:30- 9 pm.

This free event, which is open to everyone young and old, will feature some of the city’s finest performing and visual artists in various spaces within the AGB.

True to the theme of the 2018 Culture Days, RHYTHM AND BEAT- an exploration of drumming and rhythm- the event will feature a number of examples of drumming from Indigenous, Asian and Caribbean groups within the city. In addition, the Gallery will be humming with a wide variety of musicians, dancers, singers, poets, choirs, orchestras, theatre and opera companies, as well as numerous visual artists from various genres.

This celebration marks the launch of Burlington’s Culture Days festivities, which will take place throughout the weekend of September 28th- 30th.

Culture days - Burlington markCulture Days is a national initiative that was founded in 2010, that aims to raise awareness, provide accessibility and encourage participation and engagement in the arts and cultural life of the country. It is taking place in communities across Canada.

A variety of performances, workshops and demonstrations will take place at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre throughout Saturday and Saturday. Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm, the Museums of Burlington will host Doors Open, a province-wide event that celebrates heritage sites, noteworthy buildings and places of interest through the City.

Culture day dancer

Denise-Delilah McQuabbie was Miss Shawanaga First Nation. She will perform at the ACCOB Culture Days event at the Art Gallery

A variety of special activities will be taking place in a number of these locations. All of these activities offer free admission.

The Arts and Culture Council of Burlington was incorporated in 2017 with the express purpose of increasing public understanding, knowledge and appreciation of arts and culture in Burlington and region; to be a catalyst to inspire, engage, connect and advocate on behalf of members of the artistic and cultural communities; and to promote and foster artistic and cultural development in the city.
More details about artists and performances on September 28th will follow shortly.

6:30- 9 PM

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Applefest; a family event that celebrates the end of the harvest season takes place at Ireland House this weekend.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

September 11th, 2018



There is that fall festival hymn:

Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;

farnfest tractor + stage

Loads of things for the younger ones to do.

Burlington’s rural roots made farming a part of our DNA. The folks at Ireland House do an annual event that takes a stab at experiencing the tradition this Sunday, September 16, 11 am to 4 pm.

Meet baby farm animals (bunnies, goats, ducklings & chicks!)

Burlington Horticultural Society – make a fall floral arrangement in a mason jar

Fallfest hay maze

The hay maze is a challenge – hopefully someone explains where the hay came from and what farmers do with it.

Face painting

Children’s crafts

Fair-style games: can stacking, ring toss, horseshoes

Historic house tours and demonstrations

Hay maze

Pony rides

Vendors’ market

Main stage entertainment

Applefest Fall Fair is part of the Museums of Burlington program that takes place with the assistance of  many volunteers.

Admission is FREE, courtesy of our sponsor, The Rocca Sisters Team.

Parking is available at MM Robinson High School, 2425 Upper Middle Road.

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Halton Poverty Roundtable tells Minister that she didn't get it right - still time to change her mind.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 7th, 2018



Sarah Sabihuddin, Director, Community Engagement, Halton Poverty Roundtable has written an Open Letter to Lisa MacLeod, a Minister in the Ontario government about the provinces decision to Basic Income Pilot Program in Ontario.

Dear Minister MacLeod:

We are writing in response to your government’s decision to end the Basic Income Pilot Program in Ontario. We strongly disagree with your decision to end this Pilot prematurely and without regard for the demonstrably positive impact that this program was having upon the lives of people living in poverty in our Province. As such, we respectfully urge you to reconsider a policy decision that will only serve to deepen the experience of poverty for millions of Ontario’schildren, families and seniors.

Lisa McLoud

Minister Lisa MacLeod

The Halton Poverty Roundtable is a registered charity who is a leader in connecting, educating, and acting on issues related to poverty in Halton. In our community, 1 in 10 of our neighbours do not know where their next meal will come from and 1 in 3 seniors are living below the poverty line. Our communities of Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills have over thirty seventhousand individuals who struggle daily to survive on low incomes, or who live in poverty.

Minister MacLeod, the conclusion of the first phase of the Basic Income Pilot in April of this year, brought with it an abundance of first-hand accounts of the difference that Basic Income had made to people’s lives. The decision to abandon the Pilot will cause needless difficulties for the participants struggling to escape poverty. Given the initial success of the program, we cannot understand the immediate need for cancelation. Surely, it would have been prudent to conclude the Pilot and use the resulting data in the development of social policy.

We are hopeful that your government’s announcement to reform Social Assistance in the next 100 days includes an inclusive and transparent process, collaboration across all sectors, and a fulsome consultation process including those living with the challenges of poverty. As you may know, having a 100 day timeline to reform the entire social assistance program will be met with challenges including: the potential for increases of punitive and ineffective approaches and models being implemented, the reduction of supports under the guise of decreasing resource costs and a lack of understanding of the lived experience of being on Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

As you embark on this reform, we would like to draw your attention to the living wage in Halton Region. In order for a family in Halton to cover their basic living expenses, a family of four would have to have both adults working 37.5 hours per week making $17.95 per hour. Clearly, minimum wage, Ontario Works and ODSP do not come close to affording recipients a basic standard of living in Halton. Your government’s proposed 1.5% increase in social assistance will do little to assist the most vulnerable people in our communities.

The Halton Poverty Roundtable respectfully requests that the Government of Ontario continue the Basic Income Pilot through to its conclusion before making a final decision as to the efficacy, both socially and financially, of the basic income concept.
In light of the current economic climate in Ontario, the low Canadian dollar, the ongoing trade tariff situation with the United States, combined with the cost of living, this is driving uncertainty for the most vulnerable. Bottom line, you know that it is harder for families to survive and the cancelation of the basic income pilot and the cut to our current social assistance program puts far too many at even greater risk.

Earlier this month, the federal government announced details of its first Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy (CPRS) – a national poverty plan that many in the non-for-profit and social services sector alongside people with lived experience have called for.

The Halton Poverty Roundtable, a regional organization, welcomes the launch of the CPRS and calls for the strategy to serve as a platform for further development of significantly stronger poverty elimination measures, policies, and programs at the federal level. In Halton, more than 13,500 children live in low income households, representing one in ten children. Many in our community have to decide between paying their rent, buying fresh food for their children, and paying for necessary medication.

The release of this strategy is a good start, although it does not allocate new funding nor did it announce any new initiatives. However, the CPRS provides a solid starting point as it introduces Canada’s official measure of poverty; concrete poverty reduction targets; and a National Advisory Council on Poverty.
If the CPRS strategy is going to work for those in our community, it must have full provincial support.

More importantly, we will only see measureable and long lasting results if municipalities and regional levels of government are engaged in the national conversation. All levels of government need to come together to create supports dedicated to addressing the underlying issues of poverty such as: mental and physical health, affordable housing, food security and a robust income security program, such as a basic income.

We are certainly excited that the vision of this strategy includes working towards a substantial reduction in poverty in Canada and recognizes the role that systemic discrimination plays as a barrier to people living in poverty. We are looking forward to participating and continuing the push for full elimination of poverty in our communities.

About Halton Poverty Roundtable:
The Halton Poverty Roundtable (HPRT) is a local non-profit and registered charity; a leader in connecting, educating and acting on issues related to poverty in Halton. For the past 7 years, we have been dedicated to shifting the conversation in Halton towards acknowledgment that poverty exists in our community, increasing education and awareness of poverty and then creating opportunity for community action.

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Koogle Theatre is going to help tell the story of the Brant Inn: the whole story ?- that could be juicy.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 3rd, 2018



The citizens are going to tell their stories about the Brant Inn, a locale that at one time had Burlington on the map. People came from around the world to play music at the Brant Inn – it was a jumpin place in its day.

KooGle Theatre has received a grant from the City of Burlington Arts and Culture Fund to tell the story of the Inn

Pic 7 Brant Inn 1937The grant will allow KooGle to begin their research/creation phase for their production of a currently untitled musical based on the historic Brant Inn – the show will revolve around the true stories that local residents (and their families) have about their time at The Brant Inn.

Did you attend The Brant Inn in it’s heyday?

Did you have a relative who went there and told you their stories?

Brant Inn plaqueWere you in a band who played there? We want to hear your story, your memories – to help us piece together our future musical production!

Please contact Leslie at info@koogletheatre.com to set up a meeting.  Interview begin in September.

This is a really smart idea – kudos to the people at city hall who made this happen.

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Fibre content - an art form on display at the Art Gallery.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 3rd, 2018



The Art Gallery of Burlington is hosting Fibre Content: a community event that features the best of contemporary Canadian Fibre Art.

Event logoShowcasing works in fabric, paper, yarn, thread and mixed media materials, the goal is to raise the profile, awareness and acceptance of Fibre Art as an art form.

The event takes place from Saturday September 8 through to Saturday September 15


Floating in Blue – Triptych, Gunnel Hag




Spring Thaw, Tracey Lawko

One Stitch at a Time
Lecture by Tracey Lawko | 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Her Enduring Love of Surface Design
Lecture by Gunnel Hag | 2 to 4 PM

Playful Abstract Creations
Workshop with Albert Cote | 2 to 4 PM


How I Do What I Do – When I Don’t Know What I’m Doing
Lecture by Mita Giacomini | 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Her Unique Use of Wash-Away Water Soluble Film
Lecture by Pat Hertzberg | 2 to 4 PM

Eco Printing on Paper and Rust / Tannin
Workshop with Chandra Rice | 2 to 4 PM


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Lecture on the fire that destroyed the Noronic in 1949 and left 139 dead

eventsorange 100x100By Staff

September 3, 2018



It was a horrific event that captured the minds of everyone in Toronto and every other community in the province.

Nordic fire

The S. S. Noronic had caught fire at the early morning hours of September 17th, 1949xxx in the morning. By the time the fire was brought under control there were 139 people dead and a ship that was once the “Queen of the Lakes” was a charred hull.

Fred Addis, nautical historian will be giving the lecture that is free

The lecture takes place at the New Street Branch of the Public Library September 12th, 2018 – starts 7:00 pm

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Trees for Watershed Health planting to take place September 9th - registration is a must and bring a shovel.

News 100 greenBy Staff

August 31st, 2018



Conservation Halton is looking for 50 community volunteers to help plant native trees and shrubs on Sunday, September 9.

The Trees for Watershed Health planting is taking place at the Hopkins Tract, 201 Old Guelph Road in Hamilton.

Registration and check-in will begin at 9 a.m. with planting scheduled to start shortly after 9:30 a.m. Volunteers are reminded to dress according to the weather, wear waterproof boots and bring a shovel. The event will happen rain or shine, unless conditions are deemed to be unsafe for participants and staff.

The welcome to participate goes out to all individuals, families, and small groups. No prior planting experience is required. Space is limited and pre-registration is mandatory, visit the web site  for more details and to find registration information.

Hopkins Tract ConsHalton

Hopkins Tract is in orange

Established in 2015, the Hopkins Tract of the Pleasant View Natural Area, is located on the southeast corner of Old Guelph Road and York Road in Dundas. The 24 hectare (59 acre) property contains deep ravines associated with the Pleasant View Tributary lined with mature deciduous oak forests and contains several uncommon and rare Carolinian and savannah indicator species.

This newly formed public natural area has been incorporated into the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System.

The significant parcel was secured to further establish and widen a natural corridor link between Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment within the City of Hamilton. The property offers significant opportunities for the restoration of creeks, wetlands and Carolinian forest as well as protection of head-water stream ravines.

Hopkins ravine

This is some of the terrain that work will be done on.

The restoration strategy for the property provides a direction to protect and restore natural ecosystems to ensure the health and diversity of native species, habitats, landscapes and ecological processes.

These strategies will help to improve the natural functions of the landscape and hydrology of the two subwatersheds.

Trees for Watershed Health is a Conservation Halton community outreach program which gets watershed residents and community groups involved in tree planting. The program is designed to bring communities and nature together to increase forest cover in the watershed through volunteers planting trees at selected sites.

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Hometown Hockey Tour will be in Burlington late in October - before Halloween.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

August 27th, 2018



The City announces that Burlington has been chosen as a host city for the acclaimed Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour with Ron MacLean and Tara Slone on Oct. 27-28.

Residents, hockey players and hockey fans of all ages and abilities are invited to attend, participate and enjoy the free festivities planned throughout the weekend.

This is the 5th Season for the Hometown Hockey tour – they will be visiting 25 cities across the country this time.


It takes a small convoy of trucks for the show to take place – all kinds of equipment.

Rogers Hometown Hockey will be welcomed to the city in the midst of the largest food drive campaign in Canada, the Gift of Giving back. Young Burlington hockey players will be canvassing communities to gather non-perishable food donations. Residents are encouraged to continue to give generously.

The weekend will feature a ball hockey tournament, local musicians on stage, activities and will end on Sunday evening with an outdoor viewing party of the live Sportsnet broadcast of the evening’s featured NHL game with Tara Slone and Ron MacLean on site in Burlington showcasing our great city.

Ron and Tara

Ron MacLean and Tara Slone host the show in each community.

Each week during the 2018-2019 NHL season, the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour will visit a different community across the country with a weekend of free outdoor hockey festivities for all ages, culminating in an outdoor viewing party of an NHL game broadcast every Sunday, with Ron MacLean and Tara Slone hosting live onsite from the Sportsnet Mobile Studio.

The family-friendly weekend tells the stories of local upcoming talent and alumni, provides an inviting atmosphere for the community to come together to show their passion for the game and ultimately, celebrate the game of hockey which has been woven tightly into our great Canadian culture.

More on this as we get closer to the event. We have to get through a municipal election first.

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Aldershot Farmers Market Saturday - 10 - 1

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

August 15th, 2018



Everything doesn’t happen in downtown Burlington.

The good people of Aldershot have a nice, thriving Farmers Market that supports local artisans and food vendors at the Aldershot Village Market Saturday, August 18, from 10:00 – 1:00 on Plains Road.

The market is sponsored by the Aldershot BIA.

Aldershot BIA market

There are people who will tell you about the rich farmland either side of Plains Road that produced some of the best produce in the province.

During the market season wagons pulled by horses would take produce to market and into Burlington where it would get shipped to Toronto and points east.

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Burlington Herd ends the season with a tight 11 inning game against Toronto - they lost 3-2.

sportsred 100x100By Staff

August 3rd, 2018



And so the season ends for the Burlington Herd; The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Herd in their final game of the season in extra innings

Justin Marra’s two-run blast in the top of the 11th broke a 2-2 tie and helped the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Burlington Herd 6-3 Thursday night at Nelson Park.

August 3rdMarra’s blast, his 10th of the season, came after Dan Marra walked to start the inning. Damon Topolie’s RBI singled scored Garret Takamatsu later in the inning. Topolie, Takamatsu and Zac Orchard all finished with two hits and a run.

Andrew Simonetti (1-1) picked up the win, giving up a run on three hits over two innings. He was the Leafs’ third reliever after starter Justin Cicatello allowed a pair of runs on four hits with five strikeouts over seven innings.

Toronto (15-19) is tied with Guelph for fourth place.

Burlington (12-24) placed last in the standings before the playoffs begin.

Reese O’Farrell drove in two runs and had a stolen base for the last-place Herd, which dropped to 12-24. Vaughn Bryan went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run, while Justin Gideon and Mattingly Romanin each had a hit and a run.

Casey Bouillere-Howard (4-4) took the loss, giving up three runs on four hits in two innings. He walked two and struck out two.

Trent Lunsford started and allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts over five innings.

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The long holiday weekend - what would you like to do?

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

August 1st, 2018



It’s summer, time to relax get outside and enjoy what the city has to offer.

Burlington has been celebrating a Joseph Brant Day since 1980; it is held at La Salle Park on the Civic Holiday Monday in August.

Museums of Burlington has presented this event for over 30 years where they celebrates our local heritage and community, free of charge.

The Brant Day Festival attracts well over 5,000 people, featuring a strong line-up of family friendly entertainment, historical displays, a food truck rally, vendors and a variety of interactive experiences.

Brant Day - Food truck line -2

Food trucks are a very welcome part of the Brant Day event.

The Food Trucks this year include:
50 Pesos
Café du Monde Creperie
Dora’s Express
Pappas Greek
Star Dairy Bar
Sweet Temptations
True North BBQ

The Festival runs from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at La Salle Park, 50 North Shore Boulevard, Burlington, Ontario.

FREE parking is available at Aldershot High School, 50 Fairwood Place West, Burlington.

A 7 year old aboriginal boy demonstrated using hoops at the Brant Day event at LaSalle Park

A 7 year old aboriginal boy demonstrated using hoops at the Brant Day event at LaSalle Park

Schedule for the day:
11:00am-11:45am: Opening Ceremony
12:00pm – 12:30pm: Burlington Teen Tour Band
12:45pm-1:15pm: Healthy Aboriginal Men’s Drum Circle
1:30pm-2:15pm: Halton Dance Network
2:30pm-3:00pm: Hoop Dancing Performance
3:15pm-4:00pm: Bare Blue Sea

The Brant Festival isn’t the only thing going on in the city. ONE BURLINGTON FESTIVAL: Building Bridges Between Faiths will be taking place at Central Park at the Band shell and will run from noon to 4:00 pm
In the event of rain, the festival will be moved inside Central Arena.

“I am excited for this Festival and have been meeting with Muslim friends from the mosque, Hindu and Jewish groups and a variety of Christian leaders – and we will be able to learn about different faiths and cultures while sampling many different ethnic foods,” said Rev. Orville James, minister of Wellington Square United Church.

One Burlington Canada-Burlington1-2017

One Burlington – where the focus is on community.

Osob-Adus-BEST-2017Osob Adus, Burlington Citizen of the Year and well-known community activist, said the festival is a way of knowing and embracing the beauty of all faith traditions and creating bridges between them.

“Mutual understanding and respect are the foundations for building communities across the borders of difference,” said Adus, a Muslim.

Now in its second year, One Burlington Festival was initially held as a response to the Quebec City mosque mass shooting that occurred the evening of January 29, 2017 at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City.

This year, the festival will open with an Interfaith prayer led by five clergy representing different faiths. An Indigenous smudging ceremony will follow.

Throughout the afternoon, along with free food, entertainment from different cultures will be featured. Performers include local singer-song writer Kim Verrall and violinist Sophie Huang; the Burlington Slam Poets who are celebrating their 10th anniversary; First Nations performer Jimmy Dick and his family and dance groups from the Sikh, Persian and Afro-Canadian communities.

The ecological theme of this year’s festival focuses on building an understanding of the connections between faith and ecology. Everything from Eco-dinnerware to a green clean-up team are embedded in this year’s event.

Splash pad LaSalle - swimming

There isn’t a better place to be on a hot day.

Swimming pools and splash pads around the city are open – check on the hours – they aren’t the same for every location.

Oberon, the Dwarf King signed documents for all the pixies that passed by.

Oberon, the Dwarf King signed documents for all the pixies that passed by.

At the Royal Botanical Gardens the word is that all the gnomes, fairies, pixies, and sprites are asked to make their way to the Gardens where a touch of magic awaits them.

Meet mystical creatures, participate in delightful activities, and learn the secrets of our Enchanted Garden.
Monday, August 6, 2018 11:00 AM – 04:00 PM

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It was the failure to communicate - something that can be fixed with a three minute conversation.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

July 27th, 2018



The Gazette was able to get some background information on the organizational mess within Sound of Music Festival.

There is that wonderful Paul Newman line in “Cool Hand Luke” that goes: What we have here is a failure to communicate and that is basically what has happened.

At some point the president will come out of his tent, make a statement and things should settle down.

Our conversation was with someone who understands the board and the complexities of the festival business.

They are going to need a few days to let the dust they raised settle down.

Then they can get on with planning the 2019 program – it will be their 40th and they intend to make it the best they have ever done.

We hear too that the several chairs that resigned are re-thinking their position.

Peace love and light goes a long way.

Brian Ellis said in response to a comment from another Gazette reader that: “As a Past President of the S of M Board of Directors during the early years as a ‘not for profit’ organization, I would argue that the board has an obligation to its stakeholders to be as open and transparent as possible.

The volunteers, committee chairs, corporate donors and the citizens of Burlington in this case replace the shareholders of a normal ‘for profit’ company. It appears that the initial decision of the board (along with their subsequent failure to explain their actions) has the volunteers voting with their feet.

Rapt attention crowd

These are the real shareholders – these are the people the Board should be responsible to – if the current board doesn’t understand that – look for a new board.

It is the seeming unwillingness of the board to “deal with this internally” that has turned this into a full blown crisis. Pulling the rug over the mess as you seem to be suggesting will do nothing to resolve the situation.

Let’s leave it at that for the time being and give them some time to get their act together.

Salt with Pepper is an opinion column reflecting the thoughts, opinions, observations and musing of the Gazette publisher.


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Can the Sound of Music even take place without the volunteers - they don't think so. They are not happy campers.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 25th, 2018



There is a lot of buzz, a lot of questions and very few answers on what appears to be a major mess at the Sound of Music Board of Directors level.

The Board recently dismissed Dave Miller as the Executive Director. These things happen,

However, in this situation there hasn’t been a word from the Board and there are a lot of questions from the 500+ volunteers – the people who serve on the 21 committees that make the Festival happen every year.

The Gazette has learned that the board in place now is not elected by the member of the Sound of Music.
More surprising – the Sound of Music doesn’t actually have a membership other than the directors who elect themselves.


When Walk Off the Earth is on the stage Spencer Smith park is packed.

It does have a $2 million dollar budget and consistently wins awards for the quality of the annual event.
In most not for profit corporations the Executive Director attends all the Board meetings – and Miller did attend the Board meetings – but he wasn’t permitted to stay for all of the meeting. He would deliver his report and then be asked to leave.

The Gazette has learned that the music selection, that is the bands that play at the event are not chosen by the Executive Director.

Many have complained about the quality of the bands in the recent past.

We are advised that the Board has hired a company to do the band selection for them in the future and that the company they have hired is owned or operated by a former Board member.

Anywhere else that would be called a conflict of interest.

The city of Burlington gives the Festival a significant grant every year, the province of Ontario also gives a substantial grant. The sponsors come up with an additional $400,000 + each year.

SOM 2012 crew marking for set up

It is the 500 volunteers that make the Sound of Music actually take place – and right now they are not happy campers.

The Gazette has reached out to Peter Martin President of the Sound of Music as well as the Corporate Secretary. No response so far.

The Board appears to have taken the route that less sophisticated corporate officers take; duck, say nothing and hope that it will go away.

When there is a real story it eventually comes out.

The Gazette reached out to the Mayor – no response there either.

We have heard from a number of volunteers who are not happy campers.

We asked several of the candidates for public office and got the following responses:

Roland Tanner

Ward 2 candidate Roland Tanner

Ward 2 candidate Roland Tanner said: “The Burlington Sound of Music is an independent not-for-profit corporation. As such, its internal staff appointments are not a matter for the City of Burlington and it would be unhelpful for me as a candidate to pass comment on recent changes at this time. I look forward to hearing the Sound of Music’s plans for continued success as they approach their 40th anniversary.”

Stolte looking left

Ward 4 candidate Shawna Stolte

Ward 5 candidate Shawna Stolte: “As a Ward 4 Candidate I am disturbed about the secrecy and lack of information coming forward from an organization that has received millions of dollars of funding from the taxpayers of Burlington over the past 40 years.

I understand that there is likely legal reasons for not fully disclosing the details of the strife between the Sound of Music Board of Directors and the Executive but I do believe that some explanation is warranted and appropriate.

What disturbs me even more is the apparent lack of transparency and respect given to the hundreds of volunteers that make the Sound of Music Festival the success that it is.

The SOM is the keystone of Burlington’s summer festival season and these volunteers donate thousands of hours of their precious time from their work, family and leisure lives because they believe in the spirit of music and community that the Sound of Music Festival brings to the city. They deserve a better explanation as to what is going on.

The SOM is in crisis and at a crossroads. All organizations go through periods of distress, particularly when senior management are not on the same page, but I’m not convinced that the future of this event that is so critical to the cultural and economic prosperity of our city should be left in the hands of a clearly struggling organization.

Meed Ward winsome

Councillor Marianne Meed Ward is a candidate for Mayor.

Mike Wallace with Japan's Order of The Rising Sun Award July 2018

Candidate for Mayor Mike Wallace with his recent Order of the Rising Sun medals.

Mike Wallace a former member of city council as well as a MP for Burlington said today that: “The Sound of Music festival is an important community event not only for Burlington residents but vital to attracting visitors and building the Burlington brand across Ontario. It is an important part of our culture and our economy.

“As a former board member of the organization, I appreciate the challenges of organizing and managing this fantastic festival with a complex mix of paid and volunteer staff. I welcome the opportunity to help the organization resolve any of the challenges it is facing, in any way I can.”

Ward 2 Councillor and candidate for the office of Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said: “The news was a shock. This must be difficult for everyone involved.

Legitimate questions have been raised around board governance which deserve a response. I encourage the board to be open and transparent with the community, while protecting personal privacy and confidentiality.

I thank Dave Miller and all the volunteers, past and present, who have given generously of their time to make this a great event for our community. We all want the event to be successful.

Vince Fitorio

Ward 1 city council candidate Vince Fiorito

Ward 1 candidate Vince Fiorito said: “Since the SOM festival generates about $10M in local economic activity, attracts tourists, contributes significantly to Burlington’s strategic direction of an “Engaging City” and the City of Burlington (CoB) is a significant source of SOM funding, The City of Burlington is an important SOM stakeholder with an interest in its continued success.

To ensure the SOM festival’s continued success in the future, I recommend:

1) City Council request a seat on the SOM’s governing board (we voluntarily gave it up in 2015)… after the October 22nd municipal election.

2) City Council make an inquiry into the current state of the SOM governance and the festival’s viability going forward. Given the distraction of a looming municipal election, the ideal city councillors to lead this inquiry would be either retiring City Councillors Rick Craven, John Taylor or both.

3) City Councillors leading the inquiry meet individually with former Executive Director David Miller, President Peter Martin and Corporate Secretary Rich Anderson, for their suggestions on how the SOM festival can be improved going forward.

4) City Council send an email or letter to all SOM 2016-2018 volunteers, inviting their feedback and commentary for the purposes of improving the SOM festival going forward.

5) City Council meet “in camera” to discuss their findings and generate a report recommending actions to be taken to ensure the SOM festivals continued success going forward.

6) The city should approach other major SOM sponsors

a) to gauge interest in sharing the cost of an independent review of the SOM’s finances for the purposes of finding efficiencies and savings, going forward.

b) for their support of the CoB’s request to retake a seat on the SOM’s governing board

Lisa Kearns Election Photo

Ward 2 city council candidate Lisa Kerns.

Lisa Kerns, a candidate for the ward 2 council seat said: “From my perspective, more information concerning the change in leadership at Sound of Music appears to still be coming forward. My interest in this hinges solely on whether City funds were used appropriately or positions of power were abused. I hope the outcome of this change in direction is founded in transparency and respect, more so that the change contributes to enhancing the event.

The Sound of Music festival is a tremendous event for the City of Burlington and Ward 2 alike bringing vibrancy to our great City through culture and entertainment for residents and visitors.”

This is a story that isn’t going to go away.

Fox procolamation

Craig Gardner on the left being recognized by Mayor Goldring

Several of the volunteers the Gazette has talked to have either resigned from the committees they sit on or will resign in the near future.

Craig Gardner, a two year volunteer pointed out that the Committee chairs have to produce reports – and that those reports have to be submitted and accepted if future funding is to come through.

Gardner added that without the volunteers in place the Festival just couldn’t take place.

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Sound of Music volunteers are demanding a meeting with the Board of Directors - why was Miller fired and who is running the operation day to day?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 23rd, 2018



The Generals sometimes haven’t a clue as to what is going on within the ranks.

And it is those in the ranks, in the trenches that make the Sound of Music Festival work.

And those people are very angry and anxious about what is happening to an organization they are passionate about.

There are 21 different committees that work to make the event happen each year.

Brant street getting ready

Brant Street getting ready for the Sound of Music.

One of the key committees was scheduled to meet last Wednesday to wrap up the 2018 festival. Each committee chair is obliged to present a report about their festival experience – what worked well, what didn’t, areas to focus on for next year.

The comments the Gazette is getting include:

“It helps us to plan for next year. We received a message indicating the meeting was cancelled with no further information provided until Peter Martin sent a message stating Dave was no longer with the festival and that the Board had cancelled the meeting.

“We have demanded a meeting to understand why this happened and to present our reports. The board has no idea what half the committees do. For some, it’s their first year on the board. We also want answers as we reported to Dave and have no issues with him or his leadership.

“As many of us have resigned in protest (with no comment from the board), Peter only wants to have the current chairs at the meeting. Our operations rules state outgoing chairs have a duty to present their report. I would like that opportunity. I would also like to know why Dave Miller was fired because I believe it is a two or three year witch hunt come to fruition.

“It says so much about Dave’s leadership that many, many long-standing volunteers have resigned. It also speaks volumes about Peter Martin’s lack of leadership that it has been almost a week and nothing has been said about his dismissal to the people who worked the most closely with him. He is selectively reaching out to certain volunteers and ignoring others because he does not understand nor value the people who gave their time and effort to building the festival.”

The people who have commented have asked that their names not be used at this time. Several want to speak publicly but are waiting until scheduled meetings take place.

The Gazette has reached out to the president Peter Martin and the Corporate Secretary Rich Anderson.

There has been no response yet.

City council is basically on vacation until early September. The Gazette has asked the Mayor’s office for some comment. Nothing so far.


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Free car show - hidden price - road closures

notices100x100By Staff

July 5th, 2018



You didn’t think there wasn’t a price for all the free car gawking on Brant Street on Saturday did you?

There will be Downtown Car Show Road Closures

On Saturday, July 7, the fourth annual Burlington Downtown Car Show will take place on Brant Street, between Caroline Street and Lakeshore Road.

In order to meet the needs of the event, the following road closures will be in effect on July 7 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.


• Brant Street, between Caroline Street and Lakeshore Road
• Ontario Street and Elgin Street, between Locust Street and Brant Street
• James Street, between John Street and Brant Street

Wall to wall card Nfty 55

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Car show on Brant Street this Saturday 10 - 4

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

July 3rd, 2018



The Burlington Downtown Car Show in support of the Burlington Lions Club is a celebration of the automobile showcasing 200 classics, exotic and iconic vehicles that will be displayed in downtown Burlington on Saturday July 7, 2017.

Carshow Blue car

The cars aren’t for sale – just for looking.

There is no admission, 200+ cars will be on display including classics, cruisers, muscle cars, odd ball and exotic sports cars. They will be displayed on Brant Street between Caroline Street and Lakeshore Road – Saturday July 7th, 2018 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

The Burlington Downtown Car Show offers a view into the history of the automobile. This year’s show will include Main Stage music sponsored by the Burlington Downtown Business Association, a Kidz Zone supported by Stoner & Company Family Law Associates, and a Corvette Corral supported by Leggat Auto Group.

Car show - yellow hot rod

All muscle!

Civic Square will be a showcase of rare and unique cars. A wide variety of vendor offerings will be present along Brant Street.

Mayor Rick Goldring will officially open the show at 12:00 noon from Main Stage, located next to the new Burlington Promenade.

The show has attracted representation from virtually every automotive sector; modern muscle cars, off-road vehicles, tuners, European super cars as well as the classics.

Car show - cream coloured with trunk

A Classic that was on display at a previous car show.

Local merchants support the show with side-walk sales, turning Brant Street into a pedestrian mall full of activity for the whole family.

The car show people don’t say how much is raised for the Burlington Lions other than “the event is one of their bet fund raisers.

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