Flood relief at 38% of $2 million target. Are there other major donours in the wings?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 16, 2014



The Flood Relief fund got boosted by $25,000 last week when Longos came through with a cheque for $25,000. That took the total to the 38% point of the $2 million target that fund raising director Ron Foxcroft said he wanted collected within 100 days which is November 15.

The Burlington Community Foundation Flood Disaster Relief Committee announced it has selected Cunningham Lindsay Canada Claims Services Ltd. as the insurance adjuster to coordinate the claims disbursement process. Since the Application for Losses and Damages became available on September 30th, approximately 20 claims have been filed with the Committee.

Longos donation

From the left: Gus Longo, Laurie-Ann Correia, Colleen Mulholland, , Rosanne Longo, Eleanor McMahon, Burlington MP and Liz Volk

“We are moving forward with our efforts to coordinate the claims process to ensure we can soon start dispersing funds to flood victims who need it most,” says Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO of the Burlington Community Foundation. “In addition we are highly focused on seeking clarity regarding the Ontario government’s position on the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP) and continuing our efforts to raise funds for the remainder of the 100 day fundraising campaign.”

Put another way Ms Mulholland is asking: Where’s your part of this effort Minister McMeekin ?

The provincial ODRAP program allows the province to give $2 for every dollar raised locally – and much of Burlington has come through in a major way.

Where’s your part of this effort Minister McMeekin ?The Claims Committee will work closely with Cunningham Lindsay to assist those who need help completing the Application for Losses and Damages paperwork. Flood victims who are uninsured or under-insured need to fill out the appropriate forms and submit them to the Claims Committee for review.

“We are committed to helping anyone who needs assistance completing the forms and encourage those folks to connect with the BCF office by phone or email,” says Mulholland. “We are also planning Town Hall meetings in early November to offer assistance and answer any questions that flood victims may have.”

As of noon today, the Burlington Community Foundation Flood Disaster Relief Committee has raised $760,000 in cash.

“Our 100 day fundraising campaign is running until November 14th and the Committee and countless dedicated volunteers are leaving no stone unturned,” says Ron Foxcroft, Chair, BCF Flood Disaster Relief Committee. ”We also hope to fully understand how the Ontario government will support the tremendous efforts of our community who have opened their wallets and hearts to supBurlingtonians will be asked if they wan to add a twoonie to their shopping total while in front of the cashier at Fortinos and Longo’s in the coming weeks.port those victims who are still suffering from the August 4th flood.”

Burlingtonians can expect to be asked to make a small donation to flood relief when they shop at Fortinos and Longo’s in the coming weeks. About 75 other retailers throughout the city also have coin boxes at their cash. The Burlington Sports Alliance is also organizing fundraising efforts and has established a Burlington Flood Relief Fund bank account which can be accessed at any CIBC branch.

“While we still have a lot of fundraising activities on the go we also recognize there are many other important fundraising initiatives competing for much needed charitable donations,” says Foxcroft. “Our team is working tremendously hard and the good residents and businesses of Burlington continue to step up.”

For those who want a copy of the Application for Losses and Damages CLICK Here,
or call: (905) 639-0744 ext 221

More donors are encouraged to continue supporting the campaign by:

Cheque – make cheques out to “Burlington Community Foundation” with a memo reference to Flood Relief Campaign – mail or drop off at Burlington Community Foundation, 3380 South Service Road, Unit 107, Burlington, Ontario, L7N 3J5

On-line donations – Go to and click on the DONATE NOW button. 


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Miriam Toews and four other Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize nominees to be in Burlington.

theartsBy Staff

October 12, 2014



For the book lovers in town it will be an evening to remember.


Carrie Snyder

Five renowned authors will gather at the Art Gallery of Burlington on October 28th.


Miriam Toews

The five are all finalists in the 2014 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize . Hosted locally by A Different Drummer Books, in partnership with the International Festival of Authors and The Writers’ Trust of Canada the evening will feature: Andre  Alexis, Steven Galloway, K.D. Miller, Carrie Snyder and Miriam Toews .


Steven Galloway

The event begins at 7:00 pm in the Shoreline Room.8 7pm ~ Art Gallery of Burlington, Shoreline Room. Tickets are $10, available at A Different Drummer Books. To reserve, please contact us at (905) 639 0925 or diffdrum@mac.com.


K.D. Miller

The finalists for the 2014 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize will present their works, just days before the recipient of the $25,000 award is announced.


Andre Alexis

The authors and their books: Andre  Alexis, Pastoral, Steven  Galloway, The Confabulist, K.D. Miller,  All Saints, Carrie Snyder, Girl Runner and Miriam Toews, All My Puny Sorrows

More information about the prize and the nominees can be found at this link:


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Regional police create a registry for the autistic - allowing for access to vital information should an autistic person go missing.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 11, 2014



For those families that have children who are autistic – everyday life is different. One of the fears is that as the child grows he or she may begin to wander and suddenly be lost. The fear and the dread in the hearts of the parents is palpable: where is my child?

The Halton Regional Police have launched a new Autism Registry.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life: it is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain. It is believed that over 100,000 people in Ontario are diagnosed with some form of ASD.

This voluntary registry is designed to provide a better system of service delivery to community members by ensuring that front line officers have access to vital information when responding to occurrences involving people with ASD.

The registry system provides a proactive means to gather information voluntarily provided by the person registering in the program, or the parent or guardian of the registrant. This information would include the description and photograph of a registered person, behaviours, routines, communication abilities, expected locations of travel, as well as other detailed information.

This registry is entirely voluntary and operates under the basis that families willingly provide police with critical information in relation to a person living with ASD which will help officers in their overall response. By gathering this data in advance of any potential occurrences, police will be entering into a situation with more information, allowing them to have a more specific understanding of what they are responding to.

This registry was developed in conjunction with Autism Ontario – Halton Chapter as well as with information provided by other police services with similar registries. Participating in the registry simply requires access to the internet and visiting the Halton Police web site. Link here.

Information on the Registry web site includes:

What is the Autism Registry?
Can individuals with other special needs participate in the registry? Or is it restricted to those who fall within the Autism Spectrum?
If I don’t live in Halton Region, can I still register my child/dependent adult in the Registry?
Will the information be immediately available to police officers as soon as I register?
Will I need to quote my confirmation occurrence number when I call police?
Who has access to the Autism Registry?
Can I update my profile more than every year if there are changes? How do I do that?
Will I be notified when the annual renewal is required?
How will this registry help if my child/dependent adult goes missing?
How do I contact Autism Ontario?

The Halton Regional Police continue to promote advocacy, support and education for families who are affected by the challenges of ASD and do so both internally and with our community partners.

Autism directly affects several members of the Halton Regional Police Service.

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Photographer takes ballet dancers off the stage; portfolio on display at the AGB.

theartsBy Lana Kamaric

October 8, 2014



The Ballerina Project by Rolly Astrom is now showing at the Art Gallery of Burlington for the month of October.

Rolly - Autumn RestIn this photography project Rolly Astrom takes classic ballet dancers and places them in contemporary cityscapes. Each photograph is a portrait that gives you a glimpse of what the dancer is capable of. Astrom’s artist statement reads, “My intent was to showcase the dancer’s grace, beauty, strength, flexibility and lines against a background of local sites.” The Ballerina Project showcases all of these elements while also presenting a portrait of the dancer herself.

Each ballerina is given her own space to work within a different part of the city. In A Stage to Herself we find the ballerina dancing outside of the Performing Art Centre. Shifting the boundaries of dance space, she is taking her craft from the stage and bringing it into the outside world. Another dancer is Stopping Traffic in her bare feet; she turns the city street into her studio, as a lamppost becomes her ballet bar. With each photo we find another public space occupied by a dancer as the world becomes their stage.

Rolly - Stone Dance Astrom was surprised at how collaborative the project became when he began working with the dancers. They would simply “meet up and start wandering” according to Astrom. Together they would agree on a space that worked and transform it into an art piece. The dancers would use their years of ballet experience to work with the space and create beautiful shapes, while he would use his photographic eye to capture each portrait. The dancers use the space around them to shape their poses and become part of the space itself. Poised in the Niche portrays the dancer as a statue preserved in the architecture. While Stone Dance seems to pull the dancer into the natural world around her, sculpted among the rocks her body becomes part of the structure.

Astrom works with digital photography. After taking the photo he manipulates elements of it to create various effects. In Waiting the image has the appearance of being folded over twice as one might find with an old photograph printed from film. This illusion according to Astrom was added to give the sense that it was an abandoned photograph picked up by the viewer. With the blending of dance and photography each image tells us the story of the girl in the photo.

Rolly - Stopping TrafficThe Ballerina Project is Astrom’s first solo exhibition. On October 5th an opening was held in the Fireside Lounge of the AGB, where the pieces are currently on display until the end of the month. Many of Astrom’s supporters attended the opening to congratulate him and celebrate the first exhibition of this project. Guests were also able to meet some of the ballerinas who attended. The exhibition included the dancers’ old ballet shoes piled below the photo Abandoned, showcasing their discarded shoes. The photos range from bold colours to softer palettes and black and white. Each photograph, taking on its own presence while the dancer’s lines move your eyes from image to image.

Rolly -Poised in the NicheAstrom said that he had difficulty choosing which pieces to print and include in the show. To overcome this challenge he decided to include a digital slideshow of the full collection. The slideshow ran on loop for the duration of the opening. Guests were able to see the same dancers in another variety of movements and spaces that offered further clues to their portraits.

I had a chance to speak with Jodie, one of the ballerinas. She was pleased with how the exhibition turned out, “It’s nice to see our form of art combined with photography. I think it will make people appreciate dance more.” This may be true since the combination of the two art forms opens up each one to a wider audience. Working with Astrom, she found it interesting to use aspects of the background in combination with her dance. It is “unlike typical dance photos” which usually consist of a basic backdrop and the dancer smiling while posed. By taking the dancers out of their studios and off the stage Astrom has given them a limitless performance space and offered the viewer a new way to see ballet.

Rolly - Summer Kitchen - JodieSo where does he go from here? “It’s not done,” says Astrom. “I’m going to continue with this as an ongoing series.” Working with Dance Makerz studio, he has taken most of the photos in Burlington but is looking to expand into Hamilton as well. With the number of dance studios in the surrounding area I am sure we will be seeing many more ballerinas taking over the cities before Astrom is through.

Kamaric H&S 1

Lana Kamarić is a contemporary surrealist artist and a self-taught painter. Born in Sarajevo, Bosnia Lana arrived in Canada at the age of five. After moving to Burlington she attended Robert Bateman High school and graduated from York University with a degree in Art History. Lana has worked with the Museums of Burlington, the Art Gallery of Burlington and is currently working as a full-time artist. Lana was a participant in Cirque, the 2014 No Vacancy installation event in the Village Square. Her last show was Art in the Workplace at McMaster Innovation Park.

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Wallace fund raiser described as a flop by big time Tory; has the starch gone out of the Conservative shirts?

backgrounder 100By Pepper Parr

October 6, 2014



We haven`t got the municipal election behind us – yet and it looks as if there is yet another one looming out there.

Wallace at BMO chq presentation

Burlington MP Mike Wallace appeared at the Bank of Montreal Flood relief cheque presentation last Friday – even though the federal government has done nothing so far for Burlington. So why was Wallace in the room? Photo – op for Mike and he now needs all the exposure he can get.

The next federal election is scheduled for October 2015 – but that is something the Prime Minister can change any time he wishes – and the signs suggest that he may be wishing for something sooner.

When Burlington goes to the polls for the next federal election there will be two ridings – Mike Wallace will stay in Burlington which has been re-shaped but not by all that much. A new riding Oakville – North Burlington has been created. That one is a bit of a mess organizationally The two candidates seeking the nomination in that riding both withdrew – one quit before she was told to leave.

Quite when Wallace has to get out his campaign boots and start knocking on doors isn`t certain – but if his bringing the Minister of Defence into town for a fund raiser is any indication – things might be heating up in the Conservative election planning offices.

And, ever since Eleanor McMahon took Burlington for the Liberals provincially – the Conservatives realize they are going to have to invest more politically in Burlington.
Problem for Mike Wallace is that the fund raiser “was a bit of a flop”, which is how on long time Tory put it earlier this week.

How bad a flop? “Bad”, was as far as our source would go. And this is a guy who has been writing cheques for the Conservatives for many many years.

What else could move the Prime Minister to advance on the scheduled October 2015 date? We are going to be officially at war with ISIS by the end of the week. The Prime Minister is rattling his sabre and saying we are not side line players – but when the first Canadian CF -18 is shot down, the pilot captured and beheaded – watch for a change in what the public feels about being at war.

Duffy Mike

Mike Duffy in better days

The criminal trial of Senator Mike Duffy is scheduled for April 2015 – the Prime Minister does not want to 24 hour news cycle bleating that story 24/7. And should the courts find Senator Duffy guilty – is a trail for Pamela Wallin that far behind. And if Duffy is sent to jail – will that mean Wallin will go to jail as well? And how will that ride with the public who will realize that the Prime Minister appointed the two of them?

Smart minds would tell the Prime Minister – get the election behind you as soon as you can. And this Prime Minister is one smart cookie when it comes to political strategy. However – he may be about to over play his hand.

Best move would be for the Prime Minister to step aside – call a leadership race and then go to the polls with a new look.

None of these scenarios offer Burlington’s Mike Wallace much solace. He has his work cut out for him and the base he has relied on for so long might be getting a little soft in the middle.

Gould - direct serious look

Expect to see a lot more of this face once the municipal election is over. Karina Gould is the federal Liberal candidate for Burlington.

The Liberals have nominated Karina Gould, a smart young woman who will have a much better grip on the issues than Wallace – and she will have Eleanor McMahon in her corner as well. McMahon is one of the most natural election campaigners we have seen in some time.

Gould expects to begin pulling her campaign team together fairly early in the New Year.

Can you imagine – Liberal’s representing Burlington in the House of Commons and Queen’s Park?

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First Dance plays at the Performing Arts Centre - will run for two weeks.

theartsBy Lana Kamaric

October 3, 2014



Traditional ballroom dancing involves a man leading and a woman following. So what happens when the dance is performed with two men? Who leads and who follows? Trevor Copp, founder of Burlington’s Tottering Biped Theatre, and Jeff Fox, professional ballroom instructor and choreographer, seem to have successfully resolved this issue with their piece First Dance.

Copp and Fox First_DanceNow playing at the Burlington Performing Art Centre, First Dance tells the story of Ted, played by Copp, and Aaron, played by Fox. Ted is determined to create a meaningful first dance for his wedding, one that he can proudly perform with his future husband in front of his entire family. For help he turns to Aaron, a competitive dancer and his former lover. As the characters interact through dance we learn the story of their past relationship, their struggles through adolescence and their search for identity in a world of designated gender roles.

With traditional ballroom dance the roles are specifically outlined for male and female partners – the male instigates the dance and the female follows. Outside of the ballroom this notion of male dominance is completely outdated in a society that strives for gender equality and presents an obvious challenge for same sex couples performing a traditional ballroom dance.

As Ted and Aaron compete to take turns leading and following their bodies create a visual dialogue. They struggle to find a balance between Aaron’s classic textbook perfection and Ted’s desire to break free from tradition and create a dance that makes sense when performed with two men. The characters strive to create a harmony between both partners, each having the opportunity to lead and follow, each having the opportunity to start. Copp refers to this transitional technique from leading to following as a “liquid lead.” While their characters wrestle for control of who leads and who follows, Copp and Fox alternate between the roles with seamless fluidity. Gliding in and out of each other’s arms, they create a stunning balance of strength and grace.

Copp Trevor and Fox Jeff

The piece is not performed on an elaborate set – instead the dancers paint the space with their movement. A simple backdrop spills onto the floor with a black and white checkerboard pattern mirroring the contrast between male and female dance roles. While this piece focuses on the relationship between two gay men, the struggle with identity is an issue we can all relate to at one time or another. First Dance demonstrates a personal journey with a universal concept. As Aaron and Ted share their final steps and the dance reaches its end all the pieces fall into place and leave you with a quiet sense of resolution.


October 2 through to the 5th and from the 9th to the 11th. Matinee performances are included. Moderately priced. Tickets can be booked on the Performing Arts web site.  Box office 905-681-6000

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An informed observer gives his take on the ward six debate; Gazette comments.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 26, 2014



Was it a good debate? Not bad. It was the first the Gazette has sponsored and perhaps the only ward level debate the city will see – however we understand there might be a ward level debate in Aldershot.

We will certainly do this type of thing again – maybe not this election. Events like this take time and with our limited resources – time is one of the things we never have enough of.

On the stage at the theatre at the Hayden High School were the following:  Angelo Bentivegna; Jim Curran; Pardeep Dodanjh; Jennifer Hlusko; Blair Lancaster; Jivan Sanghera; Ishar Thiara and Vanessa Warren.

Mina Wahidi had to excuse herself from the debate – her Mother was taken to hospital.  Ishar Thiara had to leave the stage part way through the evening; he had become ill and Shoaib Shams didn`t show up.

Email from people we look upon as reliable, informed observers who have served the city in some form in the past and are aware of what happens at city hall, sent in some comments.

Debate ThiaraNone of the comments came from people working on a campaignThe contributor asked to remain anonymous – there is a lot of that going around in Burlington.  People like to comment but seldom want to put their name beside their comments.

We pass these along to you along with our own observations. Later this week our reporter Walter Byj will complete his write of the three hour event.

“I was expecting to see some strong drive for change, but all I saw was room temperature water, except for Warren’s opening remark about the number of candidates being a good indicator of how well Lancaster has done her job.

Bentivegna – wants to do more studies – there are already too many studies – need some action!
No such thing as ‘try harder’, said Bentivegna, “everyone does the best they can with the skills and abilities they have.”

Gazette comment: Should Bentivegna be elected he will choose to be very tight with senior staff. He very much wants to be part of what he sees as the people who run the decision. Bentivegna believes he can help the Mayor be a better mayor by offering him direction and guidance.

Curran – weak communicator – hard for him to string more than 5 words together – could not hold my attention.

Debate Bentivegna-Curran -DosanjhGazette comment: Curran was lack lustre. He however believes he has more boots on the ground that anyone else and that he can win this race. Time will tell.

Dosanjh – save your time and drop out.

Gazette comment: At one point she began to believe what she was saying – but lost any credibility she might have had when she asked another candidate how much he had donated to the flood victim account.

Hlusko – acted like she did not want to be there –
“indignant, self-righteous and out of touch

“too much anger when responding to the early question when she said ‘which question do you want me to answer’

“strange loud positive response from the crowd when she said that…
“and strange response re being set-up over Greenbelt question and being set-up over delegating to Council.

“SHE built Hayden school’ – her quote – Government of Ontario funding had nothing to do with it, nor did demographics or the province’s school funding formula? If force of personality could get a school built, why did Millcroft not have a school for 8 or 9 years? Because of the funding formula…. she was on duty when it was built, but to take credit, I don’t think that is a valid claim

Debate Bentivegna and Sanghera

Angelo Bentivegna and Jivan Sanghera exchange comments after the debate

“Burlingtonians have deep pockets and are willing to pay for parks, road repairs” – paraphrased – Easy to say when her family brings in north of $200k and her peers working for the school boards make $90k plus. Example: Two husband and wife school board employees near me. First set – her teaching 10 years ~ $80k / year. Him, school admin ~ $120k / year. Second Set – him, school admin ~ $170k, her teaching 30+ years $90k+. If Hlusko comes out of her circle of friends/peers she will see there are many people in Burlington who struggle to get by or live paycheck to paycheck.

Gazette comment: Hlusko had the best grasp of the numbers than anyone else – she knew her file and while she is a little quirky – (She might be a Mensa.) she knows what she is talking about. We saw her as snappy in a very positive way.

We don’t share the view of our observer.

Lancaster – – she is so meek, silent and vacant in Council, I was surprised she skated so well on thin ice
Spoke of building coalitions among Councillors but not one specific example – no one called her on it…
Spoke of ‘her’ ward when talking about other Councillors ‘interfering’ with citizen calls to other Councillors (re Code of Conduct)

It is the Ward she represents, not a Ward she possesses.

Gazette comment: Lancaster was Lancaster – she described Warren as an activist – a word that left a bad taste in Lancaster’s mouth, but she gave as good as she got.

She represents a demographic that is older but they love her and if enough of them stick by her – she could make it back.  Her support is solid – the question is – just how deep is that support.

When the incumbent has nine people running against her it has to be a message she hears. One didn’t get the impression she has heard the message,

Sanghera – did his research, spoke well – needs to find a differentiator to succeed – potential – maybe not this year.

Gazette comment: We were very impressed with this young man. He spoke very well, had his fingers on the facts and came across, to us anyway, as balanced and rational. Were we to live in ward six – he would be our choice.

Warren – very well prepared, confident – may be the ultimate winner – if she gets a presence south of 407

Debate WarrenGazette comment: Warren is always well prepared. She is the best delegator we have seen at both city hall and the Region, her research is close to impeccable. And she is an activist – Burlington needs more like her. She just didn’t come across as a person who could find the middle ground and understand that politics is the art of the possible. A city is made up of a collection of interests and all those interests have to be contended with and considered.

We are not sure Warren has the patience to sit through those hour upon hour Standing Committee meetings talking about parking spaces and property setbacks. Her sense of justice would bristle at some of the things developers ask for – which the current council usually gives them.

Warren would be a firm ally of Meed Ward – not a bad thing – but it would mean 5-2 votes on many issues. In the past they have been 6-1 with Meed Ward calling for a recorded vote each time.

Meed Ward is good at this kind of thing and, while she is an irritant to her colleagues she is effective. Warren doesn’t have the stomach for this kind of thing.

There are going to be those out there that claim we are biased.  We don`t live in the ward.  We know the incumbent better than most people; we have watched her for the past four years.  We have followed several of the candidates for some time.  Others we saw for the first time Wednesday night; for at least one of them that was all we needed.




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Food4kids gets the nod from 100 women who care

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 25, 2014



The cheque books came out and in less than half an hour the 100 Women Who Care Burlington voted to support Food 4 Kids, an organization that works with our schools who have identified children/families living in poverty situations and discreetly provide the child (it goes in their backpacks) with food on weekends.

Food4kids - bag + appleThe Gazette wrote about this group a few months ago. We told of those 100 Women as well. If it’s something you might be interested in – touch base with them. It’s amazing what women with a cheque book can do – some might put the word “amazing” in big bold black letters.

There are currently 76 members of the Burlington Chapter of 100 Women – room for more of you.  At $100 each Food4kids could be looking at $7,600 which is a lot of lunches.

You can reach then at www.food4kids.ca.

The other organizations nominated were Burlington Breast Cancer Support Services and the Seat Yourself Campaign @ Aldershot School.


In and out in less than an hour – Humane Society benefits.

The teachers knew who they were – Food4Kids fed them


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Amazing bed race pulls in $22,000 + for hospital development. Accura on Brant wins - again.

Event 100By Staff

September 22, 2014



Sunday didn’t have much in the way of promise at around 9:30 but by 11 am the rain had stopped and the “beds” were lined up on Brant Street like racing cars in pit.

There was a buzz in the air and the “judges”, representing the four Rotary Clubs in Burlington, were looking over the entry papers.

The chief money counter for Scotiabank in Burlington announced that $20,100 had been raised for the Joseph Brant Foundation.

Bed race - true final

Accura on Brant takes it again.

The rules for the 5th Annual Amazing Bed Race were explained. Every team got two times trials and the 16 teams with the shortest times on the course up Brant Street would make it to the finals.
With a provincial election behind us, a municipal election almost upon us and a federal election in their air – it was not surprising that there was a strong political flavour to the event.

Politics however didn’t play in the results – it was, for the second year in a row a run off between the car dealerships.

Bed race 2014 Rotarian judges

The Judges scrutinize the entries – all were found to be in order.

The fasted speed was clocked at 28 kph and the shortest time was 13 seconds.

There were no accidents, providing the one runner who had the bed run over his foot.

Prize for the best decorated “bed” went to Burlington Taxi.

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Largest climate march in history gets tripped by city Clerk rules - utter nonsense.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

September 20, 2014



It was a small group of people – not much more than a cluster actually, but it was part of the largest climate march in history involving more than 2500 cities around the world and will culminate in a march on New York city, where people will peacefully flood the streets in historic numbers, both in New York City and in solidarity events around the world.

World leaders will be gathered in NYC for a landmark U.N. climate meeting — just the right moment for big public pressure. UN Secretary, General Ban Ki-moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.

Save the planet - crowd scene outside Cultures

These Save the Planet marchers met with Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring on a street corner; they were not allowed to set foot on city property because the mayor is in election mode. Can you believe that?

“With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the course of history. We’ll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities” announced the march organizers.

The event is billed as the largest climate march in history to be happening worldwide and Burlington was a part of it.

The Burlington event was marred just a little by what can only be called “bureaucratic nonsense”. The March was planned as an event that was to start and end at the gazebo in Spencer Smith Park, where the Mayor was to speak.

Mayor Rick Goldring is a serious environmentalist and it was an appropriate place for him to speak. But – Burlington is in the middle of its election for a new council and the Mayor now has two people running against him – and he can’t make use of any city owned facility. And the Gazebo in Spencer Smith Park is city property – so the event had to march up Brant street and pause on a street corner, where Goldring talked to people about the environment.

Save the Planet - Goldring + organizer

Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring stands on a street corner explaining his environmental views to Save the Planet march organizer Alanna Antrobus.

“Can we go to city hall” asked one participant. “No “said the Mayor, “Civic Square is out of bounds as well”.

To get some idea as to just how silly this became; earlier in the week Ward two councillor Marianne Meed Ward rented space at the Art Gallery of Burlington for her campaign kick off. She was told that her people could not walk the corridors of the building wearing buttons or T-shirts – which meant anyone wanting to go to the bathroom, had to take their T-shirt off.

Ian Ross, president of the Art Gallery apparently got a call from City Clerk Angela Morgan bringing him up to date on the rules as she saw them. Hopefully Ross brought the Clerk up to date on how he runs his shop.

One hopes that Ross explained to the city Clerk that the Art Gallery of Burlington was an arm’s length organization which ran its own affairs. The city does own the property – the Art Gallery runs the place.

The Burlington march was organized by Alanna Antrobus


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Pig roast in Lowville - Thursday the 25th. Local fund raiser. $18 a plate

Event 100By Staff

September 20, 2014



There is something about a church fund raiser.

While the event is for the local people – anyone is welcome – you just have to show up and be ready to be social and talk to people.

Pig Roast signThey are always very welcoming – I’ve been to events like this where people invite you back to their homes for a drink.

Thursday, the 25th the Lowville United Church is hosting a pig roast with all the trimmings. The Chef on hand will be making cuts from 5 to 7 pm.

It’s a short drive up Guelph Line – the church is at the corner of Guelph and Britannia. Chow down a good meal, chat with the folks and if you’re interested in what Lowville is like, drive on up to the Lowville Bistro for a glass of decent wine and a dessert you don’t need.

If you really want to make a day of it – head for Lowville an hour or two early and watch the salmon run in the Bronte Creek that runs through Lowville.

Tickets are $18 for adults – reserve one at 905-335-5099

New feature:

Whats On 100Early in October readers of the Gazette will be able to use a new feature for announcing community events.  Anyone will be able to go on line and post their event.  Our editorial team will be moderating the posts to ensure they are appropriate.   Watch for the notice.

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Union Gas adds $25,000 to the disaster relief fund; young girl adds $341 from a birthday party. Goal of $2 million at the 21% level.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 16, 2014



Raising funds for a community that is trying to recover from a disaster is never an easy task. Burlington’s August 4th flood was more than a month ago and in a word where the news cycle is good for three or four days at best, it is difficult to keep public attention – but the need is real and in some cases dire.

BCF Union Gas cheque presentation

Union Gas presnted a cheque for $25,000 to the Disaster relief Fund. From the left: MAyor Rick Goldring, Michael Shannon of Union Gas, Burlington Community foundation president Colleen Mulholland, Mark Egbedeyi-Emmanuel, Union Gas and Ron Foxcroft.

The Burlington Community Foundation (BCF) is doing the lead work on the raising and distribution of funds with Ron Foxcroft doing the arm twisting and getting the major donations.

Last week there was a $25,000 donation from Branthaven Development and yesterday there was a $25,000 donation from Union Gas. Donations like this move the thermometer close to the $2 million target – which Burlington expects the province to match under its two for one ODRAP program.

The Ontario Disaster Relief and Assistance Program (ODRAP) allows the province to contribute $2 for every dollar raised by the community. If this happens the BCF will have access to $6 million to aid those who lost almost everything in the lower levels of their homes; including washers, dryers and furnaces.

The big donations matter – but the small donations are important as well. A young Burlington girl was having a birthday party to which she had invited a bunch of her friends. She decided that instead of her friends giving her a birthday gift she would ask them to make a donation to the Disaster Relief Fund – she sent in a donation of $341

BCF coin box

When you see a donation box – toss all your change into it – it also takes paper money.

Catherine Brady, a strong Rotarian leader took on the task of asking retailers if they would set up a donation box in there store. There are now more than 50 of these set up on store counters.
The need is real – and every bit helps.

Foxcroft and Mayor Goldring - the Foxcroft look

Mayor Goldring gets the look from lead fund raiser Ron Foxcroft

In the days ahead there are other large organizations in the city that will be announcing major donations.

When an individual goes on line and makes a donation that actually move the thermometer. Each Wednesday the BCF will be adding all the large corporate donations to the total – so we can look for those big amounts boost that thermometer.

BCF thermometer Sept 16-14At this point the total is at the 21% level. Ron Foxcroft said this was going to be a 100 day drive – we are 14 days into that drive.


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Village Square is going to be THE place to be Friday night; they want to

Event 100By Pepper Parr

September 15, 2014



If you have plans for this Friday evening and they are not to attend the No Vacancy Cirque at the Village Square – You might want to change your plans.

No Vacancy mapThe No Vacancy event last year was the cultural event of the year. This year’s event is much large and will run for much longer – from 7 pm to 2 am – which is mind boggling for Burlington. Pine Street is being partially closed for the event.

The event locations are shown in the map below; plan now for those you want to take in.
No vacancy map detailThere are more than 30 installations being shown. What’s an installation? It is what an artist decides to do with a space – they are free to do whatever they choose to do – except for taking down any walls.
Last year there were several mind expanding installations – and we’re not talking about the stuff you smoke.

This is something well outside Burlington’s comfort zone when it comes to art – give it a visit.


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Social media at its best: a community sharing information and a known information source carrying and distributing that information.

saltlogo1By Pepper Parr

September 13, 2014

Burlington, ON.


The phrase social media means different things to different people. And there are few really good examples of how social media works and the role it can play in the sharing of information.

While there are mountains of information out there – what exists may not be what you want. Perfect social media is when what you want is also what others have to share.

Flood Fairview plaza

A plaza on Fairview – stores flooded.

Last August 4th when rain fell on the city for close to eight hours and left 191mm of water looking for a place to go – the Weather Network was collecting data from anyone who had something to send in.

The link  here is a really good example of social media doing what it is supposed to do. The piece you have looked at was obtained by the city from the Weather Network and shown at a city Development and Infrastructure committee more than a month after the rains fell.

The Weather Network took video clips sent to them and just stitched them together into a strip of film and loaded it on their web site.

Flood weather network bridge

Individuals sent in clips taken from the cell cameras – which are stitched together by the Weather Network and aired.

Imagine if that piece of video had been shown to the public the day after the storm – Burlington would have had a much better idea as to what had happened and the response to the flood would have been much more engaged.

Had video like this been used at the Ribfest; had the story of the flood been told to the more than 100,000 people who came from places other than Burlington – the amount raised would have been much more than the $40,000 that was raised.

That $40,000 was $40,000 more than the Community Foundation had before Ribfest and the community is grateful – but when compared to the $20,000 that one man and 35 volunteers raised in four hours on Elwood Street – questions get asked.

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Climate march to take place in Burlington Saturday September 20th - starts at band stand in Spencer Smith Park

Event 100By Staff

September 13, 2014


The largest climate march in history will be happening worldwide September 2oth, 2014, and Burlington is going to be a part of it.

Climate MarchThe march begins at 10:00 am – the route is set out below.
10:00am: Meet at the Bandstand in Spencer Smith Park.
10:45am: Begin march proceeding up Brant to Fairview – west to Maple, south to Lakeshore and back to the band stand where the Mayor is expected to address the marchers.

12:00pm: Meeting Mayor Goldring for a photo with the full worldwide petition.

12:15pm: Picnic! Please bring some food to share as well. (Or money if you’d like to go to one of the local cafes/restaurants)

The event is part of a world wide movement

March route runs anti-clockwise on the map above.
The event is being organized by Alanna Antrobus

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Gently used furniture and household items can be donated to a flood relief collection centre on Burloak - opens Saturday.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 12, 2014



There are all kinds of ways to help with the Flood Relief Drive. Some of the larger corporations are writing big cheques. Dozens of small neighbourhood groups are holding fund raisers and putting really decent dollars into the Burlington Community Foundation (BCF) Flood Relief account. The BCF hopes to have their web site with the capacity to donate directly on line and see the thermometer rise, “hopefully by the end of the week” said Burlington Community Foundation president Collen Mulholland, who had her fingers crossed as she spoke.

Wahidi and Papadopolous C0C Afrer 5 + UW

That lady on the left hand side has turned out to be quite a little fire cracker. She is Mina Wahidi, a candidate for the ward 6 council seat. Beside her is former Mayoral candidate Phillip Papadopoulos – 2010 election and a candidate for ward 2 in this election

Mina Wahidi, a candidate for ward 6, worked as the Executive Director for the Compassion Society – one of those jobs where they pay you for 20 hours and you put in at least 40 hours each week, before announcing she was going to run for office. She took a leave of absence to run in the hotly contested ward 6 where she is one of nine candidates.

While knocking on doors she got a look at a number of basements that had been wiped out by the flood and realized there were needs that weren’t being met. Her kids came up with the idea of a location where people could drop off items that were in excellent shape and no longer needed. Why not have a place where people could drop off this kind of item suggested one of her girls

Flood donarion centre - BurloakA quick call to Michael Emshi and she had space donated at 728 Burloak Drive by Emshi Developments. Wahidi expects to have at least four volunteers at the site which will be open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to noon and in the evenings from 6:00 PM TO 8:00 PM.

This is a 30 day initiative – the need is urgent. Check out what you have that you don’t need and truck it on over to the Burloak location.
The location is NOT accepting cash donations – send your cheques – or better still go on line and make a donation to the Burlington Community Foundation – they are at this location. 



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“We're looking to give you the best Friday night you've ever had.” - Cirque September 19th

Event 100


By Pepper Parr

April 19, 2014

We got our first look at what a No Vacancy event was about last year when Selina Jane Eckersall hosted an illustration event at the Waterfront Hotel. It was a little longer than the average movie but it came close to rocking the socks off the Burlington arts community.



Selina Jane Eckersall points out a location that will be active the No Vacancy Night.  Hundreds of people will be crawling through Village Square.

It took place at a time when the arts and culture community was beginning to create a presence for itself. The city had accepted the Cultural Action Plan prepared by Jeremy Freiburger and while they weren’t able to act on very much of the plan they did re-allocate a staff member from Parks and Recreation to co-ordinate events that were cultural in nature. This kind of work was being done by the Parks and Recreation department where the culture was more athletic than artistic.

BG_Ad2The No Vacancy event was a critical success and is being repeated this year with a much bigger venue and a more exciting program. Selina Jane Eckersall sums it up with the comment: “We’re looking to give you the best Friday night you’ve ever had.”

There will be 30 unbelievably talented contemporary artists who will transform a variety of spaces inside Village Square into an art experience that will have a lasting impact. “This incredible walking contemporary multi-artist exhibition will feature the best of contemporary installation art from Southern Ontario.”

“Village Square will be buzzing with activity as people explore the alleys and walkways and enter spaces they haven’t explored before. We will also have performance and street art throughout the square and a pop-up art market that will be open until midnight. Burlington has never had an art event quite like this and it is going to be a wondrous experience.”

Half of Pine Street will be closed to traffic and all the space available to No Vacancy in Village Square has been allocated.


Selina xxx Eckersall points to one of the locations for some of the "installation art" that will be on display for less than four hours September 19 - a not to be missed event.

Selina Jane  Eckersall points to one of the locations for some of the “installation art” that will be on display for less than four hours September 19 – a not to be missed event.

The artists doing the installations are being paid – a bit of a first for Burlington. In the past artists have been asked to donate to various causes – when they themselves are a cause. The beer garden profits will be used to pay the artists that are putting up the installations.

Eckersall is putting on a much bigger event this year and giving the Village Square some life – something it has needed for some time.  The longer term plan for No Vacancy is to be quite ambitious. They have organized themselves as an Ontario Not for Profit Corporation and have gotten charitable status in Ontario and are going after federal charitable status.

Later in the year they will apply for Trillium Funding (that’s where a lot of your lottery money goes) so they can develop the much more robust program they have wanted to put in place for some time.  “We want to open minds and push people out of their comfort zone just a bit and we feel that we need a bigger presence in the city, which is why we are looking for a place, where we can be seen and the work of the artists we want to highlight can also be seen.”

“We would like to find a building somewhere or work with someone who has space –visibility is key to what we are setting out to do. What we want to create is a facility that is part studio, part media lab and part gallery” said Eckersall.  “One of the bigger challenges is to come up with a business model that can result in an operation that is sustainable – we are still working at that”, she added.

“We would really like to find a van we could use to transport some of the material involved. Installation art tends to be quite large.”

Eckersall says she has “no idea how many people are going to show up on September 19th – it could be anywhere between 500 and 5000.” The event will run from 7 pm to 2 am and as Eckersall says : “A night of incredible art installation in Burlington.”

All the space in Village Square have been allocated and the artists are busy working on the fun stuff. Administratively Eckersall is dealing with permits, contracts, and insurance.

There is going to be a “pop up” market. If there are artists out there that are looking for a venue to sell some stuff – touch base.

Eckersall says the event is all about “Art that makes your heart beat faster.”


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Ceramics residency being created at Art Gallery of Burlington; applications close September 8.

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 18, 2014

The Art Gallery of Burlington (AGB) has been a champion of visual art and fine craft in Burlington in the more than 45 years it has been operating. They engage the community in the appreciation and creation of visual arts and are home to seven art and fine craft guilds. They provide opportunities for discovery and ‘hands-on’ learning, as well as mentoring and showcasing visual artists at all skill levels.

BAC aerialThe AGB is dedicated to the growth and promotion of our collection of Canadian contemporary ceramics.

The AGB is now going one step further in the development of the visual arts with the establishment of a residency in ceramics that will start in September and run for a full year.

The working days are flexible to suit both the Gallery’s needs and the successful candidate’s other commitments. A stipend of $200 per week is being offered.

The successful candidate will be expected to work as a studio technician for up to 15 hours per week, not to include the studio time used for personal artistic explorations.

Suitable candidates are: Recent graduate in ceramics from a recognized institution or in his/her graduating year in a ceramics program at a recognized institution. A person with an interest in arts and craft and able to tackle a few projects at once and deliver them all on time. Self-motivated and able to work in a communal environment.

The benefit to the artist is a great opportunity for the successful candidate to build their portfolio with diverse projects supporting our programs including the possibility of exhibiting in our Community Gallery.

The successful candidate will have access to a fully equipped studio including potter’s wheels, electric, gas and raku kilns. Tools, clay and glazes are not included.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to teach in our Community and Studio programs. The AGB is open some evenings and weekends.

Respond with a resume and cover letter by September 8, 2014 to:

Denis Longchamps, Chief Curator Art Gallery of Burlington
1333 Lakeshore Rd Burlington ON L7S 1A9

A current portfolio will be required if you are selected for an interview.

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Book of Best Wishes celebrating the birthday of the fourth in line as monarch of Canada to be set out in Spencer Smith Park Canada Day

Event 100By Pepper Parr

June 29th


There will be tens of thousands of people strolling along the promenade of Spencer Smith Park on Canada Day as we celebrate our 147 year of existence as a country.

And what a marvelous country we have.  We are a wealthy country and we are a free country able to elect who we want to represent us and lead us.  Two home grown examples are the seven candidates running in ward 6 and the decision of the voters in Burlington to end more than 70 years of Progressive Conservative rule – with a shot being fired from something as small as a pea shooter.

Contrast that to the hundreds, make that thousands, who are being killed, to day, now, in far off countries.  There are a reported five million people in refugee camps in the Middle East because they cannot go home – there homes were destroyed or they face death if they do return.

RR BBW spine of DEMO

Spine of the classically bound book of Best Wishes for Prince George.

Tuesday is expected to be a sunny day – so when you stroll along the edge of Lake Ontario – revel in how fortunate we are and realize that the freedom you have was earned by men and woman who paid the ultimate price.

Canada is a constitutional monarchy. This means that the powers of the monarchy in Canada are limited by the Constitution. The Constitution is a set of basic principles, laws and rules that explain the powers and duties of the government and the rights and freedoms of the citizens. Our formal head of state is a monarch. Our monarch is now Elizabeth II, who is also the Queen of the United Kingdom.

Final banner

Seven foot banner that will be on the Spencer Smith Park promenade on Canada. It will be hard to miss.

A group of Burlington citizens came up with the idea of creating a Book of Best Wishes that would be available for everyone to sign and convey their Best Wishes to the Prince on his birthday.

Thousands of citizens have already signed and provided a greeting.  Monday evening, members of Council will sign the Book of Best Wishes.  City staff will have an opportunity to sign the Book which will be at city hall during the day on Monday the 30th.

Book mark V2 bigger type

Commemorative bookmark for those who sign the Book of Best Wishes.


On Canada Day the Book of Best Wishes will be set up in a booth on the waterfront  where anyone passing by can sign.  You won’t be able to miss the seven foot high banner.  Everyone who signs the Book of Best Wishes will be given a commemorative bookmark.

When the pages have been bound the book will be taken by Burlington MP Mike Wallace to Rideau Hall, the home of the Governor General who will have it transported to Kensington Palace, where the Prince currently lives with his parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

RR BBW cover with gold

Cover of the leather bound 14 x 11 inch Book of Best Wishes that will be delivered to the Prince on his first birthday.

The group that started this initiative will be organized as a trust – the Burlington Royal Reading Trust, that will exist until the day the Prince dies. Given the length of time his Great Great Grandmother lived Burlingtonians can expect to be signing a Book of Best Wished well into the next century.  Queen Elizabeth, the wife of King George VI, known as the Queen Mother in her later years visited Canada many times.  Canadians, can expect the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to visit Canada frequently.  When do you think the Prince and his parents will come to Burlington?

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Burlingtonians signing a Book of Best Wishes to celebrate the first birthday of Prince George.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 24, 2014


During the past ten days the citizens of Burlington have been signing a very unique birthday card for the newest member of the Royal family:  George Alexander Louis was born July 22, 2013.

An article in the Gazette shortly after his birth, set out a list of age appropriate books for the young Prince to play with as he grows up to become the monarch of Canada at some point.

Cover of BBW as PNG file

Cover of the Book of Nest Wishes: Gold embossed type on a rich wine coloured leather produced by a master bookbinder.

Final bannerOut of that article grew an initiative to send the Prince a Book of Best Wishes every year of his life.  The Book was to be a handsome, craft bound leather book measuring 14 inches wide by 10 inches deep with pages for anyone who wanted to send a Best Wishes.

The Book will be presented to Council at the end of the month, where Council members, and anyone in the audience, can sign the book which will then get turned over to Burlington’s member of Parliament, Mike Wallace, who will take the Book of Best Wishes to Rideau Hall , home of the Governor General.  The Governor General will have the book transported to Kensington Palace where the Prince lives with his mother and father; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Getting the initiative off the ground has been a task.  The originator of the idea found that he had to have a hip replaced just as the hard field work had to be done.

Joe Veitch, a recipient of the Rotary Paul Harris award, took on the task of pulling together a group of volunteers who would man the tables at the Seniors’ Centre, Tansley Woods and the public library.

Selina Jane McCall did much of the early design work and selected the type face for the project name” Royal Reading.

Susan Fraser, a nominee for one of the city’s BEST awards in 2012, took on the task of liaising with the Hayden Recreation Centre people, where she enticed people at the Centre, students at Hayden High and at the Alton library to sign the book.

Each person who signs the Book of Best Wishes is given a book mark – with a picture of the prince and wording to signify that they have signed.  Expect some of those early book marks to show up on eBay someday – they will take on the value of hockey trading cards.  There are those who will collect these book marks, which we will issue each year. Copies will be left with the Historical Society.

The name Royal Reading was used to signify a second part of the initiative which was to have the citizens of Burlington involved in the raising of the Prince as a Canadian.

Each year we celebrate his birthday,  a few age appropriate books would be sent, not as a gift, but as a part of the process that gives the Prince a sense as to what Canada is all about.

At some point the Prince will get to read Dennis Lee’s Alligator Pie  and Roch Carrier’s The Hockey Sweater.  He will be introduced to the work of W.O. Mitchell and Farley Mowat as well as Mordecai Richler and Gabrielle Roy.

Book mark V2 bigger type

The bookmark that people will take away once they have signed the Book of Best Wishes from the citizens of Burlington to the Prince on his first birthday.

Three copies of each book will be purchased with one being sent to whichever Palace the Prince is living in, a second copy that will go into general circulation at the Burlington Public Library with an inscription inside explaining  that the title was also sent to the Prince.

A third copy will get placed in a space at the Library that will be known as the Prince’s Bookshelf.

Given the way Royalty travels throughout the Commonwealth and indeed around the world, he will most certainly visit Canada.  Our hope,  and one of the things we will work towards,  is bringing the Prince to Burlington where he just might choose to read from one of his books to a circle of children at the library  or perhaps in a public setting at the Performing Arts Centre.

Wouldn’t that be something?

The Book of Best Wishes will be available at city hall on Friday June 3oth and in a booth in Spencer Smith Park on Canada Day.  Do drop by and join the thousands that will be taking part in the making of some history.

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