Brock & Sophia: A love story in the midst of the war of 1812

By Pepper Parr

June 2nd, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ray Rivers has been writing opinion pieces for the Gazette for more than ten years. We’ve managed to scrape together a bit of cash from time to time to thank him for his column. On  occasion I have been able to visit with Ray and his wife Jean at their home in Mountsberg where we enjoy a decent bottle of wine and differ on political issues.

We frequently have a friendly low value wager on who will win and who will lose.

Rivers is a bit of a cynic and sees Trump back in the White House.

He is also a playwright and an actor and is taking part in a production taking place in Stoney Creek from June 9th through to the 18th.

The least we could do is promote the event.

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45 acts are at the Performing Arts Centre during a 366 day season. 

By Staff

June 1st, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre kicked off their new 2023/2024 season last night at the main theatre to a sold out audience.

Dizzy & Fay

Host Elvira Kurt was the emcee for the evening and did a bang up job keeping the event rolling.

There was opportunity for two of the acts for the new season to do a short *live* teaser.

Clerel (from Montreal) wanted to share a song with the audience after walking along our “boardwalk and enjoying our beautiful weather. He sang a French time as he played guitar.

Brian Dean, Executive Director Downtown Business Association with Tammy Fox Executive Director Performing Arts Centre

Later, duo Dizzy & Fay (he’s on piano and she does the vocals – for only original material) and they did a jazzy tune that was met with a roaring applause.

The new season has “something for everyone”.

There’s even a “Pet Theater” where trained house pets perform circus acts. All the pets are rescue animals.

Elvira recommended this one – even if only to see “a cat actually perform and not just groom itself”.

45 acts are listed in the booklet for the 366 day season.

Yes – Dizzy & Fay are playing Feb 29 2024.

There’s ballet, comedy, music, sing-a-long, rock, dance, and jazz on the patio.

And more in the works.

 

 

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Getting to 100 is significant - more than 2300 people will gather for four days to celebrate what Burlington Central High has meant to their lives.

By Pepper Parr

May 28th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

The pandemic changed almost everything including the 100th anniversary of Burlington Central High School. The pause hasn’t made much of a difference.

Celebrating 100 years of existence is a big deal.

That is what Central High School will be doing between June 1st and 4th

In 1922, William Lyon MacKenzie King was the Prime Minister of Canada, Ernest Drury was the Premier of Ontario, and Frederick Banting & Charles Best developed insulin treatment for diabetes. Lincoln Alexander was born in Hamilton in ‘22 – he would become Canada’s first black MP and Cabinet Minister and eventually the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

At the same time, what was then known as Burlington High School welcomed its first students to a building that had five classrooms open for fewer than 100 students. Over the years, the school’s name has changed several times, but the strength of the community has not.

It was a big deal when it first opened. It was a bigger deal when there was a move to close it – and it is an even bigger deal for the 2300 plus people who will take part in the reunion events

For the more than 2300 people taking part in the reunion event, it might be the first time they have seen each other since the 75th anniversary. More than a two decades of catching up to do.

The Central Reunion is much more than a catching up. They are celebrating a unique institution that was a critical part of the evolution of the city.

The four day event is packed with activities.

Thursday will include sports activities, Career Day and social events for current and former staff. The sports events are a reflection of how change takes place – the pickle ball event is now closed – all the court time has been taken up.  Pickle ball hardly existed when the graduates met last for the 75th anniversary.

Dinners have been set up for four different time frames – one can imagine the conversations that will take place.

Teri Ruf, former principal of Burlington Central High School and co-coordinator of the 100th anniversary reunion.

The Reunion work is headed up by Terry Ruf and Todd Ford; both were staff members at Central before they retired; one a principal and the other a department head. They head up a team of 24 people that field all the questions and make sure that things that weren’t quite right the first time are right the second time

Central has what every first high school in any community had – it drew from a catchment area that included students from farm families on Maple as well is as those who lived in what we call the downtown core today.

In the beginning schools were a municipal responsibility; when new space was needed they had to appeal to what was then a Town Council – and they didn’t always get what they asked for.

Burlington was of course a much small community.  The QEW didn’t even exist then

There is an event, takes place on the Friday, called the Alumni Career Day, where graduates who went on to build a business will be on hand to tell students what it was that made them the success they became. Wonder what Steve Cussons will have to say to these students about the printing business – a sector of the economy that has changed as much as the high school. The best advice any successful business or professional person can give these days is:  be nimble.

What would become, for a period of time, as the transit service for the city, started when C. H. Norton used what might have been a truck to transport rural students to the new high school.  The story goes that he eventually bought a Pierce Arrow limousine that could carry seven passengers and grew that into the first transit service the city had.

A wall on the second floor of the school memorializes those who were lost.

One of the unique aspects of Burlington Central is the board and portraits on the second floor that commemorates those former students who served in the two World Wars -particularly those who perished during their service.

Some will perhaps feel a connection because the name of a parent or grandparent, aunt or uncle is memorialized on the Board of Honour, or you may just want to honour those brave men and women for their service.

On the closing day of the four day event there will be a ceremony at the Cenotaph in Veteran Square to celebrate the memory of a very special group of Burlington Central alumni.

Burlington’s population shot up in the mid to late forties with immigrants from war torn Europe coming to Canada.  Central was for a time an ESL – English is as a Second Language school.

Over time it became a school that had a strong drama department that has continued to grow.  There is now a tradition, more than just a tradition in the hearts of the students who are on stage or backstage building sets or promoting an event  – a sense that they are carrying that tradition forward and enriching it each year.

But the history of the school and what it has done is not what the reunion is about. It is about the people who attended and were shaped by two building that were mere yards apart.

For those who attended Central Public School and then moved on to the high school meant, for thousands, spending at least ten years of their lives in a very small area.  Add in JK & SK and you get to 12 years – no wonder memories are so strong.

Mature trees frame the front entrance of the oldest high school in the city.

Those who put themselves in the 40 to 50 cohort will have the most to look back on, reflecting perhaps, on how well they did and how well their children are doing.

Expect a lot of rejoicing, remembering and reflecting.

Marriages, divorces and deaths will be part of the conversations as people who have, for the most part, done well.

Will anything be different when it is all over? You never know with human beings do you

2,300 people have registered for the event.  Co-coordinator Terry Ruf expect that number to rise to 2500 before things begin June 1st.

Day by Day

Thursday

Career Day for current students featuring alumni speakers

Co-Ed Alumni Athletics:

    Golf Tournament  (now closed)

    Hockey  (now closed)

    Volleyball  (now closed)

    Basketball  (now closed)

    Pickleball  (now closed)

Former & Current Staff Social        

Friday

Friday, June 2

Friday Evening Marquee Tent Event

Music Theatre Performance

Saturday

Saturday Daytime School Events

    Opening Ceremony

    School Open House (call for memorabilia)

    Family Fun Fair & Lunch

    Meet the Staff

    Music Theatre Matinee  

Saturday Evening Decade Events

    40’s/50’s

    60’s/70’s

    80’s/90’s

    2000’s

Sunday

Sunday Memorial Event – 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at the Cenotaph in Veteran Square

Breakfast – 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria

Many will take part in the Sunday breakfast recovering from the Saturday evening events. They will want to once again join their friends and take one more tour of the school for “old times’ sake”.

Closing Ceremony – 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Auditorium

The concluding celebration of the 100th Anniversary Reunion is a chance to say goodbye until we they come together again in 2047 for Burlington’s Central’s 125th Anniversary!

 

 

 

 

 

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Art Gallery will be open Monday - 1:00 - 4:00 PM (Free Admission)

By Staff

May 21st, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Art Gallery will be open on the holiday Monday.  There is a Family Drop-In: Poetry Pantry

Monday May 22
1:00 – 4:00 PM (Free Admission)

Poetry & the Spring Pantry: What kinds of things do we bottle up? What secrets might we keep tucked away on a shelf? What memories could we store in a mason jar?

Taking inspiration from Victor Cicansky’s Spring Pantry, local artist and poet Carmella Dolmer will be here to help kids and families create their own jars from cardboard and paper mâché, which they can fill with whatever inspires them. This play-based approach is a mindful way to lay the foundation for creative writing and is a joyful reflection on one of our collection’s most iconic and beloved pieces.

The AGB is incredibly grateful to the Incite Foundation for the Arts and the Burlington Foundation (through a generous gift from the GWD Foundation for Kids) for support of all children and youth programs.

One can just imagine what the Legal people had to say when they saw this picture. Liability,liability would have been top of mind. It looked like the kids were having a great time. Might have been the one occasion when the controversial and misunderstood piece of art was relevant to them.

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Bloom Bar at Mapleview for Mothers Day - running from the 11th to the 13th

By Staff

May 12th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Mapleview Shopping Centre sent us a picture of the floral-filled activation location at which people can celebrate Mother’s Day and capture the occasion with your cell phone or camera.

Called the DIY Bloom Bar by a local Burlington florist, mom-worthy prizing, and more from May 11 to 13.

Donations will be made to Halton Women’s Place and the Burlington-Oakville chapter of Mamas for Mamas.

They are calling it a Bloom Bar

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All Guilds Spring Sale - May 13th to 14th

By Staff

May 11th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

An opportunity to see what the arts and craft community in Burlington does.

They include:  Burlington Fine Arts Association,  Burlington Handweavers and Spinners Guild, Latow Photographers Guild, Burlington Potters Guild, Burlington Rug Hooking Craft Guild, Burlington Sculptors and Carvers.

 

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Spread the Word, Make an Impact! Tonight is the Night!

By Staff

May 8th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was built as a community within a golf course – and the residents want to keep it that way.

Spread the Word, Make an Impact!

Millcroft Greenspace Alliance is committed to preserving the entire Millcroft Golf Course Greenspace using an approach that is grounded in research, advocacy, and leveraging resources.

Tonight is the Night! Learn More about…

Our unique strategy to preserve the Millcroft Golf Course green infrastructure, and its importance to our community’s case at the OLT in response to recent legislative changes.
MGA has been fortunate to have significant professional and business support from our neighbours who have volunteered to help analyze the Millcroft Greens application and develop our strategy.

We have focused our efforts on advocacy to find a solution to maintain this greenspace in advance of the OLT. As the OLT hearing draws near, we must now hire a seasoned municipal litigator and a stormwater expert to represent our strategy.

When: Today (May 8th) at 7:30pm
Where: Grace United Church (Millcroft Park Drive and Walkers Line)

We encourage you to forward this email to neighbours, family or friends to remind them of tonight’s community meeting.

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Burlington area Spelling Bee finalist named: Finals will take place May 28th

By Staff

May 4th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They are kind of old school – not the kind of thing that students get excited about.

But they are fine examples of people with very good minds and the ability to do some hard work.

Truth be told – it is real talent.

The Spelling Bee of Canada will host its National Championship Competition on Sunday, May 28th at the Sheraton Parkway in Richmond Hill, ON.
Following a series of regional chapter spelling bee competitions across the country, 60 finalists (20 per age category) have made it through to the next round and are set to compete at the championship this month. The Burlington area finalists are:

Burlington / Milton / Hamilton, ON

Kiash Das (Age 7) – Primary
Temisan Johnson (Age 11) – Junior
Jaral Nathan C. Lasquite (Age 14) – Intermediate

Spelling Bee of Canada’s 36th Annual Championship will take place in-person on Sunday, May 28th at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites in Richmond Hill. The event will be live-streamed on CBCSports.ca, CBC Gem and on the SBOC YouTube channel.

Spelling Bee of Canada organizes a variety of competitions and programming aimed at children between 6-14 years of age. The participants are placed into one of three categories: Primary age 6 to 8, Junior age 9 to 11 or, Intermediate age 12 to 14, to vie for cash, trophies and prizes.

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All Guilds Show at the Art Gallery Opens May 6th

By Staff

May 4th, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

This annual exhibition celebrates the guilds who make, learn, share, and teach at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

Arts Burlington includes

Burlington Fine Arts Association,

Burlington Handweavers and Spinners Guild,

Latow Photographers Guild,

Burlington Potters Guild,

Burlington Rug Hooking Craft Guild,

Burlington Sculptors and Carvers.

Opening Reception: Saturday May 6, 1 – 4pm

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Public Safety to be the focus of a Town Hall next Saturday - sponsored by the Conservative Association

By Staff

April 22, 2023

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Local political associations have varying degrees of community involvement and reach out taking place.

The Conservative are the most active – they have set out a series of Town Hall events, the second of which will take place in a week at the Mainway Recreation Centre where the focus will be on Public Safety; an issue that is easy to get reaction on.

A complex subject with few simple answers.  Halton has an enviable record when it comes to crime – there isn’t that much of it.  With a well funded police service that responds well to public needs and has solid public support the community is seen as very safe – something the Regional Chair Gary CArr never fails to mention when he speaks publicly.

The federal Liberals haven’t done much. The public seems satisfied with MP Karina Gould who is seen and appreciated. The provincial Liberals have been quiet on the surface as they head for  their Leadership convention where the mood seems to be Crombie on 1 – a reference to Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie who is expected to in the race. Once the Liberals have a leader things will be quite different at Queen’s Park.

The New Democrats have a new leader who has been very visible across the province but has yet to appear locally.

The Greens have never been a force in Burlington

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SOLO will be on stage in Burlington December 7th at the Performing Arts Centre doing Seasonal numbers with a 50 member chorus.

By Staff

December 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A big big sound.

On stage at the Performing Arts Centre on December 7th

The Southern Ontario Lyric Opera company will be featuring Seasonal music along with two short classic operettas by Measha Brueggergosman-Lee

Seldom does Burlington get an opportunity to exceptional voices supported by a very large orchestra.  For those who want to nibble at opera – this is an event worth the time.

 

In May La Traviata (The Fallen Woman) an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave will be presented.

It is based on La dame aux Camélias (1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas.

 

 

Tickets at the Box Office

The event is produced by the Southern Ontario Lyric Opera

 

 

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The Big Swing Sound at St Matthew's

By Staff

November 2nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There was a time when the sound from big big bands floated across the lake from the Brant Inn.

Big name stars would arrive by train, spend a day, sometimes a full weekend in town.

At the time the community was dry – no alcohol was sold.

The Gazette once heard from a reader who put himself through university selling liquor from the trunk of his car.

It was certainly a different town then.

The big band sound will return for a day later in November

 

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Water Festival returned to Kelso for the grade 5 students - it was a virtual event for grades two students.

By Staff

October 3, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

While the new normal has a few iffy spots to it – the closing of two sections of the Joseph Brant Hospital where Covid19 outbreaks were declared – the Region is slowly finding its way to whatever normal is going to be as we head into that time of year where we spend more time indoors.

Conservation Halton decided it was possible for the Halton Children’s Water Festival to return to Kelso Conservation Area and welcome back over 800 students this year for an in-person program focused on protecting water in our community.

This is the fifteenth year for the festival which has educated over 50,000 elementary school students with the support of over 6,000 high school students over the years.

The objective was to step though each of the tires and keep whatever was in the bucket – in the bucket.

“Today, I’ve learned about water and the correct bins the garbage goes in,” said James, a Grade 5 student from St. Anne Elementary School, Burlington. “Right now, we’re playing a game and it’s really fun!”

The festival offered the Grade 5 students curriculum-linked environmental education programming, over three days, that gave students the opportunity to learn about water and society, water conservation and protection, water health and safety and water science and technology. Fun, themed learning activity centres such as Waterfront Quest, Garbage Juice, What’s That?, the Great pH Challenge and Beneficial Bugs allowed for hands-on learning outdoors where students could enjoy the views of Kelso Reservoir on one side and the Niagara Escarpment on the other.

“The water festival gives our students the opportunity to be stewards of the earth by investigating and participating in real-life, hands-on activities that are designed and lead with the Ontario Science and Technology expectations,” said Clare Slaven, Grade 5 teacher, St. Timothy’s Catholic Elementary School, Burlington. “It is a wonderful fun-filled day where we can  show what we value and celebrate in Halton and the environment.”

The grade 5 students were kept busy – learning how their environment works and the role water plays in everything they do.

A virtual Water Festival Program will continue again this year. Since launching in April 2022  more than 1,600 students have participated in the online field trips.

The Halton Children’s Water Festival is presented by Conservation Halton and Halton Region in partnership with Halton District School Board, Halton Catholic District School Board and Conservation Halton Foundation, with the support of the Town of Oakville, Geo Morphix, City of Burlington and the Town of Halton Hills.

Conservation Halton is the community based environmental agency that protects, restores, and manages the natural resources in its watershed. The organization has staff that includes ecologists, land use planners, engineers, foresters and educators, along with a network of volunteers, who are guided by a Board of Directors comprised of municipally elected and appointed citizens. Conservation Halton is recognized for its stewardship of creeks, forests and Niagara Escarpment lands through science-based programs and services. Learn more at conservationhalton.ca.

 

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National Reconciliation event will include a ceremonial - reflective walk from the Pier to the Canal

By Katelyn Goodwin

September 29th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Friday afternoon, from 4-7 PM, residents, indigenous or otherwise, will be gathering in  Spencer Smith Park to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Phyllis Webstad (nee Jack) is Northern Secwepemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band). She comes from mixed Secwepemc and Irish/French heritage and was born in Dog Creek but now lives in Williams Lake, British Columbia.

Also recognized as Orange Shirt Day, Truth and Reconciliation Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative event inspired by the story of residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad who travels the country raising awareness about the impacts of Canada’s residential school system while talking about her experiences when she was  at a residential school.

Both local Indigenous people and support groups will have public displays set up, interactive events, information booths, and a ceremonial gathering will take place in the park.

People are encouraged to come to the park to learn and participate in these events and displays. Participants wishing to join are encouraged to wear orange shirts.

The path leading to the canal and the lighthouse was once a rail bed that had two tracks that brought steam engines into Burlington where they were loaded with produce that was shipped around the world. The canal is also the border between Burlington and Hamilton.

An event of significance will be a reflective walk which will start at the pier at 4 p.m. and end at the Lift Bridge lighthouse where a ceremony will take place before attendees’ head back to Spencer Smith Park.

City of Burlington administration buildings will be closed. .

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The Regional Children's Water Festival is back on - on-site for the grade 5 students - virtual for grade 2

By Staff

September 26th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The 16th annual Halton Children’s Water Festival takes place at Kelso Conversation Area in Milton from Tuesday, September 27 to Thursday, September 29.

The festival is fully booked, after a two-year hiatus from the in-person events due to the pandemic. This year, the event offers a scaled down festival for grade five students with virtual offerings available to grade two students.

The Beach is just one part of the Kelso operation.

When: Wednesday, September 28, 2022

• 10 a.m. Remarks from Hassan Basit, CAO, Conservation Halton and Kiyoshi Oka, Director of Water and Wastewater Systems Services, Halton Region
• 11 a.m. Guided tour of the Halton Children’s Water Festival

Where: Kelso Conservation Area, by Boat Rentals 5234 Kelso Road, Milton, ON L9T 2X7

Parking is located at the Boat Rental Lot. Assistance is available to get up the hill from the parking lot to the event area.

What: The annual Halton Children’s Water Festival was first held in 2006 and has educated more than 50,000 students between grades two and five about the importance of water through fun, outdoor educational activities.

The festival is co-hosted by Conservation Halton and Halton Region, in partnership with the Halton District School Board, the Halton Catholic District School Board, the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills and the Town of Oakville.

 

 

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Community Living will be out on the Pier with the annual Walk & Role event on Saturday

By Staff

September 23rd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If you have been holding an event for 42 years and people continue to show up – you must be doing something right.

Community Living, the organization that exists to enrich the quality of life and to promote full and meaningful inclusion in our community of people who have a developmental disability will hold the Walk & Role event on Saturday.

Community Living operates a number of programs including a residential, Employment and Virtual.  They serve those people who need the help – this is an opportunity to help them.

Their Life Share program, also known as host family, is so much more than providing a room in your home. Being a home provider means you’re giving someone with a developmental disability “a place in your heart, a place in your home”.

People who have a developmental disability are active participants in their communities. They are athletes, artists, students, employees, advocates, community volunteers, neighbours and friends. They’re an important part of the community and contribute to the strength of our province.

They don’t draw a crowd but they do create an opportunity for their supporters to meet and enjoy a day with the people they serve.

The event takes place on Saturday – Itinerary:

9:30am – Registration opens
10:30am – Opening remarks and performances
11:00am – 1KM & 2KM walks begin around Spencer Smith Pier
11:30am – BBQ and live entertainment

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Ward 2 Ratepayers Group Holding an Election Event

By Pepper Parr

September 12th,  2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Lakeshore Public School Ratepayers Association is hosting a neighbourhood information meeting, and you are invited!

What is the purpose of the meeting?

The purpose of the meeting is to meet the Ward 2 candidates for the upcoming municipal election held on Monday October 24, 2022 AND to discuss issues that are important to you, your family and your neighbourhood.

Jane Kelly Cook – energy behind the community meet and greet,

When is the meeting?
Sunday September 18, 2022 from 3:30-5:30pm.

Where is the meeting?
This OUTDOOR, RAIN OR SHINE community event will be held on the grassy area adjacent to the Centennial Multi use path, between Smith Avenue and Seneca Avenue. Depending on numbers the location may be moved to Lakeshore Public School.

What are some of the issues?
You tell us, submit a question…pedestrian safety on the roads and multi-use bike paths, personal safety, in light of the recent coyote attacks, development…???

Please forward your questions by Sunday September 11 at midnight.

We will do our best to have all submitted questions, (time dependent) answered by the candidates.

Questions will be given to the candidates prior to the meeting.

There will be no time allotted for debate.

There will be time for an informal meet and greet, where more questions can be asked of the candidates one on one.

How can I learn more about the issues that impact my family, my community and my city?

There will be music, light snacks and refreshments offered. Donations can be made to the Jam Packed with Love XoXo Spread the J🍓y Foundation. Globally, supporting people living with Movement Disorders.

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Catamaran Championship races in Burlington - September 19 - 23, 2022, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

By Staff

September 12th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The BBCC (Burlington Beach Catamaran Club) is hosting the 2022 North American A-Cat Catamaran Championships, Sept. 19 to 23, 2022, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the support of the City of Burlington and the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority.

Burlingtonians may not see this kind of action – but what they do see will be exciting and daring.

This is a major event for the BBCC as it represents the first time in 40 years that the North American Championships are held outside of the USA. The A-Cat is one of the fastest single handed dinghy catamarans in the world often exceeding speeds of 55 kilometres per hour (or 30 knots).

These fast light weight (75 kg) sailboats use new foiling technology that raises almost the entire boat right out of the water except for the foiling boards and rudders.

All racing to be visible from Burlington’s Spencer Smith Park and the Burlington Pier. Spectators will be encouraged to experience the event by walking along Burlington Beach Park, meeting the racers and checking out these modern high-tech fast catamarans.

We are expecting 50 to 70 sailors from across North America and Europe. The attached background document provides additional information about A-Cats and the event.

About the Burlington Beach Catamaran Club (https://www.burlingtoncatamaranclub.com/)

The Burlington Beach Catamaran Club (BBCC) is an enthusiastic Not-For-Profit sailing club that has been representing Burlington in sailing regattas across North America for over 40 years. The Club is located on the sandy shores of Burlington Beach and provides a colourful backdrop to the residents of Burlington when visiting the Lake. Club Members launch their boats off the beach for pleasure sailing throughout the sailing season and for Club Racing on Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoons. We are proud members of Ontario Sailing and represent one of the largest catamaran fleets in the Province of Ontario.

 

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Foxcroft remembers his time with Queen Elizabeth II - mourns the loss

By Staff

September 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Flags were at half staff throughout the world when news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II was announced today

He is one of the few people in Burlington who met her, had a conversation with her and remembers her fondly.

Ron Foxcroft was at the time the Honorary Colonel-in-Chief of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada,  When Nathan Cirillo was killed while on duty at the Cenotaph in Ottawa it fell to Ron to preside at the parade held in Hamilton to commentate and honour the young man.

As a result of that event, Foxcroft was presented to Queen Elizabeth II, usually for formal stiff occasion. Ron’s time with the Queen not was stiff or formal.

At one point the Queen, who was the Colonel of the Regiment,  made mention of what the Canadian Geese were doing to her garden and pulled back the drapes in the room and pointed to the garden which was the size of a couple of football fields.

There was a small John Deere mower on the property and the Queen told Foxcroft that she used to to shoo away the geese.

Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, receives Colonel Ronald Foxcroft (Honorary Colonel) at Buckingham Palace in London.

That’s when Foxcroft did what no one is ever permitted to do: h e reached into his pocket and pulled out a Fox40 whistle and told the Queen one blow on the whistle and the geese would be gone.

This afternoon, during a short conversation with Foxcroft who was in Calgary, he commented on the woman he had met who had passed away earlier in the day.

“She was one of the most remarkable women this world has seen, She loved Canada, she loved the military – she was probably the greatest monarch the world has experienced in some time.

“She will be missed – I will miss her.”

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Port Nelson United Church to host an event sponsored by five Burlington churches - a three-part oratorio, Considering Matthew Shepard,

By Staff

September 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At a time when hate crimes are on the rise in Halton Region, five local churches are cooperating to host Considering Matthew Shepard – a performance based on the life and diaries of a young gay man who suffered and was killed in a hate crime.

This moving event will contribute to the ongoing awareness around issues and concerns facing LGBTQ+ youth. It will provide an opportunity for healing and reconciliation between and among marginalized groups and the wider community.

Port Nelson United Church

This event is being offered to the public free of charge by the combined sponsorship of five welcoming, affirming and inclusive local churches who believe in an open community of faith, that welcome everyone. Together, these congregations strive to make Halton a community that embraces diversity – differences of age, mental and physical health and ability, religious background, marital status, family structure, sexual orientation, gender and its expression, racial and cultural identity, educational and socioeconomic status, and more. All are always welcome at Port Nelson United Church, Burlington Baptist Church, St. Christopher’s Anglican, Grace United Church and St. Paul’s United Church!

About Considering Matthew Shepard
Craig Hella Johnson’s three-part oratorio, Considering Matthew Shepard, will be performed in Burlington by the renowned Elora Singers, one of the finest chamber choirs in Canada. It is a fusion of musical styles, of poetry and prose, drawing from the events, the rural Wyoming setting, and from Matthew’s own notebooks.

• DATE: Friday September 23rd, 2022
• PLACE: Port Nelson United Church, 3132 South Drive, Burlington, ON
• TIME: 7:30 p.m.
• COST: Free admission. If you are able, donations are accepted in advance or at the event in support of the Pflag Canada.
• DETAILS: https://consideringmatthewshepard.my.canva.site/

“…strung on a fence outside of town in Laramie, Wyoming,”

About Matthew Shepard
On a cold night, October 6, 1998, in a hateful homophobic act, 21-year-old gay university student Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, and strung on a fence outside of town in Laramie, Wyoming, a place he had lived and loved. He was found by a cyclist the next morning and died of his injuries several days later. The public outpouring of grief for the tragic end to Matthew’s life was scarred by the sickening protests of hate group, Westboro Baptist Church. Years later, Matthew’s name would be associated with changes to U.S. laws concerning hate crimes associated with homophobia.

Some 20 years after the event, Matthew’s life, death, and the questions of humanity they evoke inspired composer Craig Hella Johnson to compose a three-part oratorio, Considering Matthew Shepard. It is a fusion of musical styles, of poetry and prose, drawing from the events, the rural Wyoming setting, and from Matthew’s own notebooks.  It merges the personal with the universal, life with death, ugliness with beauty, and seeks hope from what was a tragedy without redemptive purpose.

 

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