Toronto musician Gerry Shatford combines poetry and piano

Toronto music lovers will have a rare opportunity to hear “When I Sat Down to Play the Piano” performed live at Gallery 345 on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.

Inspired by the poetry of Al Purdy, the collection of compositions (several of which appeared in the 2015 feature-length documentary “Al Purdy Was Here”) will be presented by East York pianist and composer Gerry Shatford, accompanied by Neil Swainson on bass and Barry Elmes on drums. Toronto poet, editor and educator Paul Vermeersch will also be on hand to provide introductory narration for each of the pieces, reading the Purdy poem from which its inspiration was drawn.

Proceeds from this concert will be donated to the Al Purdy A-Frame Association which has overseen the preservation and restoration of Al Purdy’s historic residence in Ameliasburgh, Ontario. During Purdy’s lifetime, the house was a gathering place for famous Canadian writers including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, George Bowering, Lynn Crosbie, Dennis Lee, Margaret Laurence, and numerous others. The A-Frame Association continues this tradition by financing a residency program for aspiring writers.

Gallery 345 is at 345 Sorauren Ave. Tickets cost $20 for general admission, or $10 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door (cash only), and can be reserved by contacting info@gallery345.com

Schedule of Christmas Activities in Laurentian Region, Quebec

Come and enjoy a new way to do your Christmas shopping in the Laurentians!
Pay a visit to one of our numerous crafts displays and Christmas markets where local artists,
producers and craftspersons await you.
Discover the exceptional work of these talented creators and pick up some very original gifts.
You can also sample the fine regional produce of the Laurentians and take some of it back home.

November 10 to 12
Arts and Crafts Show in Saint-Jérôme
Saint-Jérôme Old Train Station and Hôtel de région
160 and 161, rue de la Gare, Saint-Jérôme
450 436-1511 | vsj.ca/fr/salon-des-arts.aspx
Friday: 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 10 to 12
Salon des métiers d’art in Lorraine
Laurent G. Belley Cultural Center
4, boulevard de Montbéliard, Lorraine
450 621-8550, extn. 255 | ville.lorraine.qc.ca
Friday: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 11 and 12
Salon des artisans
Recreation Centre
110, rue du Collège, Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard
819 327-2626 | stadolphedhoward.qc.ca
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 16 to 19
Art Exhibition in Rosemère
Maison Hamilton
106, chemin de la Grande-Côte, Rosemère
leregroupementdesartistesderosemere.com
Thursday: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 18 and 19
Gifts and Craftsmen Show
Community center
1, chemin Fournel, Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs
450 224-2675, extn. 225 | sadl.qc.ca
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 23 to December 10
Maison des métiers d’art
in Sainte-Thérèse
Maison Lachaîne
37, rue Blainville Ouest, Sainte-Thérèse
450 434-1440 | sainte-therese.ca
Thursday and Friday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 24 to 26
Salon des métiers d’art in Blainville
Community Hall
1000, chemin du Plan-Bouchard, Blainville
450 434-5275 | blainville.ca
Friday: 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 24 to 26
Christmas Fair – Arts and Delights
of Argenteuil
Lavigne High School
452, avenue Argenteuil, Lachute
450 562-2474 | argenteuil.qc.ca
Friday: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 25 and 26
Arts and Crafts Fair
Val-des-Monts Elementary School
872, rue de l’École, Prévost
450 335-3037 | diffusionsamalgamme.com
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

November 25 and 26
Oka Christmas Market
Oka High School
1700, chemin d’Oka, Oka
450 479-8333 | municipalite.oka.qc.ca
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 25 and 26
Cercle de fermières Sainte-Thérèse
Christmas Expo-Sale
Maison du citoyen
37, rue Turgeon, Sainte-Thérèse
450 420-0417 sainte-therese.ca
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 25 and 26
Sainte-Sophie Christmas Market
Lionel-Renaud Hall
2181, rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, Sainte-Sophie
450 438-7784 | stesophie.ca
Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 25 and 26
Artisans and Agrifood Fair
Cœur-Immaculé-de-Marie Church
570, rue Panet, Mont-Laurier
819 421-2346
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 25, 26,
December 2, 3 and 9,10
Christmas Market
Nominingue Old Train Station
2150, chemin du Tour-du-Lac, Nominingue
819 278-3384 | municipalitenominingue.qc.ca
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 30 to December 24
Christmas Market at Place Rosemère
(Laurentides j’en mange)
401, boulevard Labelle, Rosemère
laurentidesjenmange.ca
Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 1 to 3
L’Expo-Art
Sports and Cultural Center of Vallée de la Rouge
1550, chemin du Rapide, Rivière-Rouge
819 275-1745 | riviere-rouge.ca
Friday: 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

December 1 to 3
Le Noël des métiers d’art
Place Lagny
2, rue Saint-Louis, Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts
819 326-0457 | ville.sainte-agathe-des-monts.qc.ca
Friday: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 1 to 3
Salon des métiers d’art in Mirabel
Cultural center of Val-d’Espoir Complex
(Saint-Janvier sector)
17700, rue du Val-d’Espoir, Mirabel
450 475-8656 | ville.mirabel.qc.ca
Friday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 1 to 17
Sainte-Thérèse Christmas Market
Place du Village
Corner of rue de l’Église and rue Blainville, Sainte-Thérèse
450 434-1440 | sainte-therese.ca
Friday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 2
Morin-Heights primary school
Christmas Bazaar
647, chemin du Village, Morin-Heights
facebook.com/groups/MHESEventsGroup/
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

December 2
Arts and Crafts Fair in Notre-Dame
du-Laus
Centre des Loisirs
15, chemin du Ruisseau-Serpent, Notre-Dame-du-Laus
819 767-2759 | notre-dame-du-laus.ca
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 2 and 3
Arts and Crafts Fair
Community Hall and Pavillon Maurice Monty
2490 and 2492, rue de l’Église, Val-David
1 888 322-7030, extn. 4235 | valdavid.com
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

December 2 and 3
Salon Anneplain’Arts
Jean-Guy-Cardinal Center
156, 3e
Avenue, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines
450 478-0211, extn. 2021 | villesadp.ca
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 2 and 3
Magie de Noël – Arts and crafts
expo-sale
Chalet Pauline-Vanier
33, avenue de l’Église, Saint-Sauveur
450 227-2669, extn. 420 | ville.saint-sauveur.qc.ca
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 2 and 3
Christmas Market
Place des citoyens
999, boulevard de Sainte-Adèle, Sainte-Adèle
450 229-2644 | ville.sainte-adele.qc.ca
Saturday and Sunday: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 2 and 3
Saint-Colomban Gifts and Craftsmen
Show
Saint-Colomban recreation and community center
323, montée de l’Église, Saint-Colomban
st-colomban.qc.ca/fr/page/63e-groupe-scout.html
fr-ca.facebook.com/stcolomban.63scout/
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 8 to 10
Christmas Market in Rosemère
Rosemère Community Center
202, chemin de la Grande-Côte, Rosemère
450 621-3500 | ville.rosemere.qc.ca
Friday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

December 8 to 10
Salon des métiers d’art
in Saint-Eustache
Chevaliers de Colomb Hall
109, rue Saint-Nicolas, Saint-Eustache
450 974-5000 | saint-eustache.ca
Friday: 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 9,10 and 16,17
Val-David Christmas Market
Saint-Jean-Baptiste School
2580, rue de l’Église, Val-David
819 322-6419 | marchedhiver.com
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On the Chemin du Terroir

For great ideas and special gift basket, follow le Chemin du Terroir,
and discover the boutiques of our regional producers.
Laurentians Tourist information
Bureau at La Porte-du-Nord
450 224-7007 • laurentians.com
info-tourisme@laurentides.com
Labonté de la Pomme – Verger & Miellerie
labontedelapomme.ca | 450 479-1111
Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde
fromagiersdelatableronde.com | 450 530-2436
Les Serres Stéphane Bertrand
serresbertrand.com | 450 432-2629
Marché fermier de Lachute
marchefermierdelachute.com | 450 516-2779
Microbrasserie Dieu du Ciel!
dieuduciel.com | 450 436-3438
Négondos, vignoble biologique
negondos.com | 450 258-2099
Route des Gerbes d’Angelica
gerbesdangelica.com | 450 258-1648
Tarterie du Verger des Musiques
tarterieduvergerdesmusiques.com | 450 623-4889
Verger Richard Legault
vergerrichardlegault.com | 450 623-6306
Vignoble et Microbrasserie Les Vents d’Ange
vignobleventsdange.com | 450 623-4894
Vignoble Rivière du Chêne
vignobleriviereduchene.ca | 450 491-3997
Moulin Légaré
corporationdumoulinlegare.com | 450 974-5170
Aux Cassis d’Argenteuil
cassisargenteuil.com | 450 562-0897
Aux saveurs du printemps
auxsaveursduprintemps.com | 450 475-8998
Boucannerie Belle-Rivière
boucannerie.com | 450 258-3412
Boulangerie GaRou
facebook.com/BoulangerieGaRou/
450 594-9004 | 450 432-8000
Cabane à sucre Constantin
constantin.ca | 450 473-2374
Cabane à sucre Lalande
lalande.ca |450 473-3357
Cidrerie Les Vergers Lafrance
lesvergerslafrance.com | 450 491-7859
Gaspor – Fermes St-Canut
gaspor.com | 450 504-8443
Intermiel (Le monde des abeilles)
intermiel.com | 450 258-2713
Jardins Michel Corbeil
jardinsmichelcorbeil.com | 450 472-4358
La Bullerie
labullerie.com | 450 472-2722
La Magie de la Pomme
lamagiedelapomme.com | 450 623-0062

Squamish is Hardwired for Culture and Adventure this Fall

September 20, Squamish, B.C- It’s no secret, Squamish’s popularity is on the rise and there are many reasons why. Travellers have discovered this gem adventure destination and know that each season brings something new. With the arrival of fall this week, Squamish continues to impress with its wide range of active activities and cultural events. Here are the top 5 seasonal highlights to choose from.

1- Try the newest craze“Rope Running” is the newest attraction in town, Rope Runner Aerial Adventure Park. Standing 17 meters high and 20 meters in diameter the structure is built of steel, wood, ropes and wire where guides are assisting visitors to ‘run the rope’ and take part in various ‘games’. A full body harness and unique safety system keeps visitors safe, giving them the ability to move through the various level ropes course where they get to choose their unique path along the circuit, balancing over wooden beams, running like a ninja warrior, jumping off the tower at 15 meters or simply navigating through the obstacles. A selection of 50 games is offered, including logger sports (high wire log rolling), Ninja warriors (running boards, monkey bars, rings of madness and more), biking (pedaling a bike on a beam 40 feet in the air), climbing (big spider-web climbing net) and more.
For information:  www.exploresquamish.com/explore/aerial-adventure-park
2- Take a hike. Enjoy the best activity Squamish has to offer at this time of the year. Trails lead everywhere in this region, along rivers, lakes, ancient rainforests and vast mountainous terrain. There are many great trails to enjoy and here are three that can’t be missed, starting with the ‘Sea to Summit’ trail accessible from the Sea to Sky Gondola’s parking lot at the base to its peak at the Summit Lodge. The moderate 7.5 km trail with 900 meters elevation gain offers spectacular vistas of Shannon Falls, Howe Sound, Sky Pilot and the surrounding peaks. While at the Sea to Sky Gondola visitors may want to do something different and join a guided nature hike with a local indigenous cultural ambassador from the Talking Trees guided tour company. During the tour the local guide helps visitors to connect with the surrounding nature and shares cultural uses of the regional alpine forest, local plants and food that leave visitors with a deeper connection and appreciation for the local First Nations culture and nature. The Stawamus Chief trail remains a classic for its stunning views and diverse terrain made of a mix of steep stairs, ladders and mossy west coast forest. The intermediate 7.5 km trail with 550 meters elevation gain is a true pleaser.  Brohm Lake trailsin Interpretive Forest located 12 km North of Squamish is the most scenic of all in the fall. The lake trail is 3.6 km long with elevation gain between 220 and 348 meters and offers panoramic views of the Tantalus range, Paradise Valley, The Chief, Shannon Falls and Howe Sound.
3- Dig into cultural events of all kinds. The Sea to Sky Gondola’s Annual Mountain Music Series concludes September 22nd with the Sea to Sky Orchestra. The popularSquamish Artwalk is a month long celebration of local Visual Arts. During September visitors can view the creations of over 40+ artists in unique venues across town.
A unique opportunity to mingle with locals and meet local and renown artists and artisans up close. Guided Bike Art Tours take visitors to various art venues in town.Tour departs September 23 at 2:30pm from Brennan Park Rereation Centre. Reservations required. Weekly Creative Workshops are also taking place throughout the event. The last Workshop on Chinese Brush Painting takes place on September 30th.
For more information: www.squamishvisuals.com/artwalk
4- Socialize with friendly locals. The Squamish Farmer’s Market runs every Saturday in downtown Squamish, until October 25th. It’s the ideal venue to stock up on fresh produce and artisan-made goods while supporting the community. Refresh Market takes place at the West Coast Railway Park’s CN Roundhouse, November 17-18. The popular fall event is the town’s biggest shopping venue for handmade vintage and curated wares. Known for its highly edited mix of locally made clothing, jewelry, dry goods and more, Refresh features 100 vendors from Pemberton to Vancouver alongside food trucks, music and good vibes.
5- Please the kids in preparation for their favorite late fall / early winter event. From October 25-31, The Mystery of the Magic Pumpkin takes place at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park. It’s a fun-filled day exploring the pumpkin patch and jumping aboard the Magic Pumpkin ride in search of a personal magic pumpkin full of surprise. November 25- December 17, The Polar Express is back to town. Kids can take a ride on their favorite Christmas train when it returns to the West Coast Railway Heritage Park and go on an hour-long train ride complete with treats and stops in the North Pole Workshop and Gingerbread Village. For more information: www.exploresquamish.com/events/magic-pumpkin-train /www.exploresquamish.com/events/polar-express
6- Observe Mother Nature at its best with the return of the salmon spawning in Squamish’s rivers, and the majestic bald eagles enjoying the feast. Industry experts predict a record year for regional pink salmon run this year. A delight for our majestic feathery friends, the Bald Eagles. Keep an eye out this eagle watching season, it may as well be a record year. The season begins at the end of November and runs until February.
There is plenty to enjoy year-round in Squamish. For more information on Squamish’s fall activities and events please visit: www.exploresquamish.com .

Perth Walking Food Tour or Delectable Cuisine and 100 year old scandals in one fun tour

It is not the first time we visit Perth and have lunch there, but the first time we had a chance to not just try the best foods in town, but learn some history of the architecture and get insight of top local scandals. The tour begins at the Matheson House Museum at 11 Gore St. East downtown Perth. The Museum is worth a separate visit – it is filled with numerous household items and furniture from the past.           The Walking Food Tour is the first in its kind in Lanark County, and as we heard attracted a lot of guests since its debut last year when Perth celebrated 200th Anniversary.  To get most of the tour make sure to have active start of the day and come hungry – you will have six-to-seven samples of local flavours varying from European cuisine to fancy desserts…  

Perth Walking Food Tour
Perth Walking Food Tour

The tour is not a fast paced one, so you will have time to enjoy all the foods offered, and it is always a surprise – there is no menu!

Perth Walking Food Tour
Perth Walking Food Tour

While walking from one restaurant to next one we were trying to guess what is coming – something sweet or spicy?!Perth Walking Food TourPerth Walking Food Tour

Perth Walking Food Tour
Perth Walking Food Tour

Every tasty dish comes with a piece of local history in a short story or anecdote form! We visited a lot of well established places and some that just recently opened – one of them is “Rocky River”  well worth to mention here. They have beautiful shaded patio at the back that would be great on a summer day, but when we got there it started to rain, so we went inside.    

Perth Walking Food Tour, "Rocky River"
Perth Walking Food Tour, “Rocky River”

And even it was almost the end of our tour the table was set for a feast! Perth Walking Food Tour, "Rocky River"

Perth Walking Food Tour, table is loaded at “Rocky River”…

Perth Walking Food Tour, "Rocky River"
Perth Walking Food Tour, “Rocky River”

It took us a while there, the food was excellent, the rain was pouring, so we relaxed and enjoyed… Next stop was at the local brewery – what a busy place it was! We got a table by the window and waited for the rest of the rain to stop…

Perth Walking Food Tour, "Rocky River"
Perth Walking Food Tour

We eat so much of good food that decided that we didn’t want to have dinner!

If you are interested:
“The Perth Walking Food Tour” runs Saturdays from mid-May to the end of June, cost of $35 per person; beginning at 1 p.m. at the historic Matheson House Museum, at 11 Gore St. E. Perth, Ontario.

Dancing Bass Lodge, Lanark County, ON

“Dancing Bass” Lodge – the the name says it all… the place should be rich for fish and all day water fun! It was so desired escape from the bustling life of the large city…

Dancing Bass Lodge
Dancing Bass Lodge

Dancing Bass Lodge is located in beautiful Lanark County, quite easy to access from major roads and only about 30 minutes away from Ottawa!

View of the lake, Dancing Bass Lodge
View of the lake, Dancing Bass Lodge

There are only a couple of cottages that are currently available for rent and those are located on the shore of the Lower park Lake. The location provides for the endless view of the lake surrounded by the forest…

Walk in the woods, Dancing Bass Lodge
Walk in the woods, Dancing Bass Lodge

From the terrace of the cottage we watched nice sunsets and could not stop admiring the tranquility  of the coming evening – only some random sounds of the bird or loons…

Lake near Dancing Bass Lodge
Lake near Dancing Bass Lodge

Early in the morning when one could see the light fog over the surface of the water we would grab out fishing rods and set up right on the small pier with hope for a catch. The lakes are rich for various fish and if you have enough patience you won’t go away with empty bucket!

Fishing near Dancing Bass lodge
Fishing near Dancing Bass lodge
Fishing near Dancing Bass lodge
Fishing near Dancing Bass lodge

Back in 60s The Dancing Bass Lodge was a fish camp with 10 Log cabins. The current management took over about 10 years ago and they are doing an excellent job in rebuilding the old log houses. The cottage has all new furniture, large bathrooms, bright all equipped kitchen with dishwasher and wood stove in the living room for cooler days.

Dancing Bass Lodge, interior
Dancing Bass Lodge, interior

The original farm house from the late 1800’ still sits on the property, along with a sugar shack and barn, it is located on the border of  two lakes, Lower Park Lake and Horne Lake.

Dancing Bass Lodge, Original Farm House
Dancing Bass Lodge, Original Farm House

Both lakes offer lots of fishing and endless water activities. We had a boat ride to the swimming hole – and that was fun!! 

Boat trip, Dancing Bass Lodge
Boat trip, Dancing Bass Lodge

The day seemed too short – not enough time for all the activities; from the terrace we loved to watch the hummingbirds, the lake and just relax…

 

 

 

Dancing Bass Lodge, relax and enjoy
Dancing Bass Lodge, relax and enjoy

Dancing Bass Lodge is currently offering two completely refurbished cabins to rent for a minimum of four days from on or about June 1st to the 15th of October.                                                                                    Make sure you call them for best directions from the main road!
To make a reservation  https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/14296437 email dancingbasscan@aol.com;                                                               phone : 613-259-5713 or 602-421-1066

Group of Seven in Stone Cellar, Perth, Ontario

Every summer we try to make a few local trips to explore our province and  one of the regions we love to visit is Lanark County, which offers perfect combination of small towns, cottages on the beach and wild life. And after spending couple days in the cottage (“The Dancing Bass” Lodge cottage) we went to Perth for some shopping and lunch.

That lunch was a very special treat for us! Based on the art of Famous Canadian Group of Seven Chef Jamie Troutman from “The Stone Cellar” created the menu that interprets various elements present in paintings in “edible art”. Hours of research made it possible to reflect the famous Canadian art in the fine Canadian cuisine. In his creations Jamie is using the true Canadian ingredients coming from local farms. Chef Troutman, as per his own words, using the “deconstruction of the elements” from art into cuisine.

Lawren Harris, Icebergs by Chef Jamie Troutman

The shot glasses made of clear ice represent the art of Lawren Stewart Harris, who was criticized as being cold, but in fact deeply spiritual and one of the skilled abstract painters.

From ice and cold we suddenly surrounded by flowers and greenery of “Tangled Garden” by J. E. H. MacDonald –  Jamie Troutman’s sunflower salad full of summer colours and fresh herbs… MacDonald’s art is distinguished by dark palette, tough, rich and at the same time elegant design. And Jamie is using the dark of the stone slab as background for the splash of colours…

Group of Seven MacDonald Tangled Garden
“Tangled Garden” in sunflower salad by Chef Jamie Troutman

From flowers and greenery of the garden we travel to Nova Scotia with help of another Jamie’s culinary creation based on “Nova Scotia Cove” again by J. E.H. MacDonald.  Scallops and wild rice combined in a beautiful setting with shells to represent seashore…

Group of Seven, edible art
Chef Jamie Troutman, Scallops  served with Wild Rice – “Nova Scotia Cove” by J. MacDonald

We keep our taste buds tuned as next we get served Canadian beef – so tender! …accompanied by some root vegetables… chef’s creation based on the painting by Arthur Lismer “Habitant Farm”…

"Habitant Farm" Lismer and Chef Troutman
“Habitant Farm” by Arthur Lismer and Chef Troutman

Lanark County is well known for Maple Syrup producers and it would be logical to find this unique Canadian product in local cuisine and famous art.

J. Troutman "Maple Glazed Pork" based on "The red Maple" by A. JacksonJ. Troutman “Maple Glazed Cheese” based on “The Red Maple” by A. Jackson.

Our experience would not be complete without the dessert!Apple dessert based on "Asters and Apples" by J. MacDonaldApple dessert based on “Asters and Apples” by J. MacDonald

If you decide to indulge in creativity and fine cuisine make sure to make a 48 hours reservation, and if so, you may need to find a fine place to stay. Luckily the area offers a good variety of hotels – one of our favourites is “Perth Manor” which offers classic architecture, cozy rooms, beautiful garden and friendly atmosphere.

The Stone Cellar Restaurant                                                                                   Address: 71 Gore St E, Perth, ON K7H 1H Menu: thestonecellar.com                                                                                       Reservations: opentable.com                                                                                 Phone: (613) 267-0200

Perth Manor Hotel                                                                                                 Address: 23 Drummond St. West, Perth, ON                                       Phone: (613) 264-0050 and if this one is not available –

Best Western Plus Perth Parkside Inn & Spa                                                   Address: 82 Peter St, Perth, ON                                                                 Phone: (613) 326-0082.

Puppets with Noreen Young

Puppets with Noreen Young

Last summer we planned to visit the International Puppet Festival, which is held annually in Almonte, Ontario. Unfortunately this year’s Festival was cancelled due to shortage of funds –  however we found out that it is possible to have  a puppet making workshop, which was a very attractive idea. We stayed in the Blue Hen Farm B & B, which is not far from Almonte, so we signed up and could not stop discussing various ideas for our puppet characters.                                                 Some of you may remember the TV shows with  Noreen Young and her famous puppets… Well, I never even thought that one day I will be able to meet all of them in person! Even more – make  a puppet with my hands!

When we came to Noreen’s house she greeted us at the door and we went to her workshop in the basement and saw her show room…        It was SOO COOL!!! All her puppets were there including Gloria, Jacob and Iggy from “Under the Umbrella Tree”  episodes.             There were a lot of various characters, all dressed up and ready for the show time! For a moment it felt like I am part of this colourful crowd and we can chat any nonsense!

In the next room we met two bunnies who could talk! The rabbit had pink ears and his girlfriend was wearing a dress… 

My favorite puppets from Noreen’s collection are the ones with an arch for the head and you move the sticks as your hands or feet – it was so funny!

After giggling and laughing we went to the room to make the puppets… We started with the mouth… then added the head… Noreen said don’t think about the character now – It will come by itself! We took her advice and just followed our inspiration!

Noreen Young puppets making workshop

At about noon we had a break for quick lunch and went to town shopping. Our newborn puppets needed some clothing! There is a store in Almonte called “The Hub” – what a treasure chest – we found a black suit, a dress, couple pairs of pants, pair of shoes… – all we need in 20 minutes and of perfect size (for a puppet of cause)!

We rushed back to finish our puppets and finally, after extensive gluing, painting, cutting we were ready to present our puppets to the world!

And as Noreen suggested, we all made different very original characters and we had so much FUN!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

By: Anna

Farmstead experience on Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County, Ontario

After the four and a half hour drive from downtown Toronto we arrived at the Blue Hen Farm.  Right at the turn we saw an old cupboard filled with jars of homemade preserves and a sign “Honk for Service”…  And we saw the farmhouse in the opening between trees.

Farmers Jeff and Leslie greeted us and as we entered the house we were amazed by the old fashioned setting of the rooms – furniture, chandelier and even the old upright piano that produced some wonderful melodies after our evening meals…

Executive Chef, Costas preparing dinner for Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

 

Leslie and Jeff used to live in Ottawa and have jobs as many of us do… The idea of farming came up after some changes in jobs and also as a result of research of the food industry, commercial farming and agriculture.

Executive Chef Costas

Later, after getting settled in our rooms we headed down for dinner made by Chef Kostas who came out to tell us about the ingredients he used in his cooking, the dinner was amazing and filling.

As farmers do every day after dinner, we went into the barnyard to help with evening chores.

 

 

We found all the work surprisingly entertaining; we unloaded some 20 stacks of straw that will be used as bedding for the animals, fed the calves and pigs, brought the sheep and goats back to the barn and herded the chickens into their coop.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

There was a special place where hens lay eggs, so we picked our breakfast! The eggs were dark and light brown, white and even light blue…

Once the chores were done, tired we went to our bedrooms; may be the mattresses were so comfortable or the day was long – falling asleep was no problem at all.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

In the morning we woke up around half past six to the mouthwatering smell of bacon and eggs…

Breakfast during Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

And after breakfast we went to the yard to do morning chores which repeats the evening in the back order – letting the sheep and chickens out,  showering and feeding pigs… and saying hello to all of the farm animals.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Evening chores during Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

 

The goats are very young and new to the farm and don’t know the barn yard, so they we carried to the pasture  like babies!

Calf is sucking a finger, Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

Although all of the chores seem like quite a lot to do, they were our favourite part of the day. We also found that doing chores and waking up that early in the morning was very refreshing which was useful since we had a long day ahead of us. We found all of the animals so cute… and especially the three kittens that roam around the barnyard. There are also two dogs that help farmers by guarding  the barn yard from foxes and other invaders.

Leslie and Jeff ask that visitors do not  bring or wear any fragrances on the farm including mosquito spray, however they do supply their own free of charge so that you do not get bitten by pesky flies.  Leslie makes her own natural soap – I found it very smooth and took a little piece home as a souvenir. Around the house we also found natural fragrances, bug spray and soap – all handmade from natural ingredients that smell like summer fields…

Their mission statement is free range thinking, meaning all of the animals are free to roam the field and raised with no antibiotics or chemical supplements at all. “Being a novice in such a tedious business as farming should be challenging for city folks” – I asked… yes, and they learn every day.

We also had a chance to learn – about how to feed pigs and chickens and how to take care of sheep and goats;  we would join Leslie to let the animals out of the barn with the first rays of sun and get them all back in the evening…

For us it was just two days – but these days were filled with smiles and laughter, delicious homemade meals and that feeling of love and happiness…

After Dinner Chat

We took a lot of pictures that will remind us about this wonderful place and people that are so enthusiastic about  what they do.  Thank you Jeff and Leslie for teaching us some very basic skills that we miss in our city life!

So, time to leave The Blue Hen Farm… I think I  saw tears in some eyes…, we hope to come again.

Exploring Waterloo Region – Bingeman’s Big Splash

After lunch at the (nearby) Boston Pizza, we came in to the Bingeman’s Big Splash. After changing into our bathing suits we stepped out on to the deck exited about all of the slides that awaited us. They had many slides to choose from and better yet, the height restrictions are very reasonable so that everyone can go (most of the required heights are around forty inches). My personal favourite slide was the Cyclone.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

Over all, the park quite fairly spread out which makes it feel like there is less of a crowd, there also is a big wave pool

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

which has a shallow end

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

and a deep end however the tubes have to be rented for five dollars each and Cabana rentals are also available, another thing to note is that most of the rides are one person at a time, however there are a couple that two people can ride on at the same time.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

We highly recommend that you try it out especially if traveling with young ones.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario
Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario
Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario
Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

Overall it is the most fun water park in the region.

By Jonathan K.

Family Travel & Tourism