Noreen Young’s “Under the Umbrella Tree” now on YouTube!

Noreen Young’s “Under the Umbrella Tree” now on YouTube

Gloria the Gopher, from CBC’s vintage “Under the Umbrella Tree” children’s series, is very happy to tell everybody that she and her friends Holly, Iggy the Iguana and Jacob Blue Jay, are now streaming on Canada Media Fund’s new channel, Encore+ on YouTube.  This is a channel that features Canadian television classics that viewers will enjoy seeing again and again.

26 English episodes.

26 French episodes.

For more information about Noreen Young, please see Wikipedia

Please note also:

A Puppet Retrospective comprehensive exhibition of Noreen Young’s puppetry creations and art works over the years.

The exhibit will run from July 14 to September 22, 2018 and the official Opening Night will be held on August 4 from 2 – 4 at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte.

Saturday August 25, 2 pm. Rock the Arts performance

Rock The Arts puppets performance will perform at the museum on Saturday August 25, starting at 2 pm to complement Noreen Young’s Puppet Retrospective exhibition, which runs July 14 to September 22. They will perform “Animal Adventure.” More details on the website rockthearts.ca

Saturday September 22, 2018, 1pm. Come play puppets with a PRO

Ever wonder what it would be like to puppeteer on a TV show? Always wanted to give it a try?

Well, here’s your chance.

Puppeteer, Bob Stutt, has decades of TV and film experience including seven years with the Friendly Giant, ten years with the Muppets and ten years as Basil Bear on Canadian Sesame Street where he was also lead writer. He performed Iggy Iguana on CBC’s “Under the Umbrella Tree” and also “Molly Doll” on The Big Comfy Couch. Bob has also filmed over 100 TV commercials in Denmark for the Danish National Railway.

And now he would love to spend some time playing puppets with you!

We’ll provide the cameras, monitors and a few puppets. You provide enthusiasm, imagination and any puppets of your own that tickle your fancy.

Come be a star for a day and experience first-hand the challenging, inspiring, silly world behind the puppets you see on TV.

Admission is $20 per person. This three-hour workshop is open to adults and kids over the age of 10 with a limit of ten to twelve people.

New exhibition opens on International Human Rights Day

New exhibition opens on International Human Rights Day
Free admission, Inuit drumming, curator talk on December 10

Winnipeg – December 7, 2017 — A new exhibition at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights brings human rights stories to life using interactive technology from different eras in Canadian history.

Rights of Passage: Canada at 150 invites visitors to peer through the lens of four different eras since 1867 to learn how people were thinking about human rights at the time. Projected wampum beads dance to the sound of your voice, shifting into designs created by art students at Winnipeg’s Children of the Earth High School. A dress made from wearable technology (fibre optic fabric, laser wire and LED lights) changes colours when you step on a hashtag. A Victorian-era “magic lantern” projects images of early human rights struggles.

Visitors can also tune in to war-time broadcasts on a period radio set, switch channels on 1970s vintage TV screens, or watch Instagram posts appear above shifting holograms. Indigenous oral traditions are also showcased as an enduring source of knowledge.

The last of four special exhibitions presented for Canada 150, Rights of Passage opens to the public at 10 a.m. on International Human Rights Day (Sunday, December 10), with free admission to the Museum all day.

An official opening event begins at 2 p.m. in Bonnie & John Buhler Hall, including drumming by Inuit Elder David Serkoak – who contributed to the exhibition as a survivor of the 1950s forced relocations of the Ahiarmiut people in the Far North (Farley Mowat’s “People of the Deer”). Curator Karine Duhamel and Design & Production Manager Rob Vincent will then lead a discussion about the new exhibition.

Earlier in the day, a Canadian citizenship ceremony takes place from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and the Winnipeg Youth Chorus performs in the Stuart Clark Garden of Contemplation from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Next to the new exhibition on Level 6, a family activity will be offered from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., provoking thought about the power of words, voice and oral history in affecting human rights. Participants will consider how their own history, culture, traditions and world views have shaped their perspectives.

Located in the Level 6 Expressions gallery, Rights of Passage takes a fresh look at events that influenced human rights at different times in Canadian history. It includes personal accounts of Indigenous Peoples’ efforts to resist assimilation, preserve a unique history and alter the path of the future. Examples of its diverse stories can be found on the CMHR web site.

The exhibition is divided into five zones:

1) 1867-1914 – Foundations and Dislocations. Designed with wood, newsprint, bill posters and lead type, this zone looks at issues facing the new nation of Canada and the First Nations who were already here: early workers’ struggles, colonization, social reform, fundamental freedoms and treaties with Indigenous people. A Victorian-era magic lantern projects images on the wall.

2) 1914-1960 – Transformations and Interventions. Designed using steel and industrial materials, this zone examines effects of the two world wars and the Great Depression. It explores stories of people taking action, use of state power to curtail civil liberties, the government’s policy of assimilation and the transformation of politics. A large, wooden radio plays replicas of broadcast speeches from the era.

3) 1960-1982 – Towards the Charter. Designed with plastic and 1970s orange-and-yellow details, this zone explores the turbulent years as Canadian society became more diverse. Its stories cover nationalism and pluralism, social security and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. TV sets from the 1970s play relevant newscasts of the day.

4) 1982 to 2017 – Human Rights in Contemporary Canada. Designed with LED lights and fibre optics, this zone looks at Canada’s expanding role in the world, the effects of national security on civil liberties, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and issues arising from digital communications, diverse gender identities and environmental challenges. A dress made of wearable technology responds to floor-projected hashtags.

5) Defending sovereignty. Designed with projection and graphics inspired by wampum beads, this zone looks at Indigenous rights through the lens of stories about forcible relocation, the burden of peace, effects of environmental degradation, inclusion of the Métis as Indigenous peoples, and the right to recognition. The interactive bead projection responds to visitor voices in recognition of the importance of the spoken word and oral traditions. Designs were created by art students at Children of the Earth High School in Winnipeg.

The Expressions gallery is generously supported by the Richardson Foundation & Family.

Perth Delectable Cuisine and 100 year old scandals

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

The house 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 here 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, 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

BLUE HEN FARM – TRUE experience

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 trip to African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari first opened its doors to the visitors in 1969 and since then went through a lot expansions and animal additions… About 6,000 visitors come here daily to see the exotic animals that are roaming free in the fields or just enjoying the warm summer day in their artfully created habitats on land and water.

To start our visit we boarded the “African Queen” boat that took us around the island where we saw monkeys jumping in the ropes and multiple birds such as vultures and pelicans.  One of the spots was taken by two lemur families. The boat operators told us about animals routine and some funny life stories…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The boat came back to the pierce and we decided to take a bus that goes to African savanna . We had to enter through the specially designed gate system that allows buses and cars to safely go in and out of that area. “Keep your arms and heads inside, no windows opening”…. The bus tour goes through multiple enclosures  each housing different wild animals.  We are surrounded by lions,  then  we pass by cheetahs… We got to see many mountain goats as well as rhinos and many giraffes…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The best part of the bus tour was visiting the giraffes, they came up very closely so we had around four of them circling around the bus, one of them even licked the bus mirrors. It is quite a spectacular view  – one of them gracefully approaching our window, the other is in the front of the bus… oh, one more is in the front!

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

Following the bus tour we went on the ”Nature Boy” scenic railway, the tour lasts around fifteen minutes. On the way we got to see the elephants habitat, a donkey and many turtles that came out of the pond for summer sun. It was a nice way to give our feet some rest and enjoy the fresh air coming from the lake and trees…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

Elephants Bath time was now up, so we headed to the lake to see them coming gracefully – leading was a large male elephant and then smaller ones – females and young siblings. Elephants got in the water, it looked like they are walking on the bottom of the lake – but no, some places are deep and they do have to swim, sometimes we could only see the very top of the head and the trunk… they had some fun time splashing and spraying each other; later rangers came and started throwing apples to the elephants – which was a lot of fun for all!!

Elephant swim
A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada
A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

It was a hot day – we would not mind to go for a plunge too – and we could at the Safari’s water park area – however, we were quite hungry and went to the café to have lunch…. We had to say goodbye to all the animals big and small before heading of to our next destination.

African Lion Safari – more info here: https://lionsafari.com/

By Jonathan K.