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Blyth Festival Art Gallery showcases students’ creative works

15 May
Forefront: Purple Haze, an oil by Kaitlyn McLeod of F.E. Madill.

Forefront: Purple Haze, an oil by Kaitlyn McLeod of F.E. Madill.

By Diva Heather Boa

Approaching from the left, the ivory-coloured ceramic sculpture looks like a classical Greek bust, with its textured hair, heavy

If You Prick Us Do We Bleed, sculpture by Carley Burke, F.E. Madill.

If You Prick Us Do We Bleed, sculpture by Carley Burke, F.E. Madill.

brow and chiselled chin. But walk around to the right side, and a shocking transformation takes place. That side is stripped of flesh, with a gaping eye socket, jawbone and teeth exposed by the artist, Carley Burke, of F.E. Madill Secondary School in Wingham.

Hers is one of a handful of sculptures and three-dimensional art on display alongside dozens of pieces of art by students from Grades 9 to 12 in high schools across Huron and Perth Counties that’s on display in the Student Show 2015 at the Blyth Festival Art Gallery. The art is as varied as teens are apt to be, with only the fact that the artists are students to tie together the show.

Sunsets and puppies, tulips and avocados, corn and dolphins share space on the

Crimson Sunset, an acrylic by Mathias Ball of Goderich District Collegiate Institute.

Crimson Sunset, an acrylic by Mathias Ball of Goderich District Collegiate Institute.

walls. Oils and acrylics, digital and mixed media hang side by side. Some works are for sale, while others will remain part of the artists’ private collections. And as one might

expect, much of the subject matter is drawn from the media and popular culture – those things that capture the attention of teens, like Spiderman, The Joker, Alice in Wonderland, Robin Williams, Darth Vader and the Beatles. All burst with energy, with vibrant colours and bold strokes.

Self-portrait, an acrylic by Emma Johns of Central Huron Secondary School.

Self-portrait, an acrylic by Emma Johns of Central Huron Secondary School. 

A visit to the gallery, which could take up to 45 minutes to contemplate, coupled with lunch or tea at a nearby restaurant makes for a nice afternoon getaway in Huron County.

The free show will be available for viewing during the Blyth Festival box office hours and continues on display until May 21.

Then from May 23 to June 19, works from artists from the region will be on display in a non-juried Community Show. Opening reception is on May 23, starting at 6 p.m.


 

What: Student Show 2015

Where: Blyth Festival Art Gallery, beside Blyth Festival box office, 423 Queen St., Blyth

When, Until May 21, Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free

Pavo, a mixed media work by Lily Pella of Goderich District Collegiate Institute.

Pavo, a mixed media work by Lily Pella of Goderich District Collegiate Institute.

Mouth-watering exhibit at Huron County Museum

11 May
A 25-minute is chock full of interesting recipes, cookware and tips.

A 25-minute is chock full of interesting recipes, cookware and tips.

rachellynnBy Diva Rachel Lynn

When I first heard the Huron County Museum was going to hold a Delicious exhibit I was very excited. Why? Because it’s about food. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love food; I love eating, cooking, baking. I love sweet, salty, savoury. I. Love. It. All.

The Delicious exhibit combines a look at favourite foods from our ancestors with cookbooks and kitchen items from the Huron County Museum & Archives Collection. Will Kernohan, acting assistant curator, told me they wanted to create an exhibit that added a community engagement piece. In all, 70 people have donated recipes for display.

20150502_155844As soon as I walked into the front doors on opening day I could smell the coffee, sweets and delicious spread of cheese wafting down from the second floor. Scattered in the mezzanine were round tables covered in adorable red and white checkered table clothes where visitors could sit and enjoy the food spread provided. But where was the food?! I found the source in a separate room on the same floor; a sampling of locally produced foods. Included were coffee (Coastal Coffee), maple syrup (Robinson Maple Syrup), donuts, cheese 20150502_152704(Pine River and Blyth Cheese), bread (Burdan’s Red Cat Farm & Bakery), salamis (Metzger’s), preserves (Bayfield Berry Farm) and apples (Laithwaite Apple Park). The sampling of local products was only available opening day.

DSC_0095Huron County Museum Registrar Patti Lamb advised me there are 200 artifacts and cookbooks on display. The oldest ones are the wooden “Bread and Dough Mixer and Storage—Made by William Johnston in 1860”; the silver tea services circa 1840s; the hand egg mixer circa 1881; and the pink Victorian furniture circa 1880.

DSC_0081There is also a wonderful display for children to come and interact with. The original cookbook was provided by local resident Rhea Hamilton Seeger: Fun to Cook Book (1960).

Will showed me around the exhibit and shared some wonderful stories from people who submitted their favourite family recipes, memories and food related photos. Here are a couple of my favourites:

DSC_0100

Photo on left side of this is a picture of local Goderich mother making Christmas pudding, photo on the right is a picture of grandmother who developed the Christmas pudding recipe. I love the picture blown up as it shows how well used it is with the stains on the corner. That’s my kind of recipe.
Here is a snap shot of some of my favourite family recipes:

20150511_150024

One of my other favourite pieces was watching the 25-minute video that was compiled of all the different types of recipes, cookware and famous people like Julia Child providing tips. At the end of the video there is a special appearance (you’ll have to watch to see who it is) and a recipe is made from one of the ones found at the Museum. The recipe originates back to 1890 created by dispensing chemist F. Jordan.

DSC_0107There is still lots of time to submit your own recipes. You can email it, or my suggestion is to visit the exhibit and while you’re there add your photocopy of the recipe on the recipe board.

There was so much history in that room, it’s too hard to share it all with you. You’ll have to go check it out yourself. The exhibit is ongoing until Sept. 13 so you have plenty of time.

Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol
110 North St
Goderich ON N7A 2T8
www.huroncounty.ca/museum

Click here for details of admission fees and hours.

Open
Click here for a detailed list of their exhibits for 2015

Love Letters: Signed, sealed & delivered at Blyth Festival

26 Apr

loveletters

karenstewartBy Diva Karen Stewart

BLYTH – The Blyth Festival is my favourite place to escape to and last night was another enjoyable evening at the theatre. The new plays they present are always engaging and they have another great season opening up in a few weeks, but on this evening they were presenting a special fund-raising event. The play was Love Letters by A.R. Gurney.

Over five performances, this production will feature five separate couples. On this night, Jodi Kuran, who is the principal of St. Anne’s Catholic Secondary School, and Phil Main, a well-known radio personality from CKNX, played the parts of Melissa Gardner and Andy Ladd.

Melissa and Andy began corresponding in second grade with thank you notes and postcards from summer camp. Their correspondence is evocative, and often funny. They establish a deep relationship through letters that chronicle humorous observations and their feelings from age seven through high school then college and beyond.

Andy loves to write. He talks about how letter writing is a dying art and how he feels most alive when writing letters. However, when he tells Melissa details of his everyday life story, she is not terribly interested, telling him to write about his feelings. When she suggests the telephone might be not only be a more modern way to connect, but also much more efficient, Andy disagrees stating “telephone calls are dead as soon as they’re over” while letters are “alive” and can live on.

Kuran brings Melissa alive through not only her voice, but also her timing and befitting facial expressions. She crafts a cheeky Melissa who has privilege of wealth but lacks the richness of deep family bonds.   She fights to expose the hypocrisies of the times, preferring to be a little rebellious even though it spins her in dangerous directions at times. Lost for most of her life, she becomes more vulnerable throughout the play showing, she is real and down-to-earth.

Main’s portrayal of Andy is reserved and low-key. He is the mature one, continually living up to his parents’ expectations of who he should be. In doing so he manufactures an artificially perfect family life. He is inflexible when it comes to deviating from respectability – a trait that emotionally devastates him.   But, through his relationship with Melissa he admits to himself that she is the only one who truly loves him for who he is.

Letters are vital lifelines for Andy and Melissa. Their correspondence through the decades – like many love stories – includes silences and reconciliations, marriages, divorces, children, career adventures, and deaths. They share intimate details of love, relationships and opportunities missed because of ego and pride.

Kuran and Main make the characters of Melissa and Andy their own. They share a long enduring friendship that brings a sweet chemistry to the stage. Kuran brings a bit of sass and Main remains stalwart throughout the production.

Love Letters is a lovely theatre piece,” says the director, John McHenry. “There’s no elaborate set or special effects, the focus is on the words; it’s heart-warming, poignant, and funny.”

I wish I could see all five performances as I can only imagine how real-life couples Bruce and Margaret Whitmore and Duncan and Lynda McGregor will each bring vastly different personalities to the characters. I don’t doubt Lisa Hood will bring a little sass to Melissa too while Quinn Ross and Shawn Van Osch will each bring an intensity to Andy in their performances.


If you get a chance to go:

Where: Blyth Festival

When:

Thursday, April 30 at 8 p.m. features Shawn Van Osch & Lisa Hood

Saturday, May 1, at 8 p.m. features Lisa Hood & Quinn Ross

Sunday, May 2 at 8 p.m. features Duncan & Lynda McGregor

Cost: $25. Order tickets by calling 519-523-9300 / 1-877-862-5984 or visit online.

Bayfield Christmas Parade

4 Dec

by Diva Rachel Lynn

Ahhhh Christmas. I love everything about Christmas.  I love the snow. I love the carols. I love spending time with family and I love Christmas themed events.  I gathered up my mother-in-law and daughter and headed to Christmas in Bayfield.

We arrived as the stores opened to beat the morning crowds… or so we thought.  It seems like a lot of others had the same idea.  As we popped in and out of stores, there were free offerings of hot chocolate and apple cider to keep us warm.

The crowd is getting bigger waiting for Ol’ Saint Nick

The crowd is getting bigger waiting for Ol’ Saint Nick

The shops were decorated for the Christmas season and the music was playing in the background and I caught myself humming along.  You could also get free horse drawn carriage rides around town.

JMR Gallery & Village Bookshop are ready to welcome guests

JMR Gallery & Village Bookshop are ready to welcome guests

It was time for the parade and people were lining up on the Main Street.  There was a variety of people in the parade from miniature horses, to a pipe band to the local fire department.

FiretrucksAndFuryFriendsI managed to pick up a few goodies, but unfortunately I can’t show you the pictures!  Someone reading this may be a recipient of the gifts!

After an hour of shopping we decided to visit the Albion Hotel for a bite to eat.  The place was packed!  We didn’t even think to make reservations but managed to grab one of the last tables.  We decided to feast on wings and sweet potato fries.  I must commend the waitress.  She was amazing! Even though the place was full, our drink order came fast, our meal was really fast and the food was hot and delicious.  I would recommend the Albion to anyone who wants a relaxed atmosphere.  I will even go so far to so say the Albion has the best wings around.

WingsFries

Beatrice was fast asleep as we headed home.  Despite the rain, it was a fantastic day.  The people were happy, the streets were full and Bayfield helped us all get ready for Christmas.

A few tips for those attending the parades:

  • If the parade is on Main St and you can back your car up in a parking spot, please do.  This will help if it is raining or too cold so you can watch from the front seat.
  • If you plan on eating before or after the parade at a local restaurant, make reservations to avoid disappointment.
  •  If you didn’t make the Bayfield Santa Claus Parade, Santa is making one more stop in Huron County – Clinton Santa Claus Parade: December 5 @ 7pm

Snowflake Stay @ Hessenland

3 Dec Hessenland2

by Diva Rachel Lynn

Snowflake Stays are taking place at four different Inns throughout Huron County From Dec.1 to Jan.1. Packages start at $101.50 per person per night and all come with a special welcome gift, dining and accommodation. For more information on this great winter opportunity visit http://www.ontarioswestcoast.ca/beta/news/snowflake-stays/

Snowflake Stay Packages

Hessenland Country Inn is a beautiful place on Lake Huron between Grand Bend and Bayfield.  My husband and I were looking for a night away and decided Hessenland was the place for us.  We decided on the Snowflake package, which included a welcome gift, a 3 course dinner and breakfast.

There is a rich history to Hessenland, which is now run by second generation Ihrigs: Frank and Liz.  Frank is the head chef and Liz takes care of the day to day operations as the Innkeeper.  For more on their history please visit: http://www.hessenland.com/about-us/http://hessenland.com/about-us/

My family is German and this is one of the reasons why I wanted to stay at Hessenland.  My dad was born in Germany and came to Canada in 1956.  My maternal grandmother came to Canada in 1933.

As we opened the doors we were greeted to a beautiful décor and our host for the evening: Katie. She showed us around the Inn and to our room before we were guided to dinner.

HessenlandChristmasTree

Shawn got the Caesar salad, but not just any Caesar salad.  Here is there description:

Hessenland’s Classic Caesar Salad made with Crisp Romaine and tossed with our own Caesar dressing, with Westphalia Ham, and aged white cheddar and 12 Rye Bread.  

I choose the Die Hessenland Gulasch Suppe (goulash ) cup of soup.  I was not disappointed.  It was full of flavour and the beef was so tender.

HessenlandAppetizers

Main course:  Katie was informing us of the specials for the evening but as soon as Shawn saw Rouladen on the menu he tuned her out (sorry Katie!).  Rouladen is tender slices of Beef stuffed with vegetables, bacon & spices.    My mom makes this German staple like no other and Shawn has never seen it on any other menu.  He did not offer to share with me.

HessenlandRouladen2

I knew before we arrived that I was going to order the schnitzel.  It’s one of my all-time favourite comfort foods and reminds me of home. I had high expectations for this meal.  It came with spaetzle (homemade noodles) and fresh veggies.  I was given the option of red cabbage (also one of my mom’s specialties and one of my favourites) but opted out as they make theirs sweet and my mom makes hers sour (I usually prefer it sour).  I was pleasantly surprised when my dish came to with a sample of the red cabbage.

My expectations were beyond met.  I could not get enough of the food. It brought me right back home.  And the red cabbage was so good.

Schnitzel

 Pork Schnitzel, “Schweine Schnitzel”, Huron County Pork breaded and sautéed

I had to stop myself from eating all of the schnitzel to save room for dessert.  Shawn ordered crème brule and I ordered the strawberry sherbet.  My sherbet was made with real strawberries from Masse Fruit & Vegetable Market down the road.  It was the perfect ending to a spectacular meal.

HessenlandDessert

When we arrived at our deluxe room, a welcome package was waiting with lots of great goodies, including homemade cookies from Chef Frank, a welcome letter from Frank and Liz and a Snowflake list of “Things to do” in Huron County this winter.  This was extremely useful as it helped me decide to go to the Poinsettia Festival the next evening.

SnowflakeStaySwag

Hessenland was a great staycation (only 25 minutes from Goderich).  We will definitely come here again….and again.

Hessenland Country Inn
72981 Bluewater Hwy, RR1
Zurich, ON
519-2360-7707

Hessenland: www.hessenland.com
Follow them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/hessenland
and Twitter: https://twitter.com/HessenlandInn

A Rainy Day Didn’t Stop the Midway

25 Oct Many prizes to be won!



By Diva Calista Powell

Although the Township of Howick-Turnberry is small, their community spirit was on full display at their fall fair on October 3rd. As I pulled up to join the long line of parked cars on the highway, there was quite the crowd gathering at the gates. Small children were running around excitedly, and you could just tell that they were hoping that they would be tall enough to ride the midway. I made it just in time to catch the opening ceremonies where a bagpipe procession lead the Howick-Turnberry Ambassador, Jessica Walther to the stage. After a few speeches, I joined the crowd in perusing the exhibits and saw some really amazing crafts, baked goods and interesting produce grown by locals. It was fantastic to see a large number of entries at this fair, and I liked how the entrants were from all age groups.

Many prizes to be won!



Many prizes to be won!

This was by far the largest head of lettuce I have ever seen! The exhibits brought back memories of when I used to submit my chocolate-chip cookies to the Clinton Spring Fair.

This was by far the largest head of lettuce I have ever seen! The exhibits brought back memories of when I used to submit my chocolate-chip cookies to the Clinton Spring Fair.

Unfortunately, I was not brave enough to ride the Thriller this time.

Unfortunately, I was not brave enough to ride the Thriller this time.

This fair had something for everyone, and personally I was intrigued by Dorothy Brown-Henderson’s booth where she was selling her new cookbook Loving it Local: Preparing delicious fresh local food. An Exeter resident, Dorothy was inspired by Huron Perth’s Buy Local! Buy Fresh! Map and decided to compile her recipes that were made up of ingredients from local farms. As I talked to her about the importance of supporting small farms, I could tell how passionate she was about cooking. It was wonderful to see her expertise and enthusiasm translate into recipes to be shared with everyone. After purchasing her cookbook and leaving the fair, I was already deciding as to what would be the perfect accompaniment to my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Overall, as a first time attendee, I can say that the Howick-Turnberry fall fair was a great experience and offers fun for all ages.

Photo4

Dorothy Brown-Henderson and her new cookbook Loving it Local: Preparing delicious fresh local food.

For more information on her cookbook, email:dorothybrownhenderson@gmail.com

 

 

Bach Music Festival of Canada hosts Beijing’s Angel Voice Choir

29 Jul
A special presentation hosted by the Bach Music Festival of Canada

A special presentation hosted by the Bach Music Festival of Canada

by Diva Christine Harris

It was a pleasure to be able to see this wonderful choir from Beijing, China.  These 22 boys and girls range in age from 8-12 years old and were kicking off their Canadian Tour in Exeter at the Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church.  They were hosted by the Bach Music Festival of Canada.

Angel Voice Choir from Beijing performed in Trivitt Anglican Church in Exeter

Angel Voice Choir from Beijing performed in Trivitt Anglican Church in Exeter

The room was full of talent that night.  We were treated to a piano prelude by Marissa Li before the performance even began.  The Angel Voice Choir was conducted by Chao Li who also had an amazing part himself with the choir singing solo during one of their pieces.  The Choir performed some songs from Hayao Miyazaki who is a Japanese film director, as well as some religious songs.  One of my favorite parts of the evening were the solos performed by Houxuan Song and Sihan Ma, this is where their voices really shined.

We also got to hear performances from some of our local talent, the Cantabilettes and sisters Sydney and Amelia Harvey.  To top things off, at the end all of the singers came together and performed some Canadian folksongs, it was a wonderful way to end the evening.

Bach Music Festival of Canada
The Bach Music Festival presents a full Festival every other year – the next scheduled July 12-19, 2015.  LIKE them on Facebook to receive information on their annual events and activities.

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