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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.

Kitchen Radio opens Blyth’s 40th Anniversary Season

13 Jul KitchenRadioSet

by Claire Carter
I must begin this post with full disclosure.  I am a big fan of the Blyth Festival.  I love that the performances feature locally relevant topics, and exclusively Canadian plays.  I love visiting Blyth Memorial Hall, sitting in either the upper or lower balcony, and enjoying a world-class show in a Huron County village of 1,000 people.

I have been lucky enough that each of the recent productions I have attended have had bonus events.  Last year, I enjoyed a country dinner before a play (dinners take place Friday and Saturdays at different locations in Blyth, including churches, community centres and the Legion). The meal was lovingly prepared, and ended with so many different types of pie!  This year, the Huron Tourism Association was hosting the evening I attended.  Sweets and appetizers featuring local ingredients were available from local eateries and hotels, including Queens Bakery, Benmiller Inn and Samuels.

I was lucky enough to attend Kitchen Radio at the Blyth Festival on June 26.  The performance I attended was the day before the official opening, but as an audience member, I would have thought the show had been on stage for years.

Written and directed by Marion de Vries, the musical is set in 1968, and features a mainly female cast.  The play examines the relationship that women have with each other and music.  The play was captivating, and seemed to feature each of the four strong main characters equally, developing their personalities through song and dance.  The set and costumes were both fantastic.  Charming and funny, I found myself in good company with the rest of the audience, laughing and grinning at the on-stage antics.  Locally relevant tie-ins were made throughout the play, my favourite being that CKNX was the station being listened to over the radio.  Over a week later, many of the songs are still stuck in my head.  The YouTube clip below shows dress rehearsal of Kitchen Radio, and will give you an idea of the fun music and choreography you can expect in this play.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwBLniZy_PI

The Blyth Festival offers Canadian written and produced plays from late June through early September.  This season, four plays are set on the Mainstage (Blyth Memorial Hall): Kitchen Radio, Billy Bishop Goes to War, Stag and Doe and St. Anne’s Reel.  The Young Company presents Out of this World from August 27-30, and Radio: 30 is on stage at Phillips Studio from September 4-6.

Blyth Festival
Box 10
Blyth, ON  N0M 1H0
519-523-9300 / 1-877-862-5984

KitchenRadioSet

 

 

I’ll Be Back Before Midnight at the Huron Country Playhouse

10 Jul

HCPlayhouseby Diva Calista Powell
I can confidently tell you two things about myself; 1: Im no theatre buff and 2: I am terrified of horror movies. Despite this, I had an absolutely wonderful time seeing, “I’ll Be Back Before Midnight” at the Huron Country Playhouse.

Set in the 1980’s at a spooky and secluded farmhouse, the characters of this play did an excellent job of making their roles believable. I half expected as I left the theatre to see Jan, the neurotic city girl and her geeky inventor husband, Greg, doing the tourist thing out at a local flea market. I could picture Greg’s pretentious sister, Laura, clanking on the boardwalk in her stiletto’s shaded by a parasol. And I most definitely could see George, the hard working farmer stopping into Kate’s Station to meet up for some gossip with the good ‘ol boys.

It is performers like this that bring these stories to life with such vigour and passion that make it such an enjoyable experience. I must admit, it takes a lot to get me to laugh out loud, but the theatrics that these actors presented had me chuckling and I found myself jumping out of my seat as ghouls and ghosts popped out of the shadows.

This may not be a play for the faint of heart, but it is most definitely a unique blend of humour and horror that showcases the amazing talent that Huron has to offer. From the set design, to the 80’s costuming, to the comedic display of pyrotechnics and lighting, I’d recommend this production to theatre-goers and rookies alike. Be sure to check out the show playing in Plahouse II before it closes on July 12th.

For tickets, visit:
Drayton Entertainment
Huron Country Playhouse, RR 1, 70689 B Line, Grand Bend, Ontario N0M 1T0
GPS coordinates: N 43° 18.834 W 81° 43.549
Box Office: 519-238-6000 Administration: 519-238-8387 Fax: 519-238-6587

 

Huron County Museum offers great Summer Family Activities

7 Jul the Huron County Museum is housed in a magnificent structure on North Street in Goderich
Behind the Bars is a summer favourite … returning again in 2014.

Behind the Bars is a summer favourite … returning again in 2014.

Behind the Bars is a great family event that offers special evening tours. Go “Behind the Bars” and meet some of “Faces of Gaol” on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Huron Historic Gaol. Experience the history as you explore and learn about life at the Gaol between 1841 and 1911. This interactive event provides visitors with the opportunity to explore this National Historic Site while meeting historical figures from the Gaol’s past. Tour the Gaol and Governor’s House to learn more about the men, women & children who lived and worked behind the bars.

Tuesdays & Thursdays from July 10 to August 28 | 7 to 9 PM
Huron Historic Gaol – Admission: Adults $10, Children $5, Family $25

Read about Diva Trista Russell’s experience last year at “Behind the Bars” HERE

 

Read on for more great events at the Huron County Museum and Gaol.

the Huron County Museum is housed in a magnificent structure on North Street in Goderich

the Huron County Museum is housed in a magnificent structure on North Street in Goderich

Learning and fun! Drop in, Interactive activities to compliment your visit are included with regular admission.

Museum Sundays – 2 PM to 4 PM

Faces of Huron County – July 6 & August 13

Explore the “Our Stories” exhibit while you hunt for clues to uncover the stories of Huron County residents featured in the exhibit. Meet someone you might know have known was from our County.

Discover unique artifacts at the Huron County Museum

Discover unique artifacts at the Huron County Museum

That’s So Weird! – July 13 & August 10

Discover quirky artifacts from the Huron County Museum’s collection. Will it be neat, gross, or just plain weird?

Enjoy old sounds at the Noteworthy Exhibit

Enjoy old sounds at the Noteworthy Exhibit

Melodic Doodads & Gizmos – July 20 & August 17

Try out a variety of different musical instruments and start creating your own music in our “Noteworthy” exhibit.

Enjoy a Victorian Tea Party

Enjoy a Victorian Tea Party

Victorian Tea Party – July 27 & August 24

The Huron County Museum would like to extend their cordial invitation to a Victorian Tea Party. Enjoy fine teas, crafts, and sweet treats for all.

The Huron County Gaol has a significant history and designated a heritage site by Canada … learn more about the Gaol at these great events.

The Huron County Gaol has a significant history and designated a heritage site by Canada … learn more about the Gaol at these great events.

Gaol Mondays – 2 PM to 4 PM

Escapes! – July 7 & August 4

How would you to escape from our Gaol? Over the wall, through the front door or on the run? Discover how some inmates managed to escape.

Building a Gaol – July 14 & August 11

Learn about our architect, his designs and the Gaol committee. Using a brick Gaol model, add on your own modifications and special touches.

Larceny, Spoil & Destitution – July 21 & August 18

Discover some of the unique laws and charges that would have landed you in our Gaol from 1841 to 1911.

Hangman’s Noose – July 28 to August 25

For more serious crimes some of our inmates spent their last days at the Gaol. What would it have been like to witness their public hanging and learn about the man who had to do the job.

This small museum located at the main beach and harbour area, in Goderich is dedicated to the men and women who made their living on Lake Huron.

This small museum located at the main beach and harbour area, in Goderich is dedicated to the men and women who made their living on Lake Huron.

Marine Museum Fridays – 2 PM to 4 PM

July 11 to August 29 – Marine themed crafts & activities such as Harbour Silhouettes, Semaphore and more.

Be a Tourist in your own Backyard

18 Jun

by Diva Claire Carter
As a recent transplant, I still feel like a tourist in the town of Goderich in many ways.  Although I’ve lived here for over a year, I still spend my weekends following the crowds; attending concerts, outdoor events and visiting the beach.  Here are some of my favourite ways to relax in Goderich:

Shop the Square, and explore the Farmer’s and Flea Markets

Farmers Market on the Square, Saturday's

Farmers Market on the Square, Saturday’s

The Square in Goderich is a beautiful shopping destination.  Shops have something for everyone, including clothing, home and kitchen items, jewelry and books.  If shopping isn’t your thing, or you’re hungry from too much of it, enjoy one of the great restaurants.  Whether you are in the mood for a snack, full meal or fast-casual, you will be delighted by all of the food choices.

The Farmer’s Market takes place each Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., starting in May and ending in October.  The Market is a fantastic place to buy locally grown items.  As a tourist, I would suggest picking up some items to be enjoyed right away, and some non-perishables to bring home.  The Flea Market takes place on Sundays during the same months, but starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m.  In addition to many delicious food items, unique vendors selling antiques, collectables and handmade items are also at the Flea Market.

As a tourist, I would pick up a snack or meal from one of the wonderful restaurants on the Square, or vendor from the Flea or Farmer’s Market, pick up a book, and have a picnic in the Square, or at one of many beautiful local parks.  Depending on what day it is, I might find a concert or festival in one of these settings.

Gates to Harbour Park

Gates to Harbour Park

Lions’ Harbour Park

Located right before the hill to the beach on West Street, Lions’ Harbour Park is also home to many great events throughout the year.  Weekly summer events include Circle City Cruize Nights (every second Wednesday from May 21-September 10) and Sunday Concerts (June 22- August 31).  Annual events include the Festival of Arts and Crafts and Celtic Roots Festival.  The stage makes this park great for watching concerts, while the covered gazebo ensures an enjoyable atmosphere, regardless of the weather.

On Gloucester Terrace, across from the Huron Historic Gaol, there is a lovely place to sit on the swings.  This area also happens to be a scenic lookout point, as it overlooks the harbour.  There is a cairn with a giant piece of salt nearby, and plaques that tell the story of salt in Goderich.  After enjoying a bite to eat, cross the road and visit the Huron Historic Gaol, which also happens to be a National Historic Site.  If you’re lucky enough to be in Goderich on a Tuesday or Thursday night between July 10 and August 28, consider visiting in the evening (7-9 p.m.) to enjoy a special tour called Behind the Bars.

Huron County Gaol hosts "Behind the Bars" all summer long … it's a great way to learn about local history.

Huron County Gaol hosts “Behind the Bars” all summer long … it’s a great way to learn about local history.

Once you are feeling well fueled, I would suggest visiting one of the great local trails.  Two of my favourites are the Maitland Woods Trail, and the Tiger Dunlop Trail.  Both trails are cyclist, walker, runner and dog friendly.  In the winter, bring cross-country skiis or snowshoes.

The Maitland Woods Trail is located at the south end of the Knights of Columbus Centre parking lot (390 Parsons Court).  The trails are beautiful all year long, and depending on what you are in the mood for, you can choose a number of different distances.

The Menesetung Bridge is a really beautiful walk, as it features some of the best views in Goderich.  Another walk that is different each season, this one takes you across the historic wooden Menesetung Bridge that spans the Maitland River.

Sunsets are spectacular at Rotary Cove

Sunsets are spectacular at Rotary Cove

After a long, action packed day, my final move would be to head to the beach and enjoy the sunset.   Lake Huron is known for beautiful sunsets, and I happen to think the view from Rotary Cove is pretty spectacular!  If you’re visiting on a Friday (early July – late August), come an hour before sunset, get an ice cream cone, and listen to the Celtic Blue Highlanders pipe the sun down.

(Photo Credit:  Pat Carter)

The view from Menesetung Bridge - great place for a hike

The view from Menesetung Bridge – great place for a hike

Winter trails ...

Winter trails …

Maitland Trail … another great place to explore flora and fauna

Maitland Trail … another great place to explore flora and fauna

 

 

 

 

 

Apple Blossom Walk on the Blyth Greenway Trail

14 Jun The winter was long and hard on fruit trees - and the blossoms weren't quite at their peak.
The winter was long and hard on fruit trees - and the blossoms weren't quite at their peak.

The winter was long and hard on fruit trees – and the blossoms weren’t quite at their peak.

by Karen Stewart

On Saturday, May 24th, 2014 a small group of local residents met in the Village of Blyth to enjoy a walk along the Greenway Trail and hear about the no less than fifteen brands of apples growing there.  The story that these apples grew from cores pitched from the windows of the passing trains captured my interest.

Due to the long, long winter, the blossoms were not quite at their peak, but we did listen to tales of the Blyth Greenway by local historian Brock Vodden while enjoying a walk among the blossoms, trees and shrubs!

This blossom walk was lead by Hauke Reisenbichler, a Master Craftsmen in Gardens and Orchards from Germany.  He shared information on the fruit trees as well as some uses for wild plants growing along the Maitland River located adjacent to the trail.

Participants agreed there was interest in gathering again this fall to walk the trail and identify the apples, many of which are heritage brands.  A local source reported that one particular tree makes great applesauce — I look forward to trying some this fall.

But, the Trilliums were in their prime.

But, the Trilliums were in their prime.

The Sun Shone and Shines on 14/19

4 Jun the crowd pauses to enjoy entertainment along the trail during "Follow the Light"
the crowd pauses to enjoy entertainment along the trail during "Follow the Light"

the crowd pauses to enjoy entertainment along the trail during “Follow the Light”

by Diva Gwen Let me be clear; I love theatre, I love local talent, I love supporting grassroots initiatives, but more than that; I love being outside & moving! (as in not sitting, not as in packing boxes and saying goodbyes). So attending Follow the Light on Friday May 30th was golden in every way, including the warm evening sunshine. 14/19 Inc. presented a creative way to showcase local talent, and to broaden our perspective about what “art” truly is. Set along a lovely trail in Blyth, groups were guided on a walk that rambled over hills, fields and streams, with frequent stops along the way. We enjoyed theatrical performances and wonderful musical offerings as would be expected, but the organizers also had the wisdom to include weavers, painters, kayak, canoe and furniture builders, and even a fly fisherman. It was such a pleasant evening to be active and outdoors, and to be reminded that art is everywhere if we choose to see it, and that changing a venue can let us see the familiar in a fresh way. 14/19 Inc. is a promising and energetic initiative that will support the renovation of the Blyth Memorial Community Hall – home of the Blyth Festival –  and will develop and revitalize the charming and artistic community of Blyth through arts and culture. They have more great ideas ready to roll out, so be sure to follow them on twitter or mark them as a favourite website. Blyth Arts & Cultural Initiative 14/19 Inc 197 Dinsley Street Blyth, Ontario  N0M 1H0 email:  info@blyth1419.ca

Visual Artist Ron Walker chats with the children while painting the landscape

Visual Artist Ron Walker chats with the children while painting the landscape

twelve or so harpists from the Huron Strings Harp School delighted the participants …

twelve or so harpists from the Huron Strings Harp School delighted the participants …

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