Archive | ontario’s west coast RSS feed for this section

Stocked pond provides hours of family fun

5 May

fish3By Diva Caroline Thuss

Looking for a great (and inexpensive) way to entertain everyone from young to old now that the nicer weather is here?

Hop in the car and take the short and scenic ride to Falls Reserve Conservation Area in Benmiller and check out its stocked fish pond.

My family headed out for our first fishing adventure of the year at the Falls Reserve on opening day. For the cost of a gate pass ($15 per vehicle) and a fishing permit ($8 for adult and $4 for child) for the stocked pond we were ready to enjoy several hours at the beautiful location.

fish5Don’t have a fishing rod? Don’t worry! The Falls Reserve is a loaner site for the OFAH / OPG TackleShare program where you can sign out a rod, etc. like you borrow from a library! The fish pond is located shortly after you enter the park and very close to the Maitland trail. There is lots of room for picnic lunch on the grass or a table nearby.

When we arrived there were already several people around the pond looking for that beautiful big trout. Some were using spinners, others jigs, and some the classic worm bait to get them to bite. We chatted briefly to the father and his son who had caught their quota of four beautiful trout already and were heading out. It was great to see so many people taking advantage of this program.

We enjoyed the sun while we cast out our lines hoping that we might get lucky. It did not take too long before we had a fish on the line and were able to reel in a nice sized trout, which my kids were super excited about…okay I was a little excited too as it has been a long time since I was able to catch a nice sized fish. We did release a few other lucky ones as the kids were more excited about the chance to reel one in than the thought of eating our new “friend” for dinner. It is all about building a positive experience for the children and encouraging them to practice sustainable fishing.

We will be back on July fourth when they host the Family Fishing derby, which is like a small derby for children with lots of prizes fish6and excitement from what I have been told.   This annual event will occur from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  There is no cost to participate although park admission will apply.  The maximum park admission fee is $15 for a car load of people.  There are three age categories (10 and under, 11-17, 18+) and prizes will be awarded for the three longest fish caught in each category.  A prize will also be awarded for the smallest fish of the day.  There will be a variety of prizes donated by local sponsors and provided by the Falls Reserve C.A.  After prizes have been awarded according to the categories a draw will be held to give away the remaining prizes so all participants are encouraged to register to be eligible to win a prize.  They must also be in attendance to win a prize.  There will be a barbecue and refreshments available during the event.  Bait will also be available to purchase.

We were able to enjoy a short hike on the Maitland Trail as well before heading back into town to dress the fish and get it ready for the barbecue. Yummy! You can access the recipe I used here.

What: Falls Reserve Conservation Area

Where: 80900 Falls Reserve Line, RR 4, Goderich, ON N7A 3Y1

Why: Stocked Trout Pond

When: Day permits valid from 8 am. to 10 p.m.

Cost: Daily vehicle permit: $15. Daily pond permit: $8, adults; $4, children aged 5 to 12 (April 25 to June 26, trout only); no charge children aged 5 to 12 (June 27 to Sept. 30, catch and release only.)

fish2

Psychic medium stirs up the past in dinner at Part II Bistro

23 Apr
Medium Kelly Elston reads the crowd at Part II Bistro.

Psychic medium Kelly Elson reads the crowd of women gathered at Part II Bistro in Blyth. Photos courtesy of Darlene McCowan Photographer.

heather boaBy Diva Heather Boa

BLYTH – Tonight I heard from my dad and my grandmother, which is weird because they’ve both been dead for more than a decade.

As generally happens when family gets together, they wanted to talk about the people we have in common – my aunts and uncles, my mom and my two brothers – and pass on a few hellos. The messages played out kind of like a cross between 20 questions and charades, as they communicated through Goderich psychic medium Kelly Elson during a group reading held at Part II Bistro in Blyth.

From what I gather, Dad showed her a symbol that looks like the Roman numeral II, which in the language of the dead (my words, not hers) can mean he’s trying to talk about twins, someone who is a Gemini, somebody’s birthday, or the parallel of two things falling close together. After more questions, it was possible that something happened on a holiday, or two somethings happened on two holidays.

Bingo.

My father was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer on Labour Day weekend in 1999. And he died on Victoria Day weekend in 2000.

She also said he kept coming back to a Canada flag.

kelly peek 2What I didn’t tell the medium was that my dad made a stained glass maple leaf set into a stepping stone, which was donated as the centre piece for the IODE Maple Leaf chapter’s public garden in Goderich. After he died, someone stole that stepping stone.

She asked too if lily of the valley, those delicate white flowers found in the woods, mean anything to me because dad kept pulling up handfuls of them.

Maybe a bingo.

Flowers were one of my dad’s many passions. He loved trilliums, jack-in-the-pulpits and ferns from the forests, so he probably liked lily of the valley too. I don’t know for sure.

Kelly made her way around the room, telling the women gathered for this dinner what she saw – someone named John who smelled like a woodstove, about a hundred people gathered to pass on their thanks to a nurse, a father-in-law whose image appeared in black and white to signify he’s been gone for awhile, a grandmother holding a child in a pink blanket, a woman in an intense game of poker, and the images just keep coming.

The accuracy of some of her statements was quite astounding. There was instant intimacy in a room full of strangers and some of what was said should stay within the confines of that dining room.

Peter and Sarah Gusso, of Part II Bistro, were wonderful hosts, setting up the dining room in long rows of tables so that clusters of friends sat alongside strangers for the evening. The three-course meal included: spinach and bosc pear salad, with gourmet trail mix, Blyth spiced goat cheese and a maple-citrus-mustard vinaigrette; pineapple chicken atop a bed of coconut rice with volcano rice, all topped with a fresh salsa; brownies with coulis, plus a table tray of lemon tarts, coffee cakes and strudels.

Part II Bistro has a schedule of wine, Scotch or beer tastings, live music and other events. Check them out on Facebook or online.

Unnecessary Farce draws necessary laughs

9 Apr
The cast takes a much deserved bow at the end of the dress rehearsal.

The cast takes a much deserved bow at the end of the dress rehearsal.

rachellynnBy Diva Rachel Lynn

GODERICH – Tuesday evening, I attended what’s referred to as the soft opening of Unnecessary Farce, the final “practice” before opening night of this Goderich Little Production on April 9.

There were many in the audience and the cast treated it as a true performance.

Written by Paul Slade Smith and directed by local Goderich-ite Nina Reynolds, Unnecessary Farce is being staged at The Livery Theatre in Goderich. The play is about two cops who are undercover in a cheap motel, trying to catch the mayor in a $16-million embezzlement scheme with the help of one “HOT” accountant. Add in Agent Frank (Jordan Henry), and “Big Mac,” you have one perfect recipe for suspense and laughter.

But it’s so much more than that. From the beginning, I was laughing and sometimes covered my

Confusion leads to hilarity in Unnecessary Farce, which opens tonight, April 9.

Confusion leads to hilarity in Unnecessary Farce, which opens tonight, April 9.

mouth I was laughing so loud. A word of advice, don’t cover your mouth. Laugh out loud. For me, it’s one of the best sounds on this planet. Now and then, the actors had to wait until the laughter died down to deliver their next line. Officer Dwyer (Eric Lubbers) and Sheraton (Shawn Van Osch) have a great back and forth banter as the incompetent cops who keep messing up. Ms. Brown (Jenna Leifso), the accountant, keeps taking her clothes off, but it’s not what you think. Agent Frank arrives to protect the mayor and search the room for “bugs”. Is Agent Frank who he says he is?

By the end of the show, I was laughed out and my cheeks hurt.

Bring a friend or family to see this wonderfully hilarious comedy.

A caution, there is some mild swearing so it may not be appropriate for a younger audience.

“The Livery itself has a grand history. Records indicate that the rear portion of The Livery was erected

The audience can watch events at The Livery in added comfort, now that the new seats are installed.

The audience can watch events at The Livery in added comfort, now that the new seats are installed.

during the 1840s as a harness shop by Samuel Seegmuller, trader in hides and whiskey along the Huron Trail between Guelph and Goderich.” In 1978, the building was almost demolished but, with the help of council and a private citizen, The Livery was saved. For more information on the history, please visit online.

Unnecessary Farce opens tonight, Thursday, April 9, at 8 p.m.

Additional dates: April 10,11,16,17, 18 at 8 p.m.; April 12 at 2 p.m.

For tickets, please visit The Livery’s box office at:
35 South St, Goderich or phone (519) 524-6262.

The Livery is also a venue for live music, film festivals and rentals. For more details, visit online.

Huron County Easter Egg Hunt Roundup

31 Mar eggmain

Compiled by Diva Melody Hodgson

egg1

Hensall Kinsmen Easter Egg Hunt
Date:  Friday, April 3
Time:  10 a.m.
Location:  Hensall Arena Pavillion
Details:  Easter Egg Hunt
Cost:  Free
Contact:  Email Scott Harris, sw.harris@hotmail.com


Blyth Easter Egg Hunt and Craft

egg2
Date:  Saturday, April 4
Time:  10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Location:  Huron County Library, Blyth Branch
Details:  Hop along to the Blyth Library for an Easter Egg Hunt and Craft.  Registration is required for the program and is geared for children ages 3 to 6.
Cost:  Free
Contact:  519-523-4400

Clinton Kinsmen Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Date:  Saturday, April 4
Time:  10 a.m.
Location:  KIN Park
Details:  Easter Egg Hunt with the Easter Bunny
Cost:  Free
Contact Info on Website.

Easter In the Park:  Exeter Lionesses Annual Easter Egg Hunt
egg3
Date:  Saturday, April 4
Time:  11 a.m.
Location:  Morrison Dam
Details:  Please register in advance at the South Huron Library or the ABCA Office. Deadline to register is Thursday April 2 at 5 pm. 12 years and under; only 250 spots.
Cost:  $2 per child
Contact Info on Facebook.

Goderich Kinsmen Easter Egg Hunt
Date:  Saturday, April 4
Time:  10 a.m.
Location:  Courthouse Park
Details:  Shotgun start, over 12,000 chocolates for children to scramble for; with an appearance from the Easter Bunny. (10 and under)
Cost:  Free
Contact Info on Facebook.

Howick Lions Easter Egg Hunt
egg4
Date:  Saturday, April 4
Time:  10 a.m.
Location:  Howick Arena
Details:  Easter Egg Hunt
Cost:  Free
Contact:  Email rtjessome@gmail.com

Lucknow Kinettes Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Date:  Saturday, April 4
Time:  11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location:  Gazebo, if poor weather will move to the arena
Details:  Easter Egg Hunt
Cost:  Free
Contact:  519-357-8464

Seaforth “Egg”-ricultural Society & Seaforth BIA Easter Egg Hunt
egg5Date:  Saturday, April 4
Time:  9 a.m. – 11 a.m. breakfast, 10 a.m. Easter Egg Hunt
Location:  Seaforth Agriplex, 140 Duke Street
Details: Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Bunny & pictures, $2 pancake breakfast, crafts, games, baby chicks & bunnies plus more!  12 and under for the actual Easter Egg Hunt.
Cost:  Free Easter Hunt & Activities; $2 for Pancake Breakfast
Contact Info on Facebook.

Vanastra & District Lions Club Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Date:  Saturday, April 4
Time:  9:30 a.m.
Location:  Vanastra Rec Centre
Details:  12 and under, Easter Egg Hunt, colouring contest, a visit from the Easter Bunny, plus a BBQ and refreshments.  Bring your smiles and Easter baskets!
Cost:  Free
Contact Info on Facebook.

Wingham Lions Annual Easter Egg Hunt
egg6
Date:  Saturday, April 4
Time:  10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Location:  Cruickshank Park
Details:  Easter Egg Hunt, 12 and Under
Cost:  Free
Contact:  Wingham Lions

Zurich Lions Club Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Date:  Saturday, April 4
Time:  10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location:  Zurich Rec Centre
Details:  Easter egg hunt (12 and under, two age groups), Easter Bunny, basket decorating, games, crafts and facepainting!
Cost:  Free
Contact:  Allan Fulker, President:  519-871-2867

Bayfield Optimists Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Date:  Sunday, April 4
Time:  1 p.m.
Location:  Clan Gregor Square
Details:  Easter Egg Hunt (two age groups), raffle for an Easter Egg basket plus more!
Cost:  Free
Contact Info on Facebook.

Auburn Community Easter Egg Hunt
egg7
Date:  Saturday, April 11
Time:  10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location:  Huron Chapel Evangelical Missionary Church (119 John St.)
Details:  Easter Egg Hunt at 11 a.m., fun stations set up for kids starting at 10 a.m.  Colouring contest awarding 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes.  Colouring pages can be picked up at the Auburn Post Office.
Cost:  Free, donations accepted
Contact:  Cathy at the Auburn Post Office

(Egg photos courtesy of Pippalunacy.)

Migrating tundra swans land in Huron County

27 Mar
These tundra swans let down their landing gear over a farmer's field near Seaforth today. Photos courtesy of Exeter photographer Bonnie Sitter.

These tundra swans let down their landing gear over a farmer’s field near Seaforth today. Photos courtesy of Exeter photographer Bonnie Sitter.

SEAFORTH – It’s spring, and while most of us are looking forward to warmer days, the majestic white tundra swans are making their way back from Chesapeake Bay, Maryland to the Arctic Circle for summer vacation.

Along their arduous route, they can be spotted at annual staging areas in farmers’ fields and open waters, which provide them with food and rest.

For a full description of their migration, visit The Friends of the Pinery Park’s website.

tundraswans

The Little Inn undergoes big makeover

25 Mar
The Willow Room formal dining room’s moniker is a nod to the stately willow tree residing near the inn’s front entrance.  The Inn’s new owners, along with Chef Michael Potters, have many plans for the future of the property including pairing with Huron Adventures Inc. to create specific activities and programs for guests and corporate enterprises.

The Willow Room formal dining room’s moniker is a nod to the stately willow tree residing near the inn’s front entrance. The Inn’s new owners, along with Chef Michael Potters, have many plans for the future of the property including pairing with Huron Adventures Inc. to create specific activities and programs for guests and corporate enterprises.

melody

By Diva Melody Hodgson

BAYFIELD – Bayfield, in all of its summertime quaintness, brings about the dreamer in me.  I fell in

1.Reception desk with custom pigeon holes for room keys, one of the many gorgeous throwbacks to original inn utilitarian decor.

Reception desk with custom pigeon holes for room keys, one of the many gorgeous throwbacks to the original inn utilitarian decor.

love with the little town upon first sight back in 2006.  It is my go-to for a Sunday drive, lunch on a Friday or a night out with the gals.  I am not alone in my infatuation with Bayfield. The main street is packed with shoppers, foodies and visitors year-round.

Joanne and Mike Oliver, originally from Toronto, were two such visitors.  A short detour to Bayfield while visiting their son in Blyth two years ago resulted in an instant love affair with the lakeside town.  Fortunately for us, Mike and Joanne were able to transform their moment of serendipity into a permanent residence and place of business; a casual lunch conversation eventually resulted in the couple becoming the new owners of the Little Inn last October.

Joanne and Mike, paired with much-sought after local interior designer Cynthia Weber and

Function meets design heaven in the revamped bar area, home to the Four In Hand taproom.  Master Sommelier John Szabo has realized a menu filled with wine, spirits and cocktails to compliment both menus.  I am thirsty just thinking about it.

Function meets design heaven in the revamped bar area, home to the Four In Hand taproom. Master Sommelier John Szabo has realized a menu filled with wine, spirits and cocktails to compliment both menus. I am thirsty just thinking about it.

renowned locavore chef Michael Potters, have painstakingly renovated the Inn in an effort to create a true culinary destination within Bayfield.  Throughout the entire renovation process, the team have been respectful of the inn’s deep-rooted historical ties to the community.  Original flooring has been refinished and restored, traditional inn features have been reimagined, and local Mennonite craftsmen have been hired to recreate a multitude of items from stair-railing spindles to matching the original baseboard in the taproom.  Chef Potters has embraced the richness of local Huron County producers and created two menus of pure deliciousness I can hardly wait to experience.  Their unwavering dedication to the vision of the project is obvious.  The entire time I was with Joanne, I felt that their goal was not to take the soul out of the Little Inn, but rather to give it a little boost.  From all accounts, they have succeeded beautifully.

1.Locally crafted custom period spindles to replace the 1980s wrought iron spindles; another of the many well thought out design aspects of the renovation.

1. Locally crafted custom period spindles to replace the 1980s wrought iron spindles; another of the many well thought out design aspects of the renovation.

I must admit, I have never ventured into the Little Inn prior to last week.  I always felt it was a little too fancy for my sometimes-brushed-hair and ripped jeans, and as a result I’ve always been more of a low-key pub girl.  After meeting with Joanne and touring the property, however, I feel like I may have to make a little room in my heart for the new kids on the block.

The Little Inn of Bayfield

Where:  26 Main Street, Bayfield

When:  Soft opening March 27th, grand opening April

Willow Room (Fine Dining), daily

Breakfast:  8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Lunch:  11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Dinner:  5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

The Four In Hand Taproom (Casual Dining), daily
11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Contact:  1-800-565-1832, inquiries@littleinn.com

Website:  www.littleinn.com

Twitter:  @thelittleinn

Chef Michael Potters has designed a kitchen most chefs can only dream of.  With plans for small group cooking classes, local food foraging programs and a viewing area from the yet-to-be completed patio it has all the makings of a locavore’s heaven.

Chef Michael Potters has designed a kitchen most chefs can only dream of. With plans for small group cooking classes, local food foraging programs and a viewing area from the yet-to-be completed patio it has all the makings of a locavore’s heaven.

Kruger Brothers: Like being at a kitchen party

13 Mar
The Kruger Brothers concert at The Livery in Goderich was presented by the Celtic Roots Festival.

The Kruger Brothers concert at The Livery was presented by the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival.

By Diva Claire Carter

GODERICH – I am always amazed by the quality of entertainment in Huron County.  I had the pleasure of attending a Kruger Brothers concert at the Livery in Goderich on Wednesday night.  This event was presented by the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival, a group that has a history of bringing fantastic talent to the area every August.

I brought my dad along, as we have a tradition of attending the Celtic Festival together.  This was the third time we’d heard the Kruger Brothers preform. The group, born in Europe and now based in North Carolina, has a very loyal following.  The group’s sound is described as bluegrass-acoustic-roots.  Their sounds make me feel like I’m at a kitchen party on the east coast or in Ireland.

Jens Kruger was recently awarded with the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo, and it is easy

The Livery, Goderich.

The Livery, Goderich.

to understand why.  The show featured both instrumental songs (many from Appalachan Concerto) and vocals.  There was a good mix of original and cover music.   It seemed the group really knew the audience, as I heard many times at intermission and after the show that they’d played someone’s favourite song.  The song I liked the best was Carolina in the Fall.  The band interacted with the audience after the show, autographing CDs and talking about their love of Huron County.

The Kruger Brothers won’t be attending the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival this year.  The band flies to Switzerland next week, and will be performing and delivering workshops throughout Europe and the United States for the next few months.  The festival attracts different performers each year from around the world.  The lineup for this year has just been released, and it is fantastic!  The full lineup can be found here.

I’m most excited to see the Great Lakes Swimmers and Dave Gunning.  As usual, there is a great balance of North American and European musicians.  There are four different stages, and a fantastic food area.  I’m really looking forward to discovering new music while enjoying a delicious ice cream cone in Lions Harbour Park.  After things wind down on stage, I’d suggest heading to the Park House, where the live entertainment continues.

Tickets can be purchased for the full three days of the festival ($70 for adults, $65 for seniors), or for single days ($25-$35 for adults, $20-$30 for seniors).  Concerts begin at 11 a.m., and end at midnight on Friday and Saturday, and at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information on the 2015 Celtic Roots Festival, visit online, or call (519) 524-8221.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 10,480 other followers