Tag Archives: huron

Blyth Festival Singers concert a fitting tribute to the end of WWII

13 Apr
Artist Director Sharon Poelstra invites the audience to join Blyth Festival Singers in singing The Maple Leaf Forever.

Artist Director Sharon Poelstra invites the audience to join Blyth Festival Singers in singing The Maple Leaf Forever.

heather boaBy Diva Heather Boa

BLYTH – The advertising poster promised a tribute to the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II by the Blyth Festival Singers, with special guests The Howlin’ Dog Vintage Jazz Band.

But that poster couldn’t possibly capture just how fantastic the carefully crafted two-hour performance of Songs of Wartime and Peace at the Blyth Memorial Hall would be. It wasn’t just a playbill of popular songs like Sentimental Journey, The Maple Leaf Forever and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, or uncovered gems like In Flanders Fields and Distant Land. Instead, it strung together music, solos, sing-alongs, readings and commentary that invited the audience into one big parlour party.

Under direction of Artistic Director Sharon Poelstra, The Blyth Festival Singers brings together a

Cara Stephenson performs Don't Get Around Much Anymore.

Cara Stephenson performs Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.

talented collection of 38 voices accompanied by Lori Millian. At the same time, the arrangements highlighted numerous singers, through no less than five solos, a fun and energetic dance performance of Don’t Get Around Much Anymore by Cara Stephenson, and a poignant reading from his memoirs by Tom Hennessey.

The audience was invited to join in singing The Maple Leaf Forever and It’s A Long Way to Tipperary, and a few voices floated up from the audience during other popular tunes.

The Howlin’ Dog Vintage Jazz Band, known to many because they play local venues like Goderich’s

The Howlin' Dog Vintage Jazz Band.

The Howlin’ Dog Vintage Jazz Band.

The Park House, subscribed to one of the great jazz cornerstones – improvisation – by winging much of its sets. The musicians held their first practice with the day’s replacement trombone player Paul Dearlove just hours before they were set to take the stage. They strayed from the program, dropping some songs and picking up others. They debated who would lead them into a song, with trumpet player Al Mullin telling the audience, “This is jazz. We gotta figure it out as we go.” And in the end, it all came together beautifully.

Blyth Festival’s artistic director, Gil Garrett, performed two readings from this season’s premiere

Blyth Festival Artistic Director Gil Garrett reads from Mary's Wedding, which premieres in the 2015 season at The Blyth Festival.

Blyth Festival Artistic Director Gil Garrett reads from Mary’s Wedding, which premieres in the 2015 season at The Blyth Festival.

performance of Mary’s Wedding. He read from a letter written to Mary from her love, Charlie, a young soldier who describes the battle scene at France’s Moreuil Wood, jumping his mare over his fallen sergeant and feeling his saber pierce through another man’s body. He also did a reading from Mary’s wedding day, when she weds someone else. The readings gave time for the choir to quietly file in after the jazz band’s sets.

How fitting too that the event should take place in the Blyth Memorial Community Hall, which is home to the Blyth Festival, the Blyth Festival Singers, the Blyth Festival Orchestra and the Blyth Festival Art Gallery. The hall was originally built to commemorate the lost soldiers of World War I.

Coming Up: The Next Generation- Cabaret Concert

When: Saturday, May 30 at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Varna Complex, Varna

What: Blyth Festival Singers’ cabaret dinner and concert featuring young up-and-coming soloists from Huron and Perth, which will be the next generation of musicians to perform alongside Blyth Festival Singers. Music at this concert will be more light-hearted and popular in style and theme, to bring its season to a close in true celebratory fashion.

How: Tickets, $25, available at the Blyth Festival Box Office or from Choir Members.

Wandering Wawanosh

11 Jun

By Travel Diva Jenna

Wawanosh - Belgrave Creek

Wawanosh Valley Conservation Area is located just west of Belgrave, Ontario, on Belgrave Road and ishome to the Wawanosh Nature Centre and Wawanosh Trail. If you grew up in Huron County, I’m sure many of you remember heading out to the centre with your school and learning about birds, fish, creatures, mapping and orienteering. I sure do!

It was great to head back to Wawanosh and see what has changed and remember the past and time I enjoyed there.  The Maitland Valley Conservation Authority runs great learning and outdoor experiences at this wonderful location, but it is also a place where you can visit to hike the trail and take in the beauty.

IMG_4511 IMG_4510

Erin Dolmage met me and 45 others, a couple of weeks ago, to show us around the site . She mentioned that the site can be rented out for groups activities and camping.  They also have a variety of public events throughout the year. They have an interpretive centre where unique-to-the-area species are highlighted, snow shoe rentals and more. It is a beautiful setting with both the Belgrave Creek and Maitland River intersecting through the property.

Events held at this facility each year include Snowfest  and the Owl Prowl  just to name a couple.  You can also hike, walk, cross country ski and snowshoe the 3km loop trail whenever you feel like it.

If you are looking for more information you can visit: http://www.mvca.on.ca/programs_conservation_wvca.php

Sushi for you and me

6 Jun

Sushi at Samuels

By Diva Jenna Ujiye

Every Thursday from May 29th on Samuels Hotel will be serving sushi and I had to get there on the first day to try it out! I have been making my own sushi for years and was just so happy that chef Kim decided to add this to her forever-growing offerings at the hotel.

Dessert at SamuelsIMG_4474The sushi I typically make has whatever leftovers I have in the fridge rolled up with sushi rice and nori (seaweed), so I was happy to see the wonderful menu with local Ontario fish in it! I guess I should say I was getting sick or “leftover roast pork sushi” and “I only have a cucumber sushi”.

The King's at Samuels Fish bowl at Samuels

When I went in, Sarah and Dunya (staff at Samuels), were ready with a menu for me. There were 10 different sushi varieties – 5 starters,  2 combos and three dessert options! Being allergic to shellfish, I had to stick to fish and vegetable options and ordered the smoked salmon roll and the fushion salmon roll along with wonton crisps as a starter. I skipped out on dessert as I really didn’t have room for it anyway, with 8 rolls in each order I was stuffed after about 12 pieces and half of the wontons!

The prices range from $3.75-$6.75 for starters, $7.95 – $13.95 for sushi and desserts are less than $7.00. Literally you can get a whole 3 course quality meal for $19!

The food, service and experience was excellent and I can’t wait to go back again! Samuels Hotel also offers rooms, lunch and dinner specials and much more. Visit their website here: http://www.samuelshotel.ca and add them on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/samuelshotel?ref=ts&fref=ts

Samuels is located at 34031 Saltford Rd  Goderich, ON N7A 4C6

(519) 524-1371

Sushi Menu Sushi Menu

It’s Patio Season!

9 May

by Diva Jenna Ujiye

IMG_4205

I’m sure all of you are pretty excited that spring has finally came and the weather is nice enough to sit out on a patio. Last week I met with my friends Rick and Bruno at the Albion in Bayfield and had a great meal outside while enjoying the village main street!

AlbionThe Albion

The three of us sat on the far north end of the patio and watched as the whole restaurant filled up. It was wing night! The Albion serves typical pub fare and has a variety of unique menu specialties including the ABC Albion Sammy (cheese, bacon and apples on rye), The Dopey Burger (Open faced burger with gravy, mushrooms and onions), and the sweet potato enchilada.

Alnion Burger Alnion Burger

Albion InsideMenu items range from $10 – $20 with some appetizers under and some entrees a bit over, but all in all very reasonable! They als0 have a large variety of beer on tap! Thursday night is Wing night, Friday – All you can eat Fish and Chips and on Saturday, Prime Rib is the Special. I hear that during the winter they do a really cool trivia night. I had been wanting to check out the new paintings that were done over the winter and was impressed with how much they changed the atmosphere of the place!

Albion Inside

 

If you are looking for a nice weekend away, Bayfield is a great place to visit, especially during the summer. The Albion is also a hotel and they rent rooms for $115 – $155 and that includes a continental breakfast. For more information about the Albion hotel visit their website at www.thealbionhotel.com

The Albion Hotel

albion@tcc.on.ca

1 Main Street
Bayfield, Ontario
N0M 1G0
Canada
519-565-2641

There is no shortage of amazing art in Huron

8 May

by Diva Jenna Ujiye

Art aRound Town

Last week I went down to Exeter to do a bit of shopping, eating and exploring. I stopped in at the South Huron Welcome Centre to visit my friend Brittany Fry (who is also the Exeter BIA manager) and was able to check out the Art aRound Town display in the centre. There were a variety of different kinds of art from jewellery, books, paintings, photography, pottery and more!

The centre is set up in a couple of different rooms that you can explore and the unique mix of artistry is wonderful. Art aRound Town is a small group of artists and volunteers who are working together to promote the visual arts in southern Huron County. They organize Art Shows featuring original works by local artists, hold Art Classes and Workshops with visiting Artists for all ages, and do what they can to bring Art into the lives of art enthusiasts. You can find them at 483 Main St. South (at corner of Huron St). Exeter, ON. or online at artaroundtown.net

Open on Thursdays from 2:00 – 6:00 pm.  

As well as Saturdays – May 11, 18 & 25 from 2:00 – 6:00 pm.

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Chris Hadfield calls in to the East Street Station

16 Mar

by Diva Jenna Ujiyetrentsevern-1

I was at the East Street Station to watch the Trent Severn Concert and in the middle of their set Commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield, called in to chat with us! How cool is that? Not only was this one of the most interesting phone calls I have ever been involved in, the whole concert was awesome. Trent Severn, made up of three amazing musician singer/songwriters Emm Gryner, Dayna Manning and Laura C. Bates, have come up with some really great songs and harmonies. Their eclectic Canadian folk blend  is well put together and they play from the soul. I am just editing the videos I took, so I will post them later!

Hadfield told us that this was the first concert he had ever called in to from space. He also mentioned that it was 1:40am and that the sun was about to rise. He joked with the band that becoming commander has added to his to do list, have to make sure the lights were out and the garage door had to be put down!

I took a video of the conversation with Chris Hadfield, but with 928 minutes left to upload it, I’ll post it later. My friend George Zoethout from Huron Image Factory posted the same video, but from a different angle, so here it is!

Here are a few more photos of the event!

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Winter Cottages in Huron

7 Mar

A Great time at the Cottage

by Diva Jenna

A typical summer experience in Huron is heading up to the cottage for a long weekend or week long vacation. Last weekend my friend rented a cottage for a winter wonderland escape. I’m sure many of you don’t think of cottaging in the winter, but many of these accommodations are available all year round!

hanging out on the beach in the winter

Many of the people coming up for the weekend were from Toronto, so we all got there around 10pm on the Friday night. We had a few leisurely drinks and snacks and played some card games. The next day we had decided on winter fun activities including hiking/snowshoeing along the beach, tobogganing and general snow play!

wintercottage-fistnight

I had to head out to meet some other friends for dinner in Bayfield, but the rest of the vacationers went to Shannahans Quality meats in Goderich and go a huge Metzgers beef loin in which they roasted for dinner!

wintercottage-viewfromthedeck2

winttercottage-snowangelWhat a great time we had! It reminded me of being a kid again. If you are looking to rent a cottage or accommodation in winter on Ontario’s West Coast, here is a link to all of the options! http://www.ontarioswestcoast.ca/owc_directory/rental.php

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