Tag Archives: Tourism

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.

Huron County readies for summer tourism season

21 Apr
Keynote speakers Rebecca Wise and Victor Barry of Cottage Life’s INNvasion’s reality TV show, talked about the growing trend for nostalgia and urged participants to think of all the senses - smell, sounds, touch, and tastes.

Keynote speakers Rebecca Wise & Victor Barry of Cottage Life’s INNvasion’s reality TV show, talked about the growing trend for nostalgia & urged participants to think of all senses – smell, sounds, touch, and tastes. Photos by Jenna Ujiye.

By Diva Karen Stewart

BLUEWATER – Tourism is the world’s largest industry with revenues of over $500 billion including travel, tourism and hospitality businesses. In Huron County, tourism is a major economic driver as we welcome over one million visitors to our region each year.

Recently, the Huron Tourism Association held its annual industry event. Over 100 tourism business operators gathered at the Community Centre in Zurich to listen, learn, and interact with their peers. By bringing together tourism operators to network and to sharpen skills, to learn about the County’s tourism assets and to talk about emerging travel trends we work to provide the best possible experience for our visitors.

This year’s theme was “Hospitable Huron – Weve got it, Lets flaunt it!” Our keynote speakers, Rebecca Wise and Victor Barry of Cottage Life’s Dining INNvasion reality TV show, talked about the growing trend for nostalgia and urged participants to think of all the senses – smell, sounds, touch, and tastes – whether in the kitchen or through decorating their public spaces. On the same note, Rebecca noted that her visit to Huron County exceeded her expectations, saying “You don’t know hospitality until you’ve stepped out into the rural countryside.”

Boxes and bundles of  new brochures are distributed to tourism operators throughout the county in time for the tourism summer season.

Boxes and bundles of new brochures are distributed to tourism operators throughout the county in time for the tourism summer season.

Heritage sites and stories, food, events and opportunities for outdoor adventures were all highlighted during three familiarization trips in the host municipality of Bluewater. Tourism operators gained a deeper awareness of just how rich in tourism assets that region of the county is.

One of the main activities during this annual event is the Brochure Swap. Participants are encouraged to gather related business brochures so they can promote each other to the world all season long. In

Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol Curator Patricia Hamilton (centre) receives the Tourism Champion Award from past recipient Jim Lee of Cinnamon Jim's and Huron County Tourism Co-ordinator Cindy Fisher.

Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol Curator Patricia Hamilton (centre) receives the Tourism Champion Award from past recipient Jim Lee of Cinnamon Jim’s and Huron County Tourism Co-ordinator Cindy Fisher.

addition, the newly re-designed 2015 Ontario’s West Coast Travel Guide was available as were the County’s specialty brochures including Fishing, Hiking and Cycling guides – each one a valuable tool that drives business in the County each season of the year.

And, finally, more proof of the good work folks are doing in the county was shared when two awards were presented. Huron County Museum and Gaol Curator Patricia Hamilton was honoured with the Tourism Champion Award, presented for demonstrating stellar hospitality, creative marketing savvy, inclusive partnerships and forward-thinking leadership and promotion of Ontario’s West Coast. And, the Maitland Trail Association, which

Roger Goddard and Suzanna Reid, of the Maitland Trail Association, accept the Tourism Development Award from John McHenry, an HTA board member.

Roger Goddard and Susanna Reid, of the Maitland Trail Association, accept the Tourism Development Award from John McHenry, an HTA board member.

celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, was awarded the Tourism Development Award for demonstrating leadership, creative invention, partnership initiatives, community impact and excellence in the tourism industry.

In Huron County, we’re open and ready for business. We look forward to welcoming you to Ontario’s West Coast for adventure, theatre, festivals, events, and food.   You’ll find heritage and culture sites that share stories of our deep rural roots and you’ll find new friends offering you a warm rural hospitality.

Visit ontarioswestcoast.ca today to plan your visit today.

Don’t hibernate. Celebrate at Goderich’s Winterfest

4 Feb
Winterfest draws people of all ages to a variety of activities.

Winterfest draws people of all ages to a variety of activities.

By Diva Heather Boa

GODERICH – This weekend, the community of Goderich is hosting a wintery pick-you-up to help you and your family push through the winter blahs.

Winterfest has grown and evolved from its humble beginnings more than two decades ago into an event that’s anchored by some key activities with a bit of something new every year. Every visitor to town becomes an honorary Goderichite during Winterfest, whether they’re walking the lantern-lit trails and warming up with a mug of hot chocolate afterwards, sampling the chili in a cook-off of secret recipes, watching nighttime fireworks light up the sky, or taking part in any number of activities lined up for the three-day event, Feb. 6 to 8.

I can remember that first Winterfest more than two decades ago. It was a big financial gamble for a group of very keen organizers, who booked a high-energy rock and roll band to play at the Knights of Columbus Centre as the feature event. If it stormed that evening, we were bound to take a loss on the event. However, it didn’t storm enough to keep people home that night and tickets were sold out in a snap. People came dressed in ‘60s costumes and danced and danced and danced that evening. And there was enough money to keep the event going in future years and draw a loyal following.

One of my favourite events over the years is the Saturday chili cook-off, with folks wandering the downtown Square trying to juggle Styrofoam bowls, a bun and steaming beverages while bundled up against some blustery weather. Tomato sauce and ground beef slopped onto mitts and napkins blew away in the wind. It’s a wonder we ever got our ballots cast for the best chili. That challenge continued through the years, probably weighed against the festive spirit that comes with meeting friends and neighbours on busy, chilly sidewalks. This year, however, the Rotary club is trying a new location, with chili competitors lining the indoor streetscape of the Maitland Recreation Centre. Some of the braver competitors, clinging to tradition, will set up outside the centre’s front doors.

File photo.

File photo.

One of the newer events is the Saturday evening fireworks show by PyroWorld in the town’s agricultural park. The spectacular show is set to music, with the low-level fireworks reflecting on the snow, which makes for great photographs. Anyone who isn’t interested in braving the outdoors for hot chocolate at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks at 7 p.m. can catch the musical presentation on 104.9 The Beach, starting at 7 p.m.

“There are a variety of indoor and outdoor activities through the weekend,” said Wanda Keith, who is the town’s festival and special events co-ordinator.

“The variety of things happening is phenomenal. And it’s all local organizations putting these events on,” she said.

Another event that’s new this year will be the Goderich Makers Market on Saturday morning. It’s just like a visit to the farmers market, only it’s wintertime and it’s indoors, with produce, local meat, baked goods, soups, crafts and soaps. In addition, the local horticultural society will bring the promise of spring by hosting a seed swap, with seeds available to swap or purchase by donation.

For a full list of events, click here. One additional event didn’t make it to the poster, which is the free skate from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at Victoria Park’s outdoor rink, as long as the weather’s cold enough to keep the ice frozen. Hot chocolate and cookies provided by Zehrs.

Shall I paddle?

8 Jun

Huron has sooo many rivers and ponds that can be explored. The Huron County Fishing guide has a map of all of the waterways along with the types of fish and tips and tricks in it. This year we have decided to add a paddling layer on to the fishing map.

I do have a kayak, but typically spend my time out on the nine mile close to my house!

Does anyone out there have a favourite place on the river to paddle? We will be putting the guide together in the next couple of months, so if you can send us some ideas, we’d love them! Check out the current guide below!

Top 5 reasons to carry the Ontario’s West Coast Vacation Guide in your car!

10 May

2011 HURON COUNTY VACATION GUIDEI’m sure many of you have been wondering why I haven’t posting… well there isn’t one reason in particular, but I have been getting ready for the 2011 season. We had the brochure swap last week and were preparing the 2011 Ontario’s West Coast Vacation Guide and Cycling guide, along with the www.visithuron.ca website, 2011 Taste of Huron and Best Host, West Coast events, along with consumer shows and more. I’m sure you’ll notice that this site is filled with amazing Huron County adventures, food and experiences, so I thought I should post some info about the Ontario’s West Coast Vacation Guide. I thought I would start with a top 5:

1. Every tourism business is Huron County is in it.

2. It is filled with information about fun things to do.

3. There are maps for Cross Country Skiing and Hiking Trails, Natural Areas, Beaches and roads.

4. If the internet goes down you will be able to find what you need!

5. Everybody is doing it.

So if you are looking to vacation on Ontario’s West Coast this summer get your 2011 guide. There are many ways to do this:

1. Pick one up at a local information centre

2. Email us – tourism@huroncounty.ca

3. Call us – 519-524-8394 ext. 239

4. Download it at: http://www.ontarioswestcoast.ca/?page_id=250

Thanks,

Jenna

Lovin Live Music

14 Mar

Its only a few sleeps away until one of the most exciting days of the year, ST PATRICKS DAY! The day when suddenly everyone is Irish, and drinking in the a.m becomes not only acceptable, but also encouraged! St Patrick’s day is exciting enough on its own, however this year its even more exciting! That evening, Canadian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer Colin James will be playing at the town hall in Bayfield for the Bayfield Concert series! This is huge! Colin James was actually the first concert I ever attended. I was in grade 5 and it was at the Western fair, now a million years later he is still touring across the country with his next stop in Bayfield! This show is going to be insane. Do not miss out on this one! See you all there!

-Kaylie

o and i forgot to mention, he has only won like 6 junos, no big deal!

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