Tag Archives: wingham

Our Beautiful Sons: Powerful, raw & honest

19 Jun

Rebecca Auerbach and Jesse LaVercombe star in Our Beautiful Sons: Remembering Matthew Dinning at the Blyth Festival until Aug. 6. Written by Christopher Morris. Directed by Gil Garratt. Photo by Terry Manzo

By Diva Heather Boa

BLYTH – Through the actors on stage at the Blyth Festival on the opening night of Our Beautiful Sons: Remembering Matthew Dinning, I saw the Wingham family in the aftermath of the death of 23-year-old Corp. Matthew Dinning, who, along with three other Canadian Forces members, died in 2006 when the armoured vehicle they were travelling in struck an IED in Afghanistan.

In this world premiere, the powerful, raw, honest and incredible personal true story of how mother Laurie (Rebecca Auerbach), father Lincoln (J.D. Nicholsen), youngest son Brendon (Cameron Laurie) and even the widowed neighbour Gail (Catherine Fitch) dealt with the grief, guilt and memories of their loss is laid bare for all to see.

The story begins after a military official comes to the house to inform Laurie and Lincoln Dinning that they have final decision in whether their only living son, Brendon, can also join the military. From the start, there is conflict and recriminations between the couple; their son had already told his dad but not his mother. They are opposites. Laurie is fiercely determined, protector of family and private in nature. Lincoln is laid back, social and open, with a penchant for humour. They are a family of few words and little physical demonstration of affection.

Ultimately, Laurie takes some of her son’s ashes and hikes the El Camino, an historic pilgrimage route, to come to a decision on Brendon’s future.

Along the way, Auerbach portrays a woman – a mother and a wife – who is a soldier unto herself, demonstrating resolve, reason, conviction, loyalty as she struggles between the guilt of allowing a son to go into conflict knowing that he may die, and interfering in the will of a young man.

As I watch the play, I feel the heavy responsibility on playwright Christopher Morris and director Gil Garratt to tell this story just right. But during intermission, my companion tells me that the actors have captured the essence of the Dinning family members. She imagines they spent time with the family in order to mimic gestures and nuances.

She introduces to me to Lincoln, who tells me the play is true to what really happened. Maybe there’s a bit more arguing in the play, maybe it’s a bit more dramatic than it really was, he says, but it’s a play, after all.

To give the impression that this play is cluttered with arguing and recriminations would be wrong. It is also punctuated by humour, thanks to American traveller Mario (Tony Munch) and his run-on stories, a scene that involves a bag of frozen peas, and a rather tell-all sign Lincoln displays at the airport when he picks her up after her long absence.

Our Beautiful Sons is important to the local military heritage but it is bound to resonate for any military family that has suffered a loss. And, sadly, we have many across this country.

Our Beautiful Sons: Remembering Matthew Dinning plays at the Blyth Festival in repertoire until Aug. 6. Tickets (Adults: $31 regular, $35 preferred; youth: $15. All orders subject to $6 handling charge) Are available by calling the box office at 519-523-9300 or toll free at 1-877-862-5984 or online.




How to celebrate Canada Day in Huron County

30 Jun

CanadaDay-EventsBy Diva Claire Carter

The five-day forecast is showing a break from the rain, and I’m ready to celebrate Canada Day!  The holiday is extra special this year, as we’re also celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Canada Flag.  Here’s a list of what’s happening around Huron County.

goderich fireworksFestivities in Goderich kick off tonight with a fireworks show at the beach, featuring the sounds of Hotel California, the Original Eagles Tribute Band near the Marine Museum.  The concert starts at 8 p.m., and fireworks at dusk.  In the event of lightning, the fireworks will be rescheduled to July 1st.

On July 1st, head to Courthouse Square Park at 11 a.m. for free hotdogs, beverages and live entertainment.  The entertainment lineup for the day includes:

11:30 a.m. – Late Nite Radio
12:15 p.m. – Goderich Laketown Band
12:30 p.m. – The Civic Ceremony takes place on the Performance Stage to officially recognize Canada Day.
2 p.m. – Parade begins, traveling around the square and following the route below:

Goderich parade map

After the Canada Day parade, head back back to the beach for the Sail Pass and Boat Parade. The boats will sail past Cove Beach, St. Christophers Beach and the Main Beach before they enter the Main Harbour to be judged.

The Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol are both open from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Canada Day.

July 1st is a very full day in Exeter.  Head to the Rec Centre and Legion in South Huron early for a full day of events!  Free swim will also be offered.
7 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Breakfast

9 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Car Show

10 a.m. – Dress your Pet Contest

4 p.m.– dusk – musical entertainment

5 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Supper at the Exeter Legion

Fireworks at dusk.

Contact  Ian Palmateer for more information – (519) 228-7303.

The Wingham Firefighters Association is hosting fireworks in Riverside Park at Dusk on July 1st.
Also on July 1st, is the Seaforth Firefighter’s Breakfast.  Travel to Huron East and enjoy eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, pancakes, toast, coffee and juice at the Seaforth Firehall (31 Birch Street) from 9 a.m. until noon.  Contact Marty Bedard for more information. (mbedard@huroneast.com).

Depending on how much you feel like doing, you can see fireworks two nights in a row, enjoy a great breakfast or dinner and participate in community fun.  Happy Canada Day!

For information on other summer events in Goderich, visit http://www.ontarioswestcoast.com

Time to explore the trail systems in Huron County

11 Mar
This stunning canopy of trees can be found on the Mara Street Walkway, which is part of the Heritage Trail in Bayfield. Photo courtesy of Heidi & Tyler Hessel, Outside Projects.

This stunning canopy of trees can be found on the Mara Street Walkway, which is part of the Heritage Trail in Bayfield. Photo courtesy of Heidi & Tyler Hessel, Outside Projects.

HURON COUNTY – Now that the days are getting longer and a warm breeze has blown into Huron County, the conditions are perfect to get out to cross-country ski, snowshoe or hike the many trail systems across our woodlands, riverbanks and countryside.

Here are a couple of top picks to get you started. Explore more of the county’s natural areas and trails here.

1. Picks ( and pics) from Heidi & Tyler Hessel, Owners, Outside Projects of Bayfield

The Sawmill Trail, Bayfield.

The Sawmill Trail, Bayfield.

We often enjoy snowshoeing the many trails in and around Bayfield. All are easily accessible and within a light to moderate difficulty level. They’re easy for anyone to get out and enjoy the winter even if you are simply hiking or have on a pair of snowshoes. Maps and information about these trails can be found on the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association website.

The Mavis / Taylor Trail, Varna.

The Mavis / Taylor Trail, Varna.









2. Picks (and pic) from Phil Beard, General Manager / Secretary Treasurer, Maitland Valley Conservation Authority

I like to go on the Wingham Community Trail extension, which goes out to the new elementary school in Wingham, aptly named the Maitland River

Wingham Community Trail extension.

Wingham Community Trail extension.

Elementary School. Behind the school is a farmfield that is proposed for the Wingham Creek Subdivision.

There is an easement around the field for an extension to the Wingham Community Trail. A lot of people cross country ski on this property. It connects with the parkland owned by North Huron that extends along the Maitland River.



Celebrating Canada’s Birthday!

3 Jul

CanadaDay1by Diva Nicole Olson

To celebrate Canada Day this year, we headed to the Optimist Park in Wingham. The evening began with a Community BBQ served up by the Wingham Ironman hockey team. We then proceeded to the Canada Day Summer Classic slo-pitch game between the CKNX Radio Staff Tryhards and the Wingham Hitman Fastball team. The picture shows 94.5 FM, The Bull’s Stampede Home host Jay Stevens striking out. Not depicted were the festive underwear he had to wear over his clothes for the rest of the game. The “Hit-women” (wives and significant others of the Hitmen) even took to the field for an inning or two to show our support. It was a fun game to be a part of and there was a great crowd there to watch.

Canada Day cuties

Canada Day cuties

CanadaDay2We then filled up on treats and glow sticks from the Wingham Scouts Concession booth and watched the dazzling fireworks display put on by the North Huron Fire Department. My family and I have attended the festivities in Wingham for several years and it never seems to disappoint!

Optimist Park
Park Drive
Wingham, ON
N0G 2W0




Musical Muskrat Fun

12 Jun

muskrat 1by Diva Nicole Olson

This past weekend, my family and I attended the Musical Muskrat Festival at Riverside Park in Wingham. What is a Musical Muskrat Festival? Well, it’s when small rodent-like creatures put on performances with tiny little instruments… Actually, the name comes from Wingham’s extensive musical history … and the muskrat, a rodent that lives along the banks of the Maitland River. Together, it’s a catchy, thought-provoking name for the event.

The Musical Muskrat Festival runs every year, the second weekend in June and is jam-packed with things to do and see for the whole family. For the kids, there were several inflatable attractions, a rock climbing wall, a clown making balloon animals, and face painting. There were also snack booths, breakfasts and BBQ available. For the adults, there was a refreshment tent, a rib cooking competition, car show and recreational volleyball.

Firemen's Races at the Musical Muskrat Festival

Firemen’s Races at the Musical Muskrat Festival

One of the highlights of the weekend for us was watching firemen from surrounding areas compete in the Fireman’s  Games. There were several obstacle course-type events and the firemen raced to have the fastest time. We also watched the Mighty Maitland Regatta Cardboard Boat Races. There was enough duct tape involved in this event to make Red Green proud! In addition, we took in a couple Wingham Hitmen fastball games. (We are big fans of the blue and orange!)

Cardboard Boat Races

Cardboard Boat Races

The  best part of the festival was listening to the live music. There were performances by Richard Garvey Band, Snakebite, Stacey Zegers, River Junction Band and Patrick Main. The music played from about 5 PM to 1 AM on Friday and Saturday evenings and 10 AM to 1 PM on Sunday. Having these talented musicians play at a venue like the Riverside Park was such a great experience. Admission to see the bands was $5, and there was a cost for food and refreshments, but everything else listed above was free to attend and participate in. For more information on this annual event, check out their website http://www.musicalmuskratfestival.com/

Live Music at Riverside Park

Live Music at Riverside Park

We're Fans of the Hitman!

We’re Fans of the Hitman!

Mini Diva Lyla and Mom Nicole having a great time at the Musical Muskrat Festival
Mini Diva Lyla and Mom Nicole having a great time at the Musical Muskrat Festival


Fireside Cafe hosts Youth Talent Brunch

8 Apr
Haley Boyle

Haley Boyle

By Diva Karen Stewart

The first Sunday of each month the Fireside Cafe in Wingham provides a stage for young musicians to perform to a local live audience.  On April 7th three young women were on the roster  – 14 year-old Maggie Durnin, 14 year-old Kendall Jardin and 17 year-old Haley Boyle.

Unfortunately we arrived too late to hear Maggie’s performance.  Boyle, a student from St. Anne’s Secondary School in Clinton, hails from Auburn and is a student of Scott Chow at Studio C.  She sang and played her guitar.  “It’s really nice to get out and get experience in front of people,” said Boyle “It really cool! I haven’t been playing too long.”   The final performer of the mid-day (11:30 – 2pm) event was Kendall Jardin who attends F.E. Madill Elementary School.  She sang all her popular performance pieces and played the piano for a few of her songs, and the guitar for the rest.  She’s a student of Scott Chow as well and says she enjoys playing the drums too. “It’s good experience to develop skills for a (music) career,” she said about what it meant for her to have an opportunity to play to a live audience.

I took a friend along with me to celebrate her birthday and we enjoyed the entertainment as well as a full breakfast buffet that included a substantial salad bar, scrambled eggs, french toast, waffles, bacon and sausage as well as a full dessert bar.  Tickets were just $16.99 per person.

Kendall Jardin

Kendall Jardin

Philip Stelzer, Proprietor of the Fireside Cafe, feels its important to give local musicians a stage and will continue to host artists and musicians regularly.  The next Youth Talent Brunch will be the second Sunday in June as Mother’s Day falls on May 5 when they’ll be offering a special buffet to honour all moms.  Also upcoming this month is Al Crawford of Late Night Rodeo.  He was a hit the last time he visited the Fireside Cafe!  Check the website or follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/winghamfiresidecafe

Fireside Cafe

86348 London Road
Wingham, ON  N0G 2W0




Salad bar .. fresh & delicious

Salad bar .. fresh & delicious

Scrumptious Desserts!

Scrumptious Desserts!

Bye bye summer :(

7 Sep

Hey all, hope you had a wonderful labour day weekend, even if the weather wasnt exactly a hit. I gotta say its pretty depressing, summers over, and I dont think I was ready  for it to come to an end. O well never fear, there is still lots going on in this happenin county… for example Taste of Huron is still taking place. If you have not yet been to an event, no worries there are still events this week. Tonight is the Little in and  tomorrow is at Eddingtons in Exeter, and the Gala on Saturday night…. looking forward to it!

Last Wednesday I went to Wingham for the Fireside Cafe dinner, and it was delightful. I had never been to FIreside cafe and was very pleased to learn that they make a large effort to keep things healthy. The owner was create, he came out and spoke and told us many stories about why he feels its important to eat healthy. He was great to listen too!

Also the food was so great! I had this amazing porkloin with peaches, roasted potatoes and broccolii, while JD chose the lambshank. We all started with a funky greek salad, and finished with a white pound cake with strawberry jus and blueberries! DELISH! It was a great experience. If you are ever in Wingham, I would definitely recommend Fireside!

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