It is almost always exhilarating to see new exhibits at the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre – when they are of paintings, the walls are, for the first-time visitor, suddenly filled with works which engage through brushstroke and colour. Seeking response, David Morris’s exhibit of metal sculptures is similarly striking, exciting in this case, through dimension, form, texture, and detail.
The first Algoma University at St. Thomas class is currently busy at the main campus in Sault Ste. Marie getting their introductory taste of a four year Bachelor of Arts program. Meanwhile, finishing touches are being completed on the former Wellington Street Public School in preparation for the return to their home location later in September.
Things are falling into place nicely on a project that was fast-tracked in order to bring a university option to students in St. Thomas. The $1.1 million dollar building renovation was made possible largely through a $900,000 donation from the estate of Dorothy Palmer. Crediting city hall staff, contractors and Palmer Estate executor Andrew Gunn, St. Thomas CAO Wendell Graves noted on a recent tour of the school, “We have pulled out all the stops to get the building up to shape in time.”
Fred Eaglesmith launched his 18th Annual Springwater Charity Picnic weekend at the CASO Railway Station Thursday evening (August 16th). This is the second year that Fred and his Travelling Steam Show have kicked off the picnic at the historic venue.
As Eaglesmith’s band and the Fabulous Ginn Sisters warmed up the audience a wonderful breeze wafted through the open station windows, bringing pleasant air circulation and Fred to join in the first set of music.
The station is particularly suiting venue for Eaglesmith’s music as he has spent considerable time working on, singing about, and writing award-winning train-themed songs. He was honoured earlier this summer with induction into the North America Railway Hall of Fame at the CASO station.
By Dave Ferguson
The threat of a storm popping up can be a common occurrence, especially during a warm summer. But “Storm Warning”, presently announced on signs parading around the lakeside community of Port Stanley is also a reality that comes to life till September 8th on stage at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre.
“Storm Warning”, written by Norm Foster and directed by Simon Joynes, delivers a blockbuster performance - a powerfully poignant, yet humorous, love story, marvellously acted on a great set. There's a lot to like here.
The Aylmer Agricultural Fair celebrated 166 years August 10th to 12th with entertainment, demo derbies, agricultural exhibits, arts and craft competitions, food vendors and midway rides. Though rain put a damper on some of the outdoor activity, crowds took advantage of sunny breaks to enjoy the midway and all the fair had to offer.
Check out photographer Mark Girdauskas’s day at the Aylmer Fair in the slideshow below. As always, his photos capture the sights of events in Elgin County in a manner that will also bring to mind the sounds, smells…. and fun.
At 166 years, the Aylmer Fair is the oldest in District 13. They also have several other annual events – Home & Garden Show (April 2013) and Haunted House (every week-end in October 2012). Find out more at www.aylmerfair.ca.
The Kettle Valley Pioneers presented their 34th annual Elgin Historical Show August 10th to 12th. Dan Patterson Conservation Area was filled with antiques related to farming (tractors, machinery and implements) plus food vendors, displays and music.
Julie Berry, in conjunction with the Society of Friends (Quakers) from Sparta, has been organizing the Lantern-Floating Ceremony in Pinafore Park for more than twenty years. This past Monday (August 6th), she welcomed the people gathered to remember those who lost their lives due to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, August 6-9, 1945. She noted her dedication to the yearly ceremony, the importance of preventing another nuclear bombing from ever happening again, and also the joy to be found in the peaceful and beautiful display made by the lanterns on the water.
Families were invited to drop by Saturday (August 4) and discover St. Thomas’s oldest church. Constructed between 1822 and 1824, the Old St. Thomas Church was the centre of the pioneer community. During the Fun Day, activities inside and out enabled visitors to delve into pioneer activities as well as the history of the church and the surrounding graveyard.
Photo Courtesy Periscope Playhouse
The Periscope Playhouse players have the first performances of their premiere production, "Smart Ass", under their belts. During a Saturday evening viewing, all of the actors appeared to be putting heart and soul into their parts in Patrick Harding’s play which touches on (and sometimes trounces on) politics, romance, community and comedy in a small Port town. All of the actors, Director Jeff Rogers (who also plays one of the roles), Producer Marion Rogers, and everyone else who has supported getting the fledging group off the ground is to be congratulated.
By Dave Ferguson
As the lights come up, revealing the inside of a country home in various states of disrepair, a hand grasps the top of the couch from behind. The audience doesn’t know what to expect as the groans of agony increase while the person continues to pull themself up. Carolyn Bingham, played convincingly by Molly Kidder, now completely facing the audience, reveals her very pregnant body and is in the throes of labour.
We know from the meticulously set table in the rustic kitchen that a meal might be taking place while we may become witness to a birth.