November is the month where Canada, and many other countries in the world, remember those who fought for our freedom. 2014 is important because it marks the Centenary of the start of World War I (aka The First War World War or The Great War). Whatever it’s known by, it was the “modern” world’s first taste of all-out war. World communities will be holding various ceremonies to mark the start of the Centenary. Unfortunately these ceremonies will be even more emotional, with the tragic deaths of two of our brave soldiers, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl Nathan Cirillo. Centenary events will continue until 2018 which marks 100 years since the War ended. It is interesting that 2014 marks the 75th anniversary of the start of World War II. This was the War that was deemed “the War to end all Wars”. I guess that someone forgot to tell this to World leaders! But, enough of the drama! Instead, I’d like to dwell on just “REMEMBERING”. Yes, remembering those who fought and are fighting for our freedom, but also those who touched our lives, who gave meaning to it! People who have gone before us. So, for November, I’d like to dedicate the month to good memories and to sad memories, and to celebrate them both.
"Canadian War Museum - Ottawa"
Each year Canadians and Canadian communities hold special ceremonies to “remember” and pay homage to the men and women who serve to protect our country and to those who gave their lives in this service. November 11th has been designated as “Remembrance Day”.
The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia about Canada’s Remembrance Day ~ The federal department of Veterans Affairs Canada states that the date is of "remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace"; specifically, the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, and all conflicts since then in which members of the Canadian Forces have participated. The department runs a program called Canada Remembers with the mission of helping young and new Canadians, most of whom have never known war, "come to understand and appreciate what those who have served Canada in times of war, armed conflict and peace stand for and what they have sacrificed for their country.
We hope that on November 11th you will join Judi and me in “Remembering” those who serve to protest our country.
"Autumn in the Blue Mountains!"
The Festival Nomad’s Report…
WOW, what a month! Just before September ended, we moved! Yes, that’s right, we moved from our beloved “Cobourg” (at least temporarily), to the soon to be “beloved”, Blue Mountains, or Thornbury to be exact! The move was not planned, but came about through circumstance. Another story for another time. So here we are in “Mountain” country (at least Ontario’s Mountain country). At first we looked at the move “negatively”, but once here we started to recognize the possibilities of the area ~ the blue waters of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, the beautiful Blue Mountains, the unique villages of Thornbury, Clarksburg (aka Artsburg) and the Town of Meaford. Then there are thriving Town of Collingwood and the Village at Blue Mountain. Most of all, there is the amazing countryside! To make the change seem even more comfortable, we moved during the most colourful time of the year, “autumn”. As a result of being here at the “peak” color time, we were able to “roam” the “mountains” and marvel at the spectacular scenes that awaited us ~ multi-coloured forests, lush hillsides, fabulous views of Georgian Bay, varied farmland with cow and horses grazing and, of course, the awesome Apple Orchards! That’s right, “awesome Apple Orchards”! When we lived in Cobourg, we weren’t far from the “Big Apple” in Colborne and the “Apple Route”. We always thought that they were best in Ontario. However, traveling through the Blue Mountain countryside, Judi and I came across Apple Orchard after Apple Orchard. Even though we traveled the area extensively, I believe that we saw only a fraction of what actually exists. During our “Fall Tour” Judi and I kept an ongoing photo journal. A “Blue Mountain Fall Tour” article is in the works and should be posted shortly.
"Having fun at the Scarecrow Invasion in Meaford!"
Another advantage of being in the area was that we were able to visit the Apple Harvest Festival, which is held in 4 of the area’s communities ~ Meaford, Thornbury, Clarksburg and the Village at Blue Mountain. The event is held each Thanksgiving Weekend and we were able to celebrate both Thanksgiving and the Apple Harvest Festival with my daughter, Ainsley and her family. What a great time we all had! After their arrival in Thornbury, ventured west to Meaford. This is where the “Scarecrow Invasion” takes place. Scary scarecrows were everywhere! This year’s theme was “Scarecrows Go to the Movies” We all loved the scarecrows and took plenty of photos to prove it! What a great fun event for Meaford! After Meaford we decided to take a tour of the countryside. Ainsley and her husband, Ed and the children, had never been to the area, so Judi and I thought that they would enjoy the excursion. The trip was everything that I had hoped for. We traveled the Mountains for several hours, lost in the beautiful scenery. We returned home tired, but looking forward to the next day… we were going to visit the Village at Blue Mountain.
"The Woodot Low Rope Course at the Village."
The next morning all 7 of us headed for the Village at Blue Mountain. It was interesting trying to find a parking spot! The Village was alive with lots of people. After finding a spot, we walked to the Village. If you have never been there, the Village is made up of accommodations, a unique shopping area and the Blue Mountains. Up on the mountains there were plenty of activities for the whole family. We decided to climb the mountain (at least part way up) to see what was happening. There were all kinds of attractions ~ climbing rope, zip lines, bike routes and more! Every activity had line-up of people waiting for their turn. The views from the mountains were spectacular! Back down the mountain, we enter the Village Square. Music filled the air! There was at stage set-up in the middle of the square and dancing crowed surrounded it. We wound our way through threw the throng to the Firehall Pizza Restaurant. We ate a great lunch and then ventured back out into the crowd. Close by the “Candy Store” called us! The kids, and most of the adults, bought “treats”! The Halloween candy was interesting, especially if you like “brains” and “eye-balls”! All-in-all the trip to the Village was a great success. In fact, the whole Thanksgiving Weekend was a fabulous adventure!
"The road into the City of Owen Sound."
While the move to Thornbury and the Thanksgiving Weekend occupied much of our time and thoughts in November, there were two other activities that took place. The first were in Mississauga at the Toronto Fall RV Show. Each year the Ontario RV Dealers Association organize a number of “recreational vehicle” shows. The shows are very popular and contain hundreds of large and small recreational vehicles and trailers. Judi and I were particularly fascinated with the Class C RV’s. If you are interested in an RV there are more shows in the spring. Check out the ORCDA website. Late in the month we travel west to Owen Sound. I hadn’t been there in a long time, so I was interested in re-discovering it. Judi and never been there. The most notable feature is that the downtown area is located in a valley. Also there is a large harbour that enters onto the Georgian Bay. The famous MS Chi-Cheemaun Ferry is harboured there. One area that we came upon was the “Mill Dam”. Salmon were waiting their turn to climb the “fish ladder”. This a beautiful park area, well worth a return visit. After thoroughly exploring the downtown, we stopped for a great cup of coffee (and treat) at the “Frog Pond Tea and Coffee Shop”.
"Festival Nomad Correspondents Connie McAllese and her late husband, Tom at the Cabbagetown Festival."
In Memory Of…
As I mentioned at the beginning of this Newsletter, I think that the month of November should be designated as the “Remembrance Month”. In this regard, I like to remember some of the people who have passed away and who influence my life and made me a better person.
Charles McWilliams ~ although my brother, Chuck, has been gone for over 2 years, I still think of him daily. Although he was 10 years older than me, he still took an interest in what I was doing. This was not always the case, but in later years he followed my successes (and failures) and gave advice and help when needed.
Edwin Matthews ~ earlier this year we lost a great organizer and entrepreneur, Edwin was the founder of the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival (now known as the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival) and was my employer and mentor in the art business. Little did I know that his influence would lead Judi and I into a career of promoting festivals and events!
Paul Lewis ~ Paul was a “stationary engineer”. He looked after large Government Buildings and helped make them run efficiently. Too bad he couldn’t do that for the government! However, in real like, Paul and his wife, Pat, were great friends. Having breakfast with them on a Sunday morning was always interesting. Unfortunately over the past while, Paul became very ill and not able to enjoy many outings. Judi and I miss his wit and friendship.
Tom McAleese ~ Tom was the brother in-law of our friends Ross & Cathy. If was one of Ross & Cathy’s family get togethers that we talked Tom and his wife, Connie, to become Festival Nomad Correspondents. Both Tom and Connie loved to travel and even better (for us) loved to visit festivals and event, especially in the Toronto area ~ events such as the Taste of the Danforth, the Fiera Festival, the Toronto Ukrainian Festival and the Cabbagetown Festival. Connie wrote the articles while Tom enjoyed the music and food. Their articles and insight remain relevant.
The Last Word…
Over the past year Judi and I, and our website tech friend, Shawn King, have been working have to update and improve the Ontario Festivals Visited websites. They are now integrated into one website. In our August Newsletter, I described some of the layout changes that we had made, especially to the “Welcome Pages”. We feel that the NEW look has greatly improved the website, including the appearance and the maneuverability. As for the “Special Information” sections, all three sections have been updated and can be easily reach through the Welcome Pages. Event organizers can now submit their information to both the Ontario Event Finder and the Ontario Event News. Instructions on how to use each Submission Form can be found in each section. We hope that organizers will take advantage of these new “tools” to help get the “word out” about their event to our web visitors. Judi and I are pleased with the “New and Improved” Ontario Festivals Visited website and look forward to your input and comments.