Iroquois honoured a key battle in the War of 1812 during a day long re-enactment and commemoration at the Point on Saturday, November 9. November 7, 1813, 200 members of the Dundas Militia took on 1,200 American troops on route to Montreal. The Canadians were unable to attack in force at Point Iroquois, but they kept up sniper fire until the American troops halted their march and attempted to wipe out the Canadian defenders under the command of Captain Michael Ault.
On Sunday, Oct. 27, canine trick or treaters gathered with their human friends at the waterfront Morrisburg Dog Park for a celebration of the Hallowe'en season. From Raindrop as "Batgirl", Teeko as "The Great Pumpkin" to Lily as "the Cow" every one had a barking good time. And of course there were treats! Hot dogs for the participants and a race around the park made for a perfect celebration of this "spooky" time of year.
Stepping through the gates at Upper Canada Village is like going back in time. Your senses are met with the sights, sounds and smells of 19th century early Canada.
This weekend you can step even further back in time – to the Medieval period – as Upper Canada Village hosts its 8th Medieval Festival on June 7-8 and its Medieval Education Day Monday, June 9 with activities for students.
The Medieval Festival is an entertaining mix of colourful medieval re-enactors, entertainers and skilled performers.
A festival highlight is the jousting tournament featuring the Knights of Valour led by head knight Shane Adams who was recently in the History Channel’s Full Metal Jousting Show.
The Knights and their mighty horses perform twice daily at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and their magnificent horses are available between shows to speak to the public about the history and chivalry of Knights.
“The Medieval Festival offers a great blend of history and entertainment,” says Geoff Wacik, Manager, Upper Canada Village. “The Knights of Valour and their jousting is really quite amazing. You literally feel like you are in the medieval era when you see them in armour and on horseback. Plus all of the other performers offer such a variety of things to see and do.”
“It is a great weekend, and I guarantee you will learn something while you are entertained”
The festival offers continuous entertainment throughout the weekend with lively medieval performers presenting a variety of interactive shows each day.
Comedians, dancers, talented buskers, a wizard, wandering minstrels and even a life-size dragon will create music and laughter, adding to the faire atmosphere.
Warrior and domestic encampments, archery demonstrations, armoured and unarmoured combat performances, plus life-sized weapons of war demonstrations are sure to keep the excitement level and entertainment value high.
Falconry shows will be offered at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily, and you can witness the fine craftsmanship of Medieval artisans and watch demonstrations in blacksmithing, armour manufacturing, leather working, chain mail making, period fashions and jewelry making all part of the festival’s activities.
Throughout the day, children of all ages can try their hand at one of several games throughout the festival including Jacob’s Ladder, miniature ballista and catapult games, Frog Race, and more.
The Royal Court, including the King and Queen and their entourage, will be in attendance at a number of events throughout the festival.
Each day the King and Queen will open the festival (9:30 a.m.) with the Royal Greeting at the entrance to the festival fairgrounds located at the back of the Village just past Louck’s Farm.
A medieval festival wouldn’t be complete without merchants and food and a number of merchants will set up their tents at the festival, offering a wide selection of Medieval merchandise and food items.
Be sure to stop in at the Medieval Chip Shoppe or watch for the Pickle man for a snack.
While all visitors are welcome to attend the Medieval Festival on Education Day, Monday, June 9, large crowds of school children are expected.
All performances at the festival plus your visit to Upper Canada Village are included in the price of admission: $20 Adult (13 – 64 yrs); $17 Senior (65 yrs+); $14 Youth (6-12 yrs).
“Been to one of these weddings?” laughed a woman in the audience during the intermission of Stag and Doe at Upper Canada Playhouse. “I had one of these weddings!”
Playwright Mark Crawford’s bright new comedy, running at UCP until July 5, certainly has, as director Donnie Bowes put it, “a finger on the pulse of the small town.” His play clearly strikes chords with members of the audience as it follows a calamitous (and riotous) day and night in the lives of two very different bridal parties. According to Bowes the show seems to be drawing many new, young play-goers to the theatre. They seem to find the characters on stage both familiar…and very real.
Rob and Mandy, Bonnie and Brad, all planning to be married, under normal circumstances would never cross wedding paths.
Rob (Parris Greaves) and Mandy (Jody Osmond) have 250 guests invited to their ‘perfect’ day: French cuisine planned for a dinner served sit-down: a beautifully appointed wedding tent erected in her family’s large back yard for the ceremony and dance.
Bonnie (Julia Lederer) and Brad (Zach Counsil), on the other hand, have maxed out their credit cards on liquor, invitations, food and a mortgage down payment. And Bonnie is finally forced to reveal to Brad that she may have also “overspent a little” on her wedding dress. ($6,000!” Brad shrieks. “My truck didn’t cost $6,000!”) As a result, as far as Bonnie is concerned, their Stag and Doe at the town’s only hall this night will be her best chance to try and recoup some of their expenses.
But circumstances in these couples’ small town will not be normal.
A ferocious wind storm has ripped through the community in the night, with unexpected results.
A distraught Mandy arrives at the hall, in wedding day rollers, wailing “My wedding tent is gone. My decorations are ruined. There are port-a-potties all over the field!” She, backed by fiance Rob, demands that Brad and Bonnie vacate the venue, imperiously proclaiming that “a wedding trumps a stag and doe!” However, ‘Mandy-zilla’ has reckoned without bride-to-be Bonnie. Bonnie has no intention of backing down on her Stag and Doe. Not with all those credit cards to pay. Not when she has hoped for the same “special day everyone else gets to have.” As both wedding parties proceed to wrestle for “hall supremacy,” audiences are treated to an absolutely hilarious glimpse into the realities of “battling brides.” Literally.
Apparently on the fringe of these wedding confrontations, yet forming, I think, the true heart of Crawford’s play, are bridesmaid Dee (Colleen Sutton) and caterer Jay (Perry Mucci). It’s not that the others’ wedding chaos doesn’t affect them: it does. Dee has a hurtful history with Rob, and Jay, a sometimes lonely single father, has had to cope with the arrest of his entire waiting staff and the impounding his wedding cake by the police. Yet Dee and Jay seem to serve, in this play, as the voices of good-natured humour, of compromise and of sanity in the midst of threats, fisticuffs and bridal wheeling and dealing. It was easy to grow fond of Dee and Jay. It was easy to hope that something might come of their meeting, even under trying circumstances.
There is a lot to love about Stag and Doe and its cast of memorable, decidedly colourful characters. Crawford’s play is a very affectionate look at the nature of weddings and marriage, and the true purpose of both in this day and age. And, in the end, perhaps even his two bickering bridal couples discover more about themselves in an outrageous 24 hours than they may have learned in years of dating.
A word about Sean Free’s set for this production. It’s splendid. From the Loyal Order of the Moose (or is it Elk?) plaque on the kitchen wall, to the unclaimed pot luck pans stacked on the shelves, from the always empty paper towel rolls on the counter to the needle point flowers done by someone’s maiden aunt 50 years ago, Free’s set evokes a nostalgic, wonderful sense of those community halls that still seem to exist in every small town.
Director Donnie Bowes’ production of Stag and Doe is fast paced, beautifully acted by a strong cast, and brimming with laughter. For tickets contact Upper Canada Playhouse at 613-543-3713.