The third annual Galop-Canal Bluegrass Festival is breaking out the guitars, banjos, mandolins, fiddles and voices starting this Friday, 5 p.m., up at the Iroquois Point. Whether you’re a long time fan, new to the rich sound of bluegrass, or a front porch performer yourself, Iroquois is the place to be June 14-16.
Visitors are welcome to rough camp right on site as well.
“Folks don’t need to book a camping spot in advance,” said Gerri Fitzsimmons, representing the Galop Canal Revitalization Project, which is sponsoring the Festival. “People love camping at the Point. And this year, with the tall ships heading for Brockville the same weekend, there might be some incredible sailing ships through the Locks too. I have it on the highest authority (fingers crossed) that the weather this weekend is going to be perfect.
The performers will be playing and singing on our fantastic stage until 11 p.m every night. Come enjoy one day, two days, or book the full weekend package.”
The Foggy Hogtown Boys, an enormously popular Toronto bluegrass band, will be headlining at the celebration. Joining the Boys over the weekend will be the Ducharme Family, the Dusty Drifters, Hard Ryde, Jan Purcell and Pine Road, the Unseen Strangers, Randy Morrison and the Flatt River Band, HoneyGrass and Darwin Thom and Gilles Leclerc.
Popular Upper Canada Playhouse artistic director, Donnie Bowes, will act as honorary MC for the Festival opening ceremonies, which take place Friday evening at 5:45 p.m. at the Lions band shell.
“Mike Anderson, a well known local musician is assuming MC duties for the rest of the weekend,” said Fitzsimmons. “He’ll be terrific.” There will be plenty of other things to see and do at the Point during the celebration.
In collaboration with the Love South Dundas campaign, there will be a delicious free breakfast served up from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. with Sunday admission.
There’s also going to be a grand old gospel service Sunday morning as well, with Rev. Geoff Howard and his family leading the hymns. “I am very happy about this partnership developing with Love South Dundas,” Fitzsimmons said.
There will be vendors on site, food pavilions, Barkley’s Berries, a psychic and displays of the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Lost Villages with Lyle Van Allen and Jim Brownell. Free workshops on Saturday, led by experts, will be offered in guitar, banjo and mandolin.
On Sunday, the Golden Gears will be rolling onto the site around 11 a.m. with a parade of classic autos. Ontario Power Generation has provided back packs stuffed with information about South Dundas attractions for all visitors.
“Our sponsors have been fantastic. They made this Festival possible through their fund raisers and donations and by allowing us to use this beautiful park.”
The committee bringing the 2013 Bluegrass Festival to South Dundas includes Mike and Loretta Anderson, Barb and Gerry Gurnhill, Sharon and Dick Piché, Paul and Ruth Robertson and Nathalie Sirois.
For information, contact 613-652-1753 or go on line at www.galopcanalbluegrassfestival.com.
Bring a lawn chair, a toe to tap and a love of good music, and don’t miss the Galop-Canal Bluegrass Festival, June 14-16.
MORRISBURG – South Dundas’ Olivia Wright recently returned from competing in the Miss World Canada Pageant, in British Columbia, and although she didn’t win, she gained much through the experience.
Wright was one of 41 contestants between the ages of 18-24 vying for the title that was won May 11, by Annora Bourgeault of Regina, Saskatchewan.
Asked what she thought of the winner, Wright says, “She was amazing. She would have been my pick. I voted for her for Miss Congeniality. She was the first person I met when I got off the plane. She is the sweetest person. She deserved to win. She is definitely special.”
Bourgeault will go on to represent Canada in the Miss World Pageant in London, England later this year, in September.
Wright, back home in South Dundas, is so glad that she had the opportunity to participate in the competition.
Wright applied to Miss World Canada on a whim, and successfully made it through the interview process to be selected as a delegate to compete in the pageant in May.
“It was something so out of the blue that I did, and it has been so life changing for me,” said Wright.
Wright had never before participated in a pageant.
She said the group of contestants was made up of a mix of girls like her who were new to the pageant scene and others who had pageant and modelling experience. “My roommate was a professional cheerleader from B.C.,” she said.
The whole process was a very busy one, as the group filled their days with practices, preliminary competitions and public appearances.
“The day we arrived, I got off the plane, and it was basically into a bikini and onto the runway for the preliminary bikini competition,” said Wright.
The days started at 7 a.m. and ended at 11 p.m.
While the scenery and venue were breathtaking – “Seeing the Rocky Mountains from the plane was super awesome,” she said – most of the highlights for Wright were about the people she had the opportunity to meet.
“We had a really nice group of girls,” said Wright. “Everyone was so kind and so supportive of each other. It was really more of a supportive environment than a competitive one.”
“It didn’t really seem like it was about winning. It was more about connecting,” said Wright. “What this experience gave me was the opportunity to meet a great group of strong young women, who are successful, confident and driven,” said Wright. She knows that the people she met will remain a part of her life long into the future.
“The confidence you get from an experience like this is amazing. It just shows you how important it is to be comfortable with yourself,” she says adding that she hopes to continue to share that message and to be a positive role model.
The lead up to the pageant provided Wright the opportunity to get to know a lot of people in the community she may never have met otherwise. “People would just come up to me because they had seen me in the paper,” said Wright. “They would wish me luck. It felt really good.”
“The support I received from my community was overwhelming in the best possible way,” said Wright.
Wright very much enjoyed the charity aspect of the experience and sees herself staying involved with charity work going forward.
For now, her main priorities are her education and spending time with her family.
With heavy equipment roaring up with the needed crushed stone to make the play site completely safe for children, this hard-working and very professional crew paused for just a moment from the job of erecting a brand new piece of playground equipment at Iroquois Public School on Tuesday, April 17. The new $20,000 upper body climbing device, painted in IPS colours, is the result of over two years of community minded fund raising events by the school students, teachers and parents under the leadership of the IPS Parents Council, which is co-chaired by Linda Sinclair and Joyce Latulippe. The Kid Crew, from the left Sierra Latulippe, Nathen Verhey, Vanessa Latulippe, Braden Verhey, Kolby Latullippe and Duncan Hutt, graciously allowed several parents to assist them with the work Tuesday evening. The generous support of Lloyd McMillan, the Prescott Building Centre, with landscaping by Eric Jansen and Tommy McMillan, meant that the play structure was ready for grades 3-4 to enjoy on Wednesday morning at the school.