Discarded smoking materials are the likely cause of the fire that destroyed this Levere Road hunting camp building in South Dundas. South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services attend the scene to extinguish the blaze around 2 p.m. November 28.
Unless someone comes forward to take over the Tubie Festival, South Dundas will lose its longest running annual festival.
The Tubie Festival organizing committee of the Morrisburg and District Lions Club confirmed last week that they can no longer commit to the time and effort that is required to run the 43 year old event.
The Tubie Festival Committee is a 10 member club within a club of younger Morrisburg and District Lions.
Michael Domanko and Matt McCooeye, co-chair the Tubie Festival Committee.
After eight years of hosting Tubies, the committee is starting to experience volunteer fatigue, and thought now would be the time to step away, leaving the door open for someone new to take it over.
Domanko said the ‘red tape’ involved with organizing such an event can be a frustrating part of the process, but while contributing to fatigue, it is not the main factor in the decision.
“The municipality has taken steps to try and help with things like festival insurance, but you do spend a significant amount of time dealing with red tape at various levels of administration,” he said.
Domanko believes that Tubie interest is on the rise, compared to what it was about five years ago.
He said the decision was not about money. “When the Lions took over the event it was to support an important community festival. It was never about being a fundraiser for the club.” While some years, the profit was minimal, the event has never lost money for the Lions.
“While the number of crafts have been steady over the years, I think it’s encouraging that we are seeing a number of younger participants,” said Domanko.
The committee has been working over the years to make Tubies a more family oriented event, bringing in activities for the kids, and encouraging more youth to get involved.
“I think we’re seeing that pay off,” said Domanko. “Now, a lot of those kids look forward to Tubie weekend too. In my opinion, we’ve crossed a threshold. More people are coming forward an showing an interest.”
“I think it’s better to make a change in organization while things are on an upswing, rather than on the decline,” said Domanko.
“As lifelong residents of the community, and former Tubie Weekend participants, it was a privilege to be involved with the organization and execution of ‘Tubie Weekend’ for the last eight years,” reads a letter to the community drafted by the committee.
“Tubies have been part of our community’s fabric for over 40 years, and we took pride in being one of the many and varied groups that has worked to ensure it remains the longest continuous running local festival.”
“It is our hope another group steps forward and continues the tradition with the enthusiasm the weekend deserves.”
Domanko says he is optimistic about the future of the Tubies. “I think enough people have fond memories of Tubies, that enough of them will get involved to ensure that Tubies continue.”
“I think they also recognize the weekend as having significance both as a tourist draw and a community event,” he added.
Looking back at the years where he and the Lions CIC have steered the event, Domanko says, “I feel good about that too.”
Although it has been a lot of work, Domanko has always enjoyed his time as organizer, and taken great pride in seeing every aspect come together.
“People always tell me, ‘I come home every Tubie Weekend, because I know that is when everyone else will be coming home too.’ I think that is one of the greatest attributes of Tubie Weekend,” said Domanko.
Anyone interested in getting involved with keeping the Tubies afloat can contact Domanko by email (email@example.com). The committee is happy to share information and help facilitate a change in leadership.
The Tubie tradition started in 1970, as a fun event where a couple of guys teamed up, built a craft of an inner tube and paddled from Arlor Haven Campground at Mariatown to the Morrisburg Beach.
The race winners were crowned ‘Kings of the River’.
The fun of the event caught on. Powder puff and junior classes even drew competitors to the race.
A Tubie parade has always been part of the Tubie tradition.
Over the decades, certain names dominated the races year after year, – Veley, Cassell, Farlinger, McGee.
The Lions Club took over Tubie weekend in 2006, from the Flamingos hockey team, and formed the Tubie Festival Committee.
In 2009, they changed the race format. Instead of racing from Mariatown to the Morrisburg beach, they organized a series of elimination round heat races from the Morrisburg dock to the beach, with the winners of the final being named Kings of the River.
In 2010, the dance was moved from the Morrisburg arena to the waterfront under a big tent.
“Keep in mind, Tubies have seen a number of different incarnations over the years,” said Domanko. “You don’t have to do it the way we did it.”
While South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds is getting an earful from a certain group of people about the proposed grain terminal for the Universal Dock, located along Lakeshore Drive in South Dundas, he too is looking at the proposed project for its broader benefit.
“As mayor, I’m looking at this as an opportunity to have a new business come to South Dundas,” he says.
“Looking at this from an economic development point of view, it’s a potential business that will generate revenue,” he added.
While he acknowledges that much of that revenue will go into the pockets of those in the agricultural community, there too will be some job creation.
The company building the terminal is also a member of the Stormont Dundas and Glengarry business community.
“What this will do is provide a new market for agricultural products,” says Byvelds, who is a farmer.
As a farmer, he confirms that there is a need for such an outlet for agriculture commodities.
“The reality is that we can’t use all the product that is made here and storage is an issue, so exporting makes sense,” he said.
He explained that there are some relatively local outlets for product but during the busy harvest season there is a significant bottleneck.
“Adding another outlet provides competition. And, competition is good for the industry. More competition tends to increase prices and that in turn brings more dollars into our local economy,” he added.
The building permit application is still in front of South Dundas’ building officials.
South Dundas Chief Building Officer Don Lewis, with the help of a peer review, has determined that the proposed terminal does meet the existing zoning requirements, however a building permit has not yet been issued.
While there is a process to obtaining a building permit, building permit issues are not a council matter.
“In the end, if it meets applicable law, it can proceed,” said Byvelds. Lewis said the same.
Building permit issues only become a council matter if a zoning bylaw amendment is required.
No zoning amendment is needed for this grain terminal project.
Byvelds acknowledges that people have alleged that his participating in voting on the matter could be seen as a conflict of interest. However, since building permits are not a council matter, and do not require a council vote, he has no conflict.
Mayor Byvelds has offered those opposed to the grain terminal the opportunity to make a presentation to South Dundas council as a delegation at the July 16 meeting.
MORRISBURG– Upper Canada Village’s new fall event Pumpkinferno, poised to open on Friday, October 4, has been nominated as one of three finalists in the ‘Tourism Event of the Year’ category by TIAO (Tourism Industry Association of Ontario) in preparation for the annual Ontario Tourism Summit, where winners will be announced at the Gala Evening Event in Toronto, on November 14, 2013.
The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario is the umbrella organization for leading associations, destination marketing organizations and regional tourism organizations serving Ontario’s diverse tourism industry.
TIAO collectively represents 147,000 businesses and the 608,000 employees that are dedicated to promoting and operating the Province’s tourism infrastructure.
The Ontario Tourism Summit is an annual event that brings together hundreds of tourism professionals from across Ontario to learn the latest in industry trends and forecasts, share best practices, network with colleagues, and recognize industry leaders at the Tourism Awards.
“Receiving Provincial recognition from our industry peers for this inaugural, out-of-the-box event is like receiving an Emmy nomination!” said Darren Dalgleish, GM and CEO of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. “Having set an attendance record for any new first year event; gaining the wide-spread media notoriety last year and already capturing the “Best New Event” award from Festivals and Events Ontario, strongly indicates that we’re bang on track with aligning event programming with our visiting guests.”
“We are honoured and humbled to be in such great competitive company in this category.”
“What a proud moment for Upper Canada Village – being named a finalist in the ‘Tourism Event of the Year’ category at the Tourism Summit,” says Upper Canada Village Manger, Geoff Waycik. “Their creative energies have translated into endless accolades and position it as Ontario’s most unique and largest event of its kind!”
“We are diligent in changing the face of this event each year to keep our guests interested and returning,” says Waycik. “Pumpkinferno is a very unique type of event and we look forward to launching our redesigned, second season with the new ‘House of Horoscopes’ display on October 4.”
Earlier this year, Pumpkinferno was honoured by Festivals & Events Ontario when it was named 2012 Best New Event in Ontario.
It was also a finalist in the 2012 Ottawa Tourism Awards for Tourism Event of the Year.
Pumpkinferno will be open on select nights from October 4 through November 2.
Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.