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Seaway celebrates undergrads

 

“This was an evening of accomplishments, an evening about you, the students,” said Seaway District High School vice principal, Karen Bryant, in her remarks to students, parents and friends gathered to honour the academic achievements of Seaway’s young undergraduate students. “Tonight is about you, but we also need to acknowledge the support of teachers and parents in helping you to reach these goals.”

The ceremony honouring the undergraduates was held the evening of November 9 in the high school gym, and drew a large and appreciative crowd. Students at all levels in the 2010 school year were honoured for their efforts in all subject areas with diplomas and trophies. 

Several Seaway students in grades 9-11 achieved over 80 per cent in all their subjects, while Samantha Venema, Gregory Bolton and Lesley-Ann Tupper  each scored over 90 percent. 

Grade 9 proficiency awards were 1st, Samantha Venema, 2nd, Massar Hamadi, 3rd, Shannon van Moorsel. Grade 10 proficiency awards were 1st, Lesley-Ann Tupper, 2nd, Gregory Bolton and 3rd, Olivia Currier. Grade 11 proficiency awards were 1st, Devin Fraser, 2nd, Beverley Fowler and 3rd, Stephen Tibben.

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Ross VIdeo Trivia champs

 

With a final score of 94 points, Team Ross Video took home the cup in the Seaway District High School Trivia contest held at the Iroquois Legion on Thursday, November 10. Organized by teachers Jeff Crooke, Melissa Ringler and Heather Thompson, the fun-filled event, featuring eight member teams, raised nearly $1,400 for Champions for Kids, an Upper Canada District School Board initiative that provides funds for deserving children in the board area for a variety of things from eye glasses to gas cards to sports fees. “Many kids in the Seaway family of schools have been helped in the past by this charity,” said SDHS principal Terry Gardiner. Coming in second place was Seaway Then and Now with 86 points and Oks and Friends 1 with 80 points. In the back row (l-r) are Ross Video players Merrill MacMillan, Olivier Barrie, Ray Grant, Coleen Holder, Hannah Barkley, Laura Levere, Jimmy Mullins and teacher Crooke. In front are teacher Ringler, Chuck Saddlemire and teacher Crooke.

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Entertainment

Artists and artisans at upcoming St. Lawrence Stage concert

 

 It will be a gala night in more ways than one when the St. Lawrence Stage holds the third in its concert series on Saturday, November 19. Not only can the audience expect to enjoy performances by some outstanding musicians, but they can also see, and purchase, the works of noted local visual artists before the concert and during intermission. 

Bev Murphy a glass artist, Sandra Taylor-Hedges, a painter,  and painter/illustrator MiSun Hunter will be among the many different artisans whose works will be on display at the St. Lawrence Stage. 

“This is going to be an incredible evening,” said Sandra Whitworth of the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage. “We will be featuring six singer/song writers in our November 19 concert. Some of these artists are just emerging, some fully emerged,” she said, laughing, “but all of them great.”

Returning to the St. Lawrence Stage will be Morrisburg favourite Gene Ward. Ward is noted for his country-infused original music, revolving as it does around themes of love, loss and the joys of living life to the fullest. His promises to be a memorable performance.

Mélanie Brulée, also a returning   St. Lawrence favourite, will again light up the Morrisburg stage with catchy new songs and her powerful real life lyrics. Brulée has lately been weaving her unique musical magic as a solo artist.

New to the St. Lawrence Stage, with an ever-growing area fan base, will be artist Tracy Lalone of Cornwall. She has recently opened for Graham Greer and Melanie Brulée: in October, she appeared in Cornwall’s Artsfest. Lalonde is hard at work on her  much anticipated debut album, due out some time in early 2012.

Making their first appearances at the St. Lawrence Stage will be musical newcomers Chris Thompson and Samantha Martin, as well as established  singer/songwriter, Kevin Head. 

“As a solo performer, I’m a little bluesy, more in the style of, say, Lyle Lovett,” said transplanted Maritimer, Kevin Head, who has shared the stage with the Rankins, Valdy and Chris deBurgh.

Head, funny and outspoken, says artists can find inspiration for their music in anything. “Snow falling on the roof, a child laughing, can all lead to a story. The best songs, I think, are often love songs, but love songs about a place or a home. I want to avoid getting all twisted up inside and then writing dreary songs about it,” he laughed. 

A versatile musician, Head is looking forward to the November 19 concert. “Maybe I’ll be the curve ball on the program,” he joked. “I’m not always predictable. But it will be fun.”

Music is definitely the focus of her life and her career for Toronto-based singer-songwriter Samantha Martin.

“As a soloist, I would say I am roots blues, country blues, a sound that I describe as more mellow,” the 28-year-old said. She has performed extensively with The Haggards, and is in the process of creating a new album for release in March of 2012. “I am more secure, more polished, more confident with this album,” Martin said. 

Proud daughter of a trucker, Martin says of her writing: “Mine are, I guess you’d say, ‘road-worthy’ themes, the relationships in a family, the effects of distance on those relationships.” She has recently found herself exploring new and challenging themes. “I love the imagery of religion. My love songs, I guess, are a little grittier,” she said. Her music, says Sandra Whitworth, is going to “blow audiences away, with lyrics that tug at the heart.”

Just 20 years old, musician Chris Thompson is already building a sterling reputation as a “finger style wizard” in the performance footsteps of Don Ross and Andy McKee. 

“Finger style is a mesmerizing style to me, a style that gives listeners the impression that there are a number of instruments at play on stage. There can be a rhythmic beat to the performance, and an approach that creates energy and drive in the music.”

Performing his own music, Thompson attracted a lot of attention at the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals in October where he was matched with guitarist Jason Fowler and show cased at the Festival. 

“You find the riffs you like in writing and build from them,” Thompson explained. “There are no limits to where your music can go. It’s important to convey a message, yes, but you also have to be yourself, be a bit of a showman. I look forward to the St. Lawrence Stage.”

Tickets for this showcase of outstanding  musical artists and gifted artisans at the St. Lawrence Stage, Morrisburg, on Saturday, November 19, are available at the Basket Case and Strung Out Guitars or by calling 613-543-2514. Tickets are $10.  Doors open at 6 p.m. for this concert.

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Blues man MacLeod takes Morrisburg by storm

 

He is charming. He is funny. He is poignant. He spins yarns that make you feel you’re leaning on a rough wooden railing, in the heat of a Southern summer night,  in some no-name little bar in the middle of no where.

He is a Blues Man.

Doug MacLeod, internationally renowned singer/song writer, was in Morrisburg on Friday, November 11, for one concert only at the Lakeshore Drive United Church. MacLeod is an acknowledged master of the blues. His South Dundas audience experienced a rare treat when he took up his Nashville Guitar, sat down on the simple stage and played. 

It’s hard, attending a MacLeod concert, to separate his music from the stories he spins while he is on stage. As he said in an earlier interview with The Leader, “blues is the true facts of life.” His stories reflect a life not always led on the straight and narrow, a life with some rocky edges to it. But the music grows out of this past. And there is the humour and wit of experience in what he says and sings. 

“When you walk down the street/Don’t you make no judgement on people that you meet…Remember these words/ ‘cause these words are true/They were once children just like you…” (Children Like You)

Sometimes, he sang, “all you need to see the goodness around you/ Is brand new eyes..” (Brand New Eyes).

There may have been a message in his music, but it was never driven home with a fist. Just a wink, and  a sense of humour.

“Here’s a song about crazy people,” MacLeod told the audience. “One of every three people is crazy. Did you know that? (pause) Take a look at who you’re sitting next to.”

He had the audience roaring with laughter when he described a ZuZu Woman. “Y’all know what that is? That’s a woman who loves you so much she will let you eat crackers in her bed.” And his raucous delivery of “Turkey Leg Woman” (“I’m protesting against skinny women!”) brought the house down. 

His fingers flying over the Nashville Guitar, MacLeod’s voice, mellow, driving, animated, soulful, reflected the ever changing  moods of the songs he sang.

“This Old River,” written for a friend of his who eventually lost her life to cancer, was simple, soft and deeply moving. “I went to see her when she knew she was dying. She was out in her backyard still planting trees and flowers. This woman who was gonna leave us so soon was planting life.” 

It stood out in an evening of stand out music.

The enthusiastic audience attending the MacLeod concert knew they had been in the presence of one of the all time great Blues men.

“I never play the same song the same way twice,” Doug MacLeod told his listeners. “You Morrisburg folks are the only folks in the whole world hearing these songs exactly like this.”

What a privilege. 

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Local Lions to roll out Santa’s red carpet for seniors Christmas party

 

The Morrisburg & District and Iroquois Matilda Lions Clubs are pleased to cohost the sixth annual South Dundas Senior Christmas Concert at Matilda Hall in Dixon’s Corners on Saturday, November 26th. 

Ron Whitteker and his band, “Good Time Country” will provide the entertainment with refreshments being served while Santa Claus and friends make an appearance!  

This event is offered at no cost to the Seniors of South Dundas Township.  

The members of both Lions Clubs join in extending a huge “thank you” to MacEwen’s for their generosity in sponsoring this event. 

Karen Ouderkirk, Morrisburg MacEwen C Store owner, explains she chooses to sponsor this event as an opportunity to thank the community for their support in a meaningful and significant way. 

Karen says she especially appreciates the total package the Lions offer in the South Dundas Seniors Christmas Concert event: a free joy-filled afternoon with no transportation issues for concert goers to worry about, refreshments and the fellowship of friends.  

The doors will open at 1:30 p.m. and the concert runs from 2-4 p.m. 

Whitteker Bus Lines will provide transportation to the concert from: Iroma Apartments, Iroquois – 12:20 p.m; Hartford Retirement Centre, Morrisburg – 12:40 p.m; Morris Glen, Morrisburg – 12:50 p.m; Park Drive Villa, Williamsburg – 1:05 p.m.

For information or transportation needs contact Bill MacDonald (613) 652-2307 (Iroquois) or Earl Wood (613) 543-3292 (Morrisburg). 

 

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New ups and downs for the St. Lawrence

 

Building on 50 years of experience, a five-year binational study and extensive public comment, The International Joint Commission (IJC) has released a fact sheet outlining a draft new approach to manage water levels and flows in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River system.

Water levels and flows of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are primarily determined by natural factors including rainfall and snowmelt. 

Under the International Joint Commission’s (IJC) 1956 order of approval, the regulation of flows through the Moses-Saunders Dam has reduced the extremity of high and low water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. 

This has benefitted a range of interests upstream and downstream of the dam, including coastal property, recreational boating, hydropower production, commercial navigation and municipal water suppliers. 

However, the current regulation plan is based on the conditions of the last century, with no regard for environmental consequences and no process for adapting to future challenges such as bigger storms and more severe droughts.

The IJC is now developing a new approach with the assistance of a Working Group of representatives from the governments of Canada, the United States, the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and the State of New York.

The draft new approach will consider all interests – environmental, social and economic. 

While continuing to reduce extreme high and low water levels, the draft new approach would allow more natural level and flow patterns. 

This is expected to improve wetland health on Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River on a scale larger than any restoration actions taken to date. 

The improvements to wetlands and other habitat would provide benefits such as higher quality sport fishing, boating, bird watching and other outdoor activities. 

An adaptive management program would regularly monitor conditions and periodically review the management of levels and flows. 

This would improve the capability to adapt to future changes, including socio-economic changes and significant changes in climate. 

Improved communication with governments and stakeholders in the basin is also an integral component of the draft new approach.

The IJC has had informal discussions with First Nations and Tribes, shoreline property owners, recreational boaters, environmental organizations, local officials and others in the basin about the proposed approach. 

According to the fact sheet, the draft new approach would: 

•Substantially improve wetlands, a key indicator for lake and river health. It is anticipated that wetland meadow marsh community, the most diverse and productive type of coastal wetlands in the basin, would increase by 40 percent.

•Retain protection for Lake Ontario coastal property, while increasing some shoreline protection costs. It is estimated that the new approach would maintain 88 percent of the benefits of reduced flooding, wave damage and shoreline protection maintenance provided by the current regulation plan.

•The boating season on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River would be longer in some years because of higher water levels in the fall. However, levels would occasionally be lower in the summer. 

•Pose no significant changes for interests along the St. Lawrence below the Moses Saunders Dam. Communities downstream from the dam would continue to receive flood protection benefits while also providing for adequate depths for the Port of Montreal and commercial navigation.

The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.

The IJC intends to release additional information further detailing the specific draft new approach for full public review.

As well, informational sessions throughout the basin to further discuss the draft new approach with the public will be held in 2012.

Prior to finalizing a revised order and regulation plan, the IJC will conduct formal public hearings throughout the basin and carefully consider all public comment.

The International Joint Commission prevents and resolves disputes between the United States of America and Canada under the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty and pursues the common good of both countries as an independent and objective advisor to the two governments.

IJC Press Release

 

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Doug Tangney on stage for Playhouse Christmas Show

 If there’s anything better than a great holiday show, it’s a show that’s also filled with tons of great laughs, wonderful live music, a really good story, lots of Christmas cheer and lots of fun for children and adults alike! 

That’s what The Playhouse has in store for everyone in their upcoming Christmas comedy, Dear Santa, by Canada’s King of Comedy, Norm Foster. 

This entertaining show is set at Santa’s Office and Workshop at his North Pole Headquarters, just days before his yearly trip with a sleigh full of toys for all the girls and boys. 

A fun aspect of the show is getting a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the hustle and bustle with Santa and his staff working round the clock as that magic time approaches. 

But this year is even more hectic as trouble brews and everything seems to go wrong leaving Santa to deal with a ton of problems before he sets out on his Christmas Eve journey. 

Heading up the professional cast of this Yuletide comedy are Doug Tangney who stars as Santa himself. 

Tangney is a favourite with Playhouse audiences, and he brings his popular brand of magic and comedy to this jolly old elf. 

Joining him are a high-powered cast of talented actors and singers including Richard Bauer, Jamie Williams, Susan Greenfield, Liz Gilroy, Timm Hughes, Travis Seetoo and  Meredith Zwicker who doubles as Musical Director for the show. 

As in past years, the show will also feature an extended musical scene filled with Christmas songs and dances to put everyone in the holiday spirit. 

There’s also a community aspect to The Playhouse’s holiday show this year with a choir comprised of local youth and also lively elves portrayed by some budding local actors. 

Ontario Power Generation is also a major sponsor of this family event. 

It’s truly a laughter and music filled Christmas experience for everyone and a wonderful way to end a terrific Season at The Playhouse. 

Dear Santa runs from November 24 through December 18 with matinee and evening performances. 

Call the Box Office at 613-543-3713 & 1-877-550-3650 or uppercanadaplayhouse.com for tickets. 

 

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News

Remembrance Day 2011 at the Royal Canadian Legion

 

The Legion in Morrisburg was filled to capacity as people gathered to honour the fallen and say thank you to those still present.  While Diane Sheldrick honoured everyone with a song, “Canada, My Country,” Reverend Sue McCullough hoped, “the country in which we live and for which they died may ever be worthy of the sacrifice they made.” 

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Nicole Sullivan is looking forward to joining the South Dundas community

 

Nicole Sullivan, as South Dundas’s new Economic Development Officer (EDO), is here to help build our community. 

The Leader met with Sullivan at her Morrisburg office on November 2nd to learn more about her and her plans for the area.

Sullivan is a native of Bells Corners in West Ottawa. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo where she majored in human geography and minored in business and tourism. According to Sullivan, she “went into geography because it was a little more of a broad focus.”

As for her Masters degree, Sullivan went to the University of Guelph where she produced a thesis entitled “Immigration Attraction and Retention for Small Towns and Rural Areas.”

Her first job was actually a volunteer internship in Nicaragua where she worked “on an organic farm (which was) part of a bigger community development project.”

She was impressed with “how the community took what they had and built on it to improve their quality of life.”

When she returned home she “started looking at similar projects,” which is how she found her position as the Area Economic Development Coordinator for the Parry Sound Regional Economic Development Advisory Committee. This position was a year-long internship sponsored by FedNor.

According to www.fednor.gc.ca, it “is a regional economic development organization in Northern Ontario that promotes economic development, diversification and job creation and encourages sustainable, self-reliant communities in Northern Ontario.”

As for why Sullivan chose to become an EDO, she said, “I really like the variety of initiatives and how dynamic the field is; there’s a lot of space for creativity; (and, the position) allows for a lot of interaction with the community and I feed off that.”

In choosing South Dundas as her new home for both work and personal life, she admitted that she’s “always been attracted to small towns and rural areas.”

“I saw the opportunity and couldn’t resist,” she continued. “I was attracted to the tourism opportunities, the rich heritage, and the strong agricultural community.”

Sullivan, at the time of the interview, was only on her third day of her new position in South Dundas and was “still trying to get a feel” for how things work here.

She acknowledged that “people who live here know it the best” and she welcomes their input.

“Yes, if there’s a business that would like to provide some feedback, please come out.”

The EDO position is vast in its description as well as its list of duties. She explained that “it’s very diverse, from marketing to looking at industrial park to engaging with the community.” Sullivan believes that making it work is all about balance.

As for where she will start, it “depends on the community’s objectives and how it wants to move forward.”

At the moment she is “getting oriented to the community (and) learning about its priorities and dynamics.”

Sullivan “recognizes that economic development means different things to everybody” and she’s “really excited to be here and to get moving.”

“I’m looking forward to being part of the community.” Sullivan is hoping to find a place in South Dundas before the snow falls.

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Hartford Paintings receive dedication

 

American actress Stella Adler once said, “Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.” 

Hartford Retirment Centre resident, William Halcrow, gifted the centre with two new paintings.

On November 12th, in front of a small group in the Hartford chapel, Reverend Jane Evans performed a dedication for the new additions.

Halcrow told the group that he commissioned local artist Gene Ward to do these paintings because he felt the chapel’s two big windows needed something.

He said the paintings are meant “to fill a void and inspire all who believe.”

“It is my gratitude that I could do this for the Hartford,” Halcrow continued, “and, to give back to the community.”

He admitted, “They turned out more beautiful than I thought.”

Artist Gene Ward thanked Halcrow for “being a patron to the arts.” He then thanked the Hartford for allowing the paintings to be hung in the chapel.

SD&G MP Guy Lauzon, admired the artwork saying, “these are very striking paintings.”

Turning to Halcrow and Ward, he continued, “When I look at these paintings I get a good feeling. Many people will get that feeling because of your efforts. God Bless.”

South Dundas Deputy Mayor Jim Locke said, “it’s great to be here and enjoy the collaboration.” He commended Halcrow for choosing a local artist.

Then, to both men, he said, “congratulations on a project well done.” 

Hartford’s Community Relations Manager, Tracy Jones, concluded the speeches addressing Halcrow and Ward, “thank you both for providing the Hartford with such great paintings.”

The portraits were chosen for their balance between male and female. The angel is “welcoming you into that domain,” said Ward.

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