This is not the season for light beer. It is not the season for mild flavours, or mere refreshment. We are in an all-out battle with winter now. Christmas is long gone, maple season could be 6 weeks a way. Last summer is a distant memory and the warm weather is so far off in the future as to be impossible to consider.
We have winter sports. Hockey, skiing, snow shoes, snowmobiles, etc. but when it comes down to it, the main thing most of us want to do at the end of the day is to keep warm. Beer is the quintessential Canadian summer drink, and while a nice citrusy summer style beer still tastes good even in the winter, a slightly chilled heavy Imperial Stout or a barley wine, something with some body and some weight, is almost a necessity on a cold winter’s night when the woodstove is steaming but the wind is still howling and rattling the windows.
There was a time when an imported Guiness was synonymous with stout beer. But with all due respect to that venerable company, the canned Guiness in the beer store is, to my view, a reasonable contrast of dark beer and white, creamy head, but it is too thin and too sweet for a Canadian winter. And at 4.1% alcolhol, it is a good choice if you are driving, but in a warm chair by the stove it is hardly what we really need at this time of the year.
The long-established Quebec Brewery St. Ambroise has been producing their oatmeal stout for almost 30 years. It hit the Ontario market about 20 years ago, and has been here ever since. Although it is a regular strength beer (5%) the St. Ambroise Oatmeal stout is thicker than more beers of that strength, thanks to the oatmeal. It is also has a pronounced flavor of licorice and a fair bit of bite. Best served cool but not cold, it is a good introduction to the world of stouts. St. Ambroise is readily available in Ontario at Beer store and the LCBO locations.
Also from Quebec, a leader in the second stage of craft brewing is a company called Dieu du Ciel (God in Heaven), and one of their stand out beers is a coffee stout called Peche Mortel (Mortal Sin)
Peche Mortel is an 9.5% beer, more than twice as strong as Guiness. The alcohol gives the beer a thick rich, luxuirous flavor, and the malt flavours and coffee flavours are right up front, but all of this balanced against smooth, creamy finish. In list of the world’s best beers, Peche Mortel is one of a few Canadian beers that tend to be mentioned, and is usually the highest ranked. In a site called the Dailymeal.com, which favours heavy beers in their list of the World top 50, ranking 26th. Considering that a number of the beers ranked higher are available only and the brewery where they are made, sometimes for one or two day a year, it is a pretty high ranking. It is sometimes available in Ontario, but quite common in better Depaneurs throughout Quebec.
Staying in Quebec for one more beer. Vache Folle Milk Stout is made by Brasserie Charlevoix. Milk Stouts are not brewed with whole milk. They are a category of stout that use lactose, the sugar from milk, as an ingredient. It adds a creaminess and a sweetness to the beer. Vache Folle is mellower than Peche Mortel, the flavours are less intense, although it just as strong (9%) and heavy. It is kind of beer’s answer to comfort food. Hard to find in Ontario, but again easy to find in Quebec.
As for Ontario stouts, there are a number of good ones. Beaus Brewery makes two versions of their Tom Green Milk Stout, the original version and a cherry version. Both are good although the cherry might be a bit better. It adds a bit of tartness to the sweet milk flavours. At 5.6% it is not as heavy as some other stouts, but it is still a comforting winter beverage, and you might even stay awake a bit longer after drinking one (or two). It is easy to find at the LCBO.
There are a number of other good Ontario stouts from some of the prolific Ontario craft brewers that are readily available. These include Shinniked Coffee Stout from Muskoka Brewery (available at the Beer Store) Coal Black Stout from Railway City (LCBO) and Wellington County Imperial Russian Stout (beer store) are good examples. The LCBO also carries some powerful Imperial Stouts from Ontario brewers, including Nickebrooks, Café del Bastardo.
The best stouts that I’ve had from Ontario come from three of the community breweries. The only way to get their beers is to order them online, which involved a delivery fee on top of their pretty high priced beer, or by visiting. Luckily one of them is in Kingston. Stone City always has their Ships in the Night Stout available. Purchased as a Growler, it costs about $15. Not a bad price for what amounts to a six pack of beer. Their premium stout is Juggernaut. It’s $9 for a 500ml. bottle, but it’s worth it. The other two breweries are in Toronto. Bellwoods brewery makes Hellwoods, a classic Imperial stout, and Three minutes to midnight, a cherry cocoa stout. Neither of them is always available, however. Blood Brothers Brewing makes Black Hand, a strong stout, and Balam, a very strong stout, and both are readily available online.
There you have it, a selection of stouts from far and near that will help you get through the winter, if you like rich, malty beer.
If not, there is always hot chocolate to fall back on.
You go in, pay your $9, tell them how you want your eggs done and then grab a coffee and a date square while you wait for them to bring your eggs on a plate. Then you go up to the warming table to add beans, fries and/or hash browns, bacon and/or sausage.
This is breakfast at the Snow Road Snowmobile Club house on select Saturday mornings.
“This is our fundraiser because we don’t get any money from trail fees,” said spokesperson Alice Gilchrist last Saturday morning. “We still have to pay for hydro, propane, taxes and toilet paper.
“Last year, we managed to make enough to buy a dishwasher and that’s been great. This year, we’re hoping to buy a generator for when the power goes out.”
They also manage to find funds for various charities, including melanoma, wheels of hope, Alzheimer’s and last year they hosted a snowmobile Ride for Dad fundraiser for prostate cancer. (They won’t be doing that this year because of unpredictable snow/trail conditions and lack of volunteers to handle such a large event.)
“We’re always looking for volunteers,” said Gilchrist. “Our trails aren’t open yet, a lot of that is because many of them are in swampy areas or cross lakes/rivers.
“But SNOW is our biggest problem. Mother Nature on our side would really help out.”
Gilchrist said that there were no such things as groomed trails when they started out.
“There used to be a group of five clubs that formed the K & P Trails Association that began in 1976,” she said. “One by one they folded and we’re the last one.
“But we’re still covering all the trails, just not in an association.”
But they’re hoping Mother Nature will cooperate soon. Until then, there’s still breakfast.
“We’ve gone through more than 20 dozen eggs and that doesn’t count the scrambled eggs that come in bags,” she said. “We have great community support and people come from as far away as Kingston, Smiths Falls and Stittsville.
“It’s a great family sport/activity.”
For many, nature is balm for a weary soul. It soothes, heals and puts our senses in order.
For all living things, nature restores, renews and revives.
Using the abundant hiking trails, waterways and parkland in Frontenac County, the Kingston Outdoor Adventure Club is using nature to nurture the human spirit.
Speaking from a Kingston pub a couple of days before the club’s official launch at Rock Dunder Hiking Trail in Seeley’s Bay on June 2, Directors Dana Halladay and Mike Janiec are excited to bring people together to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, canoeing, camping, skiing, skating and snowshoeing.
“There’s not really a limit to what we can do,” says Halladay with a smile. “There’s so much around us.”
“And we’re not just planning events around Kingston,” adds Janiec. “We’re going to Jasper Park, Banff National Park and Costa Rica. That’s just a start.”
Although operating for the last three years under the banner of Meetup, the club recently incorporated as a not-for-profit. It is one of many changes the group has made to create a more social, vibrant organization for people looking for outdoor fun.
“It’s all volunteers who do the work,” explains Halladay. “There’s a misconception it’s a singles group, but it’s not. We have couples, seniors and children. We have all ages. It’s open to everyone with a focus on locals who want to participate. We have a lot of people from Kingston and Frontenac County in the club.”
An avid outdoors person most of her life, Halladay is on a personal quest to climb 46 peaks in the Adirondacks by the end of the year. She joined the club to enjoy the company of others on hikes and other fun adventures.
“It’s better to do them with someone else,” she says kindly. “I think it helps bring some people out of their shells. Once they come out to an event, they tend to relax, have fun and realize it’s an inclusive group.
“We’ve had over 300 events in the last three years and I can’t say there’s been a single time I haven’t had fun,” explains the 48-year-old. “It just keeps growing. It’s good.”
Janiec, a cottager on Long Lake located north of Parham, is looking forward to introducing people to new activities.
“I like it when we get someone out and trying something new,” he confirms. “When you get someone out for the first time, it’s pretty exciting.”
Activities for the club are chosen by the leaders with input from members.
“We decided it’s got to be fun,” says Janiec, 56, with a smile. “We have a diverse group who do different things.”
“I’ll do anything but skydiving,” notes Halladay with a laugh.
Two of the club’s 12 leaders, Halladay and Janiec, would like to see more members and volunteer leaders.
“We’d like to see more people leading events to create more choices. Our hikes always fill-up,” says Halladay.
With more leaders, the group could offer more activities such as scuba diving and white-water canoeing. To be a leader, you need Basic First Aid, experience and the ability to handle unforeseen situations.
“I’ve made some great friends in this club,” notes Halladay, who tries to role-model capability and encouragement. “I enjoy hiking and camping with everybody. They’re just a good bunch of people.”
The K&P Trail may be suffering from the curse of the K&P railroad. The old Kick and Push, as it was not always affectionately called back in the day, was originally intended to run between Lake Ontario and the Ottawa River, from Kingston to Pembroke, K to P.
However, costs were high and the money ran out, leaving a K&P that ran only from K to C, Kingston to Calabogie.
Now, long after the K&P shut down, a trail being constructed on its track bed, which will bring the Cataraqui trail and Frontenac County into the Trans Canada Trail network, finds itself stalled at kilometre 64.5, of its intended 77 kilometre length, just about a kilometre north of the Bradshaw Road in Central Frontenac.
There are two related problems. The trail is under water for at least a 500 metre stretch in that swampy location, water that is 60 cm deep in places, and there is no money left in the construction budget to deal with the problem. And there is another flooded spot further to the north as well.
“To put it bluntly, work is grinding to a halt” Richard Allen told a meeting of Frontenac County Council last week (June 20).
The estimated cost to complete the two flooded sections and the rest of the work remaining for the K&P trail to join up with the east-west trans Canada trail just south of Sharbot Lake is over $650,000, which will need to be raised somehow as there are no granting programs available currently to help cover the costs.
And that $650,000 is by no means a firm number.
Pointing out that the flooded sections are complex and may also present “environmental challenges” Allen recommends that an engineering firm be hired, at a cost of $25,000, to do an assessment and present detailed designs before the work is undertaken. Only when that work is done will it be possible to determine the actual cost for the two flooded sections. In current cost estimates, the price to complete them both is set at $310,500.
Construction will not proceed in any meaningful way in 2018, with a best case scenario that the work will be done in 2019 or 2020.
This might come as a surprise to residents because a ceremonial trail opening event took place last June in Sharbot Lake as part of the year long Canada 150 celebrations in Central Frontenac. Even though the trail was not complete at that point, it was expected to be done by the end of 2017 or by Canada Day 2018 at the very latest.
In a telephone interview after last week’s county meeting, Richard Allen said that at that time he was just becoming aware of the extent of the flooding.
“I had only been with the county for six months or so at the time and while I had heard in the spring of last year that there were flooding issues north of Bradshaw road, it was a little later on that I saw how serious it was,” he said. “When it is done, that will be the jewel of the trail since it is a beautiful stretch of land, but getting there will not be easy.”
Loans or the re-allocation of some federal infrastructure grant money are two options that were mentioned at the June 20 meeting as ways of finding the new money without going directly to county ratepayers to fund it.
“It’s not the kind of loan where you can go to bank and talk about a return on investment,” said South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal, “it’s not like you can project a return of three dollars for every dollar invested.”
“More like a one dollar return for every 3 dollars invested,” said Deputy Warden Dennis Doyle, the Mayor of Frontenac Islands Township.
County staff are proposing another option to fund the completion of the trail, an allocation from Federal Gas Tax funds, funds that are currently controlled by local townships. A proposal will be brought forward at the next County meeting in July to establish a county roads system, on paper only, in order access provincial infrastructure money under the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF). The county would then allocate those monies to township public works projects, freeing up the townships to upload some of their gas tax money to be used on the trail.
“It would be a trade off, but the townships would see a net increase funding for their own infrastructure needs, said County Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Pender. “OCIF money cannot be spent on trail construction but gas tax money can.”
Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith said “it might be time to look at private sector money for the trail.”
Last week’s presentation from Richard Allen included, for the first time, an account of how much money has been spent developing the trail since 2008, when the project first appeared on the county books.
The total spent so far is $3.7 million. Of that about $1.1 million came from successful grant applications for trail construction. A further $2.2 million came from more generic grants that the county received and then allocated to the trail, including $1.7 million in federal gas tax monies, and $383,000 came from reserve funds.
There has been no direct financial levy to Frontenac County ratepayers for K&P trail construction costs thus far.
None of the politicians who decided to commit Frontenac County to building the K&P trail back in 2006 and 2007, nor any of the senior staff members at Frontenac County, are still there today, as the gravel hits the swamp.
Sometimes random meetings turn into something special. That’s what happened to John Neven of Sharbot Lake. John is participating in the Great Cycle Challenge, an event that is sponsored by Sick Kids hospital to raise money to fight cancer in children. He has far exceeded his goal of 500km as he has done a lot of trail riding this month as part of the challenge.
Back on June 11 he rode the K&P trail down to Verona. At the new trailhead being built there he watched a large group of motorcycle riders pass by on Road 38. They were a part of a charity group called Guardians of the Children and made quite a spectacle so he stopped to watch them pass by, and while he was there he noticed a younger woman watching as well.
She was a hiker carrying a large backpack. They struck up a conversation and she turned out to be Melanie Vogel, who is walking the Great Trail from Cape Spear, Newfoundland to Victoria in BC. That day she followed the trail to Sharbot Lake. After a few minutes John invited Melanie to stay for the night with him and his wife Marion.
She ended up spending a couple of nights in Sharbot Lake. The next day John brought her home again after a day of her walking and him cycling to Kaladar, and she stayed over another day waiting out the Thunderstorm. John and Marion invited me to come and interview Melanie on her last day in Sharbot Lake and we talked about her voyage and what she has learned since she started walking on June 2nd, 2017.
On most days she walks between 25 and 30 kilometres, and after a year of doing that, right through a Canadian winter one thing she has learned about is how important it is to take care of her needs. Starting her journey with a 60-pound pack it now has been lightened up to 48 pounds, and she has let go of her idea to complete her journey within a fixed timeframe of two years. “It really has become about the journey not the destination,” she said.
“I have learned a lot about this country, it's people and myself over the past months. As I am walking long distances each day I am listening to my body more carefully now. I am trying to keep my energy up by snacking quite a lot while walking and stop with the first signs of a growing blister to take care of it. I learned these lessons painfully. Once in a while I treat myself, be that with a day off the trail or by indulging in a good, healthy meal. I have also learned to say ‘yes' when a great opportunity opens like when people offer me a place for the night, or to an experience off the trail I would otherwise not have like seeing the icebergs in Twillingate, Newfoundland.
This way I not only meet interesting people but also see greater parts of the country I otherwise wouldn't see, so really it is not about how many kilometres I make in a day but the many experiences and stories I come across.”
Melanie is originally from Germany and is a permanent resident of Canada. She lived in Toronto before starting this journey, but she got the travel bug when travelling through Asia and Australia between 2011 and 2013.
Melanie often gets asked if she isn't lonely spending so much time by herself.
“To be quite honest, Toronto with it's three million people has been a lonelier place to live than my current life on the trail. Here on the trail where most of the time I am actually alone I don’t feel lonely. People say Hello and stop for a chat or invite me home for lunch or for a night stay. The moment of being a stranger passes real fast and then people really open up. We share stories and you leave feeling like you’ve made good friends.”
That was certainly the case with John and Marion.
“I love people and I love socialising,” said John, “and after two days I feel so connected to Mel and to her journey, it’s like I have another daughter just from sharing time with her introducing her to people around here.” “The only problem,” added Marion, “is that now we are going to be worried about her as we follow her journey on Facebook.” While in her trip along the worlds longest recreational trail and meeting Canadians all along her way Melanie found what Canadians praise to be all about.
“The hospitality and kindness of the Canadian people as I experience it has been exceptional in all six provinces I have walked trough so far. No matter where, hiking in Newfoundland, the Maritimes, Quebec or now in Ontario, people have been welcoming and helpful all along. I can't say there is any difference of support in my journey in any of these provinces.”
What she has also seen, because she has now been walking for a year, is the way the seasons change and the impact on the landscape.
“It is absolutely beautiful to witness the slow but then also sudden changes in nature as I am walking the trail trough all four seasons.
I remember impatiently watching the arrival of Spring and then found myself mesmerized when I hiked trough the lush, vividly green forest in Gatineau park in Quebec.” And as far as the dangers on the trail are concerned, she had learned something that rural people all learn, it is not the bears and coyotes that you really need to worry about, it is the insects.
“The mosquitoes, black flies, and deer flies, they are way more of an annoyance than anything else."
As she heads towards Toronto, which will put her about 1/3 of the way on her 15,000 kilometre journey, Melanie is happy about what she has seen and experience in year one of what she now hopes will be a journey that ends before the winter of 2019/2020, but she feels some trepidation over the prospect of crossing the Prairies next winter.
“As I planned for this journey I was optimistic to cross the Prairies late summer and fall. Now that I am one year into my journey I realized I will be reaching them when winter begins. With the prairies known as being terribly cold and windy I do have serious concerns. I will do my best and accordingly prepare for it and try to walk trough it as I walked through the previous winter. However if the cold gets too dangerous I may have to stop for a while.”
But that is a long way off. As Melanie left Sharbot Lake two weeks ago, she had another set of stories and some new friends to remember, as well as a copy of Back of Sunset and a Central Frontenac pin in her pack, courtesy of Mayor Fran Smith.
As of Tuesday of this week, Melanie has hit the Big Smoke. Next stop, Wawa.
Yoga teaches you how to listen to your body.
That was the message at a yoga retreat in Sydenham last weekend hosted by Liz Huntly and her husband Roland Jensch, owners of yoga studio 330 in Kingston. Speaking from her family’s historic 13-acre farmhouse on Stage Coach Road as dozens of guests enjoyed yoga in the barn and yard, Liz says, “It’s a good way to stay fit.”
Named the Groove Yoga Gathering, the retreat has attracted 100-200 people annually since its inception in 2015. It is described as a small, intimate festival with a range of classes from beginner to advanced. Visitors travel from as far as Toronto and Ottawa for the classes, many of which offer live music and locally & internationally recognized teachers.
“It’s a great way to get people from outside this region here,” says Liz who believes yoga is growing in popularity.
“Because it is our home, it has a friends and family feel,” she says kindly. “We feel this is a special property. It’s a beautiful place to be for the weekend.”
Located a few minutes from downtown, the farm has a tranquility about it, even with guests camping in the apple orchard. Goats can be heard in the background and vendors sit patiently outside the barn, offering fresh food and handmade products.
“While the Groove Yoga Gathering has its roots in this Ontario festival, it has since created gatherings worldwide with events in Germany, Croatia, India and Nepal,” explains the 33-year-old who travels the world to host similar retreats.
“What sets Groove events apart is their smallness. Participation is generally capped at 100-200 participants. This means the Groove experience is intimate, authentic and personal. Each location is carefully selected and programming is designed to reflect local culture and traditions. Our original version flavour is good clean fun, country-style.”
Liz started practising yoga 15 years ago for improved physical health, but was soon appreciating the mental health benefits.
“There isn’t a part of my life that it doesn’t effect,” she says with a smile.
Gently rocking Liz and Roland’s three-month-old son while standing in the farmhouse kitchen, Tess Huntly talks about the festival with enthusiasm.
“The gentle and inclusive style embraces people wherever they’re at,” she says,. “You feel you can do it at your own pace.”
Sitting in a tent attached to their 1974 Volkswagen Bus with two Dalmatians at their feet, festival participants Marta Lambert and Alex Mitchell have been attending the retreat for years.
“It’s great,” says Alex who was raised in Battersea,
“I love it,” adds Marta. “It’s such a neat space.”
Verona Lions would like you to save the date Saturday, July 7th as they are hosting their first ATV Poker Run and Show at the Verona Lions Centre, 4504 Verona Sand Road.
The show and run will open at 10:30am to the general public with a vendor’s midway showcasing the latest offerings from your favourite ATV manufacturers as well as other outdoor products. The Lions Canteen will be open for duration of the show serving their famous Lions burgers, fries and more.
Whether you come to see the latest ATV’s in the vendor’s midway or to have some lunch or even ride the poker run, they’ll be looking forward to seeing you there.
The poker run registration will take place from 10:30am to 12:30pm and the run is a leisurely 80km ride comprising a loop of rail trail and backroad. There will be card stops along the way returning to the Lions Centre where the top three poker hands will be awarded great prizes. There will also be participant prizes drawn and a 50/50 draw. Registration cost for the Poker run is $30 per rider or $25 if you pre-register before June 30th.For more information or to pre-register visit www.veronalions.ca
They’ll be looking forward to a fun and exciting day and hope to see you there Saturday, July 7th.
Most people lose themselves in the things they love. Conversely, they often find themselves there, too.
Sitting in a coffee shop in early June, 62-year-old retired military officer Ralph Kennedy talks with a smile about the sport he loves.
“I love archery. It’s a lot of fun,” says Kennedy, the outgoing President of the Kingston Archery Club. “I’ve always liked shooting and archery has the advantage of not needing a gun ownership. You can also reuse your ammunition. Gun ownership is very complex right now. Bows are simple.”
A resident of Kingston, Kennedy describes the challenges of the sport made popular by the movie franchise, The Hunger Games.
“I think the best term is a combination of focus and relaxation,” he explains. “You have to focus every shot to be good, but you can’t shoot if you’re tense. Your best shots are your most relaxed shots. To achieve that combination takes practice.”
Estimated to be more than 153 years old, the club is located in Frontenac County.
“We’re nestled between two swamps and swarming with mosquitos,” the president says lightheartedly about the inconspicuous shooting range located at the foot of Fairmount Home.
“Actually, we’d love to own the property because our future would be more secure.”
Tenants for the past 38 years, the archery club is working with the county on a formal agreement to rent a beautiful parcel of land with a glen and natural forest.
“Last year, county staff mentioned we don’t have a formal agreement in place,” Kennedy explains. “We’re currently in the process of working with the staff of the County of Frontenac to formalize that arrangement. We’ve been here for 38 years and have been doing a good job taking care of the place. That’s not going to change.”
Walking onto the range, it is clear the club has been a responsible steward. Targets are positioned safely at the end of a clearing and a well-marked path indicates a range burrowed carefully in the forest. A shed houses equipment for members and guests. The air is filled with the smell of pine needles.
“The outdoor range chews up a fair bit of the registration money,” says the president about the use of membership fees. “We also pay to use the basement of St. Luke’s Church in the winter and we pay for insurance through Archery Canada and the Ontario Association of Archers.”
Adults and junior members are asked to pay a fee for full access to the sport all year round, visitors and guests 12 and under can shoot for free. Anyone 19 and younger can participate in tournaments for free. There is also equipment for guests to use on Thursday evenings when the club meets at 6 pm for a fun hour of shooting.
“The club is a good way to give back to sport,” says Kennedy. “You meet people and you can help people who are new to archery.”
Kennedy would like to see the 75-member club continue to gain new members, especially youth.
“I’d like to see more youth involved. We’d like more people to take advantage of our range and services,” he confirms. “For us, the big thing is to promote archery in the community.”
Once consisting mostly of hunters, the club is now composed of many people interested in target shooting. Members range from children to seniors.
“We probably have 60 per cent males and 40 per cent females,” the president estimates about the ratio of men to women. “Saying that, we’re seeing a slow, but steady increase in the number of women interested in the sport.”
Poised to step down after six years of leadership, Kennedy is looking forward to attending events as a member rather than a club leader. This means he can spend more time enjoying the sport instead of helping with administrative duties.
One of the projects he helped create is the sale of handmade arrow pens. Constructed by club members from damaged arrows and salvaged/donated components, the pens are $5 each and benefit the Kingston Humane Society. In 2017, the club used the pen sales to donate $250 to charity.
Although it is just one of many accomplishments by Kennedy and the club, the president is still looking forward to stepping down to give another volunteer the opportunity and experience he enjoyed.
“My cat herding days are coming to an end,” he says with a friendly laugh about the imminent end of his presidency. “I don’t mind cat herding, but I’m getting cat herded out.”
To learn more about the Kingston Archery Club or to purchase a beautiful handcrafted arrow pen, visit http://kingstonarcheryclub.org/ or find them on Facebook. People interested in trying archery are encouraged to visit the club Thursday evenings from 6 to 7 pm. New members are welcome.
On June 16, the first day of Bass season, a new fishing derby is being organised for Sharbot Lake. Although it is starting small, organisers are sticking to the protocols of events that are sanctioned by the Ontario BASS nation, thinking that over time the Sharbot Lake derby may become a professional event.
“For now” said organiser Kirk Chabot,” we just want to get something started, we just want to plant the seed. If we get only 15 times, great, but maybe we will get more.”
Chabot, who is a fishing enthusiast himself, is working with the District 3 (Oso) Recreation Committee on the event.
Admission is $50 per person, with up to three fishers per team. The total weight of 8 fish, which must be live when they are brought to the weigh station, is used to determine the winning team, which will take home half of the entry fees up to $1,000 if 40 people register for the event. The fish must all be caught in Sharbot Lake.
Fishing and weigh-in can take place on either basin of the lake, from 7am to 3pm, and registration starts at 6:15am.
“We are calling it the King of Sharbot Lake to create some interest and to consider what this event might become over time. Sharbot Lake already has a great Canada Day, and a Heritage Festival but there is lots of room for something new, and maybe this will be it,” said Chabot.
Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation For Kingston and Area, the group/township subcommittee working to turn the former Hinchinbrooke school into a recreation and cultural centre has been able to engage Social Focus Consulting to help do a business plan for township council.
The first step is a two part survey of community interest in such a centre and your ideas about what it should include plus a survey of groups and organizations that might use it and provide programs there. The survey should take about 5-10 minutes to complete.
For those who live and/or work within the Township, complete this survey: http://bit.ly/Hinchinbrooke1
For those who are senior decision makers within organizations that serve the Township, please complete this survey too: http://bit.ly/Hinchinbrooke2.
You may have already seen the surveys on Facebook or been given them at a meeting. In order to get more responses there is a new deadline of March 7th so the links to do the survey could be published here in the newspaper.
Your answers will be anonymous. If you need a paper copy you can get one printed for you at the township office, the Frontenac News or from the following group members: