Lanark County

World music packs a punch at MERA

Written by  |  Wednesday, 01 July 2015 15:33  |  Published in Lanark County
Lovers of world music were treated to two special concerts that brought the sounds of far-off places to this neck of the woods. The first concert took place on June 28 at the MERA schoolhouse in McDonalds Corners, where flamenco guitarist Jorge Miguel surprised guests and appeared with stellar flamenco singer, Fernando Gallego, in tow. The two performed two generous sets of top-notch, straight from the heart music and those unfamiliar with the power of authentic flamenco were hit hard with the intensity of emotion that it is. Miguel, who has studied with the best flamenco guitarists in Spain, de-mystified the genre for guests. He explained that the music goes back to the Druids of 3000 years ago, and is a style similar to American…

MERA Arts Festival

Written by  |  Wednesday, 10 June 2015 23:59  |  Published in Lanark County
McDonalds Corners/Elphin Recreation and Arts (MERA) will host its first multi-disciplinary arts festival on Sat. June 13, 10am-dusk at the MERA Schoolhouse. Except for a build-your-own-ukulele workshop that requires a fee & registration, the festival is completely free. The activities will include a number of workshops and demonstrations by various arts groups, including the MERA Heritage Weavers, the MERA Pottery group, the fine arts “Arts Circle”and many others. plus activities for children. There will be a puppet-making workshop given by Montreal’s Flying Box Theatre. They make a variety of styles of puppets, tailoring their workshops to each audience, and are looking forward to teaching puppetmaking to young and old alike. They will also present a free performance of “Hans Dudeldee and Other Forgotten Fairy Tales”…

Piano Magic at MERA

Written by  |  Thursday, 28 May 2015 14:07  |  Published in Lanark County
As the second of this summer's Blue Jeans Classical music series, MERA is presented the master pianist, Michel Szezesniak on Sunday, June 7th at 2:00 PM at the MERA Schoolhouse in McDonald's Corners.  Many music lovers will recall his memorable performance at MERA as part of the Woodwinds and Piano recital in November, 2014. Entitled "Fascinating Miniatures", the concert will feature piano gems by Beethoven, Scriabin, Gershwin, Satie and compositions by the pianist himself.  The common thread will be that all of the composers of these charming piano pieces are themselves pianists.  Along with playing these pieces, Michel will use his considerable wit and wisdom to entertain the audience about the music and the composers. Michel moved to Canada from the United States in 1983,…

Fall River Restaurant's new EV charging station

Written by  |  Wednesday, 20 May 2015 16:17  |  Published in Lanark County
FallThanks to the efforts of Sun Country Highway, a Canadian-owned company that is a leader in the electric vehicle movement; a generous donor from Ottawa; and the owners of the Fall River Restaurant in Maberly, electric car owners traveling between Ottawa and Peterborough on Highway 7 will be able to charge up their vehicles at a new EV charging station, which was officially unveiled at the Fall River Restaurant on May 16. Peter Manson of Ottawa originally won the unit in Sun Country Highway's annual Amazing Race, an electric car rally that is held across the country, in which participants can win a number of prizes by collecting points at charging stations en route. Manson and his wife, who own a Tesla Model S, drove…

Brooke Valley School thanks the community

Written by  |  Wednesday, 20 May 2015 16:00  |  Published in Lanark County
Friends, family of students and staff at the Brooke Valley School attended the school’s annual fundraiser/community thank-you event at the community hall in Maberly on May 16. The event included loads of top notch live entertainment, a book sale, a silent auction and a delicious Indian dinner made with local produce. The over 50 guests who attended were invited to make a pay-what-you- can donation to the school. The evening opened with a play put on by the Brooke Valley School students titled “How You Fill The Bucket”. Musical guests who performed included well-known duo Trxstr (Jerrard and Diana Smith), and DJ Driftwood.

New art installations spark off Fieldwork's 8th year

Written by  |  Thursday, 14 May 2015 02:14  |  Published in Lanark County
There is no better sign of the arrival of fair weather than the opening of Fieldwork, Maberly's outdoor art & sculpture gallery, with its new installations for the 2015 season. On May 9 over 100 guests attended the opening for the four (soon to be five) new installations. The artists each spoke about their works, which cover a wide range of topics. Master print maker Franc Van Oort's “Eye Box” shows what a truly renaissance man he is. Van Oort built a huge camera obscura, a centuries-old optical device that led to photography and the photographic camera. It is also used by artists to observe the rules of perspective in drawing and painting. The huge box can easily house 10 people, though a maximum or…

23rd annual Maberly Maple Festival/Pancake Brunch

Written by  |  Wednesday, 22 April 2015 20:35  |  Published in Lanark County
Over 100 lively pancake lovers filled the Maberly hall for the Maberly Agricultural Society's annual Maple Festival/Pancake Brunch fundraiser on April 18. Diners enjoyed home-made maple baked beans, sausages, and pancakes made from a secret family recipe that organizers have been using since the fundraiser began over two decades ago. Proceeds from the event go towards supporting the annual Maberly Fair, which this year will take place on Saturday, August 29 at the fairgrounds. The theme for this year's fair is “sheep and goats” which should make the fair parade extra special and one to remember. Gord Patterson, who donated the maple syrup for the event, was also on hand selling his maple syrup products. Paul Pospisil, past president and current board member of the…

Tay Valley community choir

Written by  |  Wednesday, 22 April 2015 20:13  |  Published in Lanark County
by Marily Seitz The Tay Valley Community Choir presents "Here's to Singing!", a celebration of music and friendship. This year's spring concert will take place in the Maberly hall on Saturday, April 25 at 7pm. As is their custom, the choir welcomes local musicians to join them on stage. The audience will help round out the evening of joy-filled entertainment with several sing-a-long songs. In the true spirit of a community choir, this group of choristers gathers weekly for the joy of friendship, and sing for the joy of song. Under the inspired direction of Rebecca Worden and the inspiring accompaniment of Rachelle Reinhart, the choir has prepared an eclectic set of songs sure to appeal to all types of music lovers. During the intermission…

Jam-a-thon at Maberly Hall

Written by  |  Wednesday, 22 April 2015 20:10  |  Published in Lanark County
by Cindy McCall Maberly Hall will be filled with fiddlers and their friends on Sunday, May 3. The Blue Skies Community Fiddle Orchestra is holding a fundraising Jam-a-thon with an open invitation to any local musician to come and play. And it’s not just for fiddlers; guitars, cello, viola, mandolin, penny whistles and the like are all welcome to join in the fun. Players obtain sponsors, collect the funds and bring them to the hall on May 3. Participants can drop in and join the jam circle anytime during the day between 1 and 6pm. Participants will have the opportunity to choose tunes (or songs) for all in the circle to play (or sing). Refreshments will be available for players throughout the day. The Jam-a-thon…

Gwen Frankton's tree portraits at MERA

Written by  |  Wednesday, 15 April 2015 23:00  |  Published in Lanark County
Painting trees is one way that artist Gwen Frankton believes she can actively take on stand on the environment and conservation, and judging by the turnout at her new show at the MERA school house, she is definitely succeeding in bringing that conversation forward. The show titled “Every Green Tree”, on display until April 28, puts trees front and centre and for those adverse to the term “tree huggers”, her paintings go a long way in making their case. Frankton, who calls both Ottawa and Maitland, Nova Scotia home, has been painting ever since she acquired a BFA at the University of Windsor decades ago. Now retired and a full time artist, it is her love of nature and particularly trees that inspired this show,…

Irish-inspired basket making at MERA

Written by  |  Wednesday, 11 March 2015 18:47  |  Published in Lanark County
Irish Ulster baskets were the focus at a special basket making workshop that took place at the MERA schoolhouse in McDonalds Corners on March 7. Veteran basket maker, Maike Polano, who lives in Brooke Valley headed up the workshop where six enthusiastic participants learned how to make Irish Ulster potato baskets, shallow circular willow baskets that were used by potato farmers in Ireland to wash and strain potatoes and sometimes also used to serve cooked potatoes in. Polano, who has been making baskets since 2009, began by showing the participants how to make the initial hoop or rim of the basket, onto which they then secured a number of ribs that were woven into place. Individual strands of willow were then woven through the ribs…

McDonalds Corners Seed Swap

Written by  |  Wednesday, 11 March 2015 18:41  |  Published in Lanark County
Over 30 local growers attended the 4th annual McDonalds Corners Seed Swap, which took place at the MERA schoolhouse on March 7. The event invites local growers to share the bounty of their cumulative efforts to grow and save their own seeds, many of which are heirloom and heritage varieties that they have been experimenting with for years. Set up inside the MERA schoolhouse were tables offering up a wide variety of vegetable, flower and shrub seeds. Kristine Swaren is one of a small group of local growers who founded the annual event, and she owns and operates Blue Chicory Garden, where she and her husband produce honey and grow a wide variety of produce that they sell at the Perth Farmers' Market. Swaren said…

MERA Seed Swap

Written by  |  Wednesday, 18 February 2015 22:02  |  Published in Lanark County
by Kristine Swaren The best remedy for winter blues is to think spring! And that's best done in a convivial group, so come join us to swap seeds and garden stories. It's the fourth annual Seed Swap hosted by the McDonalds Corners Farmers' Market on Saturday, March 7, at the MERA Schoolhouse. Bring seeds - the ones you saved from last year's garden or the left-overs (commercial or saved) that you didn't plant. Bring containers (small bottles or envelopes, plus labels and markers) for the new-to-you seeds that you'll take home. Bring friends to share the fun! The seeds are all priceless, as we try to live the principle of free seed supply. On the sale tables will be garden accessories such as books and…

Stained Glass Workshops at MERA

Written by  |  Wednesday, 04 February 2015 23:03  |  Published in Lanark County
Amazingly talented people live among us in Eastern Ontario. One of them is Steve Boyd, a stained glass artist – and fortunately for those who are interested in acquiring the skills involved, he will be teaching classes at the MERA Schoolhouse in McDonalds Corners starting on Saturday, February 14. In 1986, Steve started out by simply taking a course at Algonquin College. Part of the class-work involved helping out on a church restoration project – and over the next four years, he progressed from student helper to full time worker. He later opened his own studio near Westport. Then, from 2000 to 2004, he had an opportunity to work for Scotland’s National Trust, doing restoration work on Edinburgh Castle. Now back in Westport, he currently…

Upcoming Valentine's Day Dance/fundraiser with Feral Five

Written by  |  Wednesday, 28 January 2015 18:53  |  Published in Lanark County
For those looking for a fun way to celebrate this upcoming Valentine's Day, the Larocque, Noonan and Hill families are putting on a fundraiser for a much loved family member in need of a liver transplant. The family member, who has been ill and unable to work, has been on a transplant list for years but a match has not been found for her. She is now hoping that a family member currently undergoing testing will be able to be a live liver donor. In an effort to help her with future medical expenses the three families have prepared a special Valentine's Day Dance fundraiser that will take place on February 14 from 8pm - 1am at the Timber Run Golf Club and Banquet Hall…

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