With the Victoria Day weekend comes the opening of local farmers markets and Saturday at Oso Beach in Sharbot Lake was no exception.
“It’s been a cold, wet spring and vendors have been working hard to create options,” said Sue Cole, spokesperson for the Sharbot Lake Farmers Market. “But we do have plant starts, preserves and dried goods.
“And the earliest season greens are just starting to come in.”
They’ve added a couple of farm vendors this year, she said.
“We’re looking forward to having mushrooms and cut flowers,” she said. “And also some fresh soaps.”
She said they plan to have breakfast starting in June as well as a lot of other events, but they’re just getting started in that area as they’re a vendor-run market as opposed to having an administrator.
“We’re still figuring that out,” she said. “But follow our Facebook page for future events.”
One thing they would like to have is more music. They have a few days booked but they’d like to see some buskers around.
“We’re hoping to have more music,” she said. “There is power available, so bring your own equipment and put down a hat.”
The Sharbot Lake Farmers Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Thanksgiving at Oso Beach in Sharbot Lake.
Just to be clear. The first week for amnesty loads at Central Frontenac landfills doesn’t mean said landfills will be open during the entire week, Council heard during its regular meeting Tuesday evening at Oso Hall in Sharbot Lake.
Coun. Tom Dewey told Council some of his constituents found the dates listed for the first of three weeks for amnesty loads in 2019 confusing, asking if the Monday May 20 to Sunday May 26 listing meant that the Olden site would be open all those days.
Acting Public Works Manager David Armstrong replied that the regular hours for both Olden and Oso sites would still be in effect.
“And the Monday, May 20 is a statutory holiday (Victoria Day), so both sites will be closed.
The hours of operation for Olden are Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The hours of operation for the Oso site are Mondays (except May 20, Victoria Day), Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon and Tuesdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Large items and construction waste that are part of an amnesty load are only accepted at Olden and Township staff ask that residents “make their best effort” to take amnesty loads to Olden.
There will be two more amnesty weeks in 2019 — July 153 to July 21 and Aug. 26 to Sept. 1. Regular landfill site hours will apply then also.
An amnesty load is a single load of household refuse at no charge (up to a $40 limit).
CF to switch to KARC for recycling, a “more responsible” option
Armstrong also asked Council for and received permission to negotiate an agreement with the City of Kingston to ship recycled items from Central Frontenac waste sites to the Kingston Area Recycling Centre.
Armstrong said for the past four years, Central has had an agreement with HGC Management Inc. in Belleville but “having seen both operations, I believe Kingston is more responsible.”
He said operating expenses would increase by about $8,000 per year by switching to KARC but there will be savings in staff time and fuel given that Kingston is closer to our waste sites and Central Frontenac would be eligible for a 2.6 per cent share of any revenues from recyclable sales.
He said by switching to KARC, it would free up 268.5 staff hours to be used on other maintenance activities and save nearly 6,000 litres of fuel.
He said the $8,000 is already accounted for in the 2019 operating budget.
Stairs contract, already underway, gets approved
Andy Dillon, manager of development services/chief building official, recommended Council accept the bid from Jones Contracting and Building Services for the stairs at Oso Hall in the amount of $30,850 plus HST. Work actually began May 10 but since it was under $50,000, the Mayor and Clerk-Administrator were authorized to sign a contract.
“There was some urgency so that the hall could be used,” said Mayor Frances Smith.
Dillon said the work is expected to be completed “by the end of the month” and will include four light standards and an extended landing “so a ramp can be built along the side of the building ensuring that everyone will be able to use the front door.”
$250 for fishing derby toilet needs
Council agreed to kick in up to $250 for a portable toilet at the government docks June 15 for a fishing tournament being put on by B.T. Productions.
Representing B.T., Kirk Chabot said the tournament will be smaller than last year’s, with about 60 participants.
Council also gave B.T. permission to hold a car show at Oso Beach Aug. 25.
A third request, to hold a canteen on Canada Day from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. was withdrawn.
Vandeross consulting (Ella Vanderburg and Katie Ross) is a new consulting company with a focus on helping small businesses in Kingston and Frontenac County.
They were approached recently by an organisation called Rural by Purpose to see if they wanted to participate in a pilot project that is focused on something that is normally associated with urban environments, freelance workers needing office space.
“We thought this idea was interesting, and approached Richard Allen to see if Frontenac County would like to participate in this, and when he said yes, we decided to give it a go,” said Katie Ross in a phone interview this week.
The local version of the project is called Coworking in Frontenac, and the week of May 6-10 is the target week for the project. During that week, participating Frontenac County businesses will be opening their doors and providing space for freelancers to work out of some unused space within their offices.
Vanderburg and Ross brought the coworking challenge concept to the April meeting of Frontenac County Council and have been helping find suitable locations over the last couple of weeks.
“So far we have found there are more people looking for places to set up than there are locations, and it looks like the main thing that freelancers in Frontenac County are looking for is reliable Internet service which many don’t have at home.”
An important aspect of coworking week, and one of the major goals of Rural on Purpose, which was co-founded by Belleville based Mary Doyle, is to retain and attract younger workers to rural communities. In blogs posted on the Rural on Purpose site, Doyle makes it clear that she believes it is only through retention and in-migration of youth that rural communities will survive. In one case, at the end of an entry, she talks directly to millennials, saying, “Do you want to create new ways of doing business? What support do you need from us?”
According to a media release from Frontenac County, the majority of the workforce is predicted to be freelance within a decade, and seventy-four percent of millennials are currently freelancing. Global coworking spaces are projected to grow from 14,411 in 2017 to just over 30,000 in 2022.
"More and more we find that people are working from their homes, so it has become important to let remote workers and entrepreneurs know they have places to connect in our communities. The Coworking Takeover Challenge is a great way to start thinking about how we can be freelance friendly," said Richard Allen, Manager of Economic Development at the County of Frontenac.
So far, a number of locations have committed to having space available for the coworking week, including the township office in Frontenac Islands, the Frontenac County office, Rural Frontenac Community Services offices in Sydenham and both of their Sharbot Lake locations, and Holiday Country Manor in Battersea.
Information about locations is available at coworkfrontenac.com by clicking on participating vendors. Further down the page, there is an option for both freelancers and potential hosts to register. The site also includes a voluntary survey.
“A major goal of the pilot is to identify the need for coworking within the four municipalities. Our goal is to bring together existing business with those working in isolation and providing access to resources such as reliable internet services, networking opportunities and business support,” said Ella Vanderburg.
“As we have gotten into it, we are seeing that we might need to extend the week to a couple of weeks to get the word out and get a true sense of the potential in Frontenac County. That will also give us time to locate more vendors throughout the county,” said Katie Ross. “We think the demand is there.”
Ross and Vanderburg will be monitoring the pilot to see how it is progressing, just as they are establishing their own permanent headquarters on Sydenham Road.
Liz Bonser is a retiree on Brewer Roar near Sharbot Lake, and has been seeking an outlet for her creative energy.
She found it by attending a workshop in Ottawa that introduced her to Paverpol, a glue-like material that hardens when it dries. Using it as a textile hardener, it can be used to make statues, both for indoors and outdoors, as well as abstract objects, wall decorations, vases, bowls, animals, jewelry and masks.
She took to it right away.
“I love this art form so much, from the start. I took the intensive teacher’s course and am now a certified instructor,” she said. “Being who I am and always looking for ways to have fun I decided to start my own business.”
She now has a studio space set up in her home, where she is able to do her own work and is also offering workshops for others who are interested in working with Paverpol.
“This art is so easy and so much fun to work with. Yes, everyone is an artist even if they don't think they are. There are still so many more new ways to create using Paverpol.”
Starting this month, Liz will be conducting workshops for 3-5 participants in May and June. Participants will create a seated figure. For those who really enjoy the process, intermediate and specialty workshops are also being planned, and Liz also sells Paverpol so people can work on their own projects at home.
For information about Paverpol and dates of upcoming workshops, or to see a gallery of Liz Bonser’s work, go to openingmindsinnovations.ca.
Very few people do anything for 82 years.
However, Eileen Whan is a bit different in that regard. You see, at age 93, Whan is still writing to a friend in Quebec — a friend she began writing to when she was 11 years old, 82 years ago.
“I was 11 and she was nine,” Whan said. “Her name was the same as mine — Eileen.
“But she was a Beattie and now her name is Eileen Greer.”
Whan, who now lives just south of Sharbot Lake, was born on a farm near Leggat Lake, the eldest of 11 children. When they moved to Crow Lake, she began selling Gold Medal products — greeting cards, seeds, etc — door to door.
“I got a slip in the order sheets saying they wanted pen pals,” she said. “So I thought why not?
“I sent a letter and within a few days, I got one back.”
They’ve been doing it ever since.
So, what do they write about to each other?
“They say you’re not supposed to write about religion or politics,” Whan said. “So we don’t.
“We just talk.”
A big topic of conversation is their kids. Whan had six and Greer had seven.
“The best letters were usually about what we got the kids for Christmas,” she said. “We both shopped out of the Sears Christmas Wish Book and we could tell each other what page and the colour we ordered.
“It was nothing to write eight pages or so.”
It’s not that they completely ignored what was going on around them in the world. When 9/11 happened, they talked about it.
“You couldn’t avoid it,” she said. “It was everywhere on TV for weeks.”
And there were other things that couldn’t be avoided, such as when Greer’s first husband took his own life, or when Whan’s second oldest, Vickie, died in an accident.
But mostly, they just talk.
They have met over the years.
“We went to Quebec the first time,” she said. “Then she came here with her first daughter about four or five years later.
“That was around ’59, I think.”
And Greer came to visit when Whan married her second husband, Doug, in 2000. (They’ve both been married twice.)
And they’re planning to meet up again in May if things work out, in Cornwall, which is about halfway between them.
“My second oldest, Brian (who is married to Doug’s daughter) thought we should do it and he’s arranging things,” she said. “We haven’t heard back yet.”
But even if they don’t meet up, the letters will continue, she said.
“Aren’t memories wonderful things?” she said. “I wouldn’t say having a pen pal has played a ‘major’ role in my life, but it is part of my life.
“We never talk about finances but we didn’t have any secrets from each other — we never held anything back.”
And has the content of the letters changed over the years?
“Not really,” she said. “Except that as we got older, we started telling about all our aches and pains.”
Repair Cafe Frontenac is organized and plans initial cafe for Sunday, May 26 from 2-4:40pm at St. James Major Catholic Church in Sharbot Lake.
Subsequent cafes are planned for June 23 at the Bellrock Community Hall and July 28 at Perth Road United Church.
One of the organizers, Peter de Bassecourt, said: “we’ll be putting out the call for volunteers shortly.”
The Repair Cafe concept was begun in the Netherlands by Martine Postma in 2009. Currently, there are 1,822 Repair Cafes worldwide.
“Repair Cafes are essentially free meeting places and they’re all about repairing things together,” the parent website (repaircafe.org) says. “Visitors bring broken items from home (and) together with the experts, they start making repairs in the cafe.
“It’s an ongoing learning process.
“If you have nothing to repair, you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee or lend a hand with someone else’s repair job.”
Example items to be repaired include clothing, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, toys. The cafe doesn’t stock a lot of spare parts but volunteers can usually assist in finding out what part is needed and how to go about getting one. Anything you can manage to get there on your own has a good chance of getting properly repaired. If you want to find out if someone will be available to help you mend your broken item, contact them via Facebook or email.
There is no charge but there is a tip jar or piggybank for donations to cover costs.
Repair Cafes do not take donations of broken items. Tools and/or repair products (such as glue) are sometimes accepted.
Long a service centre for seasonal residents, Sharbot Lake is fast becoming a hub for business and tourism in Rural Frontenac
Given that reality, the Sharbot Lake Business Group (SLBG) was formed last year to foster more co-operation among local business owners. Recognising the importance of tourism, The SLBG quickly formed a taskforce on tourism, with a more regional focus.
The taskforce is holding a one-day conference for at Arden’s Camp Kennebec on May 4th
It will be sponsored by OHTO – the Ontario Highlands Tourist Organization with its ‘Come Wander’ brand; and will be supported by Frontenac County’s Ambassador Program with its ‘#InFrontenac’ brand.
In consultations sponsored by the SLBG last fall, one of the major challenges identified was a silo mentality for both businesses and government, resulting in a sense of isolation. Conference Chair Greg Rodgers has identified a new aspect of this mentality. A small but growing number entrepreneurs are now doing business on the internet – but not so much locally. Our first-ever tourism conference aims to provide a collaborative experience, one that announces a new day for tourism in Rural Frontenac.
In the morning there will be a presentation from Haliburton’s Barrie Martin of ‘Yours Outdoors’, who will share the latest in experiential tourism. Eganville’s Chris Hinsperger of ‘Bonnechere Caves’ will share his enthusiasm for collaboration. A third character will be also be presenting. It will be the first showing of our ‘County Sampler’, a selection of tastes and art representing a diverse group of Rural Frontenac producers!
The afternoon will focus on the areas of accommodations, food, artists, experiences and support services. As an outcome, we look forward to the expansion of our tourism task force for announcing Rural Frontenac as a new destination for tourists across north eastern North America and the world.
Our conference is out to serve businesses from Frontenac County, Addington and Lanark Highlands.
Of the 50 spaces in the conference, 15 are still available. Interested in coming out to beautiful Camp Kennebec to help kickstart a new era in tourism?
Call Greg Rodgers at 613-279-3006.
Harold Perry, who died last week, was born at Ardoch. He left for Toronto as a teenager but returned to Ardoch as an adult, and lived the rest of his life on Canoe Path Lane, on a section of the Mississippi River that is called Mud Lake.
He experienced discrimination because of his Algonquin heritage when he was young, in Ardoch and in Toronto.
Nonetheless, he embraced the teachings and connection to the land that he learned as a child. He also developed a very strong and unwavering set of political understandings that have influenced indigenous activists locally and across the province in profound ways. He also was a master canoe builder and country music guitarist. He was proudly inducted into the Land O’Lakes Traditional Music Hall of Fame in 2016.
Harold also helped to manage a patch of wild rice, that was transported to Mud Lake by his mother from Rice Lake near Peterborough. And that patch of rice was responsible for a chain of events that changed Harold’s life and many others, and helped spark the re-birth of Indigenous culture in Frontenac and Lanark Counties and beyond.
In the late 1970’s, the province of Ontario granted a license to a rice harvesting company to collect the rice from Mud Lake. Harold was a well-established builder, woodworker, martial arts instructor, and musician at the time, headed towards retirement age, when he saw that the rice patch that he had been stewarding for most of his life was about to be harvested.
He approached North Frontenac Community Services, which had a community legal worker on staff at the time (a position that eventually led to the formation of its own agency – Rural Legal Services.)
That worker was Bob Lovelace, who spent most of his time representing clients of the Oso Township welfare office, who were having trouble accessing funds from the township.
When Harold and Bob met, both of their lives changed.
“I knew from when I was a kid that I was part Indian,” Lovelace said when contacted this week at his home on Canoe Lake.
“I was mainly focussed, at that that time, on the local welfare system. Harold came to see me one day about what he could do about the rice.
Harold and Bob and a host of other community members worked on what were dubbed locally as the ‘rice wars’ for a couple of seasons and eventually the company was forced to withdraw.
The entire episode sparked a bit of a renaissance in Aboriginal culture in the region.
“Local people kept their culture to themselves before that. They kept it within their extended families, but at that time they started to feel they no longer wanted to be ashamed of their identity, they wanted to come together in public.”
A number of cultural and political groups developed throughout the 1980’s in the Ardoch and Sharbot Lake areas, and Harold and Bob formed a friendship and political alliance.
Lovelace, who is a university lecturer at Queen’s, a community educator and political activist, said “I like to tell my students that Harold Perry taught me everything I know about aboriginal culture and politics.”
In the 1980’s, Harold became a central figure in another legal battle, over hunting rights for non-status people of Aboriginal heritage.
“He thought it was important to establish hunting rights, and he said he thought it would take longer than his lifetime to do it, but we had to make a start. It was a shorter fight than he thought.”
It turned out that it was Harold himself who supplied the test case, when he was arrested for shooting a duck without first obtaining a hunting license.
Harold fought the case on his inherent right to hunt as an aboriginal person, and won. The case was later overturned in an appeal court, based on some of the comments that the judge made during the trial, but the government of Ontario has never re-visited the issue, being content to establish harvesting agreements with First Nations to this day rather than challenging Aboriginal hunting rights.
In the late 1980’s the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and Allies (AAFNA - later renamed the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation) had been formed, and Harold was elected as Chief through a vote of the family heads council.
AAFNA was approached by Kirby Whiteduck from Golden Lake (now know as Pikwakanagan First Nation) to join in the Algonquin land claim process, and they agreed to participate.
“After about a year Harold realised that the non-status communities were only going to be used and he encouraged the family heads council to have AAFNA step back from the process, and they agreed.”
AAFNA, and Harold, became harsh critics of the land claim process, never yielding in his opinion that it would lead only to the diminution of Aboriginal rights. This led to more than a little bitterness within the local community that is still echoed to this day.
The Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nation, based now on White Lake, and the Snimikobi Algonquin First Nation (based in Eganville) remained within the process, and AAFNA has remained opposed.
In 2007, a uranium exploration company began doing testing on Crotch Lake, using an old mine at Robertsville as an access point from Hwy. 509. Crotch Lake and the region surrounding it are the traditional territory for both AAFNA and the Shabot Obaadjiwan First Nations.
In spite of the schism between the two groups, who share territory and family connections, the two First Nations worked together and occupied the site, saying they would not permit drilling on their ancestral territory. It was an uneasy alliance that frayed pretty quickly, but the occupation held for several months.
“Harold, Doreen Davis (Chief of the Shabot Obaadjiwan) the Badour and St. Pierre families deserve credit for putting that coalition together,” said Lovelace, “even if it was tough.”
After the occupation ended, a court case, launched by the exploration company, culminated in a Superior Court Judge in Kingston demanding that the community representatives who ended up facing charges of trespassing, commit to staying away from the site.
In the end there were three who resisted making that declaration, which was a matter of principle more than practicality since by that time the site was back in the hands of the company and access was blocked.
The three were Harold Perry, Bob Lovelace, and Paula Sherman, all Chiefs or former Chiefs of AAFNA.
“Harold was 78 at the time, and I knew from working in the prisons that he was not in good enough health to go to prison, so we talked him into making the declaration,” Lovelace recalls. Lovelace was the only one who ended up in jail, until he was released on appeal several months later.
The company ended up leaving and the land is no longer eligible for staking, and is part of the lands earmarked in the land claim, for transfer to the Algonquins.
Harold Perry lived on at his home in Ardoch with his wife Elsie until last week.
He was an unassuming, even a shy man, but a ferocious political fighter for the rights of non-status Indigenous people, and whether they agreed or disagreed with him, no one can deny the impact he has had on Indigenous politics in this region, and beyond.
“This eliminates Household Hazardous Waste Day as we know it,” Mayor Frances Smith said at the regular Central Frontenac Council meeting Tuesday afternoon in Sharbot Lake.
Central has been holding the annual day for several years and it was designed to clear out all sorts of ‘hazardous’ waste like old pain and oil from barns and garages around the Township.
It did quite well at that but the problem was that it was expensive.
In a report to Council, acting Public Works Manager David Armstrong pointed out that in 2018, 380 vehicles came in to dump hazardous waste. That ended up costing the Township $24,072.49 (invoiced cost of $37,000 minus $12,927.51 in rebates). And that doesn’t include staff overtime.
If everyone in the Township took a load of household hazardous waste to Kingston for disposal, the cost would have been $14,198.50. (For the previous three years, the day has averaged 389 vehicles per year).
If all residents took a load to South Frontenac, the cost would have been $19,450.
Armstrong said that as it stands now, residents can take hazardous waste to Kingston or South Frontenac. South Frontenac is a bit more expensive but he said they seem open to negotiation.
There is also a chance that North Frontenac facilities could be made available to Central residents.
So for this year at least, residents who want to dispose of such dangerous materials are to go to the Township office in Sharbot Lake, fill out a form and take their waste to Kingston or South Frontenac.
However, the Township will pick up the tab for it (gas excluded).
“It’s already in the budget (for worst case scenario),” said Armstrong.
“If we need to re-instate Household Hazardous Waste Day, I’m sure we’ll hear about it,” said Smith. “I just can’t save up enough waste every year though.
“Maybe we might look at doing it every two years.”
“I think this is great,” said Coun. Nicki Gowdy. “I think it will catch on when people realize they can go whenever they want rather than having to wait every year.”
Dep. Mayor Victor Heese suggested a drop off site at Wemp Road or Oso, trucking the waste to Kingston once a month might be an option.
“It wouldn’t be quite that simple,” said Armstrong. “We’d have to have the proper licence and designated areas for it at our waste sites.
“But it could be a possibility.”
Who knew it could be that simple?
When Dorothy Gray came to Council asking for a culvert to alleviate flooding problems in her driveway on Long Lake Road, it sounded like she expected an arguement.
“I’ve told a couple of people but nothing’s been done,” she said. “It’s a big puddle and it freezes over.”
Mayor Frances Smith asked acting Public Works Manager David Armstrong if the Township installed culverts in these situations.
Armstrong replied that generally, they put them in for new construction but when something like this is brought to their attention, they usually take care of it.
“Especially if it’s beneficial to our infrastructure,” he said.
Council directed staff to have a look at the matter.
Grants for rinks
Council gave its blessing for staff to help the Kennebec Recreation Committee to apply for a Hydro 1 grant to be put towards rink renovations in Arden and to look at projects that might qualify for Ontario Trillium Fund grants such as the (proposed) rink in Sharbot Lake.
If there was a Juno category for ‘longest song introductions,’ Dave Gunning would win hands down.
Thankfully, his introductions are as entertaining as the music.
Gunning was at The Crossing Pub in Sharbot Lake for the second time last Saturday.
He is a singer-songwriter in the tradition of Canada’s finest (think Lightfoot, Cockburn, McLauchlan). His tunes help define the Canadian experience, with a healthy helping of Nova Scotian perspective.
Probably his best-known song, A Game’s Goin’ On, from the No More Pennies album, was written with local songwriter David Francey, and it won the Great Canadian Song Quest, 2013 Hockey Night in Canada Song Quest.
Everybody was singing along (funny how that tends to happen when there are a lot of musicians in the audience).
“I met David in Denmark in 2003,” he said. “And we wrote that when he stayed at my house during the Celtic Colours Festival.
“We were both mad at hockey because of the strike at the time - millionaires fighting with billionaires - and we wanted to write something about the game that spoke to its roots.
“I wanted to have David sing on it and we produced it with that in mind, so his fans would be able to appreciate it.”
Gunning’s 12th album just came out “a couple of Fridays ago” and he has been touring relentlessly in support of it.
The album also features long-time collaborator J. P. Cormier.
“I’ve played with J. P. for 20 years,” he said. “He’s one of the best in the world.”
Even though his busy touring schedule takes him away from home a lot, he said he wouldn’t change it and it does have some advantages.
“You gotta do fool them again,” he said. “The secret is to keep moving, town to town.
“But even though I miss Sara and the boys, I enjoy the life and I feel very fortunate to be able to do it.”
And he tells you all about it, in song and song introductions.
Perhaps his most entertaining introduction featured his appearance on The Trailer Park Boys. It’s the episode with George Canyon, where the boys attempt to smuggle dope across the border and Gunning delivers the immortal line, “Shreddies?”.
“Yeah, it was one word but I got paid more because it was a speaking part,” he said.