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YOUR ONLY INTERNATIONAL BORDER CITY PUBLICATION Tracing The Remarkable Political Career Of David A. Croll Nominations Needed For The 23rd Annual Biz X Awards THE PARENTING BIZ “To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before” THE In Education & Online Learning; Outdoor Electrical Safety And Teaching Children About Diversity

TWEPI’s 5th Annual “Best Of Windsor Essex” Award Winners July/August 2020

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CTMA’s Career-Ready Program; “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest” Goes Virtual; CTMA’s Brava Academy Of Music And The Performing Arts; BioSweep; Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens; Rose Cottage Quilt Shoppe; Olde Walkerville’s Cookie Bar

SPECIAL COUNTY & TOURISM FEATURES

"Take Me To The River (Bookshop)" . . .

Summer is here so hop in the car and go for a drive around Essex County. Richard Peddie is doing just that as he checks on the progress Fortis Construction Group Inc. is making on the renovations of his River Bookshop in Amherstburg. This new biz is just one of many to include in your agenda as we help you plan for the best staycation ever, even during a pandemic! — PAGE 18 B I Z X M A G A Z IN E • J U L Y / A U G 2 0 2 0

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FOR BUSINESSES & PEOPLE IN WINDSOR, ESSEX COUNTY & METRO DETROIT SINCE 1998


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table of contents JULY/AUGUST 2020 volume 23 • issue 6

4 Funny Stuff 5 From The Publisher: Nominations Open Up For The 2020 Biz X Awards 8 Editorial Viewpoint: Getting Reacquainted With A Legend The pandemic has stirred memories of the Great Depression and notably in Windsor, it has inspired columnist Alan Halberstadt to trace the life of David A. Croll, the Mayor who guided the city through the “Dirty Thirties”. (Photo from the book, “Garden Gateway to Canada: One Hundred Years of Windsor and Essex County, 1854 to 1954,” by Neil F. Morrison). 10 Front Lines 13 Heard On The Street: Opa! Windsor Celebrates New Eatery Milos Greek Grill is set to open in August, but where? And who is behind the new restaurant featuring authentic cuisine created from homemade recipes? We have the answers you need and more. 14 Newsflash 16 F ood For Thought: That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles Boxed and ready to send out the door, Owner Brent Phillips (pictured) of the Cookie Bar is busy filling as many orders as possible for pickup and delivery. If you are a cookie monster, we’ll tell you how to get your hands on some incredible treats with catchy names such as Bonfire (Graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows); Earth Quaker (maple brown sugar oatmeal); Roll Out (cinnamon roll) and more!

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28 Awards Spotlight: TWEPI's 5th Annual “Best Of Windsor Essex”  Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens (photo courtesy of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island; TWEPI) is an ideal destination for the whole family featuring a petting zoo, mini golf, kiddie rides, arcade games, tropical plants and more. With this information, we’ll give you one guess what award this family business earned for the fifth year in a row as presented by TWEPI! Confirm your answer and see which other area businesses, organizations and events received TWEPI’s “Best Of Windsor Essex” Award. 30 H  ave A Cup Of Joe With Joe: “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest” Goes Online 32 Take The Lead: City Of Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens 34 Portfolio Corner: Investing Tips & The Top 10 Fastest Growing E-Commerce Product Categories 35 Ask The Experts: BioSweep Essex/Kent, High Performance Air And Surface Decontamination 36 The Parenting Biz 40 From The Bookshelf: “It’s OK To Be Different: A Children’s Picture Book About Diversity And Kindness” 41 X X Files: Cheryl Barber, Owner Of Rose Cottage Quilt Shoppe In Amherstburg 42 Making A Sound Living: Dorothy Carvello’s Book “Anything For A Hit” 44 Tech Bytes: The Explosive Growth Of Esports 45 The Way It Was: 100 Year History Of The Border Cities Lodge No. 554 46 Biz Of The Month: Face The Music Online With Brava Academy Of Music And The Performing Arts

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ON THE COVER — “Take Me To The River (Bookshop)!” — 18

Richard Peddie (photographed) spent a large portion of his career running Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, a multi-billion dollar behemoth which counts the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Scotiabank Arena among its holdings. Now Peddie — who lives on Boblo Island with wife Colleen — prepares to open up the River Bookshop, 67 Richmond Street in the small town of Amherstburg. So how did this all come to be? Our cover story helps you get to know Richard Peddie — like a book. In addition, coinciding with our SPECIAL COUNTY SECTION, we shine the spotlight on the local tourism industry. With many people opting to stay close to home during COVID-19, a worldwide pandemic that has taken a huge bite out of economies across the world, many local businesses and organizations are ramping up their summer offerings to help area residents plan staycations. These include golf courses, canoe rental businesses, restaurants offering patio dining, hotels and bed and breakfast establishments. We take a look around Essex County this summer to show you there’s still plenty to offer in the way of vacation fun. Photo by Rod Denis (RodneyLDenisPhotographer.com). B I Z X M A G A Z IN E • J U L Y / A U G 2 0 2 0

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from the publisher

Online Nominations Open For Annual "Biz X Awards" By Deborah Jones

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o what’s changed since our last awards issue and gala in November 2019? It’s something major and I’m sure you know the answer! An unexpected pandemic is challenging our very existence and also leaving damaging effects on our economy. Yet, we all must survive and keep living (safely of course). For us at the magazine, we keep pumping out issues to inform our readers about local news and also continue to promote our advertisers. It also means we carry on our tradition of announcing our categories for the annual Biz X Awards in our summer issue, as we have done for the past 23 years. Now more than ever we need to reward businesses, organizations and people who are fighting hard to keep paying the bills and doing great things in our region! And the 2020 Biz X Awards are a fantastic way to do just that. Here again is a quick rundown on how the awards process works. With the publishing of the July/August edition, the categories are officially released and nominations are accepted on our website: BizXmagazine.com. Readers can nominate the businesses and people in Windsor Essex who they believe are the best in each category and deserve to be recognized. So if you own a business or run an organization, ask your customers/clients to nominate you ASAP! Nominations are accepted from July 27 (noon) until September 11, 2020 (5 p.m.) Whenever possible please include some supporting evidence, for your nominee, on our online form. ***NOTE: If you choose the wrong category, we reserve the right to move it to the appropriate category so that your nomination counts. Nominees are made public on the Biz X website when voting commences on September 16 (noon) and continues through to September 25 (5 p.m.) During the voting period you can go online to: BizXmagazine.com and cast your vote for your choice to win the 2020 Biz X Award in its respective category. You can also vote using your smart phone or tablet via our mobile friendly voting site. Keep in mind the nomination and voting process is not a popularity contest — it only takes ONE nomination to be included in the voting poll. It is always best though to get a few people to nominate you or your business to ensure your nomination was received by us. Once you nominate an individual or a business you will receive a confirmation email showing it was properly submitted. If you DO NOT receive this email (check your spam folder too) then we

NOMINATE YOUR FAVOURITE

BUSINESSES AND

PEOPLE

JULY 27 (NOON) TO

SEPT. 11, 2020 (5 P.M.) ON

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VOTING TAKES PLACE SEPT. 16 (NOON) TO SEPT. 25, 2020 (5 P.M.)

did NOT receive your nomination. Please check all sections were filled out, you have answered the captcha question and re-submit the form. If you or your business/organization is fortunate to be nominated, you will be contacted to supply further details (online only) on your qualifications, history, and to confirm information supplied by nominators. Once the polls open in September, be sure to toot your own horn. Do whatever you can to get your customers to vote for you on the Biz X website — post a link to the voting poll on social media and your own website to get those votes coming in! Remember that vote tallies are only a portion of the overall selection process. All nomination forms received, along with company background information supplied and voting poll results, are then reviewed by the Biz X panel of Judges after the polls close. The next step involves the Judges deciding in the fall who the final winners will be. The Judges do not know the winners’ names as voting is done by secret ballot. The final results are posted in the November/December edition of Biz X magazine, released mid-November. In the past 23 years, Biz X has awarded over 724 recipients in all kinds of industries, so don’t be discouraged if a certain category is not listed as it may have been previously awarded. (Please check our website to see a list of past winners.) Now that we have entered our third decade of award winners, certain categories from years back are re-used to allow for new businesses in those industries to have the opportunity to be included. Six staple categories are included for 2020 — “Outstanding New Business”; “Distinguished Biz Champ Of The Year”; “Powerhouse Professional”; “Artist of the Year”; “Best Little Retail Shop” and “Restaurant That’s Hot, Hot, Hot”. Listed below are the four major sections containing the 24 various categories. While the majority of nominations and votes come from Essex County residents, U.S. citizens and those living outside Essex County can vote in any category, since they could be patrons of the business. Please follow the rules below to ensure that your nomination counts . . . 1. Only nominate ONE company/person per award category. Businesses/people are only permitted to win one award each year. All nominees must be over 19 years of age. 2. Be certain that the company or individual you are nominating fits with the category’s criteria. B I Z X M A G A Z IN E • J U L Y / A U G 2 0 2 0

3. The business/person you nominate must be located (or reside) in Windsor, Essex County, or Pelee Island and NOT be part of a national franchise/chain or non-profit organization (except for categories in the PEOPLE section). The PEOPLE categories (#8 to #13) are judged on the individual and not the company itself and those working for chains/franchises and non-profits are eligible to participate only in this section. 4. Every business in Essex County (with the exceptions above) has the opportunity to win a Biz X Award. *However: NO MEDIA outlets or representatives can participate in any of the categories. You do not have to be an advertiser with the magazine to be nominated or to win. Judges are not told who is an advertiser (past or present) to ensure there are no biases or conflicts of interest. Good luck to all area businesses and organizations. And if you're lucky enough to win . . . you and a guest receive a complimentary invitation to an upcoming “Biz X Awards Gala” (held at St. Clair College Centre For The Arts with decor by Designs by Diane); a plaque from The Trophy Boys in Windsor; a write-up in our November/ December Awards Edition and are declared #1 in your category. So be sure to check your email account in August or early September to see if we contact you about an awards nomination. Visit: BizXmagazine.com for the very latest information and watch for the September issue to learn how to vote online! And now we present the. . .

2020 BIZ X AWARD CATEGORIES

*See rules in second column before nominating*

BUSINESS & SERVICE

(*no chains/non-profits allowed) 1. “Outstanding New Business Of 2020” (Businesses that opened from September 1, 2019 to September 1, 2020) *No restaurants/food trucks or bars can be included as they can participate in the Hospitality & Entertainment Categories. 2. “Charged Up Electrical Expert” (The electrical firm to hire for big or small commercial, industrial or residential jobs.) 3. “X Marks The Spot With This Leading Notary Public” (Criteria may include: qualifications, experience, fees, specialties, quick delivery of services.) 4. “Online Digital Masters” (Who to hire to get you set up on the world wide web to sell your products or services; check fees, referrals, past websites designed.)

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NOMINATE YOUR FAVOURITE BUSINESSES AND PEOPLE JULY 27 (NOON) UNTIL SEPT.11, 2020 (5 P.M.) @ BIZXMAGAZINE.COM 5. “Distinguished Biz Champ Of The Year” (A company in operation for over one year that has done something exceptional to take care of business.) *No restaurants/bars or retail shops please as they have their own categories. 6. “The Smart Money Is On These Accountants” (An accounting firm that helps you grow during the pandemic, handles your books and tax returns and gives good advice in all stages of your business.) 7. “Company That Moves Mountains 4 U” (Whether it is down the street or across the country, this is who to trust with reasonable rates, insurance, positive reviews etc. to make the move as smooth as possible.)

PEOPLE

8. “2020 Powerhouse Professional” (A local business owner or top manager who has what it takes to keep the company/organization they own or work for profitable in today’s tough times.) 9. “Artist Of The Year” (Singer, painter, musician, sculptors, bands, actors only.) *No authors or photographers please. 10. “Mortgage Rep Looking Out For Your Best Interest” (An individual, employed by a bank, credit union, or private mortgage agency, who works hard to get you the best rate, terms and conditions possible.) 11. “The Most Honest Auto Salesperson” (A new/used car salesperson you can trust who

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offers a fair price for your vehicle and/or won’t sell you a “lemon”!) 12. “The Caring Pharmacist Constantly Prescribed” (Dealing with viruses is now a constant concern for us all. Factors can include; a Pharmacist who is interested in your health, makes recommendations and offers other services such as immunizations, delivery, etc.) 13. “The #1 Wedding Photographer Always In Focus” (Consider style, personality, value for money, experience.)

RETAIL

(*no chains/non-profits allowed) 14. “The Best Little Retail Shop Of 2020” (Open to all retailers with good prices, fantastic customer service and selection.) *They must have a storefront, no on-line only businesses please and if a specific category is listed for their type of business they can only participate in that category. *Nominees in #15 to #19 cannot participate in #14. 15. “Premiere PPE Place” (The business you turn to for cleaning and disinfectant products or Personal Protection Equipment like masks and gloves.) 16. “Wonderful Window Display” (A business selling quality, affordable windows that completes the job on time.) 17. “Pedal Power Palace” (Where to buy the first bike for your child or if you plan to take up cycling

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for fun or racing, that has a large inventory or even sells Ebikes!) 18. “Forever In Blue Jeans Heaven” (The place that makes a fashion statement with stylish and comfy jeans for women or men or both.) 19. “Coolest Kids Clothes” (From infants to teens and all ages in between, a children’s shop with a large selection, fair prices and friendly staff.)

HOSPITALITY & ENTERTAINMENT

(*no chains/non-profits allowed) 20. “Restaurant That’s Hot, Hot, Hot For 2020!” (Can be a new or an existing restaurant/food truck that offers exceptional cuisine, fair prices and has a unique, trendy atmosphere — patio dining acceptable.) 21. “The Greek God Of Grub” (Diner or grill to pick up a mouth watering gyro or enjoy your favourite Greek dish.) *Cannot also participate in category #20. 22. “Sparkling Winery” (Good wine is a must, but added perks like a restaurant on site, event facility and tasting tours can be considered.) 23. “Extraordinary Event Caterer” (The company to count on to ensure your private office or home party features fabulous food and a top notch presentation.) *Offsite caterers only please 24. “Favourite Home Away From Home” (A quaint, affordable place to stay overnight such as a B&B or cottage.) *No hotels/motels or campgrounds.


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editorial viewpoint

David Croll: A Mayor Who Went Above And Beyond By Alan Halberstadt *If you have a comment on this topic, please post it under my column in the CITY section of BizXmagazine.com

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n March 25, 2020, a couple of weeks after we were gobsmacked by the coronavirus, a unified City of Windsor Council voted to defer property tax payments and arrears for 90 days. Mayor Drew Dilkens heralded the compassionate measure as something Windsor has not seen since the days of legendary Mayor David Croll in the throes of the Great Depression in the 1930s. The reference piqued my curiosity, and I embarked on a bit of a research mission to find out more about Croll, other than the fact the park adjacent to City Hall is named after him. I determined there is no danger that his name will ever be removed from the park in an enlightened era when University of Windsor alumni are petitioning for the removal of the name of Canada’s first Prime Minister — John A. Macdonald — from a prominent campus hall. Macdonald was a staunch conservative who helped start the harsh residential schools that separated indigenous children from their families. Croll, in contrast, would be comfortable embracing today’s Black Lives Matter crusade. Born in a Moscow slum in 1900, he emigrated to Canada with his family when he was five years old. He rose to become Windsor’s first Jewish Mayor, Ontario’s first Jewish Cabinet Minister and Canada’s first Jewish Senator. He served two terms as Windsor’s Mayor, between 1931 and 1934 and 1939-40. A lawyer and businessman, he first won office at age 30 in the wake of “Black Tuesday”, the stock market crash on October 29, 1929. This is not to belittle what the current City Council is doing for its citizens in the pandemic era. For one thing, there is no consensus among economic tall foreheads that we are on the cusp of a Depression or if the pandemic will result in one. Nonetheless, it is hard to imagine any Mayor matching Croll’s feats of generosity and humanity. Nationalities aside, he fought for the poor, wherever he might find them. “He genuinely looked after people’s welfare,” concludes historian Patrick Brode, author of “Border Cities Powerhouse,”

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a recently published book that catalogues Windsor’s history from 1900 to 1945. Brode identified one of Croll’s greatest accomplishments as Mayor; convincing the province to pass the Moratorium Act, which delayed payments on individual mortgages that were in default. In his book, “The People’s Senator: The Life and Times of David A. Croll,” author R. Warren James outlined claims by Croll in his 1932 re-election campaign that he reduced the city’s bonded indebtedness by $1.5 million in a two year period, while spending $500,000 on relief. Later on in his tenure, after getting elected to the provincial legislature in 1934 and appointed Minister of Municipal Affairs and Public Welfare, on top of being Mayor, Croll was instrumental in the amalgamation of Windsor, Sandwich, East Windsor and Walkerville in 1935. Intended to address the crushing debt of the Border Cities, Croll and Premier Mitch Hepburn convinced the Ontario Municipal Board to approve the merger and flatten the debt. According to an obituary in Maclean’s magazine in 1991, Croll arranged to forego paying interest on the city’s municipal bonds and instead used available funds to feed the hungry. The Border Cities had to pay all the money back to the province, even when the debt extended right into the 1950s, reveals Brode: “All future debentures taken out by the city had to be approved by Toronto.” For various reasons, one being the collapse of the auto industry, the “Dirty Thirties” cut deeper in Windsor. As unemployment rose to 24.9 percent in 1933, the young Mayor joined citizens on the bread lines and soup kitchens. He put his own family on a welfare-level lifestyle as a mark of solidarity with the poor. In December of 1933, he ordered the Windsor welfare department to give every family on its rolls a Christmas turkey. In 1934, the city faced insolvency, which led to 28,638 persons receiving relief throughout the year. Croll became a soul mate of Liberal Premier Hepburn, who recruited him to B I Z X M A G A Z IN E • J U L Y / A U G 2 0 2 0

David Croll was a triple threat, one of the first to enlist in the army to fight in the Second World War in 1939 while serving simultaneously as Mayor of Windsor and a member of the Ontario legislature. Photo of Croll in uniform courtesy of Walkerville Publishing.

run for the provincial legislature in 1934. As mentioned, he served as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Public Welfare. In 1937, however, he had a falling out with Hepburn when he supported Oshawa General Motors workers’ bid to form a union. Hepburn backed the company and the rift prompted the principled Croll to resign his cabinet post, and declare the immortal words: “My place is marching with the workers rather than riding with General Motors.” Enhancing his career in 1945, Croll was elected to the House of Commons as a Liberal representative in the downtown Toronto Spadina riding. A public housing apartment was named after him there. He was appointed to the Senate in 1955, a post Croll held for 36 years until his death on June 11, 1991, at the age of 91. In Ottawa, he was active in campaigns that introduced or expanded unemployment insurance, old age pensions and family allowances, as well as a battle for higher standards of living for Canada’s native people. All told, he spent over 60 years in public life. Research for this column was gleaned from “The People’s Senator: The Life and Times of David A. Croll,” a book by R. Warren James, published in 1990; a 1991 article in Maclean’s magazine entitled “A Canadian of value” and “From The Vault: A Photo History Of Windsor,” published in 2014 by the Windsor Star.


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FRONTLINES CTMA’s Career-Ready Program Helps Close Gap In MTDMA Sector And Assists Employers With Hiring Costs The Canadian Tooling & Machining Association’s (CTMA’s) CareerReady program has been extended for another year. First launched in 2019, this very successful program was designed to help close the skilled trades’ gap in the Machine, Tool, Die, Mould and Automation (MTDMA) sector in support of the auto manufacturing industry. The Career-Ready with CTMA program will provide up to 240 Experiential Work Placements for co-op students or recent graduates from Ontario’s publicly assisted post-secondary institutions, as well as potential new apprentices. Work placements will run for 10 to 16 weeks and consecutive placements are permitted within the program’s timeframe. “The goal is to provide participants with real-world experience that improves their employability by building their knowledge and skills, while also supporting employers by contributing to the cost of hiring,” explains Robert Cattle, Executive Director, CTMA. “CareerReady is beneficial for employers seeking to fill positions relevant to the automotive industry, and for students looking for placements to gain practical workplace skills and experience.” Eligible employers will receive $3,000 to $5,000 in funding for each work placement to assist with the cost of hiring, and can receive funding for up to 12 candidates. Employers will be required to follow a list of industry-specific Technical Learning Outcomes and monitored visits will be conducted during the work placements — in-person or virtually. Employers must pay each candidate a wage of at least $14 per hour, for the duration of the placement. “The Career-Ready program gave me the chance to further my knowledge in the mould making industry by working at Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing Ltd., and allowed me to continue in my postsecondary schooling without having to worry about the financial part of it,” says Kinyara King, a 2019 Career-Ready participant. “Without this funding, a lot of what I am doing now would not be possible. The Career-Ready program has helped me develop my skills and pursue my career.”

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Career-Ready participant Kinyara King (on computer) shows the efficiency of the vertical Kardex storage system that Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing Ltd. uses to reduce order picking time and increase productivity, to the Canadian Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity, Mona Fortier, during a manufacturing tour of local facilities in January 2019. Also pictured is Cavalier Tool President Brian Bendig (back right) discussing his operation with Irek Kusmierczyk, MP Windsor-Tecumseh, pre-COVID-19, at his plant, 3450 Wheelton Drive in Windsor. Photo courtesy of Lori Kennedy.

Each candidate will work alongside experienced tradespeople, skilled workers and other professionals who will provide the opportunity to gain real world skills and knowledge. Upon successful completion, candidates may be offered permanent employment by the employer. “Advantages of the Career-Ready program include the ability to assist in covering the costs of training new employees, encouraging our youth and new graduates into the industry, and the pride of promoting economic development in Ontario,” states Lori Kennedy of Cavalier Tool’s accounting department. “CareerReady not only helps address these needs, but also the obligations we have as good corporate citizens to perpetuate skilled trades and manufacturing. Given the growth that Cavalier Tool (CavalierTool.com) has had over the last few years, this incentive is appreciated and has helped us fill the skills gap the industry is experiencing.” The Career-Ready program runs until March 31, 2021. Employers who hired students, recent grads, or new apprentices after April 1, 2020, can receive retroactive funding. You can learn more about the program by visiting: CTMA.com.


FRONTLINES Ready, Set, Go . . . Fetch Me A Moto! Jesse Thompson and Brett Hayes are hoping to eliminate the time and frustration faced by drivers seeking to buy a new or used vehicle. They launched Fetch Moto in midJune, a website that connects consumers seeking specific options on their vehicles and a price they are willing to pay, with salespersons and automotive dealerships willing to make a deal. “Anyone who has ever bought a car has gone through the hassle of searching out what they want and then dealing with a salesperson who invariably goes away to ‘check with his/her manager’ before coming back and making the deal,” explains Thompson. “Our website eliminates all that and puts together people who are motivated to make a deal.” Thompson claims that studies have shown the average consumer takes at least 15 hours and as long as 95 days identifying their ideal vehicle. “It’s not an enjoyable experience for a vast number of the vehicle-buying public,” Thompson believes. The website has been in development since December and recently launched with eight dealerships enrolled in the program. An enhanced feature since the original concept was launched allows consumers to email specific salespeople and dealerships, even those not currently enrolled, in search of the perfect vehicle. Dealers are allowed five free bids and then must pay for an annual subscription, which works out to $479 a month or a month-by-month subscription at $599. It’s free to consumers. Thompson adds, “Consumers seem very excited about the concept and dealerships seem to be coming online as well because it provides them with top-quality leads from people already committed to buying a vehicle.” Consumers are able to list between four and eight features along with a price they intend to pay and send it off to dealers who then respond with their best price. Another advantage is that dealers can see other dealers’ bids, so they will be motivated to offer their best deal. And while new vehicle sales are a large part of Fetch Moto’s business case, Thompson feels the used car market is where

When you play fetch with your dog you get your ball back, but with this new Windsor biz, you can get a car! And keeping in line with the idea of dogs, the company posts photos on their social media pages of happy buyers with their new moto and gives bonus points if the photo includes a puppy!

it would be most beneficial to consumers. “There’s only so much wiggle room allowed by the original equipment manufacturers in new vehicle sales, whereas deals can often be made in the used vehicle marketplace,” states Thompson. Thompson also points out the website can be beneficial to people not comfortable with the negotiating aspect of buying a new vehicle. “I don’t think anyone is willing to pay full sticker price and they expect to negotiate, but they don’t really want to negotiate,” he expresses. “I also think millennials will appreciate the straightforward nature of our business because we allow consumers to cut to the chase very quickly.” Thompson, who studied graphic design at St. Clair College, was a recent winner of an RBC-sponsored “EPIC Founders Pitch Day” competition for start-up companies with the EPICentre. Fetch Moto was also named 2019’s “Tech Start-Up of the Year” by WEtech Alliance and the two partners were awarded $30,000 in seed money after being accepted into the “AC JumpStart” Accelerator Centre program funded by FedDev Ontario in partnership with the University of Guelph, University of Waterloo and Waterloo’s Conestoga College. For more information, visit their website: FetchMoto.com.

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© CanStock Photo/adogslifephoto

FRONTLINES Follow The Scent Trail To Clean With Bloodhound Janitorial And Deodorizing Needs With COVID-19 taking a temporary bite out of vehicle sales, Ben St. Jean has pivoted and returned to his company’s forté, which is providing heavy cleaning services to retail and commercial operations across Windsor Essex. The owner of Bloodhound Odour Protection Services says he had between 55 and 60 dealership lined up to purchase fragrance wafers, which are used in vehicles to eradicate odours. ”Instead, we are focusing our cleaning services on 13 grocery stores and other retail businesses, which are paying the bills right now,” explains St. Jean, who has more than 20 years experience in the cleaning business. Before launching Bloodhound seven years ago, St. Jean worked in a food warehouse before switching to cleaning services at a variety of companies. He took a six year hiatus to work in human resources before returning to the janitorial sector where he put his new skills to good use.

“I learned a great deal about administration and it’s helped me run Bloodhound,” says St. Jean. The company has three different deodourizing options — a plug-in home fragrance system, which holds four wafers and covers 1,200 to 1,500 square feet; a battery operated unit for trailers, boats and RVs; and an aroma beam unit that allows users to develop their own scent in offices, hotel lobbies, gymnasiums, banquet halls and larger homes. The wafers are three inches by three inches and hold 4.5 ounces in a variety of fragrances. They last up to four or five weeks, depending on where they are used. St. Jean informs Biz X that the wafers are entirely safe because they’re not in a liquid form and consequently there’s no leakage or spillage from the units. Chatham Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram quickly became his first customer and he’s since added dealerships across Canada, as well as in Detroit and California.

On the cleaning side of Bloodhound, St. Jean uses products (a new one by Cartier Chemicals) which can be diluted 10-to-1 and still produce an effective disinfectant sanitizer. “We’ve pivoted and increased this side of our services as businesses seek to return to normal,” he states. “Our cleaning products are incredibly efficient and provide our customers with top-rate sanitizing.” Bloodhound provides retail floor care, office cleaning, janitorial management, carpet cleaning, window washing, construction cleanup, high dusting and washroom deodourizing to a variety of clients in the grocery, commercial, industrial, health care, educational, institutional and retail sectors. For more information, visit: BloodhoundOPS.com or the website: PurFreshSystem.com.

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Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


HEARD ON THE STREET Three months after locking the doors because of COVID-19 restrictions, Diane Clark has re-opened Island Girl Fashions, which has been selling cruisewear and summer fashions for the past 22 years. “It was terrible and I have never seen anything like it in more than two decades of retailing,” says Clark. “We’ve had to close the doors because of flooding a few times, but never as long as this.” The popular Windsor shop, 5939 Wyandotte Street East, was re-opened May 27. “We’ve had very loyal customers for many years and they have stood by us throughout this crisis,” Clark comments. Unlike many other retailers, Clark opted not to try selling her fashions online because many require custom fittings and alterations. “All our clothing is made in Canada and we’re very proud of the fact we have never gone offshore for our fashions,” explains Clark. And even with travel severely curtailed, she still believes there’s a market for her clothing since it can all be worn throughout the summer for pool parties and outdoor gatherings. “It’s all universal and can be worn anywhere, so I’m very encouraged by the future,” she states. Donna Knapp handles most of the buying for the store and seamstress Charyline Zonjic takes care of the alterations. For more information, check out: IslandGirlFashionsCanada.com. -Green Bus Café, a new coffee roaster and café at 1057 Ouellette Avenue in Windsor, was ready to open its doors the day everything was locked down due to the COVID-19 crisis. Owners Cindy Cooper and Felix Winkelaar eventually opened up in mid-May and have been serving a steady clientele ever since. The couple, who are both school teachers, spent a couple of years teaching in northern Manitoba returning each summer to run a food truck out of a school bus, which they painted green. “We replaced all the seats with a commercial kitchen and were able to offer inside service because it was so spacious,” Cooper describes. Their truck also acted as a commissary

for an independent movie being shot in Toronto a few years ago. “After working out of the bus for a few years, we decided what we really needed was a café,” explains Winkelaar. The café, which formerly housed a doctor’s office, offers freshly roasted organic fair trade coffees from Colombia, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Mexico and Honduras, as well as soups, bagels, breads and sandwiches “The menu is a work in progress because we have such a small space and we’ve only been open a short while,” adds Cooper. “It’s been a challenge because we didn’t expect the Ouellette Avenue doors to the hospital would be closed this long, but we’re still seeing steady growth with our customers.” Keep up to date on all that is happening here on: Facebook.com/GreenBusCoffee. Tom and Amanda Sotiriadis, former operators of The Manchester Pub in downtown Windsor, are planning to open Milos Greek Grill in Walkerville in August. Located at 1840 Wyandotte Street East (previous home to 1840 Social Resto + Bar and The Willistead) in Windsor the menu features authentic Greek cuisine in an upscale atmosphere. “It will definitely be old school with recipes from my mother who is 85,” shares Tom. “Modern plating, charcuterie boards etc. will be used to emphasize the food and we have hired Jerome Little as our Executive Chef who worked for large establishments in Toronto, but is originally from Windsor.” Despite the fact they are opening up in a risky COVID-19 climate, the couple has signed a long term lease on the building proving they are in it for the long haul. Many renovations have been undertaken, such as a 22 foot wooden rowing boat now hanging in the inside, and outside a beautiful mural has been painted on the wall, plus the patio includes barn board, wooden shutters and a retractable ceiling. Watch as well for a “cool” new system for the perfect patio temp and a wedding tent styled patio in the parking lot, so diners are comfortable no matter what Mother Nature has in store!

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Moving to Windsor 22 years ago from Toronto, Tom is well known for becoming successful, running The Pita Pit. He and his wife are big community supporters who met in our city, were married and on their honeymoon discovered their favourite Greek island — Milos! Understand the connection now? Learn more on: MilosGreekGrill.ca. The Dutch Restaurant at 2223 Division Road in Kingsville is the latest area business to fall victim to the COVID-19 crisis, which forced the closure of many businesses across Essex County for months. While some restaurants have reopened serving customers by takeout or delivery, Gord Moore, owner of the popular casual eatery, decided to serve his final meals to customers on July 5. “It’s partly related to COVID-19 and partly personal, because I’ve had enough of the restaurant business,” reveals Moore, who opened his restaurant 14 years ago. “I have a 50-seat restaurant and if my capacity is cut to 25, I can’t make a living at it,” he explains. Moore also expected to absorb $5,000 to $10,000 in extra expenses to get his restaurant ready for inside dining when the town moves into another stage of re-opening. “I know a lot of people are disappointed that I’m closing, but it’s time to take care of myself,” he stresses. Moore has already landed another job and is all finished with the restaurant business. “It’s unfortunate, but it’s time to move on,” he adds. John and Debbie Filippakis were forced to close Karen’s 4or Kids, a popular shoe store at 1647 Ottawa Street in Windsor, just four days after opening the business they had taken over from long-time owners Arnie and Jack Blaine. But now they are back in operation and business is beginning to pick up again. “It’s been a challenge in the same way as it has been for many small businesses through this COVID-19 crisis,” says Debbie, who once co-owned Etta’s Greeklish Eatery with her husband. “We were so used to the go-go-go pace of the restaurant business, so whenever we have a slow day here, we really notice it,” she points out. The Blaines closed the shoe store, which had been in the family for more than 70 years, in September 2019 with John and Debbie taking over January 1 of this year. They opened March 16, closed again four days later and then re-opened in mid-May after offering curbside pickup for a month. “We’ve been lucky to have great support from the community and we’re encouraged about the future.” For further details, see: Karens4Kids.com.

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BROUGHT TO YOU BY

NEWSFLASH THE RUNDOWN Ryan Michael Solcz, Barrister and Solicitor, is pleased to announce the opening of his law office on June 1, 2020 at 1500 Ouellette Avenue (Suite 404) in Windsor under the name of Ryan Michael Solcz Professional Corporation (Solcz Law). Ryan uses his past family business experience to help small business clients navigate their real estate, corporate and estate/ succession planning needs. His business is focused on client service. He is also pleased to serve other members of our community for their residential closing needs. Ryan can offer dedicated and professional support and flat fees for those on a tight budget. Find details on all services offered by the firm on: SolczLaw.ca. MENTUR a unique and one-of-akind company — to not only the Windsor Essex region, but in Canada as well — was launched on June 15, 2020 by co-founders and entrepreneurs Christina Zheng and Rebecca Cao (Human Resources). MENTUR is a guided mentorship program, which combines one-onone mentorship and online self-learning courses that provides new graduates with a personalized career development experience. Based on best practices and world class guidance and wisdom, MENTUR aims to create long term opportunity for new graduates and new Canadians. After running the program as a low-tech offering, the MENTUR team has taken things digital with the hopes of helping even more job seekers during these turbulent economic times. The company is the first to develop a competency-based training model. The competency concept is new to job seekers, but it’s the most fundamental concept for hiring. Competencies define not only what a person must know and do, but also how a person does it. The MENTUR team developed a competency-based talent training model to quickly put new graduates and newcomers on track to build up their professional skills for the Canadian workplace. MENTUR is dedicated to building the culture of the ‘Mentrepreneur,’ which is an experiential mentoring process. Talent is connected with the mentors from their very own fields going through virtual job shadowing and systematic skill set training. MENTUR is proud to have engaged an extensive network of many mentors from across several industries and professions such as IT, Data science, engineering, education, marketing, and more! Cao comments, “Our mentoring sessions are unique. Instead of focusing on teaching ‘what’ to the clients, our methodology and our values are all about ‘why’ such as: why we should write a resume in a certain way, or ‘why’ do employers think soft skills are just as important as hard ones? We believe that once you understand all the

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reasons behind the interviewer’s questions, you will talk the employers’ language and bring your past experiences up to their expectations. The biggest value we bring to our clients is the growing confidence we see following each mentoring session.” Marketing Director Fei Niu adds, “Our goal at MENTUR is to make mentorship more accessible and affordable. We know that mentorship is still a vague concept to many people; therefore, MENTUR is a chance for them to benefit from mentorship without the need to reach out and lead the conversation. We set things out from the beginning with clear expectations, and immediate outcomes. Our clients can expect to be fully supported by the MENTUR team while seeking employment and entering the workforce. The feedback we’ve already received from mentors and mentees has been amazing, and proves that MENTUR has all the right pieces in place to help solve the complicated puzzle that can be early stage career development.” MENTUR is supported by the RISE Windsor-Essex network (see the website: RiseWindsorEssex.com), which is funded by the federal government’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WindsorEssexSmallBusiness.com/women) program, and administered by the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation’s Small Business Centre ( W i n d s o r E s s e x S m a l l B u s i n e s s . c o m) . RISE is designed to coordinate the region’s efforts to increase participation of female entrepreneurs and/or business leaders in emerging technologies. MENTUR is a graduate of the EPICentre’s “EPIC VentureWomen” program (Epicentreuwindsor.ca/ epic-venturewomen) and is a client with WEtech Alliance (WEtechAlliance.com), a local organization dedicated to growing tech businesses and entrepreneurs in the region. “It has been such a pleasure to see the MENTUR platform evolve to what it is today,” says Adam Castle, Director of Venture Services for WEtech Alliance. “The MENTUR founding team have shown incredible empathy while considering how to tackle the challenges faced by new talent in the workforce. When you have that kind of care taken to solve a problem, you know the end product is going to be truly spectacular!” Those looking for assistance on their own career path and want to try out a course on the platform for FREE can head to: MENTUR.ca to learn more.

ON THE MOVE As of August 2020 Windsor Vacuum, “Your Clean and Healthy Home Store” has moved up the street to a corner unit at B I Z X M A G A Z IN E • J U L Y / A U G 2 0 2 0

3051 Dougall Avenue (previously located at 8-3041). Founded in 1939 and currently located in the heart of South Windsor, owner Jon Zakoor seized the opportunity in order to better serve his growing client base. According to Zakoor, “Local real estate continues to thrive with new housing going up throughout the County of Essex and we’re finding more and more customers wanting/needing home automation services. Not that our new location is bigger, we just need a better layout for our showroom and the day-today operations of our repair centre.” At its new showroom, Windsor Vacuum will continue to sell central vacuums, portables, retractable Hide-A-Hose systems, and repair all make and models of vacuums. In partnership with Newby Structured Wiring, all the amenities of home automation will be on display as well. Security cameras by Ring, Brilliant Smart Home light switches, Sonos speakers, and home security systems are all fully functional in their showroom. He adds, “We want to give our customers the attention and knowledge they deserve and help them make the right decision on their purchase. Having arrived in South Windsor, 20 years ago from our inception location downtown and surviving the ever-changing landscape of small retail, I feel this move is going to help us better navigate the needs of our customers and allow us to further grow within the community. South Windsor is a great place for business, with the accessibility of the E.C. Row Expressway and the 401 expansion, Dougall Avenue is the place to be!” Check out: WindsorVac.com to learn more about the company, their products and services. Since 2012 Windsor Tea Emporium has been focused on providing premium, loose leaf teas to its customers. Now their teapots are brewing with exciting news to share about an expansion that includes a café and patio to serve you better! Officially open since Canada Day, their new home can now be found at 1295 Ottawa Street in Windsor. CEO/Founder Mary Christine Smith hopes, “Our customers will enjoy the uplifting atmosphere we have created so they can enjoy special times with friends and family. Our menu will offer salads, sandwiches, soups, gelato and of course our specialty beverages with special events on Sundays for high teas and private celebrations.” Don’t worry though, this 2019 Biz X Award winner for “Everyone’s Cup Of Tea” still carries retail items in store, as well as online at: WindsorTeaEmporium.com where you can shop at home and choose free local and county delivery or in-store pick up.


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THIS ISSUE FEATURES . . .

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Cookie Bar 1598 Wyandotte Street East, Windsor By David Clark

T

he aroma emanating from trendy Olde Walkerville could soon bring you to a new one-stop location to find your favourite dessert choices in the area, that’s worthy of your investigation. Having opened early this year, Cookie Bar joined forces with the neighbouring Klueless Cupcakes, sharing the kitchen with store space, but still two separate businesses. In particular with the Cookie Bar, this unique business is all about gourmet cookies of every kind. Owner/Operator, Brent Phillips is the baker and creates all the recipes, initiates deliveries and handles the social media posts with girlfriend Anna Eschuk who also shares in many of the other responsibilities at the shop. “We make everything we can from scratch, using real ingredients like butter, eggs and lots of sugar,” Phillips indicates. “Each cookie is well over a quarter of a pound. We strive to give our customers the highest quality cookie they have ever had. We try to set ourselves apart by being creative and innovative with every recipe we create.” It’s like picking a favourite child — and there are a few standout products that keep them coming back. However, Phillips reveals that one cookie may stand at the forefront, the flavourful E=PBC (squared) or Eat=Peanut Butter Chocolate cookie squared. “This cookie is loaded with chocolate, homemade peanut butter cups, covered with

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Brent Phillips and Anna Eschuk welcome you to come on in and savour some of their baked goodies.

peanuts and Reese’s chips,” according to Phillips. “Even Einstein couldn’t come up with a better equation!” Eschuk suggests trying the Old Fashion, the classic chocolate chip cookie, the one you loved for years. Also, an honourable mention goes to the Cookie Dough Birthday Cake topped with sprinkles. The Irish Dream is every kid’s breakfast dream. A milky tasting cookie with white chocolate covered with Lucky Charms cereal. Regarding The Stach with dark chocolate, toffee and topped with Pistachio, one person said they would give up their first born for it! And premiering in late June, a Nutella stuffed cookie is now offered!

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Photos courtesy of staff at Cookie Bar

Individual cookies will run you $5. Also, if you seek variety, check out the cookie six-pack — six gourmet cookies at $25. For special occasions or family events, look at the 1 1/2 lb cookie cakes, now available in four flavours. They serve one to 10 people, depending on who’s eating it! As for the future; “We hope to offer cookies that are sensitive to a long list of allergies, but frankly we are not there just yet,” Eschuk states. “The best we can do right now is that some of our cookies do not have nuts and we do our very best to keep them separate and individually bagged for delivery. We are working on solutions to this. Special cookies for demanding diets and/or allergies are what we are looking into.” On their website: CookieBar.ca, you can view every cookie they currently offer in the “On Tap” section. You pick a date for delivery (Windsor and all of Essex County) or pick up at the store — selecting the correct date you want is important. After you make the date, you choose all the cookies you desire and submit your order — you should then receive an email confirmation. Then, cookies magically appear at your door! Regarding delivery and pickup practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have the system down pat where all the rules are followed. Phillips and Eschuk will be masked and gloved going to your location and the store is constantly being disinfected, gloves are worn, hands are washed and face masks utilized.


The prized E=PBC (squared) cookie, front and centre and the Cookie Dough Birthday Cake Cookie are a celebration with every bite.

“We want our cookies to be the best cookie you have ever experienced,” says Phillips. “We do not cut corners and we make everything we can from scratch. We want you to love the cookie as much as you love the experience of getting them. If that is delivery to your door or coming in and seeing us, we offer a COVID-19 safe environment.”

For the kid in all of us, no matter what your age, this is a breakfast dream cookie, covered with Lucky Charms cereal.

Under the same roof as the Cookie Bar, Klueless Cupcakes is the original operator at the location. The cupcake shop celebrated its seven year anniversary on July 20 of this year. With a variety of choices there are plenty of cupcakes to sink your teeth into such as: Turtles (the baker’s fav.), Salted Carmel, Canadian Maple Bacon, Cookies n’ Cream and more! Go to: Facebook.com/ KluelessCupcakes to see photos of what you can order, but try not to lick your computer screen, LOL! According to Tim Klue, Owner, “We have adequate space for both of us at the shop. Their flourishing cookie business started here and they have helped me a lot, in many aspects, in moving along with my business. Between the two of us, we will always have your freshest dessert available.” So what are you waiting for! For further information regarding hours, menu items and more, see their social media page: Facebook.com/CookieBarCookieBar. B I Z X M A G A Z IN E • J U L Y / A U G 2 0 2 0

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SPECIAL COUNTY SECTION COVER STORY By Dave Hall

Richard Peddie Turns The Page To Open Independent Bookshop As Community Hub In Amherstburg

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The River Bookshop will offer over 6,000 book titles on a wide range of subjects when it opens in August 2020. The storefront at 67 Richmond Street in Amherstburg dates back to 1885, which in itself has many construction challenges. The plan is for the Fortis Construction Group Inc. to restore the exterior to how it would have looked in the 19th century, while creating a “Victorian new and now design” interior. Photo by Rod Denis.


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lmost a decade removed from overseeing a $1.5 billion sporting behemoth, Amherstburg’s Richard Peddie is now a small business owner with a new bookshop in the heart of small town Ontario. The former President and Chief Executive Officer of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), which oversaw operations of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC, Toronto Marlies, Scotiabank Place, BMO Field, Ricoh Coliseum, two hotels, six restaurants and three television channels, Peddie is now looking forward to operating the River Bookshop in Amherstburg. “I believe small towns and communities deserve great libraries and great bookshops,” says Peddie. “I’m investing in the community and if it happens to cost me a bit of money that’s fine.” The shop was scheduled to open in mid-June after renovations began in March, but that had to be pushed back by two months because of COVID-19, explains Peddie. The building at 67 Richmond Street dates back to 1885 and has housed a drug store, a clothing store and a number of lunch places over the years. The exterior is being restored to its original glory, but the interior is getting a complete facelift with the exception of bricks taken from a former chimney, which are being used for a fireplace. Fortis Construction Group Inc., 3070 Jefferson Boulevard in Windsor (FortisGroup.ca) is the general contractor in charge of the project. This unique building is getting some well needed TLC while making it look “Victorian new and now”. Among the many renovations include: the company’s skilled carpenters have completely gutted the interior of the building down to the bare bones; a stucco cornice is added over the front of the building; a muralist

Former President and Chief Executive Officer of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, Richard Peddie is looking forward to creating a bookworm paradise in the ’Berg. He is pictured in the middle in this shot, during construction in June, with local workers from the Fortis Construction Group Inc: Denis Durette, Nathan Merritt, Duane Storie, David Brockman and Jamie Casey. Photo by Rod Denis.

is completing artwork to the east side of the building with quotes from famous authors; and there is all new electrical, plumbing, HVAC, windows, doors and flooring. However, despite Amazon filling the role of the elephant in every retailer’s living room, Peddie truly feels independent bookshops are making a comeback because consumers are interested in a personal touch. And with many people vowing to support local in the aftermath of COVID-19, his investment seems to be timed perfectly. “Independent bookshops are making a comeback in the U.S. and while it’s taking a little longer in Canada, I think it will happen,” he believes. “Our advantage over many small bookshops is that we own the building so we’re not beholden to any landlords.” Beyond being a champion for small

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businesses, Peddie has been active at the University of Windsor for more than 20 years and has received numerous awards and citations from his alma mater. In 2012, the university and MLSE established the “Richard Peddie Leadership Initiative,” which is aimed at projects that will assess and develop leadership potential in students as well as across the wider community. And while this year’s program was cancelled because of the pandemic, Peddie is still enthusiastic about its future. “It is one of the largest leadership symposiums in southern Ontario and our intent is to bring it back next year,” Peddie comments. Peddie is also heavily involved in a business case competition by the Odette School of Business, scheduled for January, which brings in teams from across Ontario to compete in a pre-set competition.

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SPECIAL COUNTY SECTION

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Along with his wife Colleen, the couple live on Boblo Island and as a proud supporter of his hometown, Peddie is President of the Amherstburg Community Foundation, which, according to its mission statement, seeks to make Amherstburg the best small town in Ontario to live, to visit and to enjoy, as judged by its economy, quality of life, environment and inclusiveness. “It was established over a decade ago and had largely gone dormant in recent years,” explains Peddie who was asked to take over the foundation by Town of Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo about a year ago. “We put together a Board of Directors made up of community supporters and our first year of fundraising went extremely well.” The foundation raised $240,000, which will be distributed among 14 local organizations. For further details and to see a list of their “Community Builders” (leaders who step up and declare they believe in Amherstburg and donate to help build a better town) please refer to: AmherstburgFoundation.org. As for his love of books, Peddie comes by it honestly after becoming an avid reader throughout college and university. “I never really had a mentor so I turned to books in both high school and university and I continued to do so during my career,” he states. “So, for me a bookshop is a natural progression of my lifelong interests.” Peddie expects customers are going to find him working behind the counter on occasion. There are also plans to use the shop’s second floor as a meeting place where authors can read from their works or simply where people can gather and talk about books and even the long history of Amherstburg. Books will span a number of genres from urban studies to climate change and from racial equality to politics and everything in between. The shop will be set-up in the manner of an old-fashioned store with comfortable chairs, a fireplace and sliding ladders to help customers retrieve items from higher shelves. And visitors to the store can expect to see Peddie wearing an apron behind the counter or helping customers find that special book. “I intend to be hands-on as much as possible as I have been throughout my working life,” Peddie expresses. Peddie and Colleen (who is a Partner and Chief Financial Officer of three Toronto-based firms: Bensimon Byrne,


SPECIAL COUNTY SECTION Narrative PR and OneMethod) are strong supporters of their hometown and he sees the bookshop as an investment in Amherstburg. “Not everyone can run a bookshop as a philanthropic endeavour, but I can and I’m looking forward to opening,” he says. But, while looking to the future, Peddie also casts a glance back at sports and what the sector is going through during this pandemic. Prior to taking over MLSE in 1998, Peddie spent more than two decades as a high-level executive with a number of groups and organizations, including SkyDome, the Palestra Group, Labatt Communications, which is a subsidiary of Labatt Brewing Company, and the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association. Peddie was running MLSE in 2003 when the SARS crisis hit Toronto in the middle of the National Hockey League playoffs. “We were scheduled to play Philadelphia and we were worried we would have to shut the building down,” Peddie recalls. “With 20,000 people sitting in 21-inch wide seats, it was a definite concern, but we got clearance to play and we did.”

the ancillary areas such as concessions, souvenirs, programs and parking. Hockey is in a particularly difficult situation because so much of its revenues are derived from attendance and that will hit teams extremely hard with no fans in the seats.” Peddie acknowledges he has no regrets about retiring and concludes with: “All in all, that experience was wonderful, but I’m glad I am now running a bookstore and not MLSE.” For more information on the bookshop, visit the website: RiverBookshop.com or see their new social media page: Facebook.com/RiverBookshop.

Richard Peddie (left) was a speaker at the “Top Employer Summit” held in Toronto in 2015 and had an opportunity to pose with former U.S. President Bill Clinton who gave the keynote address. Photo courtesy of Richard Peddie.

Peddie admits COVID-19 is a much more serious pandemic and that certain sectors including small businesses, sports and hospitality will have a more difficult time recovering. “This is a game-changer,” Peddie believes. “Not only are owners losing ticket revenue, but they are also losing revenue from all

uwindsor.ca

I am a registered nurse, registered pharmacist and local business owner. My journey to becoming a successful healthcare professional started at the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Nursing. The University provided me with a first-class education, stimulated a lifelong commitment to learning, and inspired me to pursue a career path that is focused on building a healthier and more compassionate community. I am proud to be part of the University’s exceptional alumni. We are all WINDSOR PROUD.” Dorothy Leung, BScN 2008 Registered Nurse, Registered Pharmacist, Owner of Shoppers Drug Mart at Lauzon and Menard in Windsor

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SPECIAL COUNTY SECTION

The Summer Of Staycation Feature Story By Dave Hall

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he effects of COVID-19 are still reverberating throughout Windsor and Essex County’s tourism and hospitality sector. Yet, there was a bit of good news on government funding to help deal with the fallout from the mandated shutdowns. In late June it was announced that Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) was awarded $629,788.40 through the Regional Relief and Recover Fund (RRRF), part of the $30 million issued by FedDev Ontario and administered by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO). “Tourism is a key driver of our regional economy in Windsor Essex, and this timely funding from our federal government allows organizations like TWEPI to help our tourism sector and the many businesses that depend on it, recover from COVID-19 and stand strong in our region,” states Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor-Tecumseh and Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. The RRRF was created to provide financial support to Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) across southern Ontario, like TWEPI, that have experienced significant revenue shortfalls since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. DMOs are an integral part of local tourism economies and will help drive visitors back into local communities as our provincial economy re-opens safely. This influx of visitors will help generate new revenues for tourism dependent operators and will be the catalyst for economic recovery across the province. For now, it appears many area residents are staying close to home this summer instead of making extensive travel plans. Luckily, there’s still plenty to see and do in our own backyard. Day trips and short overnight jaunts can still be a great deal of fun, especially when they are taken so close to home in one of our many attractive and interesting nearby communities. Even though our area awaits the move to Stage 3 of Ontario’s re-opening plan restaurants are back in business for patio dining, hotels and bed and breakfasts are in full swing, golf courses have re-opened and while most special events have been cancelled, communities are trying to fill the void with other inventive ideas.

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Get those bags packed and ready for a few days of adventure right here in Essex County! In your travels, perhaps you will stay at The Grove Hotel in Kingsville, where upon check-in to one of their 18 rooms, you’ll see this creative display of suitcases as their front desk. Photo courtesy of Kerry Trepanier Photography.

Given the ever-changing landscape caused by the uncertainties of the virus, many restaurants can only offer curbside pickup, delivery or patio-only dining (at the time of writing in early July) could be open for full service (with possibly limited seating) by the time this issue is delivered to our region by Canada Post and is posted on: BizXmagazine.com. Since the situation with the pandemic changes daily pertaining to openings and closings, please be sure to call ahead to confirm your destination is open the day you wish to visit and to also to learn of any COVID-19 measures required to enter. Entrepreneurs in Amherstburg, Essex, Kingsville, Leamington and Pelee Island are eager to welcome new guests and old friends, so check out our suggestions in this feature story under the headers of STAY, PLAY & EAT . . . and don’t forget as well to do a little browsing at all the quaint shops in the region you come across on your travels.

AMHERSTBURG STAY At the Bondy House Bed & Breakfast at 199 Dalhousie Street B I Z X M A G A Z IN E • J U L Y / A U G 2 0 2 0

(BondyHouse.com), hosts Carolyn Davies and Merv Richards are ready to greet their guests in one of three themed rooms — all designed to reflect the history of our region. “We have a Magnolia room, which recognizes our town’s contributions to the Underground Railroad; a Victorian and European room, which reflects our French and English heritage and a Dreamcatcher room to recognize the contributions to the region by our First Nations people,” Davies lists. Richards and Davies are currently working on some adjustments such as offering a continental breakfast instead of a full breakfast at a communal table. “Having breakfast together is one of the many great attractions to a Bed and Breakfast, but we have to adjust as we go,” Richards states. The owners have also put a rigorous cleaning and sanitizing plan in place and certain common-area amenities have been removed to reduce the incidences of contact between guests. “We’re in a great location in the middle of town and reservations are picking up again,” says Davies. “This is a historic moment in time and our guests understand what we have to do.” PLAY If you’re looking for something strenuous, yet relaxing or fun,


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Amherstburg businesses feature open-air patios and retail shopping every weekend this summer, all in accordance with the Government of Ontario’s guidelines for physical distancing during COVID-19. Pictured is a couple toasting each other before ordering their meals from Artisan Grill, to be served on its extended patio across the street at the Gordon House.

but educational, you might want to try River Canard Canoe Co. (RiverCanardCanoe.ca) at 9350 Malden Road. They offer canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals, as well as overnight camping, along River Canard, plus special outings for corporate events, girls’ night out tours and ecology tours. Floating serenely along the river, you will have a chance to see birds, butterflies, deer, ducks and waterfowl.

They also offer guided historical tours and a Moonfloat outing, which leaves before sunset and returns after midnight. EAT Visitors to Amherstburg can enjoy “Open Air Weekends” this summer (Friday through Sunday) which sees a three-block area along Dalhousie Street set up as a pedestrian-friendly area, allowing retail shops to set up and restaurants to open extended patios. “It was a remarkable first weekend (June 26) and a great example of collaboration between all our businesses that recognize they are in this situation together and will get through it together,” says Anne Rota, The Town of Amherstburg’s Manager of Tourism and Culture (VisitAmherstburg.ca). The designated area runs from Rankin Street to the Royal Canadian Legion building with King’s Navy Yard Park at its centre. Outdoor vendors can also operate in the designated area. “We’ve been considering trying something like this for a few years and the current pandemic gave us a great opportunity to think outside the box and do it,” adds Rota. Among the participating restaurants are: Chicano’s Tacos and Tequila, 219 Dalhousie; Waterfront Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt, 229 Dalhousie; Beacon Ale House, 239 Dalhousie; Riccardo’s

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Dalhousie Street in Amherstburg is always a great spot to hang out as shown by this trio of customers who enjoy a drink and time together on the patio of the Beacon Ale House. Amherstburg photos courtesy of the Town of Amherstburg Tourism Department.

Italian Restaurant, 238 Dalhousie; Rosa’s Restaurant and Pizza, 61 Murray Street; Nuccelli’s Frozen Yogurt, 63 Richmond Street; and Lot 10 Brewing Company, 263 Dalhousie. Others include Artisan Grill, 269 Dalhousie; Lord Amherst Public House, 273 Dalhousie; Legion #157, 281 Dalhousie; The Salty Dog, 237 Dalhousie; Burger 67, 67 Murray Street; and Caffeine & Co., 238 Dalhousie.

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SPECIAL COUNTY SECTION Discover an underwater paradise with Drexler Diving Systems in lower Lake Huron and the St. Clair River as seen in this photo taken June 28, 2020 capturing Bass and a school of Walleye. Photo courtesy of Mike Drexler and Drexler Diving Systems.

ESSEX, HARROW, COLCHESTER, MCGREGOR STAY Business partners Gloria Cavenago and Linda Jeffery have owned the Magnolia Ranch in Harrow, at 178 County Road 50, since August 2019 and they’re looking forward to an uninterrupted summer and fall season. “We opened in December last year and were just getting going when COVID-19 shut everything down,” explains Cavenago. “Over the past two weeks, we have been getting a lot of bookings and we’re filling up because people are looking for something fresh and interesting after being cooped up for so long.” Situated on 10.5 acres of land with three rooms in the main house and another with a private entrance, Cavenago says guests have plenty of room to stay socially-distanced from each other. “We’re within a few minutes of walking to three wineries and we’re getting reservations from groups who want to do winery tours combined with dinners and an overnight stay,” she says.

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The B&B (MagnoliaRanch.ca) includes a stunning bridal suite, which Cavenago mentions is still getting booked even though many weddings have been delayed or scaleddown for the moment. Both Cavenago and Jeffery work fulltime in addition to running their business. They spent hours painting and making changes to the 30-year-old house and fortunately, according to Cavenago, “We have identical tastes in decorating, which has made the transition very easy.” Michael and Roberta Pillon have taken a holistic approach at their Cedar Circle Bed and Breakfast/Holistic Retreat where, in addition to four uniquely decorated rooms, guests can get a Reiki treatment and wander 10 acres of property replete with wild turkeys and deer. A master Sunrise suite features wall inserts with glass bottles, which reflect the morning sun; the Star room uses the same technique and is decorated with whisky bottles while the Blue Moon room uses blue bottles to create a unique ambiance. There’s another room in the lower level, which includes an ensuite bathroom. (See the website: CedarCirclebnb.com) “We’re also in the process of building an outdoor kitchen, which will feature a

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fireplace and pizza oven on one of our two expansive patios,” explains Michael. Roberta anticipates accepting bookings in the near future when the re-opening process moves along a bit more. “We’re close to area wineries, especially Oxley Estate Winery, and we’ll be helping our guests arrange winery tours to enhance their experience,” she adds. The main building is constructed from cordwood with a unique grass roof. The property at 1270 Snake Lane in Harrow also has a number of bee hives, which guests are able to view with Michael’s guidance. PLAY There are any number of activities to fill a weekend or a mid-week getaway, including Sutton Creek Golf Club where play exploded once the go-ahead was announced by the provincial government. Situated at 2135 County Road 12 in Essex, the scenic 18-hole layout is booked solid most mornings before it eases off in the afternoon, according to General Manager Cory LaJeunesse. “We had to scramble to get ready because the guidelines either kept changing or were not announced,” explains LaJeunesse. “For now, we require masks to enter the pro shop or clubhouse and we’ve adapted measures for our flags and removed common items such as ball washers and rakes.” He continues, “We have a great patio for a post-round beer and burger, but we can’t use our pavilion yet. Business has been crazy because we’re picking up a lot of golfers who in past years would have crossed the border to play.” Even with a long list of new rules, LaJeunesse says golfers understand the situation and are just happy to be back playing. For information on new guidelines, green fees and tee-off times, visit their website: SuttonCreekGolf.com. With the temporary closure of Colchester Beach because of social distancing infractions, Mike Drexler, Chief Instructor and Owner of Drexler Diving Tours,


SPECIAL COUNTY SECTION is pivoting and conducting diving tours in the Sarnia-Lambton area. “We had about nine people last weekend (in June) who registered with us and then met us for the tours near Sarnia,” explains Drexler. “We’d love to be doing it off Colchester, but until the beach re-opens we’re restricted in what we can do.” Wearing regulators and masks underwater, divers have virtually no chance of becoming infected, Drexler claims. His store remains open for sales of marine products and can be found at Unit 2, 470 Jackson Street in Colchester and on the web you can refer to: Drexler.ca. And for those looking to step back in time, a tour of the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Museum in Co-An Park at 11071 Concession 11 in McGregor, might be just the tonic for a leisurely afternoon. As of press time, the museum was temporarily closed, but potential visitors are asked to check: EssexSteamAndGasEngine.com for updates. EAT The Wreck at Colchester Harbour at 220 Jackson Street offers fish dishes, salads, burgers, wraps and tacos. For menu and hours for outdoor dining check out: TheWreck.ca. On The Docks Bar & Grill, 103 King Street West also offers a variety of salads, fish dishes and burgers. Get more details at: Facebook.com/onthedocksharrow.

And the Essex location of Kabobgy is another popular spot at 58 Talbot Street North (Kabobgy.ca). Stop by for exceptional Mediterranean cuisine! To see even more of their attractions, accommodations and places to dine in this area view: TourismEssex.ca.

KINGSVILLE STAY The Grove Hotel and The Grove Brew House suffered through more than 500 cancellations when COVID-19 shut down the economy and while Kingsville only recently just moved to Stage 2 on July 7, a small amount of business is returning. “We were starting to see it pick up again, but when it was announced we were staying in Stage 1, the cancellations started again,” comments Operations Manager Jennifer Flynn of the hotel located at 12 Main Street East (on the web: MyGroveHotel.com). “We’re not at zero when it comes to guests, but we are way off where we would normally be.” Flynn, who has a health care background, says the hotel has implemented strict cleaning and sanitizing protocols to help

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The Grove Hotel is a small boutique hotel, in an 1854 building, that’s giant on personality . . . as you can tell by the fun employees (from left) Lora Lecocq, Erika Brody, Terri Durand and Jennifer Flynn (front) had when taking this shot! Photo courtesy of Kerry Trepanier Photography.

make guests and staff feel as comfortable and safe as possible. All staff wear aprons, gloves and masks and there are longer gaps between bookings to enable staff to fully clean vacant rooms. “The adjoining restaurant is a separate business and they’re able to offer takeout and delivery including beer,” Flynn points out. “They’ve adjusted their menu to include items that travel well and a lot of people are picking up food and heading out to one of the wineries for a picnic, which is a great idea.” Also situated in Kingsville, Adams Golden Acres Motel has been in business since 1956 and it’s ready to welcome visitors to stay in one of its 27 rooms.

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Experience fore yourself Kingsville Golf & Country Club, a championship quality course, offering 27 holes inundated with trees, traps, hills, water and wildlife. Photo courtesy of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island.

Heather Adams, who co-owns the motel with husband Robert and father in law Bernard, informs Biz X the motel has lost some business due to local festival cancellations so there are vacancies and now is the time to call and book a room for a night or two while exploring the area. “We’re getting a few bookings and we expect to get some more as people become restless to do something and begin to feel more comfortable venturing out,” says Heather. “We’ve always prided ourselves on the cleanliness of our rooms of course, but we’re now doing deep cleaning and sanitizing between guests.” The motel is located at 438 Main Street West. For further information and to make reservations, go to: AdamsGoldenAcres.com. PLAY Kingsville Golf & Country Club is back in business offering challenging rounds of golf over its 27-hole layout. However, there are strict protocols in place to keep golfers safe and healthy, including the removal of rakes and ball washers and the use of customized flags and plastic screens in golf carts. The dining room and snack bar are open only for takeout, at the moment. “It’s a different world, but people understand what we have to do and there has been nothing but co-operation from everyone,” states General Manager Doug Quick. “People are willing to grin and bear it so they can get back to playing golf.” Quick adds that the weather has been perfect and the golf course is in great shape. The club is located at 640 Essex County Rd. 20. To learn more about tee-off times, log on to: KingsvilleGolf.com. EAT Grab a tasty meal at one of the town’s many great restaurants and head for a scenic

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spot on the lake or a nearby park and enjoy the view and the beautiful sunny weather. Among the restaurants offering takeout and patio dining (if available) are: Jack’s GastroPub, 31 Division Street South; Wineology, 19 Main Street East; Mettawas Station Italian Mediterranean Grill, 169 Lansdowne Street; The Grove Brew House, 12 Main Street East; Beach House Grill, 70 Park Street; and The Main Grill and Ale House, 24 Main Street West. For more information on menu and hours, visit: JacksGastroPub.com; WineologyBar.ca; MettawasStation.com; MyGroveBrewHouse.com; BeachHouseGrillKingsville.com; and social media page Facebook.com/themaingrill. As well as of July 11 the town presents “Open Streets in Downtown Kingsville” (restaurants and retail shops) during specific hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Further details found on: Kingsville.ca.

LEAMINGTON STAY The Quality Inn at 279 Erie Street South (QiLeamington.com) has remained open as an essential business since COVID-19 shuttered many area businesses, but some amenities have not yet returned, according to Manager Dharmesh Patel. “We had to close our dining room and discontinue our complimentary hot breakfast, but in mid-June we introduced a Breakfast 2 Go option for our guests,” explains Patel. “It’s offered at whatever time a guest needs it and it can be enjoyed either in their room or to go.” Rooms occupied by returning guests are left vacant until such time as the guest returns, while other rooms are sanitized once they become vacant and they remain vacant for 24 hours. A new sanitization and cleaning process has been implemented and access to the hotel is by key card only so that management has more control over who enters thus ensuring the safety of staff and guests. PLAY Whereas many businesses in Leamington are slowly re-opening, adjacent amenities open include: Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens, Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary, Seacliff Park, and Erie Shores Golf and Country Club. And for those seeking a strenuous, yet also relaxing afternoon, try visiting the Pelee Wings Nature Store and Paddlesports Shop where birders, kayakers, canoeists and naturalists can find everything they could possibly need for a trip into nature. The well-stocked store at 636 Pelee Drive features books, nature art, jewellery, B I Z X M A G A Z IN E • J U L Y / A U G 2 0 2 0

stationery, bird feeders, spotting scopes, binoculars, kayaks, canoes and paddling gear. For more details, view their website: PeleeWings.ca. EAT Leamington is another community waiting to open up and offer inside dining, but in the meantime, there are a number of restaurants offering takeout and delivery for those looking for a picnic in the great and scenic outdoors along Lake Erie. They include Armando’s Pizza, 154 Erie Street North; Tacos Tony, 52 Erie Street South; Lakeside Bakery Deli Café, 286 Erie Street South; Jose’s Bar & Grill, 221 Talbot Street West; and Birdie’s Perch, 625 Point Pelee Drive. For information on hours and menu items, visit: ArmandosPizza.com; LakesideBakery.com; JosesBarAndGrill.com; BirdiesPerch.ca; and Tacos Tony on TripAdvisor.ca. The website: OnThe42.com also has plenty of great suggestions for you to investigate ahead of time on what to visit in Leamington this summer!

PELEE ISLAND STAY Erika Braithwaite, who owns Driftwood Bed & Bagel at 965 West Shore Road, is only renting one of the inn’s two rooms, at a time, unless it’s for a family and then both rooms are available. “We’re following all the cleaning and sanitizing protocols and requiring social distancing in common areas,” says Braithwaite. “It’s a challenge, but we will get through it together.” To see photos of their accommodations and rates, view: PeleeDriftwood.ca. The Wandering Dog Inn at 1060 East West Road is open for business this summer with cleaning and sanitizing protocols in place to ensure guest and staff safety. Major touching points throughout the common areas are sanitized daily, masks are required in all common areas and breakfast tables have been moved to the veranda in order to observe social distancing. For more information and to book your overnight stay, visit the website: TheWanderingDogInn.com. PLAY There are biking and hiking trails throughout the island for the most energetic visitor, even though some of the island’s attractions are closed. Regardless, Pelee Island is the place to be for physical fitness and quality family time! Scudder Marina at 361 North Shore Road remains open for boaters interested in fishing, boating, barbecues and picnics. Whereas the docks and gas bar are open, the marina’s small


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Capture unique photos in these lively neighbourhoods 54 Uncork an EPIC wine experience

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Though limited attractions are open in

OFFICIAL VISITOR GUIDE | DISCOVER WINDSOR ESSEX, THE WAY WE LIVE IT.

VISIT

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GAS UP THE FAMILY VEHICLE AND HIT THE ROAD!

the region, local tourist businesses WINDSOR and organizations are ESSEX preparing for opening and following all of the recommended Wi n d s o r- E s s e x County Health Unit procedures used for welcoming visitors into their venues. Gordon Orr, CEO of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) states: “Though we know this tourism season will look different, we do know that people are ready to explore when it is safe to do so, and we want to have Windsor Essex top of mind for them when they plan a road trip in the near future here.” So as they do each year, TWEPI publishes a directory and recently launched its new 2020/2021 Official Visitor Guide with 90-plus pages of activities, restaurants, places to stay and a variety of other information with quotes from travel writers and influencers who have visited our region in the past year. To view the guide online or to order a personal copy, log on to their website: VisitWindsorEssex.com. Safe travels, everyone! W I N D S O R

Driftwood Bed & Bagel on Pelee Island . . . the perfect place to get away from it all! Photos courtesy of Peter and Erika Braithwaite.

concession stand, which sells snacks, t-shirts, beverages and souvenirs, is closed for the time being. For the latest updates, go to their social media page: Facebook.com/scuddermarina. EAT The Westview Tavern at 1065 West Shore Road opened its patio at the beginning of July and also offers takeout services. “We’ve kept our tables on the patio far enough apart that everyone can practice social distancing,” explains employee Kyndel Drouillard. “Everyone seems to be excited about finally being able to get out and interact with people and the patio was pretty busy over the July holiday weekend.” They offer burgers, fish and chips, salads, sandwiches and a variety of appetizers. Refer to: Facebook.com/thewestviewtavern for the hours of the outdoor dining space and takeout. Be sure to check ferry schedules and safety measures to follow before you visit on: OntarioFerries.com and see the latest updates on the island on: Pelee.org.

visitwindsoressex.com

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AWARDS TWEPI’s 5th Annual “Best Of SPOTLIGHT Windsor Essex” Awards Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) announced in mid-June the winners of its 5th annual “Best of Windsor Essex” Awards as voted on their website: BestOfWindsorEssex.ca. “As our tourism businesses continue to pivot their business and service options, it is more important than ever to celebrate the positive stories in our region, and help locals and visitors alike start planning where they want to explore when they feel it is safe to do so,” states Gordon Orr, CEO of TWEPI. “Now, more than ever, our small businesses need marketing support and awareness — and our ‘Best of Windsor Essex’ Awards can be used as to propel their message.” Voting took place online February 3 and February 23, 2020 with the goal of putting together the most comprehensive list of the “best things to see and do” in the region. This year there were 12,600 votes — a record breaking number in categories including the best in: Arts & Entertainment, Attractions & Events, Drink, Food, Outdoor Adventure, Shopping, Stay, and Photo Op. Finalists and winners are able to use this

campaign to differentiate their business, increase their visibility, validate their achievements, and act as a strong testimonial of their offerings. Furthermore, this campaign has created an authentic list that is expected to resonate with visitors, giving Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island the opportunity to highlight some of the best of what the region has to offer. “Now in its fifth year, by the number of votes received you can see how much locals love to celebrate what they think is great and unique about our region,” expresses Orr. “You can also see how much Windsor Essex businesses and their fans have embraced the ‘Best of Windsor Essex’ awards as a way to establish themselves as leading tourism operators in our region. Our goal from the ‘Best of Windsor Essex’ Awards is to showcase iconic experiences, hidden gems, and everything in between. Use this list as a great way to explore Windsor Essex!” Winners were originally scheduled to be announced March 25 during an awards presentation, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead winners were announced during a live event on social

A message from Essex MPP, Taras Natyshak As we battle COVID-19, there are things we can do to stay healthy and safe. . . Listen to public health experts Wear a mask when entering commercial businesses Wash your hands Social distance Limit time spent from home in order to protect yourself and others Visit TarasNatyshak.com for up to date information regarding COVID-19. Community Office: 316 Talbot Street North, Unit 5 Essex, ON • 519-776-6420 tnatyshak-co@ndp.on.ca

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Gordon Orr, CEO of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, shown in his office, holds a plaque listing the 2020 recipients with plaques noting previous award winners hanging on the wall behind. Photo courtesy of TWEPI.

media at: Facebook.com/visitwindsoressex. Each winner received a commemorative plaque, a letter of congratulations, a listing in the 2020/2021 Official Visitor Guide, and branding at: BestOfWindsorEssex.ca. This specifically designed site features a miniprofile and photo of each winner and a highlight of the top five finalists per category. The winning business, organization, or event in each of the 45 categories can be found on the accompanying page. Congrats to all!


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HAVE A CUP OF JOE WITH JOE

It’s Going To Be A Virtual Blast For “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest” 2020 By Joe McParland

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ince its humble beginnings as a small march of about 100 people in Windsor back in 1992, the “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest” has become one of this area’s most anticipated cultural attractions each year. It is produced by the “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest,” a registered non-profit organization operated by a volunteer Board of Directors. The annual summer event brings together members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S+) community, their friends, allies and supporters in celebration of the unique spirit and culture of our community by producing quality, inclusive safe events and initiatives. “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest” strengthens the sense of community and contributes to the vibrancy, health, and overall well-being of people in the LGBTQ2S+ of Windsor Essex. “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest” aims to promote equality and diversity through all of its events. Theatre, music, art, and entertainment are used to raise awareness of discrimination and the issues and difficulties affecting the lives of LGBTQ2S+ people around the world. The week-long festival seeks to unite ALL people in a celebratory atmosphere where everyone is welcome, fostering a sense of togetherness within the LGBTQ2S+ population in our region. For the past two years the festival has witnessed an explosion of “Pride” at its new home in the heart of Windsor, in Lanspeary Park on Ottawa Street. It has attracted more than 7,500 people in a celebration of diversity and friendship. The traditional Sunday Pride Parade from Argyle Avenue westward down Ottawa Street to Langlois, continues to grow each year, with over 80 parade entries and 7,000 spectators lining the streets in 2019. “We acknowledge the continued support of the Ottawa Street Business Improvement Association over the past couple of years,” says David Lenz, President of “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest”. “Their members and the Ottawa Street community have shown tremendous support for our events and our community.” The #1 priority of the “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest” is the safety and wellbeing of its members of the LGBTQ2S+ community. The celebrations have always been a place of love, allyship and compassion, and this year will be no different. Since the declaration of the global COVID-19 pandemic in March, event organizers have been in ongoing communication with local officials on developing a path forward for the annual festival, while adhering to all public health guidelines. As a result, Lenz informs us that “After many months, we reached a decision to deliver this year’s ‘Pride Fest’ ‘virtually’ and though we are unable to celebrate in person, we’re looking forward to coming together online, through a series of exciting virtual ‘Pride Fest’ events.” The virtual festival takes place on August 22 and 23, 2020 and features both local and out of town talent. The agenda includes the traditional Flag Raising ceremony at City Hall where guest speakers, performances, local dignitaries, community leaders come together to show their support for the Windsor-Essex Pride community. There will be a variety of video clips entertainment and, of course, the “Pride Parade” — all delivered in new and innovative ways. Past festival favourites such as: Sabin, the Bigg Wiggle band,

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Juicebox, Tony Coates, Boa, Hawaii Goodvibes, Sarah Smith, and many, many more have been invited to participate. As part of the virtual Sunday “Pride Parade,” participants can submit videos of themselves, their businesses, organizations or groups, showing their support for Pride. Submissions and applications can be made online at: WEpridefest.com/festival/parade/paraderegistration. All are encouraged to use their creativity and artistic talents to decorate their locations, vehicles, and to dress up. The virtual festival also features an educational component through working with community agencies to bring some interactive virtual webinars and workshops related to the LGBTQ2S+ community. Details were still being finalized at the time of writing so be sure to check: WEpridefest.com for broadcast times and content of performers and for the full slate of activities. Finally, any individuals, businesses, or organizations interested in assisting in sponsoring or donating to this virtual festival, can find more information on: WEpridefest.com/support or Facebook.com/wepridefest. We encourage everyone to tune in on August 22 and 23 to let your Pride show! In closing, please be safe and healthy, and always observe the mitigation protocols from government and health officials aimed at protecting everyone from COVID-19.

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TAKE THE LEAD

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens Leads The Way Through Tornadoes, Floods And A Pandemic By Sherrilynn Colley-Vegh

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hey always say you judge a person by how they perform through adversity, not success. Well, this means I now have an even greater respect for City of Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens (elected October 27, 2014). Windsor has always been known for its resilience and since “leadership starts at the top” Dilken’s path into politics prepared him to be tenacious in his quest for office and for the difficult challenges he would face in this leadership role. His uncle, Marty Goldberg, was an Alderman who inspired the “political bug” early on in Dilkens who began to seek out leadership positions as a teenager through Student Council and getting involved in the community. After a few failed attempts for the Windsor Utilities Commission and the public school board, he took what he learned from the experience and maintained his passion to serve. He set his sights on City Council and knocked on almost every door in the largest riding (55,000) and was successful in 2006 and served two terms. Dilkens credits his tenacity to keep pursuing his passion for politics as a decision to put things in perspective. “A lot of great people run for office and not everyone can win,” he says. “I didn’t want to be one of the defeated candidates that you never heard from again.” His family was just about to move to Belgium for a year on an adventure, when he received a call from Joyce Zuk

stating she was not going to run in the next election for City Council and he was advised to step up. “I have to credit my wife with encouraging me to not have any regrets and go for it, even though she realized just how much time and family life is sacrificed for political service,” he expresses. Dilkens is grateful to his parents for raising him to give back, his uncle for being a political role model and his grandfather, who was involved in community service with the Masonic Temple and The Shriners. Another one of Dilken’s inspirations was his first grade teacher who impacted him so much that he has maintained contact with her. A passion of our Mayor is travelling with his family, giving them an opportunity to experience different cultures and increase their global perspective. He feels this exposure and perspective is one of the things that makes a good leader, along with getting a great education and becoming involved in the community. Dilkens describes public office as an enormous responsibility: “You are part of a Board of Directors that is in charge of a budget of $850 million with a staff of over 2,500 people who are all making complex decisions that require understanding enormous amounts of material.” He encourages everyone to get involved. “You don’t have to have a high-profile position to serve, you can be involved in

Mayor Dilkens poses in a #YQGStandsStrong t-shirt (the Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island-led initiative that resulted in a partnership with the City, BB Branded and the Windsor Essex COVID Care Coalition, with a portion of the proceeds supporting food banks. Photo courtesy of the City of Windsor Mayor’s Office.

grass roots initiatives and add your voice and time,” he suggests. Mayor Dilkens admits it can be “lonely at the top” when you are making decisions for which you may have more information than other people, but he feels you must take risks. “You can’t be risk-free in this position or you won’t be able to grow and move your city forward,” he notes. He believes that “you have to be able to take criticism and have a true passion to face the challenges, negativity and scrutiny.” When he thinks of a leader that responded to a risk and endured tough times, he admires the strength of Brian Mulroney when dealing with the first North American Free Trade Agreement. “Mulroney faced a lot of challenges and discourse and it was a hard sell with many implications, but it was the right move for our GDP for all three countries: Canada, United States and Mexico,” he comments. Dilkens feels it takes tenacity to be a good leader: “It is important to bring others along when there is push back to new ideas;

Have questions about CEWS? We know that the complexities of the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy and Temporary Wage Subsidy can create a high level of stress. Our tax team is here to help. Contact us T: 519-251-3500 © 2020KPMG LLP, a Canadian limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. 23857

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you need the confidence to stay on a path of improvement.” He adds, “You need passion and the ability to engage ‘champions’ to help others understand why decisions are good and should be supported.” One goal he has as a politician is to not worry about terms or making decisions to get re-elected, but to use sound judgement of what is best. “This is why I developed a 20 year plan, not a four year plan,” he explains. “In Korea they have a 35 year plan. It’s important to move to long term thinking and be prepared, through diversification of the economy, in case your largest employers are not around.” His ultimate goal is to come together as a council and as a city in order to make Windsor better in every way possible. Mayor Dilkens has faced tornados, floods and a pandemic, yet still maintains his positive “glass-half full” attitude. “Our team and community have worked hard to diversify and improve infrastructure and quality of life and there are always new areas of focus that emerge,” he mentions. “We are working hard to revitalize our downtown and have made great progress, most recently with Double Tree and Quicken Loans and the

WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation relocating, the Paul Martin building bringing the library to the heart of the city, and St. Clair College moving into the Canderel building.” He also stresses the importance of addressing our issues of homelessness, addiction and mental health support to keep our core vibrant and attractive to business, residents and tourism. And what of the biggest challenge to date, the COVID-19 pandemic? The Mayor is proud of the actions of our citizens. He feels it has brought out the best in our residents and he talks about examples where we come together to solve problems like the tough decision to temporarily cancel Transit Windsor service because of safety issues and lack of use. (90% stopped using public transportation during initial isolation). Groups were immediately organized and 1,500 volunteers stepped up to transport food and medicine to seniors and our most vulnerable population and get them to their appointments through 211/311. The City also supported the June 27th Miracle food drive by providing donation centres. In addition Workforce WindsorEssex and the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre went online with their “#ShopYQG” campaign and the

city is featuring and promoting small businesses and restaurants through “Takeout Tuesday” campaigns. “The most positive effect this pandemic has had on everyone is an appreciation for family, friends and the need for human interaction and physical contact,” he says. “On a personal level I have been able to carve out more time for family dinners and activities and I think we are all re-focusing on what is important in life.” Dilkens concludes with this message of hope . . . “Windsor is strong, caring and resilient, we will make it through this together and our community will come out on the other side of these challenging times an even stronger city!” If you would like to interact with the Mayor go to: Facebook.com/drewdilkens or view his statements on the website: MayorDrewDilkens.ca. Sherrilynn Colley-Vegh is an award winning leadership consultant and former Director of Leadership Windsor/Essex, Principal, Chief Communications Officer and business owner with over 30 years of experience in education, administration, mentoring, consulting and community leadership. If you know a leader in the community to profile here in this column email: Sherrilynn@BizXmagazine.com.

®

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS® and its members have adopted many safety protocols while still providing excellent service to the community. We also would like to thank all the essential workers in the Windsor-Essex area for their hard work and sacrifices in these unprecedented times. Thank You!

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portfolio corner

Rock Solid Thinking By Steven Mayo

Is it Monday, Tuesday, or Friday? All the days are blending together as I write in late June. It’s a challenge to stay “on the ball”! However, I persevere . . . as we all do. Over the years I have accumulated wonderful quotes, thoughts and phrases that are timeless. The wisdom in these words is that in good times or challenging times, they make sense. Below are some investing and “life” tips from Charlie Munger who has helped Warren Buffet build Berkshire Hathaway. “Those who keep learning will keep rising in life.” “Knowing what you don’t know is more useful than being brilliant.” “One of the greatest ways to avoid trouble is to keep it simple.”

“People calculate too much and think too little.” “We have three baskets for investing: yes, no, and too tough to understand.” “A great business at a fair price is superior to a fair business at a great price.” “Success means being very patient, but aggressive when it’s time.” “The big money is not in the buying and the selling, but in the waiting.” “You must force yourself to consider opposing arguments, especially when they challenge your best-loved ideas.” “Don’t drift into self-pity because it doesn’t solve any problems.” “Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well.” All words to live by! Today’s reality is quite different.

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Below are the Top 10 fastest growing E-commerce product categories as of March 2020. . . 1. Disposable gloves 2. Bread makers 3. Cough medicine 4. Soups 5. Rice & dried grains 6. Packaged foods 7. Fruit cups 8. Weights 9. Milk and cream 10. Dishwashing supplies Source: Stackline, Amazon, Business Insider, Euro news, CNBC Who would have guessed bread making was this popular? I miss the old days . . . going inside to eat at a restaurant, kids being in school, and haircuts . . . although my hairline has been a blessing during these unusual times! Hang in there my friends. For now, we continue to seek joy in the simple things. Steven Mayo is a Vice President, Director, and Investment Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. (Member — Canadian Investor Protection Fund). This article is not intended as nor does it constitute investment advice. Readers should consult a qualified professional before taking any action based on information in this article.


ask the experts

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Decontamination And Deodorization Never Sounded More Desirable By Dave Halliday

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bviously we have found ourselves more aware of our internal environment recently. The things we touch, the air we breathe and more. Suddenly we are hypersensitive to actions we would have never given a thought to, previously. Our response has been to clean everything, from our hands to our countertops, more frequently. We wear masks to contain our emissions and potentially block those of others and sanitize everything we come in contact with. For good reason our level of awareness has been heightened. As a result of this we are dedicated to highlighting and bringing attention to any service or product that may assist in making each of us more at ease in our immediate environment. One such service that has recently come to our attention is BioSweep (BioSweep.ca). BioSweep provides surface and air deodorization and decontamination services to their valued clientele and we at Biz X were fortunate to discuss their processes with both Darrin Frickey, President of BioSweep Canada and Tom Hebert, Regional Director of the Essex/Kent BioSweep franchise. To start, what is BioSweep? “BioSweep provides surface and air deodorization and decontamination services,” states Frickey, adding, “We are a hardware driven system that creates both non-destructive ozone and gaseous hydrogen peroxide through a process called Advanced Photocatalytic Oxidation. Our results are guaranteed and we are the most effective and rapid solution available in the market.” It is our understanding that your process is very effective at eliminating odours. What types of odours can you eradicate?

“All types of fire related odours, including proteins, as well as cigarette, cigar, pet urine, skunk, mould, odours related to biohazards, and others,” Hebert lists. “We have not encountered an odour we could not eliminate to date!” Besides eliminating odours can this process benefit those with allergies and breathing issues? “Absolutely,” replies Frickey. “The BioSweep process greatly reduces allergens leaving an exceptional indoor air quality behind. We often hear from asthmatics that their breathing is far better after treatment.” Okay, now for the question on everyone’s mind. Is there a possibility that BioSweep can assist in the battle against COVID-19? “Studies were done on the efficiency of our process in combating the SARS coronavirus and the results were very positive,” informs Hebert. “Since the SARS 2 coronavirus is an almost identical molecule we feel there is a very good case to be made that our process will kill it. However, having said that, there is very little testing showing anything is entirely effective against COVID-19 at this time.” Is this process effective against viruses in general? “As a further preventative measure we apply a quaternary ammonium solution electrostatically to provide long lasting protection against viruses and bacteria within the treated area,” states Hebert. “This application was also found to be effective against the SARS coronavirus.” Do the chemicals or solvents present any risk during or after application? “There can be no people or pets in the building while the BioSweep process is running, as we use the breathable air to create our treatment gasses,” Frickey indicates. “Once the machines shut off, the gasses revert to breathable air and we ensure

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the building is safe to occupy before allowing any one in.” What do the units do? “BioSweep takes the air in the space through the equipment and converts it to non-destructive ozone and gaseous hydrogen peroxide through a process called Advanced Photocatalytic Oxidation,” says Frickey, concluding, “These are naturally occurring, recreated chemical compounds that revert to normal air about an hour after the machines turn off.” Can I continue to clean my home’s surfaces normally after this process? “Absolutely,” responds Hebert. “The BioSweep process is residue free.” Please describe the treatment process. “Our process depends on a mathematical equation to tell us how many machines we would need and how long the BioSweep treatment will run,” replies Frickey. “We inspect the space to ensure our process gasses are contained, and post warning signs on all entry doors. We then turn the units on and exit the building. After an hour we put on specialized respirators and enter the building to ensure everything is meeting our expectations and once the treatment time is completed we put on the respirators again and use our sensor to ensure the indoor air is fine for re-occupancy.” The things we do now that we didn’t do before are making an interesting list. Sanitizing common public items such as shopping carts and key pads just makes sense now. We apply hand sanitizers and wash our hands when we handle common devices, and it is all in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Here at the magazine we encourage our readers to employ whatever measures are available to combat this threat and we hope you all stay safe.

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THE PARENTING BIZ

How The Greater Essex County District School Board Is Meeting

The Challenges COVID-19 Presents To Students E

ducators learned many lessons during the COVID-19 emergency and for them it was a comparable experience to the one they try to create in classrooms, for students, during ordinary times. Improvisation, adaptation and perseverance were attributes reflected in their work. It’s the same enterprise that is being utilized in the development of the plan to reopen schools safely and effectively in September. Incrementally, from the first week of April, the resumption of students’ education took shape and continuously transformed until the end of June and now into the summer. Why was never in question, but how was always a challenge. Distance learning, while not a novel concept, became the standard instructional model and students, staff and families had to figure out how to learn at home, full time. However, any plan would have been inadequate without the resources to make it work. Hundreds of Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB) computers and devices were cleaned, reconfigured for home use and distributed to students and families who required these tools to work with.

School’s out and classrooms have been empty for months. Back in March the Ontario government closed all publicly funded schools across the province for two weeks following March Break, due to concerns about COVID-19. So what is the plan come September when kids usually return to school after summer break? What will the classrooms, timetables and instruction look like?

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THE PARENTING BIZ As the mandated school closure lengthened, competence grew with this unique teaching and learning format. Strategies and practices evolved and improved. “The 2019-20 school year has unquestionably not been ordinary and things will never be the same, which is not necessarily a negative effect, as we have all learned substantially from our experience,” says GECDSBs Director of Education Erin Kelly. “I am proud of our response and our performance. We have done extraordinary things to keep our students and each other safe and to provide continuity of learning during the school closure.” Parents and guardians were surveyed for their thoughts about learning at home during the closure. More than 2,800 responded and 67% felt the work/activities provided by teachers were “appropriately challenging and the workload is manageable”. They also looked favourably on the options and flexibility in the learning opportunities, which they characterized as “motivating, fun and encouraging”. The questionnaire helped inform Board planning and actions at the system and school level, as well as reinforcing the efficacy of actions already taken. The Board’s efforts were not limited to the educational aspects of learning at home. Serious consideration was given to the safety, health and well-being of students and families who were dealing with the social, emotional as well as physical demands inherent with this dramatic change in circumstances. Staff created the “Supporting Us All Through COVID-19” online resources that included information, community resources, suggested weekly activities and

even podcasts intended to help families cope. Things did not just end, however, on June 26, 2020 the final official day of school. What was learned during the previous three months was crucial in planning for summer programs and impressive numbers of students took advantage of the opportunity to improve a grade, earn a high school credit or to reduce the impact of a summer learning gap. In addition, students with Board-owned technology were able to keep the devices through July and August. The question of what will happen in September has not been completely answered. Working within the mandate provided by the Ontario Ministry of Education, GECDSB senior administration is working on its plan, which will have to be submitted for approval in early August. Parents/guardians and staff have been surveyed for their thoughts, suggestions and ideas. A phenomenal number — more than 14,000 families have submitted responses — along with close to 2,300 board employees. That input, along with the advice of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, will provide a strong foundation for the GECDSB’s reopening plan and the protocols, which will be followed when students and staff resume formal learning in the fall. Information about the plan will be shared as soon as possible through the GECDSB’s communication vehicles: Edsby, social media, websites (PublicBoard.ca) and no doubt will receive comprehensive coverage in the public media.

100 95 75

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THE PARENTING BIZ

The New Learning Curve-Ball . . . Navigating An Unfamiliar Learning Environment By Tara Carman-French

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hat was an interesting school year. Now we need to look forward to September and how to navigate this ongoing, new learning environment. Thankfully, we have some time to adapt before it is upon us — so, how do parents prepare? Create A Learning Environment For Your Child Our brains work best when the physical area we are in reflects our purpose for being there. School reflects learning. Home reflects relaxation. During COVID-19, everything wonderful about home makes it challenging to engage in remote learning. Creating an area that is only used for schoolwork will help with focus as it tells our child’s brain, “When I sit here, learning is the task expected now.” If You Lack Space, Get Creative Remember those dollar store poster boards we use for science fairs? Use one or two to create your child’s “School Board”. With some craft paper and a bit of imagination, you can create a non-distractible and informative learning space on the kitchen table and help your child to visually map out their day’s assignments. Involving your children in the process of creation helps them be invested in this special learning space. When their “School Board” is set up, it is time for learning. When it is put away, the rest of the day is theirs to have fun. Remember, ALL Children Want To Succeed No one wants to fail. If your child is struggling in school, something is in their way. They could have an undiagnosed learning disability or ADHD. Anxiety is rampant right now and makes learning more challenging. Rarely is lack of involvement in education simply laziness or disinterest. With remote learning environments,

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anything can increase this avoidance. Our child may sit down, ready to get to work, but spend an hour just determining what work is expected for the week ahead. Willpower Is Real And It Is Limited If I have already spent an hour getting myself organized that may be all the willpower and attention I have available for that day. I need a break before I can get back at it. Plus, without a teacher and the expectations of a classroom, I do not have anyone to bring me back to task or cue me to get back to work. Parents, teachers, ADHD and Learning Coaches help get kids back on track by being directly involved in the organizational process by setting up cues and prompts, and, by ensuring that students have a full understanding of the specific educational requirements for that week. This enables them to focus their energy on learning and not on getting organized. Build Rewards Into Remote Learning To some it may seem wrong to reward our children for doing what is expected of them. I love my work; however, I absolutely reward myself with vacations. Thoughts of exploring new places and relaxing in old haunts get me through my rough days. Children’s brains are not yet built to be able to process that kind of long-term reward. They need an immediate pick-me-up. This can be anything that your child enjoys — playtime, a small treat, game time, whatever motivates them to get and keep, working. Set expectations clearly and be specific. If they work for 30 minutes, they get 10 minutes of game time. Always set a timer for both work and playtime. Rediscover Recess Our brains need rest, especially when working on challenging tasks. In wee brains, this is even more necessary.

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Doing school work at home might be a challenge for some children. A possible suggestion to keep them motivated is they can receive a 10 minute playtime break, after studying for 30 minutes.

Physical exercise aids our brains in both memory and attentional functioning. Ever feel the need to go for a walk to help you process something? A good rule to remember: 15 minutes of physical activity gives us 45 minutes of increased attention span. So, enjoy a recess with your child! There are ongoing benefits to working through remote learning as well. Once you and your child discover successful ways to navigate this new learning environment, you can continue to use what you’ve learned to make homework time smoother in the future. Tara Carman-French is a Certified ADHD, Life and Learning Coach and Director of Artemis Assessment & Treatment Centre where she oversees the learning disability assessment process. She has helped hundreds of adults, adolescents, parents and children manage ADHD and create successful outcomes in school, work, and relationships. The centre is located at 552 Pitt Street West, Suite 107 in Windsor and more information can be found on: ArtemisAssessment.ca.


THE PARENTING BIZ

Teach Children Outdoor Electrical Safety (NC) With the gorgeous summer in full swing, many kids are spending more time outside playing in their neighbourhood. Outdoor playtime can be good mentally and physically for children, but there are electrical dangers that all parents and kids should know about. Be cautious while playing near powerlines Help children find safe places to play, away from utility poles and powerlines. Remember to look up and look out for powerlines that may be hidden between leaves and branches before engaging in activities like climbing trees, flying a kite or playing with a ball or frisbee. You don’t have to touch a powerline to get a deadly shock — electricity can jump or “arc” to an individual, tree branches or toys if they get too close. Never climb a fence at a substation Teach children that the fences surrounding electrical substations are not for climbing. If they lose a ball or toy behind the substation fence, remind them to leave it and ask an adult to call the local utility to have it safely retrieved. Avoid the big green box Electric pad-mounted transformers, often green in colour, are common in many residential neighbourhoods and can be tempting for children to play on or around. The role of the transformer is to convert high voltage to a lower voltage power supply for the surrounding houses. These “big green boxes” are safe but can pose a risk if they have been damaged, pushed off the foundation creating gaps, or vandalized. Explain to children that transformers are not meant for playing, climbing or touching and to never put sticks, fingers or other objects through ventilation holes or cracks in a transformer. If you see a transformer that has been damaged or has a broken lock, report it to your local utility. Stay away from downed powerlines Always assume a downed powerline has electricity flowing through it, even if it isn’t sparking. To avoid potential injury, remind children that if they see a powerline on the ground, to stay far away — a minimum distance of the length of a school bus (10 metres or 33 feet) –— and to notify an adult who can call 9-1-1 and the local utility immediately. As families spend more time at home and outside, it is important to keep electrical safety top of mind. Learn more about staying safe from electrical harm on the website: ESAsafe.com.

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THE PARENTING BIZ from the bookshelf

Have You Taught Your Kids About Diversity Yet? it has become apparent that others are as passionate about teaching children about diversity as the author is herself. The book ends with a short survey of questions adults can ask children about the differences they see, and how they can show kindness to others. “It’s OK to be Different” is a wonderful picture book that helps children embrace the differences they see and accept themselves and others as the wonderfully unique individuals they are. It is lessons like this that can help children build up their self awareness and confidence, encouraging them to not only accept themselves for who they are, but others as well.

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ocal award winning children’s author, Sharon Purtill believes “There is no better time to introduce kids to the topic of diversity than when they are young. We have always lived in a diverse world, but today people are migrating around the globe at unprecedented rates.” She continues by stating: “Young children see a variety of races, nationalities, genders and physical characteristics that differ from their own, all around them. As they become aware of these differences, they may also notice that their peers express a wide range of personal interests and traits. It’s our job as parents and educators to help children understand that the differences they notice in others are not unlike the differences others see in them.” Purtill’s book titled: “It’s OK to be Different: A Children’s Picture Book about Diversity and Kindness” is quickly gaining in popularity and held the #1 spot in books on  Amazon Canada,  for nine straight days in June, as well, it held a place on the Amazon charts for three weeks, running a list that tracks the top 20 best sellers (a sales rank out of over 8 million books). Her book with its clever rhymes and beautiful illustrations by Sujata Saha is also gaining traction outside of Canada. Listed within the top 200 of all books on both Amazon UK and Amazon US,

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Sharon Purtill was a stay at home mom and entrepreneur when she stumbled into publishing in 1998. It was then, along with her husband, she wrote and published her first book, which went on to sell tens of thousands of copies right out of their garage in Windsor. Today, she is an award winning author who publishes in multiple genres under a couple of different pseudonyms.

According to Purtill “When children celebrate differences, we can reduce bullying and increase empathy and compassion within our schools, communities and homes. And that is a beautiful achievement for all.” You can find “It’s OK to be Different” online, wherever books are sold, including: Amazon.ca. Other works by this author include: “Celebration of Life: A Legacy Journal” (an interactive journal for recording your life story) and “Kids Say and Do the Darndest Things” (an interactive journal for parents to record all the wonderful things their kids say and do). To learn more about all these books, visit her author’s page: Amazon.com/ Sharon-Purtill/e/B07Q8X7MPD.


BROUGHT TO YOU BY

PROFILING LOCAL BUSINESS WOMEN By Rebecca Wright

CHERYL BARBER

Happy One Stitch At A Time

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hether you are a beginner wishing to learn the timeless art of quilting or an experienced quilter looking for a new challenge, Rose Cottage Quilt Shoppe offers classes given by some of the county’s most accomplished quilters, according to Owner Cheryl Barber. “It is the place for creative people to explore their interest in who can help you to develop your artistic passion,” says Barber. Rose Cottage Quilt Shoppe, located at 580 Middle Side Road in Amherstburg, has interesting roots for Barber. After working as a registered nurse at a local hospital for 18 years, Barber went back to school twice — once to obtain her B.A. and B.Ed., and then to obtain her Master’s Degree. She went from nurse to educator to school administrator. “As a form of relaxation, 14 years ago I decided to take a quilting class at the newly opened Rose Cottage Quilt Shoppe,” Barber recalls. “The original shop was in a tiny store on Dalhousie Street, next to Navy Yard Park, and I was one of its first students.” It wasn’t long before Barber became an accomplished quilter and took an active role in the shop “in her spare time” by teaching classes, doing longarm quilting for customers and generally helping out when needed. “In 2014 after 22 years in education, I was contemplating retirement from education when the previous owner of Rose Cottage Quilt Shoppe decided it was time for her to retire and the opportunity to take over the shop was a perfect fit for both of us,” explains Barber. At that time, the shop had relocated to one unit of a modern building at the current location on Middle Side Road. Since then, Barber has

Cheryl Barber, Owner of Rose Cottage Quilt Shoppe holds a sample of an embroidery design showing the quality of the stitching on the Bernina sewing and embroidery machine. Photo by Rod Denis.

continued to expand and grow the business, now occupying the entire 4,000-square-foot building, by adding in-store longarm quilting and embroidery services, more classes, events and retreats, a larger selection of quality 100% cotton fabrics, sewing and quilting notions, patterns and books. As Barber describes, “The shop has also become an authorized Bernina, Bernette and Brother sewing, quilting and embroidery machine dealership with an in-store certified technician — my husband, Paul — making this a one-stop shop for quilters.” A variety of quilting classes, including a beginners’ class are offered at the shoppe. Her customer base not only includes those from Essex and Kent Counties, but also from Michigan, Kitchener, Toronto and Burlington. With the spread of COVID-19 to Canada, Rose Cottage Quilt Shoppe was an early adopter of precautions outlined by the public health authorities and promptly closed when ordered. “When the need for face masks and other

PPE prompted local volunteers into action with their sewing machines, Rose Cottage Quilt Shoppe responded by opening a modest web store to provide fabric, thread, elastic and other supplies with curbside pickup,” states Barber. “As the situation developed, it became necessary to expand the online offerings and Rose Cottage Quilt Shoppe invested heavily in a new website with an integrated Ecommerce and Point-Of-Sale system, sourced lower cost fabrics for mask making. and partnered with Masks4All, an Amherstburg-based group currently providing PPE to the general population and businesses for a donation, and at no cost to Erie Shores HealthCare, nursing homes and essential workers.” Barber informs Biz X that her customers appreciate the large selection of quality fabric at reasonable prices; the variety of well-made sewing, quilting and embroidery machines; the top-notch, friendly customer service and the happy social atmosphere. The business attracts young to old and beginner to experienced sewists. “We want our customers to be successful and happy with their projects and we are here to help,” Barber expresses. “It is worth the drive to Amherstburg!” While the business continues to take COVID-19 precautions to keep customers and staff safe, Barber is currently asking customers to call to make an appointment to visit the shop. As an alternative, customers can visit their online store: RoseCottageQuilt.com, which has most of the available inventory displayed. “Customers can order from the comfort of home, pay by credit card and then just come to the shop for curbside pickup,” says Barber. “We can’t wait until we can get back to ‘normal’ and welcome everyone into the shop at anytime and to resume our class schedule.”

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MAKING A SOUND LIVING

The Music Industry . . . The Madness And The Rules By Lori Baldassi

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he biography “Anything for a Hit” is written about surviving the music industry by the first woman A&R Executive in the history of Atlantic Records. However, don’t get too excited! Atlantic Records was founded in 1947 and it wasn’t until well into the ‘90s that Dorothy Carvello held that title. Born into a middle-class, tough Italian family in Brooklyn, New York, she was the first woman at Atlantic to move in the circles of the most powerful movers and shakers in the music industry. Sounds glamorous, doesn’t it? Read on. I recently spoke with Carvello from her home in New York about her experience chasing the bullet to number one. So let’s reflect now on how her career began. Carvello started as an assistant to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. Imagine sitting in on the most monumental meetings shaping the music and the talent of the label, only to be smacked down, humiliated, overlooked and punished for being female. A woman who could run the company but, in a room full of men, was subjected to numerous scenarios and situations that today you would be arrested for. Fighting the misogynistic, self-indulgent egomaniacs of all-male executives around her was one thing, but on more than one occasion she had to physically defend herself. For all her hard work and dedication, she was labelled with the nickname “Bossy Bebe” by her coworkers. Women were seen only as accruements even though she was producing results. The old boys’ thick as thieves network pretended to let her in, but never did. Proving her team spirit, Carvello brought the attention of the label to a young band that Atlantic signed and out of the gate became multi-platinum selling rock stars. The male co-worker, whom she worked with on the deal, received a brand-new, high-end car from the label as a bonus for signing the act and her . . . a cheque for $1,200. Work friendships forged through the years always came to a ‘me or you’ situation that never worked in her favour. As Carvello clearly puts it: “the betrayal to me was of monumental proportions.”

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Make no mistake — Carvello was a sharp female executive producing milliondollar results, but to them, she was invisible and should have known her place. Holding up her hands for mistakes and lessons learned, she had a few cringe-worthy forgivable moments; however, this was nothing compared to what was done to her by executives and socalled “friends”. Not to make excuses, but when you’re neckdeep in the rarefied Released in 2018 Author Dorothy Carvello’s air of rock star egos, book “Anything For A Hit” struck a nerve  in the testosterone, money music  industry board rooms that went deep.  entitled, powerful men According to a review by Homeland actor Maury — mixed in with a lot Sterling, it is “an amazing testament to her experience of free drugs, alcohol as a woman in the complicated, fast-moving abusive and compelling world of business and rock and a group you’re n’roll.” Front cover photo from the book courtesy of marginally part of — Mia McDonald. well, ya’ make mistakes. After a particularly ugly incident, Carvello said enough is enough and went to human resources where she was guaranteed she would not lose her job nor be punished for speaking up. Both happened. She writes how time and time again she was subjected to sexist racists, homophobic and toxic workplaces, no matter what record label she was at. How brave is she to write this book? She names, names!

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Many of those people are still prominent in the industry, yet not one has come after her. Carvello sadly reveals that female coworkers didn’t help her or each other. Some even went out of their way to sabotage her success out of jealousy. “Anything for a Hit” came out at the height of the “Me Too” movement. You would think the general media, especially women’s groups, would be lauding her book, but few have taken an interest. It’s called closing ranks in the executive circles. To their credit, Atlantic Records, now owned by Time Warner, supported Carvello’s book. They wanted people to know they are not that kind of company anymore. When the book came out, Carvello did hit a nerve though as she received numerous emails and had a lot of conversations with, not only women, but also men who said they experienced the same situations. Carvello holds no grudges and pays it forward with simple street-smart guidelines, for a better work-life balance that no one ever told her. Luckily, she shares them with her readers and they are listed here . . . Carvello’s Rules 1. Don’t be a smart ass unless you’re already a millionaire, as it most likely won’t work in your favour. 2. Always put the max in your 401(k) and pension plans. The bastards can fire you, but that doesn’t mean you have to be out on your butt. 3. Take criticism and don’t be defensive, sometimes people are just trying to help. 4. If you make a mistake own it and move on unless you are very rich. You’ll probably have to pay for your mistakes, but if you do it honourably, people will take note of that.

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5. Be loyal to the pay cheque, not the corporation. You don’t have to be a jerk about it, but the corporate bosses are rarely your friends. 6. Don’t gossip, people will hate you. 7. Play golf — all the men do. 8. Be a team player. Don’t be petty or jealous of someone else’s success. 9. Be honest. In a dishonest world people will notice. 10. Deliver bad news immediately. 11. Don’t invite someone to a concert the night before you plan on firing her! (Read the book, I’m telling you) 12. Don’t %^&* (sleep with), date, or marry anyone you work with. If you do, be prepared for one of you to get fired. If you’re a woman you’ll get the short end of that stick. 13. Never break the girl code. Another woman’s husband is just that! 14. Stay home from work when you’re sick as coming into the office makes everyone sick. 15. Don’t confuse your work family with your real family — only one is tied by blood and love. Are you intrigued and want to read more? Find further details about Carvello and how to order her book on: AnythingForAHitBook.com. From working backstage production to the radio airwaves, Lori Baldassi has been involved in the music industry on a number of professional levels for many years. Baldassi has spoken in front of the CRTC, holds a certificate in Adjudication from York University Toronto, and is a graduate of St. Clair College’s Media Convergence program. If you have any questions for her, please send an email to: editorial@bizxmagazine.com.

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TECH BY TES

Esports & Gaming Industry On The RISE During Pandemic By Dean Hayes Esports is a term we’ve seen lots of during this pandemic, but one not always understood. So . . . what is it? Esports or Electronic Sports, is the newest form of sport to hit the mainstream, and put in simpler terms, is organized, competitive video gaming. It is a rapidly growing industry with an expected global market revenue on track for almost $1.6 Billion USD in 2023 according to Statista (bit.ly/3dshH56). With companies like Riot Games and their wildly successful free-to-play games like League of Legends and Valorant, or Epic Games’ popular Fortnite title, gamers have been practicing hard for the big wins, bringing home as much as $3 million USD. Ok, but how does the pandemic play into all this? While global revenue has decreased for esports in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19

pandemic, it has only pushed esports and gaming further into the limelight, as traditional sports have had to turn to their video game counterparts to keep their audiences. Great examples of this movement are Formula One moving to launch a Virtual Grand Prix Series with F1 drivers competing online in the game F1 2019, as well as NASCAR, NBA, and NHL teams offering to finish their seasons online. See this Esports Insider article (bit.ly/2A2Brys) for a more in-depth read. Large sports organizations aren’t the only ones hopping on board lately either. With both St. Clair College and now, recently, the University of Windsor having started a varsity esports program, it has been increasingly harder to ignore the value of adding esports to their sports programs. We see it all the time at EZY Mode esports

lounge, young individuals coming in to train on their favourite video game, hoping to be the next collegiate (and maybe global) star, with the full support of their parents to make their dreams come true. What does all this mean for the future of esports? Well, as stated previously, esports and the gaming industry have already been rapidly growing, with streaming sites like Twitch.tv helping build the concept of watching players do what they do best. Coupled with massive full-production events like OverWatch League (OWL), Call of Duty League (CDL), and Dota 2 Internationals, the concept of making a living playing video games now doesn’t seem like the silly dream it was before. Mix in the adoption of esports by traditional sports due to COVID-19 shoving it further into the spotlight, and you have a cocktail for massive worldwide growth. “Tech Bytes” is powered by WEtech Alliance (WEtech-Alliance.com). The guest columnist for this issue, Dean Hayes, is Co-Founder and Head of Technology at EZY Mode esports lounge (EZYmode.ca). As an alumni of St. Clair College’s Computer Systems — Technology program and past President of the Information Technology Club, he has been dedicated to growth of the tech/gaming industry in Windsor Essex for over six years.

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THE WAY IT WAS

Fostering A 100 Year Tradition Of Benevolent Advocacy By Andrea Grimes

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istory shows that service organizations play an essential role, not only orchestrating humanitarian relief for Canadians from all walks of life — they also contribute to Canada’s economic growth across a number of sectors. These collaborative relationships serve to identify what drives a service organization to generate a vision (as a catalyst) that will bring that vision to the stage and provide continued leadership to its membership. Collectively, these priorities serve to recognize the organization’s capacity to achieve successful outcomes for all the right reasons! Gene Lotz, Freemasons Historian notes in his book entitled “In The Beginning” (1995): “Seventy-five years ago a group of men decided to band together and form a new Masonic Craft Lodge. They came from all walks of life with a common goal of brotherhood, charity and benevolence, virtues personified in a Masonic Lodge.” According to Lodge archives, the 63rd annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Canada took place at Patterson Collegiate on July 17, 1918. During the Grand Lodge Officers’ dinner at the Essex Golf and Country Club that evening, Windsor’s Mayor Charles Roger Tuson said, “Masonry might lead the world out of its present chaotic conditions and reestablish the principle of brotherhood of man serving God as men should. Masonry has become a dominating influence in the affairs of the world, promoting the best interests of manhood and democracy in the true sense of the word.”

As Windsor was rebounding from the Great War, a group of Masons gathered in St. John’s Church Parish Hall in Sandwich on June 18, 1919, where the conversation to establish a new Masonic Craft Lodge took root. Archives further note that the meeting of July 18, 1919 would be held at the Masonic Hall in the Davis Building (which, according to the 1924 edition of Vernon’s City Directory) was located at 25 Sandwich Street east adjacent to Oak Hall located at 31 Sandwich Street, east. Border Cities Lodge No. 554 AF & AM Worshipful Master Robert Truscott says, “Our Lodge was granted its Charter on July 21, 1920.” With the dawn of the 20th century, a wave of optimism spread throughout our community. Archives confirm that Lodge Brothers embarked on an ambitious campaign in 1920 to sell stock in order to build a Masonic Temple. During the next decade, the Lodge experienced substantial membership growth; however, as the Great Depression cast its devastating pall throughout our community, membership rapidly declined. In spite of this hardship, the Lodge soldiered on with immense patriotism during the lean years! As Hitler’s Jackboots marched across Europe, Lodge Brothers established a Service Committee making donations to the Red Cross and the VON. To support the war effort, the Masonic Temple served as scrap salvage depot and, most importantly, Lodge Brothers provided rehabilitation programs for returning Veterans suffering from the stains and strains of WWII.

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Pictured are Charter Members of the Border Cities Lodge No. 554, A.F. & A.M., G.R.C. dated July 21, 1920. Photo courtesy of the Windsor Museum of Freemasonry collection.

Windsor experienced another chapter of the Lodge’s esteemed history when a Mason ceremonial silver trowel (used for laying the corner stone of St. John’s Church in Sandwich, Ontario on June 24, 1872) was presented by the Freemasons to the Church on June 24, 2018. In upholding the Freemasons philosophy of “Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth,” Lodge Brothers continue to play a central role, building upon the Lodge’s Charter granted 100 years ago! Jim Chambers, Worshipful Brother, Border Cities Lodge No. 554, A.F. & A.M., G.R.C. says, “In recognizing the 100th anniversary of the founding of our Lodge in 2020, we will remember our Brothers for laying the foundation of benevolent advocacy, as well as recognizing the achievements of this generation of Freemasons who follow in their footsteps.” The Masonic Temple is located at 986 Ouellette Avenue in Windsor and more information on this heritage site can be found on: MasonicTempleBallroom.com. As a civilian Veterans Advocate, Andrea Grimes was presented with the “Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal” and the “Governor General’s Medal” recognizing her volunteer service to Veterans and military families of our Canadian Armed Forces, as well as with military family service-support organizations to include, North Wall Riders Association, Windsor Veterans Memorial Service Committee, Military Institute of Windsor, the Royal Canadian Naval Association, the Korean War Veterans Association and the Canadian Historical Aircraft Association.

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OF THE MONTH

Strike The Right Note With Brava Academy Of Music And The Performing Arts By Dave Hall

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ess than two years after taking a major plunge and opening her own music school, Bethany Russell had to pivot and make changes in the face of a world-wide health crisis. When COVID-19 forced the shutdown of businesses across the region, the owner of Brava Academy of Music and the Performing Arts decided to continue offering virtual lessons and is using Zoom Video Communication technology to stay in touch with her school’s students. “We immediately made the switch so that our students wouldn’t miss a lesson,” explains Russell, a graduate of the School of Music at the University of Windsor. “I wasn’t sure at first how it would work out, but all of our teachers have reported a huge jump in progression from all of their students.” Russell says students have had more time to practice and that different styles of learning can be beneficial to students of all ages. Both factors, she believes, contributed to the growth of Brava’s students. She adds, “Learning online seems to have resonated with all of our students and I’m very happy and encouraged by what we’ve seen since we had to close down in mid-March.” Russell started teaching music in her parents’ basement in 2011 with about three dozen students, but decided to look around for her own space and opened her school at 755 Tecumseh Road East in October 2018. Now, she has 125 students taking individual lessons from the Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum, in piano, voice, guitar and violin. She also offers pop, jazz and improvisational music lessons as an elective. “In addition to formal lessons, we also separate our music theory instruction from private instrument study to maximize the

instruction time our students receive on their chosen instrument,” Russell points out. Brava’s teachers include: Amanda Hanson (piano, trumpet); Celina Bechard (voice, beginner piano, Jingles4Juniors); Philip Russo (guitar); Melissa Miner (violin, piano, saxophone, clarinet); Jessica Veigli (piano, flute) and Katie Kerr (voice, acting). All have degrees from either the University of Windsor or Sheridan College. Along with her teaching responsibilities, Russell also performs and joined the Windsor Symphony Orchestra for a piano performance in January 2018, as well as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s string trio in March 2018. The academy was conducting a “Jingles4Juniors” group program for students between the ages of two and four until Russell was forced to close her studio due to the shutdown. She had also been planning summer camp programs for students, during which they would enjoy a week of learning music, developing friendships and participating in activities. Hopefully, she can reinstitute summer camps next year and the Jingles4Juniors lessons when COVID-19 protocols change. “It’s been a struggle for everyone in business and we’re adapting as well as we can,” says Russell. Students learning through Zoom, range from age four through 60-plus and all have embraced the concept of virtual learning. Russell informs Biz X her students and teachers all hope to return to working out of four lesson rooms in September (plus a move to a new location and an expansion to six classrooms). But, even then, lessons will remain individual in nature with only a student and a teacher allowed in each lesson room, which will be fully sanitized after each lesson.

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Eleven year old Rachael Ricketts (shown on tablet) has been taking piano lessons with Bethany Russell, Owner and Director of Brava Academy of Music and the Performing Arts, for five years, and is currently studying at the Grade 5 Piano Level. Like many businesses now operating remotely, Russell uses Zoom Video Communication technology to teach and stay in touch with her students. The software works well, but she and her team can’t wait to reopen their newly renovated bricks and mortar location in the near future. Photo by Rod Denis.

All will be required to wear masks during their lessons until provincial and local recommendations and rules change. Voice lesson arrangements are still to be determined. “It’s been a challenge to not only start up a business, but also run it during COVID-19,” Russell expresses. “However, I wouldn’t trade what I have learned about myself for anything.” With triple the students she started with, Russell has made a success out of an individual venture proving that entrepreneurs with foresight and persistence are the lifeblood of every community’s economy. “Once I found my own space, business exploded and I’m very happy with the decision I made,” says Russell. “I have no regrets and it’s helped me grow so much as a person because I’m responsible for other people not just myself.” For more information, visit the website: BravaAcademyOfMusic.ca.

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