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QUINTE’S POOL & HOT TUB STORE AFTER A GREAT SUMMER, FALL BRINGS ITS OWN CHANGES The kids are back at school, temperatures cool down and the evenings are shorter; making outside time with your family invaluable. It’s a great time to bring your family together with a new hot tub or swim spa. There is no better place to build family fun and relationships. St. Lawrence Pools is Quinte’s premier source for pools, hot tubs and swim spas. Come see our new store at 40 Hanna Court. We carry only trusted industry leaders such as Hydropool, and were honoured to be selected as Hydropool’s Retailer of the Year for North America for 2015.

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swimming pools


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saunas and docks


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PRince Edward County Studio Tour


Each issue available online at: www.countyandquinteliving.ca


hagermans born2farm by Michelle Hauser

by Catherine Stutt


Bay of Quinte Yacht Club

by Hazel Lloyst



Tourist in Your Own Town: Prince Edward County Museums by Kelly S. Thompson

Family Service the williams

by Catherine Stutt 4



Shout sister!

by Jennifer Shea


Where two or three are gathered…

by Lindi Pierce



Green Point by Lindi Pierce


CQL at home with David Frum and Danielle Crittenden

by Alan Gratias


Gravitas Chef Jamie Kennedy by Alan Gratias


The Hagerman Farm crew, left to right, Rachel McDonald, Chase Lavender, Sarah Caley, Danielle Warren, and Marlene Hitchon, photographed at the farm market by Daniel Vaughan.

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General Manager Seaway Gavin Beer gbeer@metroland.com editor Catherine Stutt editor@xplornet.com Photo editor Daniel Vaughan daniel@vaughangroup.ca Advertising Executives Melissa Hudgin, Sales Manager 613.966.2034 x 504 melissa.hudgin@metroland.com

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County & Quinte Living is published quarterly and is available free of charge through strategic partners, wineries, golf courses, real estate, and chamber of commerce offices, retail outlets, and advertiser locations. County & Quinte Living may not be reproduced, in part or whole, in any form without prior written consent of the publisher. Views expressed by contributors are their own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of County & Quinte Living. Subscription rate $25 a year. HST included. County & Quinte Living is a division of Metroland Media Group Ltd.

Mail Address: 250 Sidney Street, Belleville, ON K8P 3Z3 613.966.2034 www.countyandquinteliving.ca Find us on Facebook ©2016 Metroland Media Group Ltd. Printed in Ontario Canada

from the

Editor’s Desk nighbour Crystal called me at 10:45 a.m. on August 31, letting me know her sister Ursula’s visit from Germany was delayed because of a suspected terrorist incident at the Frankfurt, Germany airport. While the woman who created the evacuation and flight disruption may have had traces of explosives in her backpack, Ursula was carrying something vital to the County and Quinte Living Autumn issue. It turns out Ursula’s 16-year-old grandson Jan-Hendrik is an avid reader of the magazine, using it to help him learn English in his native Germany. Crystal sends the magazine to Ursula, who in turn passes it along. Jan-Henrik snapped a photo of this grandmother with the magazine in a historic section of Hamburg, all of which was supposed to come together on this page. If there’s a photo of Ursula in Hamburg here, then she made it by our deadline. If not, then Mr. Underwood will be waiting for her, because all that matters is a safe arrival. This is the way the world seems to work these days. My cousin’s cousin was to have visited in March, leaving Brussels the day of the bombings. He had already checked his luggage, and walked


away from the spot minutes before the explosion. He was safe. Ursula is safe. As that absurd election south of us nears, the new normal is peering into the abyss, or contemplating jumping off a cliff. It’s just weird out there. It’s divisive and fractured, and we can’t seem to all just get along, we can’t agree which lives matter, we can’t seem to move from here to there without building more walls and burning more bridges behind us. Or can we? Maybe we can. Maybe we can skip the viciousness of political campaigns that seem to consume the ridiculous 24-hour news cycle. Maybe instead we can focus on the unforgettable Canadian summer of 2016. Who can forget that semi-final in the men’s 200 metres, with Andre de Grasse laughing with a lightning bolt, his hero wagging a finger at him? Remember the look of sheer disbelief when Penny Oleksiak realized she’d be bringing home a gold medal in the 100 metre freestyle, and then completing the spectrum with a silver and bronze? And Rosie MacLennan, jumping and twisting and flipping to gold. For 16 days we were cheering our athletes who made us so proud on the world stage.

It was a much shorter performance this summer that made Canada stand still. For a few hours on a Saturday in August, we’re sorry, but Canada was closed. We were busy, watching a local band from Kingston play its last concert. When CBC stepped away from Olympic coverage for three-plus commercialfree hours, when performers across the nation delayed the start of their concerts, when towns and cities and the Evans of Moran Drive streamed the Tragically Hip, it was a moment so, well…Canadian. Sorry. We’re not being smug, but excuse us, that’s who we are. Maybe in this freakish summer a bad comb-over isn’t our takeaway. Maybe the drought is over. We cheered. We laughed. We cried. We did it together, as Canadians. It’s who we are. Now, go read about some of your neighbours. Thanks for turning the page. Oh, and one more thing. GO JAYS!

Catherine Stutt, Editor, County and Quinte Living editor@xplornet.com



v Seed & Suet v Bird Feeders & Accessories v Nest Boxes, Benches v Bird Baths, Books, Gifts v Garden Flags

advertiser’s index

Tel: 613-397-3230 Toll Free: 1-877-480-7434 Email: connie@thebirdhouse.ca www.thebirdhouse.ca Tues.-Sat: 9:30-5:00 • Sun: Noon-4:00

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Briarwood Homes 65 Chisholm Lumber 54 Fireplace Specialties 23 Picton Home Hardware 33 Red Ball Radio 21 Sage Design & Construction 32 Sine’s Flooring 13 St. Lawrence Pools 3 The County Fireplace Company 31 Vanderlaan Building Products Ltd 46 VanVark Electric 57 William Design Company 55


County Arborists Inc. Dibbits Excavating and Landscaping Supply Lockyer’s Country Gardens Terra Vista Landscape Firm

professional services - dental Dr. Younes Dental Care Riverside Dental Centre

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IFC 56

professional services - financial

Bay of Quinte Mutual 14 Cumberland Private Wealth 60 State Farm 8

professional services - general Ontario Coachway Vaughan Group Vision & Voice Unveiled Bridal Show

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professional services - real estate Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd 65 Royal LePage – Elizabeth Crombie 64

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October 16th, 2016

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Join us for our seventh boutique style bridal event that invites brides-to-be to mingle and plan with amazing local wedding vendors in a swanky, social atmosphere! It is almost like a girl’s night out on a Sunday afternoon. Featuring 2 runway shows by Lily’s Bridal at 11:30am and 1:30pm

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Sunday, October 16th, 2016 • 10am-3pm National Air Force Museum of Canada • 220 RCAF Road, 8 Wing/CFB Trenton Tickets available at Lily’s Bridal or online at Facebook “f ” Logo

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Brendan Mertens Director, Ghostheads feature documentary 2007 Television and new Media producTion Grad COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING autumn 2016




Prince Edward County’s

Studio Tour


a glance into

Article by Catherine Stutt Photography by Daniel Vaughan In a region known for its vineyards and award-winning wines, it seems only logical to find at its gateway a wall-mounted wine safe, complete with a door panel reclaimed from an F-86 Sabre, and a hydraulically-lifted hidden platform for bottles and stemware. This is the tip of Prince Edward County’s (PEC) creative iceberg. Adjacent to the wine safe are shelves inspired by aircraft flight control surfaces, and picture frames riveted, stitched, curved, and illuminated, all sharing an aviation theme. The pieces redefine aviation art, and are the work of Jonathan Cook, who founded Avro Fabrication in 2013. An Aircraft Structures Technician at the Aerospace and Telecommunication Engineering Support Squadron at nearby CFB Trenton, Jonathan’s love of all things aviation is an integral part of his creative pursuit. COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING autumn 2016




By day, Jonathan repairs, maintains, and presence. “The community had no idea what reconstructs interior and exterior structural it was, but we made it happen. We made sure components of military aircraft. In his shop, we visited the studios first, ensured it was a his extensive training finds an artistic outlet, true studio with room for the public because manifesting itself in functional aviation- our promise was to see artists at work. I’d inspired pieces. They are quirky, industrial, throw the entire weekend, explaining how sleek, and stunning. and why I created my pottery. We encouraged Relatively new to the County, Jonathan people to ask questions while we worked; it is one of almost 40 artists opening their was all part of the dialogue.” studios for the 23rd annual PEC Studio Tour. All of this was announced by a simple black Jonathan’s goal for his first year on the studio and white folded flyer, and it worked. “From tour is simple. “I want to let the art speak for itself. The exposure is great, the tour is well the early years, I’d have 500 people through organized, and hopefully I’ll have a chance to my studio, with probably 1,500 visitors to the introduce people to my work, to see how it area over the weekend,” continued Peta. “It’s comes together, the process, the equipment. how I know so many people here. They were All of my designs are inspired and derived welcome to come through the studio, through from actual aircraft structures, and I welcome the villages. The B&Bs and restaurants were

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With 2 convenient locations to serve you the chance to integrate my love of aviation into the lives of others through my work.” Seeing art is only one aspect of the tour, and Jonathan’s goal speaks to another, from its earliest days. When Peta Hall moved to the County 26 years ago, she asked her fellow artists why there wasn’t a studio tour. “They didn’t know what a studio tour was,” Peta recalled, mentioning the Muskoka Autumn Studio tour was a frequent destination, and she used it as the template. “We had about eight or nine studios in the area, mostly in Bloomfield. Wellington at that time wasn’t as artistically inclined as it is now.” Working together as a group, the PEC Studio Tour launched with a very humble

full, and we knew we were on to something; we knew it was important to the economy of the County.” Peta stressed it was always a team effort, and expansion came naturally, yet within the original guidelines. “We found people with strong ideas and new people with new ideas and took it to new heights. I’m impressed it has gone from a small tour to what it is now. It is professionally and gloriously promoted, and it ties in so nicely with the wineries. Art and wine should go hand-in-hand, and what better time to experience both than in the autumn?” Five years ago, Peta’s life took a different journey, and she sold her home and studio, went to Ghana, and then returned to the County, where she is involved with the Baxter

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Guy and Sharon understand the first visit is often an introduction to establish a comfort zone, one that starts with a greeting by Grady, their tri-coloured Corgi. A great icebreaker, Grady destroys the presumption of a gallery as imposing. After the requisite head scratch, visitors are immediately greeted with Sharon’s soft landscapes, Guy’s unforgettable wire and wood bird sculptures, and the visual impact of Toller’s work. It is as bold and unapologetic as his skating routines, like static performance art, with a hint of something a viewer may never see. A prolific artist during his self-imposed exile in the artist colony of Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende, his work is now easily accessible in Bloomfield to his adoring Canadian fans.

Arts Centre. She remains a huge fan of the studio tour. “I love it. Now that I’m not part of running it, I can actually go on it.” For every home seller, there is a home buyer, and for Guy and Sharon Fox Cranston, the studio tour was life-changing. They lived in Westport and came to the County for the tour. “We instantly fell in love,” said Sharon in her studio. “We came to Peta Hall’s, saw it was for sale, and a couple of months later we moved in.” So impressed with the studio tour, the Cranston’s applied for the following year’s tour before they took possession of Peta Hall’s

former home. “Our moving date was after the deadline. We wanted to be on the tour as soon as possible,” stressed Sharon, a past chair of the tour. The Cranstons, who exhibit their own art as well as that of Guy’s brother Toller, feel the studio tour is a vital part of their gallery’s business. “They are very successful weekends; we do well,” shared Sharon, adding perhaps 350 to 400 visitors come through Cranston Gallery on Main. They offer a full price range, from $20 prints to Sharon’s original landscapes, Guy’s charming wire birds and Herbinites, to $15,000 Toller Cranston paintings and objets d’art.”

Guy understands art is state of mind for the artist and buyer. “First time buyers are reluctant to give themselves permission to buy a piece of art. They’ll often see it as an indulgence, and that can make them hesitant to visit a gallery. The studio tour gives them freedom because they’re one of a crowd; they know they can come in almost anonymously because it’s an event. Rarely will they buy a piece on the first visit, and it might be three or four visits before they make a purchase, but by then, they’re comfortable coming in. That’s why the studio tour is so important to a gallery.” A graphic designer by trade, Sharon does all of her reproductions in-house. “We take as much pride in a $20 print as a $2,000 original. It all reflects our work.” As new artists make their way to the County, long-time residents are joining the tour, too.

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Melinda Chalmers, owner of the Black Rhino Gallery on Paul Street is the latest member. Born and raised on Sheba’s Island (her brother Ben operates Westlake Wakeboard School nearby), Melinda graduated from Picton Collegiate Institute and hit the road, travelling to Australia and Fiji before living the snowboard life for a year in British Columbia. She studied fitness at College of the Rockies in Cranbrook and then kinesiology in Abbotsford, enjoying every minute.

art scene? I wanted to part of the studio tour for a long time. To be accepted into it means excellent exposure, but also a recognition that I’m part of this talented group.” Melinda enjoys the changing atmosphere of her home County. “The hipster scene is definitely a change for us and the County is doing amazing things for the arts,” she acknowledges. “I always wanted to be an abstract artist, and here I am, with my own gallery, part of a very respected studio tour.”

Karole Marois, who handles media relations “I loved the BC life,” she laughed, sitting in for this year’s tour, feels very at home with her the studio of her century home in the heart of fellow artists. “It’s a comfortable fit for me,” she Picton. “I also realized I need to make a living.” said, and feels participating is important as She attended teachers’ college at Simon Fraser, an artist, even though she has only called the minoring in visual arts, and her first placement County home for a few years. “Even though was in Port Moody, teaching high school art. my studio was still in construction in 2015, “It was an international baccalaureate school, and I didn’t really have anything sellable to the so I taught kids from all over the world. It was regular tourist, I decided to join to participate a challenge, and it was awesome.” in the County’s art scene, and allow the public Melinda returned to the County in 2007 to visit a working artist studio. I know many and considers herself fortunate to have had visitors like to discover a new artist, hear their several long-term teaching contracts, which story, and see their work. Sometimes the allowed her to buy her house in 2015 and public uses the studio tour as a way to look renovate the shed into an attractive intimate at real estate, and that’s okay, too. I still feel gallery the same year. At her first opportunity, opening my studio doors in September is my she applied for the studio tour. “How can I be way to contribute something to the art scene from this area, be gone for eight years, return in the County.” as an artist, and not want to be part of the

Karole feels the behind-the-scenes planning is just as important for networking as the tour itself. “The camaraderie among the artists is healthy. Maybe because most are mature they are supportive of others’ success. Artists have sent me emails congratulating me about my recent award at Art in the County, and another artist has told me how much she loved one of my paintings. It’s so heartwarming to hear this from your peers, especially the ones whose work you admire. Artists on the tour are curious about other artists, and generous with their knowledge and time.” The tour is about more than artists, more than studios, Karole observed. “Being on the tour gives the artists a sense of belonging to a cultural happening in a creative rural environment. There is friendly competition in the different juried art events, and when someone does well, it raises the bar.” Every artist has a story, and the 23rd annual PEC Studio Tour offers visitors a chance to connect with more than 40 celebrated artists in one of Canada’s most popular destinations. Through the tour, visitors discover more than art; they discover Prince Edward County. www.pecstudiotour.com



Bay of Quinte

Yacht Club Cel e b ratin g 1 4 0 Ye ars in 2 01 6

Article by Hazel Lloyst Photography by Daniel Vaughan

The Thursday, September 14, 1876 edition of the Grand Junction Railroad which later of the Daily Intelligencer reported in part, became part of the Grand Trunk Railroad; it “The adjourned meeting of yachtsmen was had a terminal at the market with the tracks held last night, when it was resolved to form running down Pinnacle Street. Thomas also a yacht club, under the name of the Bay of had an interest in a sidewheeler steamer Quinte Yacht Club.� The new club boasted a Alexandria, the largest boat on the Bay of complement of 20 members and 11 yachts Quinte at the time. and since there was no facility for the club The archives outlining the history of BQYC at that time, meetings took place at a variety can best be described as finding an old of locations in the city including the Dafoe seafaring chest tucked away in an attic for House, the Bay of Quinte Country Club, and decades and upon opening it, discovering a the Wharf Street Debating Club. treasure trove of historical documents, old Thomas Kelso was the first Commodore newspaper clippings, photos, handwritten of the Bay of Quinte Yacht Club (BQYC). notes, legal documents, booklets, and Thomas was a local merchant and president publications dating back 140 years.

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Sifting through myriad documents, Association (LYRA), along with Oswego, the fascinating story of BQYC – the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC), second oldest yacht club in Ontario and and Toronto Yacht Club; with the first the fourth oldest in Canada – unfolds LYRA regatta held in Big Bay at Belleville like a family tree; piecing together the on August 12, 1885. Many well-known history as best as can be remembered or names in the fleet included Aileen, documented. Club historian Susan Smith Atalanta, Cygnet, Condor, and Oriole. The has ensured these priceless photos and most recent LYRA regatta held in July of documents remain in the club’s archives. this year was hosted by the Whitby Yacht Club as part of their 50th anniversary Susan is as passionate about BQYC celebrations. as she is about history. Of the 61 Commodores who have served the yacht BQYC was very active in the yacht club since 1876, Susan holds the honour racing circuits in the late 1800s through of being the first female, holding the the turn of the century and is most position for the 1990/91 term. Susan commonly known for the sailing prowess and her family joined BQYC in 1976. of club member Captain Alexander Her husband Bob served as director for Cuthbert, one of the foremost 19th century several years; their sons were active junior yacht designers. Club history notes sailors and later spent their summers as Captain Cuthbert designed and built the dock boys. Susan continued on the board RCYC’s Countess of Dufferin, the first until 2014 and has been club historian Canadian challenger to the America’s since 1984. “BQYC has played a large role Cup in 1876. He also designed, built, and in our family’s love of all things nautical,” skippered the 78-foot yacht, Atalanta, states Susan. which challenged the New York Yacht BQYC was one of the founding Club for the America’s Cup on November members of the Lake Yacht Racing 9, 1881. Mischief, the defender, retained

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the Cup. Following the race, the America’s Cup rules were changed. BQYC’s Atalanta was the last freshwater yacht to ever race in the America’s Cup. Belleville’s spectacular progress during the 1870s and ’80s, referred to as the Golden Era, was followed by a period of recession in the 1890s. BQYC was also a casualty and records indicate very little activity. With the beginning of the 20th century, Belleville resumed its place among the growing cities of Canada and the yacht club established itself in the community. The First World War, not surprisingly, brought a temporary end to yachting activity. Following the war, interest in yachting on the Bay of Quinte resumed with many regattas during the next several racing seasons. In the fall of 1951, 35 sailing enthusiasts met at the Wharf Street Debating Club and decided to build a clubhouse at the site of the former Corby Boat House and Bandstand, located at the southern end of Victoria Park, which had been the site of a large sawmill in the

1800s. The one-storey building built in 1924 was no longer in use and had fallen into disrepair over the years. Of interest, Senator Henry Corby, of Corby Distilleries fame, was Commodore of BQYC in 1904.

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Construction could not have been completed without BQYC members contributing many hours of manual labour as well as money and materials. Local yachtsman Jack Braidwood sailed around the world on the Brigantine Yankee in 1947 and produced a film of his adventures, with the proceeds used to fund some of the construction costs. In 1978, BQYC played an active role in the City of Belleville’s centennial year celebrations. Commodore Grant (Bud) Simmons wrote the following message, “On behalf of the Flag Officers and Directors of the BQYC, and in commemoration of its 102 years of existence and the City of Belleville’s centennial, I take great pleasure in dedicating and presenting this history of our club to those gentlemen who in 1951 rebuilt an almost defunct organization

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which, through the years, progressed to its present day Anthony Gallow led 13 of his fellow BQYC sailors in the status and will continue to grow.” Bud was referring to challenge, racing aboard Alpha of Devonport, a 50’ leased the booklet Yachting on Belleville Waters, which was One Design Offshore racer/cruiser prototype, allowing the painstakingly researched and compiled by club members spirit of Belleville’s America’s Cup Challenge to sail once and Queen’s University students through a research grant. again. The challenge was limited to 200 entries in total and As part of the centennial celebrations, the yacht club held a BQYC had the smallest yacht and only Canadian entry. sailpast where nearly 300 boats from around Lake Ontario A snapshot of BQYC at the event stated, “Overall, a very joined local boaters for the event. successful, once in a lifetime, memorable international Over the years, the original yacht club building has been regatta. The BQYC team did proud in representing BQYC added to and continuously upgraded, allowing the club and Canada! Earned a strong finish as 21st out of 63 Division to be a beehive of activity with regattas, youth and adult 3, Modern Class Yachts. Best races were 14th (in 35 knot sailing programs, racing, rentals, and social events. The club winds where three yachts were dismasted) and 12th. BQYC currently has a membership of approximately 300 voting was the best chartered yacht with an amateur crew in their members and a fleet of 80 to 100 sail and power boats; quite division. They received many informal accolades from other an increase from the original 11 boats but not matching the crews for their strong competition.” heyday of 1992 when the club boasted 132 sailboats and 51 Stated Skipper Anthony Gallow, “Our crew surpassed powerboats in its fleet. themselves in the first race, many of the yachts were crewed As a result of competing for the America’s Cup in 1881, BQYC received an invitation to compete in the America’s Cup Jubilee Regatta, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the world’s most famous sporting trophy with racing to be held in Cowes, Isle of Wight August 18 to 25, 2001. Club member

by internationally famous yachtsmen. Yeoman of England was one, sailed by Aisher, a previous two-time winner of the Admiral’s Cup, and there were many such others. The conditions were right on the limits of acceptability, wind 30/35 knots, six foot waves, and a tide running at four knots.”

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Fifteen years after the event, BQYC still proudly displays photos, a commemorative plaque, and memorabilia from this historic event.

junior sailing programs in the country where and Learn to Sail programs while offering up almost 100 youth take part in our programs a fleet of Optimists and Lasers for training. and regattas throughout July and August. BQYC will formally celebrate their 140th This year we celebrate our 140th anniversary anniversary with a special presentation at the th “BQYC is one of the most active sailing and next year is the 50 anniversary of our annual Commodore’s Ball in late September. clubs in Ontario,” noted Dick Bird, a long- ’Roundththe County Race, and 2018 will mark As well, the club will participate in the 2016 time member of BQYC who served as the 50 anniversary of the Katie Gray race to Doors Open program this fall so the public has an opportunity to learn more about the Commodore in 1969/70 and again in 1972/73. Picton.” “How many clubs get 35 to 40 boats out for The sailing school, which began in 1950 history of the Bay of Quinte Yacht Club. a weeknight race? That’s 115 people out on and is open to the public, currently teaches For a more informal visit, go to www.bqyc.ca the Bay of Quinte. We have one of the best the Youth Sailing School, Youth Race Team,


W illiams

of Quinte Article by Catherine Stutt Photography by Daniel Vaughan There are few times when John Williams is not completely comfortable with his surroundings. The legendary former mayor of Quinte West, the hotelier, the husband, father, and grandfather has a command presence. Period. When he’s in the room, he’s hard to miss. It’s not that John seeks the spotlight. Quite the contrary, according to his good friend Colin Keiver, Commanding Officer of 8 Wing/CFB Trenton. “One of John’s defining characteristics is he likes to be and is comfortable being in charge but he’s very humble and doesn’t like to be singled out for his good deeds and success.” The spotlight is hard to avoid for a man with a reputation as a natural leader, someone who knows instinctively others will follow. It’s hard to pick a pivotal moment in John’s public life, but perhaps one of the best known is when 8 Wing needed to know its host city stood with it. About half way through his terms as mayor (John headed Quinte West from 2006 to 2014), John realized 8 Wing personnel needed support from the community, so he called a few friends, including leaders of neighbouring communities, and marched to the base. Along the way, John gathered about



“When John speaks, people listen...”

2,000 of his friends and constituents. He was met by the very grateful new Wing Commander Dave Cochrane. “John rose to the challenge without hesitation, helping lead the community through this difficult and quite shocking period. His strong and focused communication skills, including the rally, which was a key turning point, his message of restoring pride and community support, and his proven leadership skills shone through. I think everyone would agree – when John speaks, people listen, including myself.” Brigadier General Cochrane, now the Commander of 2 Canadian Air Division in Winnipeg, knows John’s commitment goes beyond any office he’ll hold. “John is a well-respected leader in the community who holds the Canadian military in high regard. He fully understands the critical work the dedicated men and women carry out at the base in Trenton.” John, who worked closely with the commander, said, “Dave Cochrane is the sincerest person I’ve ever met. He was the absolute perfect person at the perfect time, and we are still very good friends.” General Cochrane continued with the personal side of their relationship, “John is also a true family man and a respected local businessman. His beautiful wife Heather, and impressive sons Ryan and Brad, and the entire family have made a significant contribution and positive impact to the Quinte region and its population.” The Williams family has been part of the Quinte landscape for decades. John’s father Don, born in Cannifton, owned




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“... he intuitively understands people and what they want. He makes them feel included and important.” Stirling Motors for 25 years before opening the Wandlyn Inn in 1979. It was the first of the Williams Hotels properties. Don’s father Jack was born in Havelock, and was a railway engineer with CNR. Jack’s father Henry was a conductor with CNR, and Henry’s father George came from Wales. John’s mother Audrey still lives in Belleville, and her grandfather William Ritz was born at Belleville’s Point Anne. The legacy continues with John and Heather’s sons Brad and Ryan, who serve as vice presidents of Williams Hotels, which now include the Best Western, Fairfield Inn and Suites Marriott, Holiday Inn Express, and Towneplace Suites Marriott, all in Belleville. Long before Williams Hotels launched almost 40 years ago, John had a brief career as a car salesman, and wanted to fall back on his hospitality education. Back in the summer of 1974, while studying tourism at Fleming College, John hitchhiked to Alberta, and worked as a waiter at Banff Springs. That same summer, Heather Tomilson from Stanley, New Brunswick, studying as a dietician in Halifax, also headed for Banff. Her dean flew her first class. The two met, were engaged in 1976 when John graduated, and moved to Kitchener, where John worked horrendous hours in

restaurants, while Heather’s search for work was futile. In 1979, John struck a deal with his father, and Williams Hotels was born. Over the next 36, years, the company enjoyed a great deal of success, and streamlined its holdings. In 2001, Williams Hotels sold properties with restaurants, electing to focus exclusively on accommodation. By this time, John and Heather’s sons were part of the family business, after earning the positions.

was no pressure for Brad and Ryan to join the family business. If they liked it, fine, but they still had to be good at it, and they are, which is nice, because carrying a family business to a third generation is pretty rare, and mixing family and business is a challenging dynamic.”

That’s John to the core – straightforward, high expectations, clear communication, and it is admired by those with whom he serves. “There’s a side to John that has great moral courage,” explained Col. Keiver. “He’s a “Having the boys in the business keeps straight shooter. He gives praise as quickly as it in the family, but they worked hard he criticizes, and he is not hesitant to bench for the chance,” noted Heather. Brad and someone for failing to execute their duties. Ryan worked on cruise ships and at non- Still, he intuitively understands people and family hotels, including several summers at what they want. He makes them feel included Deerhurst Resort, where they waited tables and important. For all of his gruffness, he’s a before working their way through the ranks. real people person.” Before college, before high school, they Those qualities and his unwavering learned about the demands of the business commitment to 8 Wing and the military from the company CEO. members of his extended community kept “Brad and I would figure we had a Saturday John on the Canadian Forces radar, and in off, until Dad woke us up, telling us we were 2013, he finally accepted the recurring offer coming to work with him at 7 a.m. Or earlier,” to become 8 Wing’s Honorary Colonel, but remembered Ryan. “We figured we’d have an not until his term as mayor ended. easy day, and then he’d tell us to paint all of Heather recalls eight years as fulfilling and the curbs in the parking lot.” memorable. “There were weekends when John is clear about the decisions. “We we’d attend five events in the community, and wanted them to have the chance to do their it was exhausting, but we knew they were own thing, to make their own decisions. There to honour wonderful people making a huge


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difference, and it’s important to give back. The community is very good to us, and it deserved all we had to give it.” As John ran the city with Heather at his side, the parents recognize their sons made it possible. “Ryan and Brad’s work ethic allowed John to focus on being mayor. He knew he didn’t need to worry about the family business,” explained Heather.

survived for only a short time. Ally has taken the heartbreak and turned it into a mission, with her blog www.alwayschooselove.net and Love Notes to Theodore. It is raw and real and one of her most poignant observations is so beautifully understated. “Twenty-two minutes seems like such a short time, until it’s forever.” Brad and his wife Annie are busy building a cottage, and are expecting their first child in September. Ally laughed when she learned the gender. “We didn’t think the Williams made little girls.”

services for another 12 years. At one time, she had four separate contracts all while juggling two active boys and family life. In her spare time, she became a best-selling author with her Happy Heart cookbooks and Happy Heart Moments segments on local radio. Her business grew, and she was designing menus, teaching at Loyalist College, working with people with brain stem injuries, and lecturing. This all morphed into her role with John as his biggest supporter while he was in office.

“I wasn’t at the hotels every day when I was mayor, so the boys had a chance to make their own way and become independent,” “Heather is very sincere, very good with noted John admitting it was hard to turn off Both sons are active with Camp Quin- people, and her personality and attitude the parent switch at times. “They found their Mo-Lac in Tweed, a United Church camp shine through,” said John. “We make a good niche in the business.” founded in part by a previous generation of team.” The relationship is obvious to those Ryan is well-known for his leadership in the family almost 65 years ago. close to them. “John and Heather have a great the Bay of Quinte Region and for his tireless The boys learned by example early in partnership,” shared Col. Keiver. “Heather marketing and promotion of the hotels and life, surviving the curb painting detail, keeps him grounded. She’s so down to earth the region, which are interwoven to him. and watching both parents run their own and personable. They are great foils. They are Brad gravitates more to staff and design, businesses while working tirelessly in the one of those great couples.” and is known for his construction abilities. community. Although they enjoyed almost every Both learned more than business from their Frustrated with not being able to secure a moment, eight years was enough and they parents – they learned how to build a family. job as a dietician, Heather created her own. made the decision for John to step away from Ryan is married to Allyson, and they She taught early childhood nutrition, worked politics, but not from public service. “Dave have two boys, Jack and Patrick. Their third with Belleville’s cherished Dr. Bruce Cronk Cochrane and Colin Keiver both asked me to son Theodore was born last December but for 12 years, and then worked with cardiology be the 8 Wing Honorary Colonel, and when

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I said yes, I had the choice to take some time off or start right away,” explained John. “Two days after I left office, I was sworn in.” John admits it’s a much more relaxed pace, and he is enjoying maintaining the connection with the military, although having people salute him is definitely not in his comfort zone. It’s an easy transition, because John always felt the military was a vital part of the community, and after the rally in 2010, 8 Wing was his unofficial home away from home. “During the stressful and disturbing events of 2010, John was instrumental in helping bring the Quinte region and 8 Wing Trenton members closer,” said General Cochrane. “As the Mayor of Quinte West and 8 Wing Commander, we worked very closely together in the 2010/2011 timeframe helping turn the page and positively moving forward during an extremely difficult and challenging situation.” As 8 Wing entered a massive recapitalization, spending upwards of $800 million on infrastructure upgrades and additions, it had an equally impressive impact on the local economy, and John worked closely with former Wing Logistics and

Engineering Officer (WLEO) Colonel Sean Lewis, who values the friendship. “John is the epitome of a mayor any WLEO would wish to have as a partner in a municipality. If you have the incredible relationship we enjoyed, the results can become extraordinarily positive. Whether it was in the frigid climes of Alert or to the blazing hot sun in Camp Mirage where we visited 8 Wing troops, or the massive construction programs our teams had to collaborate on, John was always there, providing leadership, encouraging the folks, and caring deeply about what we did on the base.” Col. Keiver smiled as he spoke of John’s historical impact on CFB Trenton. “The Wing has exceptional relationships with local communities and John is responsible for much of that. He reaffirmed the human connection and it continues to this day. He has a great ability to mobilize, and he is a mentor and a friend, not just to me, but to the entire Wing. He goes above and beyond to help, yet doesn’t want that acknowledged. He steps up and does what needs to be done, and he’s the last one to tell anyone. The Wing is very lucky to have him as an Honorary Colonel. He brings connections to allow us

to do things we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. He always says, ‘I’ve got people,’ and finds the resources we need. He understands people intrinsically, he builds relationships, he doesn’t burn them.” “As an Honorary Colonel, John is not just symbolic. He is truly making a difference. They are enriching my life and the Wing far more than I think we are enriching them. I’m not really sure what we give them. They are selfless.” John replied to the Colonel’s question, and it is vintage John Williams. “The association is great and it is a great honour to be involved with the base, so I believe I am the winner in this.” And he turned the spotlight outward.


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Article by Michelle Hauser Photography by Daniel Vaughan The fall harvest at Hagerman Farms is arguably one of Prince Edward County’s most stunning seasonal spectacles. What begins in January every year as a private deliberation over seed catalogues ends in September and October as a rainbow explosion of reconstituted water and sunlight,

nurtured into being by hardworking hands for the whole of the County, and anyone just passing through, to enjoy. “It all started with a barn dance” says Jody Lavender, a fourth-generation Hagerman, as she glances up at the white lettering ‘LB Hagerman and Sons’ on the iconic red barn where, one fateful night, Lyle Byers Hagerman and Irene Walters met and danced and took up the mantle of a family farming legacy that is now five generations strong. Jody shares her grandparents’ story while taking shelter from the heat in the shade 36


of the enormous willow tree which towers over the property between the vegetable stand and the old family farm house. This is also where two summer students in straw hats steadily clean and prep onions. The fragrance of shallots is heady on the breeze – a blur of magenta overflows from green buckets. Jody cradles her youngest child on her hip as she reminisces about her grandmother’s love for soft-serve ice cream. Ironically, it was a cold confection, not something leafy and green, that started it all. Lyle and Irene returned from their 1955 honeymoon road trip to Florida and opened a Dari-Dip, which later moved to the south

side of the Parkway. They also milked and farmed but back then vegetables were a wholesale affair. “They grew corn, tomatoes, and pumpkins for the local canneries, and kept a couple of tomato baskets for the farm stand,” says Jody, adding it was just something fun to do on the side. Today, the sprawling stand, located on the north side of the Loyalist Parkway between Picton and Bloomfield is a mecca for locals and tourists alike. “We do a little bit of wholesale for markets in Kingston and Belleville but the majority of our vegetables are just for our stand.”

Jody says the growth of the farm has been parking lot at Hagerman Farms is almost gradual, “I think it sort of expanded a little always full to capacity and there’s a steady more every year. We used to have a little red rotation of the colourful wicker over-the-arm stand and we opened the front and that was it. baskets – a charming and tactile reminder It was enough to just walk in and serve a few of the down-home, old-fashioned shopping people.” There was no strategy for expansion. experience patrons can enjoy. Through the years, the footprint of the Shoppers can load their baskets with so stand has grown, first from one side, then much more than the humdrum five servings, another, and then out the back. The family too. The selection of specialty potatoes, for has continually watched and responded to example, is beyond impressive: Amerosa, the open-air structure, which is in a near- Rosefin Apple, Linzer Delicatess, Adirondack constant state of outgrowing itself. Blue, and Warba. With more than 10 “I noticed in the last five or six years it’s varieties of lettuce from which to choose the gotten really busy,” says Jody “The farm-to- subject of salad can get pretty complicated. table movement has had a big impact.” The The purple cauliflower is a kid favourite

and Jody’s young ones like it baked with a little olive oil and Parmesan cheese. She says it isn’t mandatory in the Hagerman family to eat every vegetable but, “It’s mandatory that you try everything.” She readily admits that even LB himself never liked broccoli. Asked for her take on designer vegetables, Jody says it’s hard to anticipate what’s going to be popular in any given year, but overall she thinks it’s great when a vegetable becomes a craze. “I want people to be excited about vegetables. A couple of years ago people were juicing kale, and it’s still a big seller, and then one season Martha Stewart was all over golden beets and they remain popular,” COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING autumn 2016




It isn’t mandatory in the Hagerman family to eat every vegetable but it is mandatory to try everything.” although the seed is expensive. This year is a first for Hagerman Farms growing white beets which are Jody acknowledges are not so popular just yet, “But maybe we’ll start a trend.”

Jody is one of many family members who contribute to the day-to-day management and operation of the 500In an age where people are becoming acre farm, “We sort of all help out with everything” she says. “Everybody in the more and more food conscious, vegetables family knows how to wear a different hat.” come with bragging rights – at least they As a result, there is nothing resembling are status-worthy on Facebook. It’s a a typical day. There are brothers and source of pride for home chefs to say not sisters and aunts and uncles and cousins only were these bought locally, but they and grandchildren all mucking in. For were also cooked and eaten. Hagerman the Hagermans farming is truly a family Farms has a Facebook page for just these affair. The Kubota tractors with matching kinds of shout-outs, photos, and kudos. custom license plates pretty much say it “The [Hagerman] salad and potatoes were the bomb!” all: BORN2FARM. With the notable exception of social Even with all those Hagermans, though, media, though, this is a low-tech there still aren’t enough hands. The farm operation. “We don’t really measure,” says staffs up in the summer with students, Jody, “There are no spreadsheets. We primarily. They also have a loyal group know how much we sold by knowing how of workers through the Foreign Worker much we bypassed in the field, or how Program who come from Jamaica on a much we fed to the cows. You’ll never get seasonal basis and are now part of the it right because you’ll always grow more Hagerman extended family. Look for of, or sell less of, something.” the sign that says ‘Clifford and Johnny’s Their field-to-farmstand harvesting Flowers,’ – rustic, hand-picked, and tied bouquets of Canadian wildflowers with a decisions are governed by a commitment to keeping it fresh and young and good. little Jamaican irie.




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The subject of organic growing comes up pretty frequently and Jody is matter-of-fact about it, “I tell [customers] we’re not organic. It doesn’t mean we spray everything or that we spray for the fun of it.” Hagerman’s golden rule about spraying is, “Not on everything and only when it needs it.” An increasingly big draw from one season to the next is Farmhouse Eats, run by Jody’s sister Jennifer. As demand for her freshly baked breads, pies, tarts, jams, and jellies increased over the years, Jen outgrew the old farm house and an old drive shed was converted into a more permanent facility for the family’s foodie to showcase her creations. “I think it gets bigger for her each year,” says Jody. “I’ve started noticing people will pull in and they’ll walk straight past the vegetables. Sometimes we tease them, ‘Better get some vegetables and balance that out!’” Gluten hasn’t beaten green, though, at least not yet anyway. But Farmhouse Eats has developed a following: when it comes to blueberry buttermilk scones versus kale juice, the choice for some folks is obvious. The sights, sounds, and smells of the farming life are varied and rich. So why doesn’t everybody do it? For starters, it’s a lot of work. The field beckons at 6 a.m. and there’s never a day off. Secondly, and most problematically, is it involves accepting Mother Nature is the boss and she is a notoriously poor communicator. Only people who were BORN2FARM possess the right genetic coding to live with that kind of uncertainty, or tyranny, depending on the perspective. Near the end of the farm tour, when asked if any single season stands out as a bad one, Uncle Paul – one of LB’s four children – responds without skipping a beat, “2016!” As a hot summer breeze stirs up the dust in the parking lot it’s hard to imagine such dry earth is still giving up so many beautiful things. “There’s nothing we can do about it,” says Jody stoically, about the lack of precipitation this year. “Either the rain comes or it doesn’t; you have to take the good with the bad.” When asked if she is tempted to spray paint ‘and Granddaughters’ to the ‘LB Hagerman and Sons’ moniker that looms large on the barn above, the faintest wry grin is detectable, “LB was my Grandpa so it was true at the time. I’m okay with it. Traditions are good.”



I’ve started noticing people will pull in and they’ll walk straight past the vegetables. Sometimes we tease them, ‘Better get some vegetables and balance that out!’



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Steeped in History The Museums of Prince Edward County Living in the Loyalist area means residents are no strangers to history. Thanks to a rich First Nations past, followed by the first settler landings in Ontario, Prince Edward County is a well of facts, tidbits, and objects that speak to the days gone by. Whether in the rolling hills of Picton or the landscapes of Ameliasburgh, churches, homes, and the tales of past generations offer secrets and education galore. Someone has to keep the stories of this heritage alive, and the museums of Prince Edward County are up to the task. With five different locations, each has a unique tale to tell, with exhibits that speak to the specific locale and a combined 50,000 artifacts, many of them County specific. Many guests are unaware of the fact all five museums fall under one umbrella, managed by the Prince Edward County (PEC) Museum administration. Their motto is, “Five sites, hundreds of stories,” which after a few visits, proves to be an accurate description. “The museums bring people together to share in their own history,” said Jennifer Lyons, Head Curator for the PEC Museums. Jennifer is a woman who fell in love with history and decided to make a career of it. With a master’s degree in museum studies and a husband who originates from the area, she spent the last nine years with the Prince Edward County Museums, lighting up when she talks about the various projects and exhibits she’s helped develop. Most interesting of their latest outreach programs is the Passport, a booklet that allows visitors to actively participate in the museums through thought-provoking questions and a stamp of completion. After visiting all five locations, guests receive a commemorative gift of historical magnets that add beauty and history along with a tangible keepsake of County heritage. The Passport also encourages a type of hands-on learning and experience, which Jennifer feels is vital to a positive visit. “There’s this stereotype that we have to be quiet and not touch anything,” she said. “We’re moving away from that in the modern day. If people can’t connect with the items around them, with the ambience, then they’re not really taking away anything from the experience.”

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Another program is the creation of Reminiscing Packages, designed to be a tool for memory loss and connection for seniors in long-term care homes. “There’s the misguided impression that museums are just tourist attractions,” Jennifer said. “We find a way to connect with our community and generations.” The museums are also active with the local school systems, offering various programs and educational opportunities. Maintaining this kind of operation is expensive, especially considering the extensive renovations often required to keep buildings in working order. While the museums rely on grants, they also fund themselves through donations and admission fees, but only two of the larger museums require admission fees, while the rest are paywhat-you-can, meaning anyone can afford to be a part of their own historical background. While the museums can be visited in a day, it is best to spread them and enjoy a different location each day.

Macaulay Heritage Park This stunning location sits near Lake on the Mountain in Picton, making for the perfect site for a late morning visit, followed by a picnic. Here you’ll find a beautiful church, which houses several exhibits showcasing old maps of the area, arrowheads from First Nations peoples, and the St. Mary Magdalene Parish Cemetery, where visitors can walk amongst the ghosts. Don’t miss the gravestone of William Pierce, whose COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING autumn 2016



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mysterious headstone was the subject of a profile on Ripley’s Believe It or Not, trying to unearth the reason for his impossible death date of February 31. Was the stone engraver illiterate? Did Mr. Pierce somehow manage to escape time? Come up with your best guess. “It inspires people’s imaginations about how that came to be,” Jennifer said. “We’ll never know for sure.” Adding to this site is Macaulay House, former home of the wealthy Reverend William Macaulay, built in 1830. He was originally sent as a missionary and named the town of Picton after his favourite war hero. A visit to his former home, along with a tour of the maid’s quarters, stone fireplace, and more, showcase his wealth but also generosity, building many Picton sites and donating the land. Knowledgeable tour guides, like period-dressed Mary Mellor, will tell the deep dark secrets of the home while detailing life in the 1800s for early settlers. In the summer, don’t miss the graveyard tours and in fall and winter the special dinners, and events. Admission, $5 for adults, $3 for children. (Student, senior, and family rates available.)

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Wellington Heritage Museum Located in the proverbial heart of the Village of Wellington, a trip to this museum is a true step back in time and can’t be missed thanks to the bright red doors. Built in 1885, the museum is a former Quaker Meeting House and now offers visitors a peek into the life of Quakers, who were vital to the settling of the area, and also to the historical canning industry. “Wellington is a small site but it has a great collection,” said Jennifer. The building appears part church, part community hall, fitting for religious meetings, but is now home to the famed Douglas A. Crawford Canning Industry Collection, which showcases the Prince Edward County canning heritage through interactive and hands-on exhibits. Thanks to proximity to Lake Ontario, which not only offered excellent fishing but also an easy means by which to transport the goods once canned, canning was vital to the County economy, with more than 75 different factories open and operating between 1882 and 1996. Especially famous are the variety of displayed labels, which Jennifer likens to miniature pieces of art. The canning artifacts are the subject of countless research requests from all over the world and well-trained volunteers can offer inside information that gives everyone an education. Admission by donation.

Rose House Museum The Rose House Museum is aptly named, having been inhabited by the Rose family for five generations. It was built in the early 1800s and today offers a taste of life for early settlers in harsh climates. Original owner, Peter Rose, arrived in the area after the American Revolution, in which he fought for the British. The home was made from salvaged timber and he and his wife raised a whopping 11 children in the tiny home, which really must be seen to comprehend the cramped quarters. The homestead is full of period-dressed tour guides who can tell visitors everything they ever wanted to know about farming more than 200 years ago. A stunning drive out to Waupoos makes the Rose House Museum a destination trip, which can be topped off with a visit to the local cidery for drinks and wood-fired pizza.

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Mariners Park Museum Thanks to waters rich in a variety of fish, early settlers relied on the waterways and lakes to forge an existence while feeding their (often large) families. Mariners Park Museum explores that heritage, which goes beyond the legal business side and also speaks to the secret life of rum running in the early 19th century. Inevitably, life on the lakes also meant significant loss of life, and the museum pays homage to those who perished, highlighted by the many shipwrecks in the area. Not to be missed is the beautiful lighthouse, relocated from False Duck Island. The Fort is a sight to behold, with large stone structures that showcase days when Canada was defended on the open water. Check out the artifacts recovered from early explorations of these shipwrecks and kids will love playing on the ship replicas. Don’t miss a chance to test the fog horn! Admission by donation.

Ameliasburgh Heritage Village This is the largest of the museums, a thriving village of education that sprouted from the main building, the Wesleyan Methodist Church, built in 1868. The pioneer village is home to perioddressed tour guides who share knowledge of the inner details of early settler existence. “Every tour is different, depending on who is giving it,” said Jennifer of the staff. “Some of our volunteers have been here for more than a quarter of a century.” It’s this intimate understanding of the museums that makes the guides so entertaining. Kids will love exploring the log cabin, barns, and blacksmith shop, and the beekeeper can explain all there is to know about these hardworking insects. Amelia’s Tea Room is the perfect place to end a visit, with tasty snacks and drinks. Current exhibits include an array of taxidermy, highlighting the area’s rich hunting history, and summer camps and special events make for a unique visit. Don’t miss the horse-powered treadmill, which used to run the Ameliasburgh ferry!

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Admission, $5 for adults, $3 for children (special rates available for students, seniors, and families). Whether stopping in at one location or making the rounds to all five PEC Museums, there’s sure to be something for everyone. “Pick your point on a timeline and we are certain to have a really fascinating story to go along with it,” assured Jennifer. For more information, and to learn about rates, hours of operation and more, visit www.pecounty.on.ca/museums

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Not Your Ordinary Choir Article by Jennifer Shea Photography by Daniel Vaughan This is the sound of all of us, singing with love and the will to trust Leave the rest behind, it’ll turn to dust This is the sound of all of us, this is the sound of all of us This is the sound of one voice, one people, one voice A song for every one of us This is the sound of one voice, this is the sound of one voice. (The Wailin’ Jennys) These lyrics heralded the opening of the Shout Sister! year-end concert at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Picton in June. It was a powerful opening number, with three sections of the choir entering at different times, their voices blending, and getting stronger and stronger as more than 50 choristers joined together. The concert not only marked the end of the 2015/16 season for the local women’s singing group, it also marked its 10th anniversary in Picton. It was a proud evening for the members, as well as for their leader Director Georgette Fry. Georgette is a veteran, award-winning Canadian blues and jazz singer and songwriter with close to 40 years in the music business. Her home base is Kingston, and she has travelled the country as a performer and vocal instructor. She scaled



down her performances over the last 14 years since she founded Shout Sister! in order to focus on supporting the development of the organization. “Yeah. This is my job now,” she says. “Actually, it didn’t take me very long to realize this probably was my calling in life.” “I never learned to read music,” says Georgette. “It just occurred to me one day there had to be thousands of women who couldn’t read music and might not have the kind of voice that would pass an audition. Why couldn’t they have a choir?” That was the impetus behind Shout Sister! back in 2002. After one of Georgette’s students suggested she try and put together a choir, Georgette put out the word in Kingston that a

new women’s choir was looking for members; they didn’t need to be able to read music and didn’t need to audition. “The very first night 50 women showed up for an introductory evening; the second night 70 women showed up,” says Georgette. “For the first five years or so, I probably had about 120 to 130 members over two nights.” When asked about how Georgette structured the Shout Sister! choir, she explained, “I’m a pop singer. I do blues and jazz and folk and country. I’ve always had a little bit of a bugaboo about traditional choirs taking pop songs and squaring them up, you know, using good diction, and that kind of stuff. I thought, if I’m going to do pop music,

the women (in the choir) have to understand we don’t enunciate. It has to sound like it’s coming from the heart rather than from the brain. I have deliberately chosen songs that kind of forced that issue. I think there’s room for all kinds of different sorts of choirs, so I just wanted to have yet another option.” The songs sung by Shout Sister! choirs range from blues to folk, rock, pop, and gospel music. Songs by Canadian artists are prominently featured in the repertoire. For the first four years of the Shout Sister! choir, a group of women from Picton were driving every week to Kingston to participate. It made Georgette think about the notion of establishing other choirs within an hour’s

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drive of Kingston. After putting up posters in and around Picton, a “huge turnout” of women showed up to join the fledgling Picton choir. The Picton Shout Sister! group became the second of what is now a 21-choir network across Ontario, and the Picton group remains the second largest of them all.

compensation of choir directors, one of us tips on breath control, hitting notes, and whom is Georgette’s long-time personal diction that are invaluable.” manager, Nancy Greig. Nancy is the manager Adds Picton chorister Carol Moskaluk, of the Shout Sister! choir network and she “The fact members can choose parts they also directs one of the two Kingston Shout prefer, switching between lead, lead response, Sister! choirs. high, high response, low, or low response for The Shout Sister! choirs have become various songs is motivating and challenging. Suzanne Pierson has been a member of the known for giving back to their communities, It’s not your ordinary choir.” Picton Shout Sister! choir since its inception. giving free performances at festivals and “The members who are very nervous will She was attracted to the group when she special events and doing fundraising eventually get convinced by their sisters to heard it was for fun, with no auditions, or performances throughout the season. “We get up here and sing and then they discover solo performances. “I’ve made so many do many fundraisers throughout the year for themselves how powerful it is to stand in friends,” she says. “Everything is very low other people, but our year-end show – we front of an audience and sing,” says Georgette. key but also very supportive. Georgette has want it to be for families,” says Nancy. “We She laughs and adds, “So I now have a couple created a safe place for women to sing. With want to give back. If choirs don’t have their of thousand performance junkies.” her guidance we are all finding our voices and own favourite charity, we try to find the When asked about the name, “Shout making the world a better place, one Shout smaller charities where a mid-sized donation Sister at a time.” would make a really big difference. That’s Sister!”, Georgette says, “The first woman to come out of the church and sing in public was It appears participation in a choir such what we like to do – to make a difference.” Sister Rosetta Tharpe. One of her biggest hits as Shout Sister! provides multiple benefits The year-end concert in Picton raised funds was a song called “Shout, Sister, Shout!” It’s a beyond the social aspect of sharing music with for the ROC, a registered charity that builds very fun tune – sort of jazzy and bouncy. This friends. Says Georgette, “The psychological relationships, provides opportunities, and name makes sense because we’re shoutin’ out, and physical benefits of opening your mouth creates connections through programs that basically.” to sing in a room full of others who are support personal and social development Picton member Dona Knudsen sums up doing the same are huge. We’ve had so many for youth, ages six to 18, in Prince Edward the Shout Sister! experience by saying, “I testaments from women who talk about the County. would tell anyone interested in joining Shout impact it has had on their lives. Some of these The dedication to Georgette as director Sister! they will be warmly welcomed into women have lost family members, suffer from is obvious when the Picton Shout Sisters depression, any number of things. They come are performing. They’re all laser focused a community of women who love to sing, to us and say, ‘you have no idea what this has on her as she sings the lyrics, keeps the respect each other, and care about giving done for me.’ Of course, that makes us choke time signature with her hand, and controls back to the community. And we have fun!” up and cry, but it keeps us going too.” Adds Janet Robbins, “Singing is good for the dynamics of each song with her body Shout Sister! attracts women of varying movements. “Besides being unbelievably the soul. Everybody has a little singer in them ages, with most between 30 and 60. Members talented, she is hard-working and tireless,” just waiting to be released. It can’t hurt to pay a fee of about $7 per week for two five- says long-time Picton choir member Janet give it a try.” month sessions each season (September Robbins. “The tracks she works on and puts to June) plus a one-time setup fee. The together for us to learn our songs with are the fees cover administrative expenses and the best. It’s a really easy way to learn. She gives

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Where two or

three are gathered… Article by Lindi Pierce Photography by Daniel Vaughan Connections grow throughout a life lived long and fully, strands weaving a complex and beautiful fabric. Those celebrated six degrees of separation diminish to two, to one. A chat with the affable Reverend Maurice McLeod unveils a multilayered tapestry: connections to church, community, history, architecture, horticulture, his fellow human beings. A little house in Rednersville figures large in the story. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Reverend Maurice and wife Norma’s arrival at the Manse, an 1861 red brick cottage in the historic village. Reverend McLeod assumed his responsibilities as United Church minister for the Rednersville/Albury pastoral charge in 1966. The couple purchased the home in 1982, when the Manse committee identified the need for costly work. The McLeods made structural repairs, then restored the heritage interior as a home for their collection of antiques and family treasures. And their community.

Many bits of area history are built into the home. Reverend Maurice recalls uncovering its three layers of brick, and the 1861 Napanee newspaper in the walls, passing as insulation. They fashioned the built-in dining room cupboard from doors from the old Picton hospital, and a door rumoured to be from Mrs. Simpson’s tavern in Belleville was added at the back of the house. Reverend McLeod is especially proud of the elegant burled walnut desk, built in 1840 in London, England. It graces his formal study with its shelves of leather-bound books, decorative objects, and antique chairs. Norma and Maurice christened their home Dunvegan Cottage after the McLeod castle in Scotland; the McLeod flag hangs at the back door. These days Reverend McLeod and his cat Nelson spend most of their time in the cozy den created from the former woodshed. From his comfy chair with its crocheted afghan the


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Reverend surveys his domain with its well-used fireplace and wide windows overlooking a tangled garden and the Bay of Quinte beyond. Earthy treasures abound: orchids and antique lamps, bookshelves overflowing with photos, china, glassware, curios, paintings, and framed family photos, a grandfather clock, well-loved wing chairs, an antique daybed, piles of books, and British drama DVDs.

at Macaulay House museum, was a friend through museum channels. “TC and TK, as we called them,” were at the Manse often for dinner. The Reverend recalls restoration architect Peter John Stokes fondly. Mischievously, he recounts their reconnection at the museum’s 20th anniversary celebration, when they monopolized each other’s company and, “People were ready to shoot us!”

“The garden is not the way it used to be,” bemoans the former garden club member. It was once a showplace, included in garden tour guides. He checks the bookshelves for Places to Visit in Prince Edward County, without success. “My Reverend McLeod modestly daughter Sheila cleans up once in a while, takes attributes the Manse’s inclusion me a month to find things again. “ The gardens in the book to, “Lots of gin and are a magical place, a maze of perennials and tonic, and plenty of persuasion.” flowering shrubs, luxurious with the textures of The Manse’s long history, its hostas and ferns. A bench beckons under ancient architectural detail and the black locusts, paths wander among sunny beds heritage designation plaque at and secluded green spaces. The garden is lush the front door would belie that and wild, kept in line by the hard-working Janice. theory. The former Manse was included in The Settler’s Dream, that definitive 1984 work on Prince Edward County’s built heritage. Researcher/ writer Tom Cruikshank recalls his research assignment. “My job was to knock on random doors and interview whoever answered about local history, buildings, and families. Someone at South Bay called the cops on me and another in Bongard’s Corners shooed me away so fast. Most people were more hospitable, and the most hospitable of all were Maurice and Norma McLeod. They welcomed me into their parlour, gave me tea, told me anecdotes, introduced me to neighbours, and showed me an archive of old photos.” The Reverend reminisces about the close associations formed during the creation of the book. “A lot of Settler’s Dream took form in this room,” he recollects. He had met Tom Cruickshank on a guided walk in Picton; Tom Kuglin, curator

Reverend McLeod also remembers Jeanne Welbanks Minhinnick, author of At Home in Upper Canada. He assisted her with sourcing artifacts for Upper Canada Village. He recalls taking, “A couple of loads of stuff down,” and attending the opening dedication in 1961. In a Living Library series, Maurice McLeod would be a history book. He speaks fondly of a goodly number of heritageminded folks, a veritable historical who’s who: Lois Wishart, Carolyn Love, Dr. Ethel Dempsey, Gerry Boyce, Judge Carroll Anderson (who signed Norma’s citizenship papers, and whose father baptized

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Maurice,) John and Diane Brisley (County and Quinte Living Spring 2014) are but a few of the names that pop up. The Reverend was a charter member of the Ameliasburgh 7th Town Historical Society. As president, he suggested collecting and printing the many topics that had been presented at meetings. The final product was the valuable 700-page local history 7th Town/Ameliasburgh Township published in 1984.

Clemensons, Laptkes, Mortons down the road, Brenda and Bill Vella in the old Redner house (County and Quinte Living Spring 2016). “The key to community is just reaching out,” he muses. Bill Vella talks about the start of their friendship with Reverend Maurice:

two trees.” June and Carl Reid, long time music ministers at Albury recall, “The genuine love, care, and support that he gave the church family.” The Reverend took a lively interest in the choir’s biannual production. During one HMS Pinafore year, the Reverend observed, from his pulpitturned-stern-deck of the Pinafore, that it was the first time he had preached from a poop deck.

“When we first moved into the area Maurice invited us into his home for a get-to-knowFriend and colleague Reverend Audrey you drink. He made Brenda and me feel very Whitney recalls him as a, “Be yourself, kind, comfortable, and it has become Friday night open, and inclusive,” sort of fellow, a contrast to Reverend Maurice has seen Rednersville practice to meet for what is always a spirited and the formal demeanour of many gentlemen of the fun conversation. On colder nights the fireplace is evolve from a rural hub to a bedroom community. cloth in long-ago 1960s and ’70s. “Rednersville was a going concern back then.” lit and makes his living room a very inviting place. “The church wasn’t an arduous task so I had When Maurice and Norma arrived, the area was The conversations revolve around quite varied rural. “There were three dairy herds in the area, topics; Maurice is so well informed about so to find something else to do.” This explains Anderson’s, Roblin’s, and Vandervelde’s. Almost many things. His positive attitude and energetic Reverend Maurice’s long list of affiliations through the years, linking his love of gardening, personality is very good for the soul.” everyone had an orchard.” history – and his fellow man. He is quietly proud The Reverend still has his grandmother’s Before that, Rednersville had enjoyed the bustle of his role in the formation of the pastoral care of the Barley Days, Britain-bound ships loading garden tea service. “It’s gotten to be that every program at Belleville General Hospital. In the at the Redner wharves. It was a self-sufficient Tuesday I do afternoon tea. “ Mary next door, refreshing days of 1970s ecumenical spirit, over village for years, but local businesses gradually and Brenda when she’s in town, gather to enjoy coffee with Father Ken Stitt after hospital patient disappeared. The canning factory burned. The Pfeffernuse and homemade made banana bread. visits, concerns arose over needy patients without bank, post office, and store closed. Now the old Reverend Maurice McLeod was ordained in church affiliation. Out of this grew the pastoral community is completely different. There’s no 1952, and transferred to Manitoba. “Four churches care volunteer service, which flourished for many place for those informal meetings with one’s and 110 miles of gravel road each Sunday. At years. neighbours – no church, hall, store, post office. that time, you had no choice; you signed for two Upon his retirement after 50 years in the But new people can create new communities in years and went where they sent you.” Churches in ministry, the Reverend shared a favourite quote. new ways. Winnipeg, then Marmora, followed. “I am so in awe of the goodness of human beings “When Bernard [Redner] left the village a few The Rednersville pastoral charge was a pleasant and the constant love and guidance of God.” His years back, I was the longest-established resident accident. As chairman of Belleville Presbytery, many friends and colleagues would number him in the community.” A few years before, Tom the Reverend was in attendance at a meeting among the best of those good human beings. Kuglin had moved to the Manse; Norma was in a where ministers were assigned to churches. He nursing home by then. When Reverend Maurice was asked to suggest a reasonable salary for observed that he no longer knew his neighbours, that church assignment. His suggestion was Tom suggested a New Year’s Day party. They misinterpreted as agreement, and he found circulated invitations, 40 strangers came, and left himself the new minister at Rednerville’s historic as neighbours. 1849 stone church and neighbouring 1898 red “The old names are gone from the road: brick Albury church. Post, Redner, Anderson, Wannamaker...” the Reverend McLeod was a popular minister. He Reverend sighs. Then he lists his recently-arrived marvels: “I’m not even dead yet and I have three neighbours: the Tinsleys, Grundys, Bennetts, memorials – a window in Albury church and

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Green Point Article and photography by Lindi Pierce

Green Point A pleasant stop on the road less travelled nestles below the High Shore escarpment in Sophiasburgh Township, Prince Edward County. A visit to Green Point is a ticket to time travel.

township in the late 1780s.

the entrance to Richardson Road.

These days, only a visitor with an imagination, or an old-timer with happy memories, can recreate the thunder along the reach. A heritage plaque at the Hayward Long Reach lookout encourages us to try.

The 1878 Belden’s atlas shows Herman Cole’s property on Lot 42, and the Cole ferry wharf. Kay Cole recounts her late husband John’s recollections of visits to Leaving the much-maligned Highway his grandmother’s farmhouse there. A 49, Mayor H.J. McFarland’s revolutionary large barn stood near the shore, once a 1960s’ concrete road, the traveller skirts provisions store, then a storage facility for the shore of Long Reach, along old transhipment of grain – wharves lined County Road 35, toward the tip of the the shore, and the deep waters welcomed point. Four historic communities show sloops and steamers. Derward Cole as reference locations in the Canadian operated a ferry from the Cole wharf, Cartographics Corporation road atlas: across the Reach to the Hay Bay shore Roblin Mills, Mount Carmel, Cole Wharf, opposite. Kay recounts the young men and Greenpoint (as one word). would sleep in the barn attic, awaking At the entrance to the county road, at all hours to ferry a single car across. Roblin Mills’ once extensive mill complex A 1939 account describes ferry-boat is memorialized by the exquisite 1840 pleasure excursions departing from the Philip Roblin stone house on the top wharf. The ferry ceased operation around of the bluff. At the next crossroads, 1947. Bethesda’s glory days live on in its 1879 Green Point has long been associated Methodist church, now a home. with boat racing. In 1960 and ‘61 the barn The population cluster called Green at Cole’s Wharf became headquarters Point lies further along the shore. for one of the most exciting events in Mind the drop. Past Bethesda the road Canadian powerboat racing history. disappears down the edge of the richly Long Reach hosted the International treed limestone edge and levels out onto Harmsworth Trophy hydroplane races, a green flatland overlooking Long Reach. where legend Bob Hayward piloted Miss The fourth historic community, Cole Supertest III to a record-breaking win Wharf, once lay immediately adjacent, (see CQL Summer 2013, Hydroplanes slightly before the curve in the road, and and the Legacy of Miss Supertest). These days, modern year-’round homes share the shores of Green Point with cottages, both old-timers and new builds, family sanctuaries and summer rentals, and the red brick farm homes and barns of the earliest residents, who settled the 60


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David and Danielle

Article and photography by Alan Gratias

The house cannot be seen from the road. An unusual intent for a new build. No look-at-me here. The Frum’s Twitter House is a testament to minimalism. An integration with the landscape. A submission to the elements. Like its social platform meme, the Twitter House is reduced to the bare essentials. As the Loyalist Highway swings north to Hillier, we turn down a track leading to the open waters of Lake Ontario. More like the ocean or the Mediterranean. There is a line of new tree plantings on the long way in, interspersed poplars for David and Danielle, and oaks for their three children, Miranda the eldest who is modelling in Tel Aviv; Nathaniel, 22, who has just returned from China; and the youngest, Beatrice.

journalist Peter Worthington bought a parcel of land on the water outside of Wellington. Later a field was severed and became the stunning site for the Frum’s new County home. As writers and popular figures, David and Danielle wanted serenity and seclusion in their Canadian retreat. He is a much sought after commentator, public intellectual (FrumForum.com), and editor (The Atlantic, Policy Exchange). He has been a special assistant to President George W. Bush. Danielle Crittenden is also a columnist (Huffington Post) and prolific writer (co-author of the cookbook ), but it is as the founder and creative genius behind the lifestyle web site Fig Tree and Vine (figtreeandvine. com), that her entrepreneurial spirit soars.

Joanie and I have been invited for dinner on an August night, another fine evening in the longest run of fair weather anyone can remember, so relentlessly hot and dry that drought is on the mind and rain in every conversation. The Twitter House, like an exquisite vintage wine, reveals itself slowly. Designed by the Washington-based architect Richard Williams, the residence is a single storey mix of grey wood siding and copper-hued aluminium stretched in a rectangle along the shore. Three tall floor-to-ceiling windows offer arresting views of the vast open lake beyond.

We are greeted at the door by 14-year-old Beatrice and her friend Stella, who guide us into the open concept house. Two yellow labs, Chester and Saffy, approach to reconnoitre the newcomers. David and Danielle are on their laptops finishing up their working day sitting on a striking orange sofa that belongs on the cover of Dwell Magazine. Saffy, the more lupine of the dogs, makes a determined effort to join them on the soft leather couch. The Italian designed sectional is so enticing even Joanie cannot resist a quick lie down on the way through.

The Frums have been coming to the County for a long time. More than 20 years ago Danielle’s mother, Yvonne Crittenden, and her late husband, the

“I’m learning how to grow,” Danielle says as she builds her Internet guide to modern Jewish living. She has nurtured a devoted following as she curates



and collects the best of Jewish food and design from around the world. “It’s all about scaling up.” The girls lead us outdoors to an chic seating arrangement by the water. As the other guests arrive we enjoy superb wine under the glorious evening light. David in a smart navy cotton shirt and beige shorts tends to flattened chicken on the barbecue grill, while Danielle, tall and elegant in an azure linen top over white jeans, looks after the generous pours. The infinity edge horizon and the endless vistas remind me views are everything. We move inside to a beautifully set dining table, a buffet of crab cakes, chicken, salads, and sautéed vegetables. The feast is as much visual as culinary as the house is filled with big art and African carvings. Trump-talk abounds at the table with the guests showing a hint of smugness that Canada has avoided such bizarre campaign antics. David has just returned from Cleveland as an observer of the Republican National Convention that nominated The Donald as their presidential candidate. “The most poorly organized convention I have ever attended,” David says. “Even the balloons were pathetic.” There is County news and gossip galore as Beatrice and Stella serve blueberry pie and ice cream. David opens a bottle of Sauterne. Someone says sotto voce, “I much prefer my County friends to my city friends.” “The difference between a sulky teenager and a motivated adolescent is $20 an hour,” Danielle confesses as the girls clear the table. When I ask David on the way out what recipe for a happy home life he would like to share, he is quick to reply. “Think less about choosing the right spouse, and more about being the right spouse.” Danielle adds, “And my pot roast.” Joanie and I bid adieu to our hosts and their low slung jewel. As we leave the crunch of their lane, the Twitter House disappears behind the buckthorn shrubs. The Frums are heading back to their home base in Washington, D.C. soon. There they will help interpret the tumult of the American elections in November knowing their escape lies only a few hours north in an almost invisible abode at the water’s edge where there is peace and constantly changing light.






This historic (1870) brick house on Big Island, featured in Thehistoric Settler’s(1870) Dream, is situated in Big a prominent position This brick house on Island, featured in a wide ofafields and marsh. Theoverlooking Settler’s Dream, is expanse situated in prominent position A quiet peaceful area withoffabulous views! overlooking a wide expanse fields and marsh. A quiet peaceful area with fabulous views!

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L I N K D I R E C T AT W W W . C O U N T YA N D Q U I N T E L I V I N G . C A 64


S a i ta rg ’s G r av i ta s Q u o t i e n T Gravitas Quotient is a measure of o n e ’s r e s e r v e s o f i n n e r w i s d o m .

About Jamie Jamie Kennedy has helped shape the culinary landscape in Canada for three decades. His creative approach to gastronomy, commitment to sustainable agriculture, and advocacy of local foods have been unwavering. In 1985, following his tenure as co-chef with Michael Stadtländer at Scaramouche in Toronto, Jamie opened his first restaurant Palmerston on College Street. With its intimate dining room and open-concept kitchen, Jamie executed seasonally driven bistro-style dishes which became his trademark style. A few years later he co-founded Knives and Forks which helped pioneer farm-to-table practices nationwide. In 1994, JK ROM ushered fine dining during the lunch hour to Toronto’s downtown core. With Jamie’s new catering business, the venue became a popular destination for private clients such as the Toronto International Film Festival and Alliance Atlantis. In 2003 Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar opened at 9 Church Street. With its small plates menu and meticulously paired wines, JK Wine Bar became a destination along with Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner. His most recent Toronto endeavour, Gilead Café & Bistro, showcased the Chef’s continued commitment to sustainable methods of cooking. During a major reconstruction of the Royal Ontario Museum, Jamie took a hiatus to purchase farmland in Prince Edward County. His friend Geoff Heinricks sold him on the merits of growing grapes in Hillier township. Focusing on planting his own vegetables and herbs, raising livestock as well as cultivating a vineyard, Chef Jamie was ready to shift gears. This past summer he began hosting a series of Saturday dinners at his farm which have become a sold out sensation. In many ways these remarkable weekly soirees are the culmination and perhaps the finest hour of the Jamie Kennedy Brand. From his home base in Prince Edward County, Jamie Kennedy has turned his focus back to the land and the bounty that thrives in our terroir. When I asked Chef Kennedy what he has learned from living in the County, he was quick to respond. “Nature always prevails.” Biographical information courtesy www.jamiekennedy.ca

Photo courtesy Jo Dickins

Chef Jamie Kennedy answers 16 Gravitas questions with Alan Gratias

Name one universal rule of friendship. Friendship is unconditional. What are you going to do about growing old? Carpe diem. What makes your heart stand still? Beauty. If you knew the truth, how would you reveal it? Like a perfectly braised short rib of beef. Low and slow. We all hope there will be one more time. One more time for what? Creating that dish that sings. If you were going to launch a new prohibition, what would you outlaw? GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). If you were to ask for divine intervention, what would it be for? Stopping the petrochemical industry to make way for emerging sustainable alternatives. Why do we sometimes crave chaos? When the ordered existence starts to lose credibility, we crave chaos. How do you stay clear of the rocks and shoals? I am philosophical about running aground from time to time. When they say follow the fear, what fear are you following? Take me out of my comfort zone from time to time. It’s good for synapses. Why should we hang onto our illusions? A little vicarious pleasure never hurt anyone. What would your father make of you now? He would laugh and cry tears of joy. When do reality and fantasy merge? Around the table at a well conceived and executed dinner party. What is your favourite recipe for unhappiness? An empty wine cellar and a bare cheese cupboard. What takes you down the rabbit hole? When I sense discord in my closest relationships. What increases your sense of reverence? Repeated happy experiences.

By Alan Gratias

Discover your Gravitas Quotient at www.gravitasthegame.com

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County & Quinte Living Magazine Autumn 2016

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County & Quinte Living Magazine Autumn 2016