Cql spring 2017 magazine

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INSIDE: Beyond the Blooms, Deep Roots for the Dorland Family, Cape Cod on Lake Ontario, and so much more. . . FREE - please take me home

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Deep roots Nine Generations on a Family Farm


Each issue available online at: www.countyandquinteliving.ca




by Cindy Duffy

by Catherine Stutt

by Alan Gratias



CQL at home Arts on Main

by Lindi Pierce


Making Beautiful Music Together Donna Bennett, OC and Brian Finley, OC

by Vic Schukov


BLUE HERON Cape Cod Charm on the shore of Lake Ontario

by Catherine Stutt



by Jennifer Shea


SIGNPOSTS port of call trenton

by Lindi Pierce 4



Gravitas Linwood Barclay

by Alan Gratias


Melanie Harrington photographed at her Dahlia May Flower Farm by Ashley Slessor Photography.

atherine, you have to check out Dahlia May on Facebook,” urged my friend Sharon Bugg, adding her husband Gary – who doubles as one of my top tomato mentors – taught Dahlia May’s alter ego Melanie Harrington at East Northumberland Secondary School. “Catherine, have you heard of Dahlia May,” asked another friend, Ang Young, who is head of the art department at ENSS. I hadn’t, and in fairness, at that time, Dahlia May didn’t have a gazillion followers on social media. That was all of two years ago. By now, tens of thousands have heard of this flower phenom, whose story we share in this issue. What isn’t as well-known is the company Melanie keeps. When we started talking about doing an article, Melanie immediately suggested we include her fellow flower farmer Sas Long, of Floralora Flowers. “She’s magnificent,” said Melanie, high praise indeed. Sas, continuing the adulation of her contemporaries, also mentioned her friend Aaron of Blue Wheelbarrow Farm in Bloomfield. “He’s doing amazing things on his one acre, growing organic vegetables. There’s such an entrepreneurial spirit in agriculture in this area.” Sas loves attending the Toronto Flower Market once a month, where she vends with flower farmers from across southern Ontario. Melanie’s business is locally based, and her farmgate is always busy. It’s easy to find her at the Codrington Farmers’ Market – just look for the crowd. Melanie is in good company, as she quickly agrees. For a region known as a retirement destination, young hearts are turning the tide, building new businesses, and carrying on old traditions. Melanie’s market colleague Jennifer Dorland and her husband Justin recently took over the family dairy farm. Their three young daughters are the ninth generation of the same family to call Maple Lane Farm their home. Not far down the road, Jenny and Chris McRae operate Empire Cider, a sensation on the craft beverage radar. With their friends and business partners Felix and 6


Laura, they hit the road to attend festivals, vend at local markets, and have penetrated Toronto restaurants with their liquid sunshine. Back at Dahlia May, Melanie and her husband Alex have a creative incubator in their barn. Alex runs Mystic Wood from his studio, and their friend Kurtis creates his custom Anderson Knives. Alex’s brother Ben assists all three with their pursuits. When he’s not helping Melanie or Alex, Yan Skoba and his parents have Honey For You, a beekeeping honey operation nearby. Not far away, at Campbell’s Orchards, Matt Oskamp and Amelia Campbell, inspired by a visit to London, England, married their new love of hard cider with the family business, and recently launched Apple Falls Cider. Youth is in the air. Melanie Chalmers came home to launch the Black Rhino Gallery. Her brother Ben has West Lake Wakeboarding School. The fashionable and ubiquitous Alex Fida is renovating and rejuvenating Picton, one board, one fascinating find at a time, with his House of Falconer, and using every available

social media channel to promote his own work as well as his hometown. Then there is Ryan Williams who brings everything together under the Bay of Quinte and QuinteVation banners, who has seemingly inexhaustible energy and ideas, and needs a cape for his community superhero status. While Ryan’s reach is broad and aimed at tourism and innovation, his efforts are mirrored by Chris King of Quinte Economic Development Corporation, whose spotlight is on attracting, retaining, and expanding manufacturing and technology companies. Probably not one of these stars has 40 in their rear-view mirror. They are a worldly bunch, these kids, blazing new trails by exploring, learning, building on traditional crafts, creating new reasons for people to visit our region, to play, to work, to appreciate. Our future, the future of the best region in the best province in the greatest country, is in good young hands. We’re honoured to share some of their stories in this issue. Thanks for turning the page,

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

And a huge shout out to our latest global ambassador Greg, who took the Winter CQL on a little vacation. He and his friends had some fun recreating Mark Rashotte’s jump on the Great Wall of China.


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


Lorie Douglas 613.966.2034 x 505 lorie.douglas@metroland.com Jennet Honey 613-966-2034 x 509 jennet.honey@metroland.com


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ADMINISTRATION Sharon LaCroix slacroix@metroland.com DISTRIBUTION Paul Mitchell 613.966.2034 x 508 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 DOCKET not be reproduced, in part or whole, in any form without prior 129-301 written DOCKET # are consent of the publisher. Views expressed by contributors their own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views or 129-301 opinions of County & Quinte Living. 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 ©2017 Metroland Media Group Ltd./ Printed in Ontario Canada

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Deep Roots

Terrills, Dorlands, and Nine Generations on a Family Farm

Story by Lindi Pierce Photography by Daniel Vaughan


he black and white 1858 photo is a family treasure. It shows a fine brick house under construction, workers frozen for the long exposure, standing on a wide plank girding the tall second storey. Other men pose casually on the hip roof, or lean against the wide chimney. Below, men and boys, a dog, and a team of horses wait to resume work.

Above: Jennifer and Justin Dorland with their daughters Lauren, Audrina, and Juliette, the eighth and ninth generation to call Maple Lane Farm home. photo by Nancy French photography

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Although there have been many changes over 160 years, Great-grandfather Dorland would recognize the place, and be proud.

This house still stands, up a maplelined driveway bordered by a rail fence, in the country west of Wooler. Although there have been many changes over 160 years, Great-grandfather Dorland would recognize the place, and be proud. For this is “the old Dorland place,” Maple Lane Farm, home to generations of hardworking, forward-looking farmers. Today Justin Dorland, the eighth generation on the farm, his wife Jennifer and daughters Lauren, Audrina, and Juliette reside in the brick house. They are proud of the house, the farm, and the family. The house story begins with another pioneer family, the Terrills. Many Terrills rest in the secluded cemetery behind the

In 1928 two pioneer families joined 1896 Wooler Friends Meeting House. The house tells their story, too. Simon hands, when Terrill daughter Mary Terrill, grandson of United Empire Frances Victoria, fourth generation Loyalist Anthony Terrill who migrated on the farm, married Lloyd Dorland. from New York City to New Brunswick Lloyd had long coveted the fine farm, in 1783, and later to Prince Edward and purchased it from his father-in-law County, bought this fertile land from the Clinton. Lloyd’s son Jack was hoping to Crown in 1837. He built the brick house attend agricultural college, but at age 16 he was told it was time to farm. And 20 years later. farm they did. The farm passed from Bob Peister, retired history teacher Dorland father to Dorland son – Lloyd and first cousin to Justin’s father Bill, is to Jack, Jack to Bill, Bill to Justin. the family historian. He displays a Terrill Great-grandfather Lloyd would be family Bible – a lucky purchase at a farm proud. There’s lots he’d recognize, lots auction. The book was brought from he wouldn’t. England in the late 1700s; it is bound in linen, its pages fragile and browning. Bob He would know the farm right away. points out Anthony Terrill’s handwriting. The original land grant was 400 acres;



over time the farm was subdivided. Over 20 years of expansion, Justin and his father have bought back property and currently farm 390 acres. Fence lines and rows of trees have been removed to create large, efficient, tile-drained fields. Modern farming is a scientific business; Justin’s University of Guelph Bachelor of Science degree (major in Agronomy) prepared him well for the job. He had once considered a career in hockey or engineering. Fortunately, he chose to bring his smarts to farming.

The barns would be a surprise to Lloyd Dorland. The iconic red gambrel-roofed barns in family photos were constructed in 1900 but burned in 2003, a huge financial and sentimental loss. A bad time, survived. Today low modern steel barns and outbuildings house livestock and equipment. Modern milk production would astound the ancestor. He would have milked by hand, perched on a stool, his head resting against a cow’s warm flank. Since the early 1960s, increasing market regulation and technology have revolutionized the dairy industry.

The Dorlands also sustainably manage 40 acres of woodlot, logging strategically every 15 years. A few years ago, they shipped a load of cherry wood from the farm to Japan. They don’t tap their sugar maples, as the spiles scar the heart of the wood, ruining it for lumber. Great-grandfather Dorland would understand the uncertainty of farming. This past summer’s drought had a big impact. By November, Justin and Bill had already bought five transport loads of hay. They harvested half their expected yield of corn, and two-thirds the normal output of soybeans – their two cash crops.

In 1965, Justin’s grandfather Jack invested, “$2000 he didn’t have,” to install the modern milking system; it was featured in the trade journal Ontario Milk Producer. Dorland Farms were on the second bulk pick-up route created for the Toronto Milk Marketing Board. This innovation, added to the new free stall system for housing the cattle, put the farm well ahead of the curve. When Justin enters the building, heads turn – 165 heads, precisely. Almost 200 black and white Doralea registered Holstein milk cows lounge about the


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open barn. They approach for head rubs, crane their necks to check out the visitor, or grab another mouthful of the alwaysavailable farm-blended feed mix, smelling of molasses and summer pasture. The cows on this side of the bright, well-ventilated steel building are waiting for their turn to enter the adjoining milking parlour; a group is already ahead in line. The cows enter the parlour unit in groups of eight and file into their places. Their people sanitize teats and attach suction cups. Rich milk travels by pipeline to a 12,000-litre bulk cooler in an adjoining room. Alternate mornings, milk is picked up by refrigerated tankers and transported to processors – Saputo Foods in Trenton or Parmalat Canada in Winchester. Milking time at Dorland Farms gives new meaning to the term family farm. In one room, Justin’s mother Arlene mixes baby food – scientifically mixed calf rations – and heads out with a trolley of bottles and pails to the farm’s 40 calves. Justin, his dad Bill, and hired man Dale hold an informal conference outside as one group of cows is being milked – a rural meeting of the board. Milking a cow takes five to eight minutes; each cow produces 35 litres of milk per day. A metering system at each unit measures the cow’s milk production; any deviation from an animal’s seven-day average triggers scrutiny.


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When the job is this big, you need a team: Justin, his mom and dad, sister Melissa, two hired men, and two parttime students. By 5 a.m., milkers are on the cows; staff on the morning shift completes milking by 7:30 a.m. The process repeats at 4 p.m.

the evolution from farming with horses to today’s computerized dairy herd management. True, there’s lots he would find strange and new. But he would recognize the Holstein cattle, the crops, the character, and hard work that goes into farming – and the house.

Like Formula 1 race cars, these purebreds have telemetry. In the office adjoining the milking parlour, Justin checks herd management computer data collected on several functions. Each cow wears an electronic ear-tag, a Fitbit for cows. Justin explains the dairy industry had the technology 10 years before it hit the fitness market. The tag collects data such as activity level indicating general health; Justin receives notifications on his phone should something unusual pop up. This technology results in databased decision-making, enabling a dairy farmer to manage more animals with fewer people.

The double red brick house has real presence. The main two storey, three-bay section has verandas around two sides, a hip roof, deep eaves with brackets, and a centre gable. A one-and-a-half storey wing, dated around 1880, was built to match. The main front door features side-lights and transom. The second storey is distinguished by a balcony, and glass doors with rounded fanlight, surrounded by a red and white brick arch. A matching round-headed window graces the gable of the addition.

In two domed fabric barns nearby, 64 heifers – females who haven’t yet calved – occupy free range quarters. Calves (around 200 are born each year,) either females waiting to join the herd or males destined for market, are housed in group pens or calf huts – small white PVC igloos. Dorland Farms beef is a popular attraction at the Codrington Farmers’ Market.

Since Justin and his family moved into the main house in 2015, they have removed original lathe and plaster, installed just enough insulation to fit the heritage mouldings, then dry-walled. Their contractor commented that the well-built triple brick house is amazingly sound; it hasn’t moved since it was built.

Justin takes seriously his role as steward of the historic house. He is determined to maintain and restore it to original, “The way it’s meant to be.” He opens a bulging file of farm and house “No generation will see the changes history photos and newspaper clippings, my grandfather saw,” Justin observes – and displays a tiny fading photo of a



doorway, now blocked, which once led into the summer kitchen. The house has double parlours – one is the girls’ domain. Justin located the double doors to the morning room in the attic. Justin and Jennifer have maximized the impact of the deep mouldings, baseboards, door and window surrounds, and stair railings with bright white paint; walls are painted a rich deep blue. Were there time, the upstairs hall with its view over the countryside would make a great spot to dream. An old photo shows the exterior: the veranda with the Regency style bell-cast roof, orchards, a fenced kitchen garden, massive walnut tree, and black locust trees along the fence line. Bob recalls his parents were married at Maple Lane Farm in 1928, 400 guests on the lawn, food catered from house. Justin and Jennifer have done a lot of work on the exterior in recent years. There’s more to come. It’s true. There’s lots grandfather wouldn’t recognize at the old farm: wide open fields, modern buildings, technology. But what he would spot right away are the values of hard work, determination, and rock-steady dedication to the farm. These are values that grow as deep as the esker soil of Dorland Farms.



Making beautiful music together

{ Donna Bennett and Brian Finley } Story by Vic Schukov Soulmates somehow know from the outset when they first meet each other, and the icing on the wedding cake is when they share the same love outside of the joining of their hearts. Opera singer Donna Bennett, born and raised in Campbellford, sang in three Gilbert and Sullivan operettas in high school and fell in love with performing on stage. Pursuing her dream, she enrolled in the University of Toronto’s Bachelor of Music Education and Performance program. Brian Finley entered the faculty that same year in piano performance. “We really didn’t talk until we both graduated,” said Donna. “He was so outgoing, and in theory class the professor one day said, ‘Oh Brian, you don’t have to come anymore. You know it all.’ That made me think, who is this guy? It’s ironic as soon as we did speak to each other, I fell in love with him immediately.”

Photo by Daniel vaughan

One day, in the second year, Brian the gregarious ambled over to Donna. “The first thing he ever said to me was, ‘Hey, if you and I got married you would have the same name as my sister.’ I just got up and walked away,” Donna laughed. “I came from a small town and I was very reserved. I believed in slow and steady and modest. He was so different from other guys I knew, so, just…” She ended the sentence there, but her heart had already spoken.

We did recurring summer shows in the Olympic Music Festival outside Seattle in a turn-of-thecentury barn, and we were blown away by the experience; it was so natural, comfortable, high quality, and we wondered if we could do this.



Brian felt the same. “We were meant Performance in Munich, Germany. “We to run into each other. I approached wrote letters every day,” said Donna. her because first of all, she is the most “We have boxes of letters; there was no beautiful woman I have seen in my entire email back then.” Brian stayed behind life, and I was really drawn by her angelic to complete his Masters at U of T, but voice. One of my most favourite things is proposed halfway through her studies. to play music with Donna; a great place The harmonious soulmates were to be.” married within six months of Donna’s That last line echoes lyrics from a Billy return. For four years, Toronto became Joel song titled, You’re My home. “When their home base, where she joined you look into my eyes, whenever we’re the Canadian Opera Company and together, that’s my home.” occasionally travelled to New York Brian was born in Montreal but for singing lessons. Meanwhile, Brian his formative years were based on a soloed in international competitions west coast upbringing: “My family from Washington to Moscow.

flopped around a lot. My father was an emergency physician and pediatrician. When I was three years old, we moved to Los Angeles for eight years with a year in Kenya where Dad set up a medical school. After the 1971 Los Angeles earthquake, we moved to Calgary where I spent my high school years and did a variety of music schools, then to U of T,” and destiny. The couple dated for six months before Donna left on a two-year scholarship to study for a Masters Degree in Voice

Needing a bigger place to expand their careers, the couple moved to London. “We lived in Wimbledon,” said Donna. “We could hear the tennis balls going back and forth, but couldn’t get any tickets so we watched it on television and left our windows open.” Donna attended the Royal College Opera School on a full scholarship and garnered professional experience playing in many of the surrounding choral groups. In addition, she landed a part in the British premiere of Leonard

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Bernstein’s a Quiet Place, and toured Germany and Italy. Brian continued to dazzle the world in Beethoven and Mozart competitions. Approaching their first year away, Donna aced a gruelling six-hour audition for Christine in Phantom of the Opera in Germany, all in German: “I got the part, and excitedly phoned Brian to tell him, but I felt really sick and couldn’t wait to get back to London.

the farm. “It was a big decision for us because we still thought we might go back to Europe,” recalled Brian. Fate intervened. “We did recurring summer shows in the Olympic Music Festival outside Seattle in a turn-ofthe-century barn, and we were blown away by the experience; it was so natural, comfortable, high quality, and we wondered if we could do this. It was so nice to make good music with

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I returned to find out I was pregnant.” no pretention. People in t-shirts, just After five months, lonely for home, they music and nature.” returned to Campbellford to have the The thought germinated until one baby while staying at Donna’s parent’s day the couple met with a group of Westben farm. friends from St. John’s United where The couple soon became embedded Donna schooled 55 kids in their youth in the community, teaching in the area, choir. “My friends suggested we put on and acting as musical directors at local Jesus christ superstar. We did, and sold St. John’s United Church. For the first out 2,000 tickets in all.” time ever, they started doing concerts In 1997, after the Superstar success, together – their debut a fundraiser at Brian and Donna met with the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in core group to talk about forming a Campbellford: “We joked about it,” said sustainable organization. “We had Brian. “We said it was our first date – the property, and the community just in front of 300 people. We ended up blossomed around it,” said Brian. touring as a duo across Canada and the U.S. for the next five years. I think They held their first fundraiser in we are really lucky to be able to work 1998, at St. John’s United with 55 nuns as a couple, having careers that fit so performing in the sound of Music. The well, and we love being together. We next year, a bulldozer carved out the are greater than the sum of our parts.” family cornfield, and they built a new Donna added, “I feel free, like I can fly, barn – an inviting 400-seat theatre because Brian is there with me.” which opened Canada Day 2000 with a After six months on the family farm, full symphony orchestra extravaganza they bought a house in Meyersburg. with chorus. The show included Brian’s Sadly, in 1993, Donna’s mother passed cousin Gerald, the internationally away. Her father offered to sell them famous opera singer.

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Seats were sold out even before the barn was built. “It rained that day,” said Donna. “The parking lot was soup, and we had people leave their cars in the industrial park, while we bused them in.” Westben did four weekend shows that summer. Today, they stage more than 60 events a year with the support of some 200 volunteers. “With such a huge community involvement, for us, it has been an amazing artistic playground, but the real thrill of this organization is the bringing together of people,” said Brian. Donna added, “When new people come to town, folks suggest they volunteer at Westben because they will meet a lot of the locals. It has become a meeting place. I want everyone to feel like they are a part of making this happen.” One day, after passing the vacant former post office building on Front Street for the umpteenth time, Donna dropped in on Trent Hill’s municipal planner Jim Peters and said “I have an idea. Why not hear music coming out of the building? Jim said he and Brenda Otto had the same idea. Without them, the Clock Tower Cultural Centre would never have happened.” Over the next few years, a plan was established to refurbish the edifice. Two years ago, Westben moved in, renting space for their youth choirs, concert band, singing circles, and comedy improv soirees.


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“As artists, we try to involve the world around us, to blend them into what we are doing. Westben’s mission is to create this beautiful, explosive community,” explained Brian. That resonating spirit transcends the couple’s very own love story. “I love Brian’s intelligence and attention to detail,” said Donna. “He is such a compassionate and kind person.” Brian obviously shares her philosophy of, “Keep moving forward. A life without music is not possible.” “One of Donna’s finer qualities is wisdom that cuts through the riff-raff. She has these beautiful truths.” His own take on life and Westben is to, “Nurture the ability to make the best of a situation and revel in it. Believe in the people around you. It feels like we have stumbled across this remarkable way of life that is profoundly natural, beautiful, enriching and optimistic, full of sunshine, and a joy to be around. We really appreciate everyone here.” “At every show, we plant a pocket of joy,” smiled Donna. “On a hot day, volunteers offer little packets of ice to place on the back of people’s necks. Our groundskeeper always mows around the daisies, and there is the joy of butterflies coming through the open doors. When you put music into a person’s life, it is transformative. I hope Westben goes on and on forever after us.”

Photo courtesy Westben

How fitting, the inseparable twosome has recently been appointed to the prestigious fellowship of the Order of Canada on its 50th anniversary, “For their dedication to fostering the performing arts, musical education, and community building in rural Ontario.”

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Doug Comeau’s

Stirring Images Story by Cindy Duffy Photography by Daniel Vaughan Doug Comeau recalled when he first knew he wanted to be an artist. His father was in the military and when Doug was a young boy his family was stationed in Great Falls, Montana, one time home of the early 20th century artist Charles M. Russell. Russell’s work documents the intersection of indigenous and settler cultures in the American Midwest and into Alberta. Doug said a chance discovery was a big inspiration for him to become an artist. “I stumbled across the work of Charles Russell in Yellowstone National Park; he worked in both graphite and water colour. I was 10 or 11 years old and I was just enthralled. Ever since that time in Montana I wanted to be a professional artist.” His father offered what Doug describes as good advice, suggesting he join the military and pursue art as a hobby. Doug entered the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1979, never losing sight of becoming an artist fulltime in the future. A military career initially meant moving around a lot but Doug eventually settled with his wife, Cathy, and their two young daughters in the Quinte area in the mid ’90s after being stationed at





CFB Trenton. Throughout his time in the military he continued to work on his art, steadfastly sticking to his first and preferred medium of pencil. Now he says he mixes it up a bit using colour pencil and charcoal too, sometimes all in one work. “I don’t know why I like it. It’s the fineness of it, the detail of it. For some reason, I just never got into the paint. I just seem to get more and more enthralled with it as I go, even now.” Doug retired from the military in 2001. That same year he opened Timberwolf Gallery in downtown Trenton. Finally, he was able to devote himself to his art full time. Doug is self-taught, often describing his process as trial and error, but it’s clear he has thought a lot about his creative process, resulting in works so precise in their realism, at first 30


glance, they are sometimes mistaken for photographs. “It’s basically how well you see. When you look at a subject and interpret it. It’s basically where’s the light source, where are the shadows, how are the transitions, are they sharp, are they steady, are they slow? You really figure out in your head what needs to be done to recreate that. Now the dexterity, and the hand to eye coordination, and physically doing it plays a big role but to me the biggest role is what you see. Without that ability to see what you need to do it’s very hard to translate it to pencil to paper.” After almost three decades living and working as an artist in the Quinte region, Doug figures he is practically a household name locally with his work hanging in many area homes. He also gained national recognition when he

was commissioned by the Canadian mint to create images of bison for a series of $20 silver coins. The Bison was released in 2014 followed by a second, The Benevolent Bison, released last fall. Even with this kind of local and national recognition, Doug laughed, “I’ve always said I won’t be happy until I’m world renowned. That is not easy.” International recognition is no small feat for a visual artist working almost entirely in pencil, but with the marketing savvy of fellow veteran, patron, friend, and new business partner Jim Leonard, it just may happen. The two men first met in the military. Both were aviation technicians based at CFB Shearwater in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in the ’80s. Both settled in the Quinte area after retiring from the military and started their own businesses, and both had artistic pursuits, Jim as a musician. Little did they know they would become future business partners. Over the years Jim purchased several of Doug’s works. It was a fateful day last September when

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Doug is self-taught, often describing his process as trial and error, but it’s clear he has thought a lot about his creative process, resulting in works so precise in their realism, at first glance, they are sometimes mistaken for photographs.

they had arranged a round of golf after perhaps best be described as abstract which Jim planned to go to Timberwolf realism, and includes a series of very Gallery, now located at Doug’s home realistic blue jays in various stages on Glen Ross Road just north of of flight, dynamically juxtaposed Frankford, to purchase the latest in with equally realistic baseball images. the bison silver coin series. On this There’s also a line called Intelligent early fall day, Doug’s blue jay images Design, where a drawing of Doug’s just happened to be on the drawing arm has a USB cord plugged into board in the gallery, so he asked Jim, it connecting a strand of his DNA. who owns a consulting business, if he The Zodiac Collection, still in its thought they were marketable. Within conceptual stages, will include original a month, they had the concept for a drawings of zodiac symbols. Finally, in new business mapped out. homage to their roots, the Honour Collection salutes veterans. Stirring Images is an e-commerce enterprise. Through the company, Doug’s work, old, new, and some still in the conceptual stages – is available for purchase on line. This means both originals, and signed giclée prints done by Mike Gaudaur of Quinte studios in Trenton, are now available anywhere in the world.

With almost 50 years of military service between them, their business plan includes 10 per cent of the sales from the Honour Collection and five per cent of Stirring Image overall profits going to Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC), a multifaceted charitable organization established to help ill and injured Canadian Forces members, veterans, first responders, and their families.

Stirring Images has four collections. Executive Prints includes his older work done in the style of realism he is best know for, such as his signature “For us, we have a lot of friends who timber wolves and newer works are the recipients of what Wounded including the Gray Cat Bird. The all- Warriors does. It’s very close to new Visual Metaphor Collection can our hearts, and we did our entire

careers without suffering some of those permanently disabling injuries. Because we can, we feel obligated,” said Jim. In February, they finally had a chance to meet face to face with representatives of WWC. That’s when, on behalf of Stirring Images, they donated an original work to the organization, the first in the Honour series titled We Honour and Support. “They loved it; they couldn’t believe it,” said Doug.

In some ways Stirring Images represents a change in content and process for Doug. The Metaphor Collection for instance, is more abstract than past work. This also marks the first time he has collaborated on his work. He and Jim have breakfast meetings to brainstorm ideas before he hits the drawing board. Doug said Stirring Images has rejuvenated his excitement in his work, and he is up for the challenge.

“Usually artists stick to their genre; we’re a little different. I can basically draw anything if I can still move my arm. We are trying to capture people’s wow factor. What have they done now? ” After a lifetime of practice, in many ways what Doug’s work does do is to challenge the boundaries of what can be done with pencil and paper.

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Blue Heron

Cape Cod Charm on the shore of Lake Ontario 34


Article by Catherine Stutt Photography by Daniel Vaughan On the north shore of Lake Ontario, snuggled naturally and with great intention, is a charming Cape Cod style home, created to provide a hometown retreat for its owners. Elegant, inviting, and warm, designed with great attention to detail, this waterfront home is also somewhat accidental.

the backyard of their Toronto home into a cottage setting. “We thought that would serve as our getaway.”

The couple has strong ties to the area. They were both born in the Quinte region, and met in grade four. Louis recalls meeting Susan’s father as a four-year-old. They were friends throughout school, and started dating the first week of university, travelling between McMaster and Western.

A summer weekend in 2013 celebrating with family changed that idea. “They have a home just down the road and we were headed to the golf course when we noticed the place was for sale. By the end of the “We weren’t looking for a cottage,” year, we owned it,” said Louis. “We After graduation, they settled in laughed Susan, adding she and her weren’t quite sure what we were Toronto and began building a life husband Louis had just transformed going to do and how to make it work.” together with their two children,




returning to their hometown often to visit with a large extended family. Susan’s parents had a cottage on the Bay of Quinte, and their children spent summers enjoying the water. After Susan’s father passed away, her mother sold the cottage, leaving them without a space of their own when visiting.

winter planning the design,” recalled Susan, adding some elements were carved in stone. “We wanted a Cape Cod; we never considered anything else, and it had to be accessible for everyone, regardless of their mobility now, and what the future may bring. It had to have multi-generational compatibility.”

A drive to the golf course along a waterfront trail provided a solution, and a lot of questions. “We spent the

Enlisting the help of award-winning Gordon Tobey Developments, Susan and Louis began transcribing their


ideas onto paper, and then to the property. They worked with Wayne Storms, a draftsman in Foxboro on the main floor design, perfecting its seamless flow from driveway to the welcoming entryway, through the house, and out to the lawns and waterfront. “The root concept came from Wayne, and that helped us convey our ideas to Stephen (Tobey). We loved the first-floor layout and Stephen helped us figure out the

We wanted a Cape Cod; we never considered anything else, and it had to be accessible for everyone, regardless of their mobility now, and what the future may bring. It had to have multi-generational compatibility.

second storey, and together we brought everything together, including the connection between the house and the lake.” The property had an existing cottage, and the plan was to remove it and rebuild on the same footprint, which meant the new home could retain its proximity to the waterfront. Stephen brought in Stu Seabrook, a hydrotechnical engineer with Riggs Engineering in Kingston. With expertise in coastal engineering,

Stu conducted a wave study – from high and low water levels to how a wave would break across the lawn – which in turn helped develop a design for the retaining wall. “Lower Trent Conservation was really helpful throughout this project,” acknowledged Louis. “We did everything they asked and they helped us get everything we wanted, and it resulted in a healthier shoreline compared to what was there.”

With designs, permits, and contractors aligned, construction began in November 2014. Steve Crowe of Brighton brought in heavy equipment, and gently helped remove the existing structure. “We didn’t want truckloads of usable material going to the landfill, and Steve and Stephen made sure as much of it as possible was salvageable and repurposed.” Construction worked backward from the waterfront, starting with removing



and improving parts of the existing retaining wall. Steve Crowe and his mammoth machines worked delicately along the shore, cutting away sections of the seawall to soften the access to the lake, creating a circular seating area. Susan and Louis were continually impressed with the level of expertise and camaraderie of the contractors. “Mike Boers and Hollandale Landscaping fit into the project perfectly,” noted

Susan. “He and Stephen work so well together, and they both understood the importance of a smooth transition from the driveway to the waterfront.” For the family retreat, Hollandale was another perfect fit. “Mike’s father Bart did the landscaping for both of our parents’ homes,” smiled Louis. “I remember standing in mud in the early 1960s while my father was speaking with Mike’s father. I was just a young boy, and Mike’s father was wearing

wooden shoes. I was fascinated and kept trying to get my father’s attention, pointing at them.” The family relationship came full circle, as Mike and the Hollandale team created the outdoor lakeside paradise to perfectly complement the Cape Cod home. “Hollandale did such a great job,” said Susan. “It’s just perfect.” It’s perfect for the entire family. One family member is in a wheelchair, and he can access virtually the entire

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property, from the curved driveway and interlocking stone walkways through the low sill entry, through the sunroom to the lakefront landing. There’s an accessible main floor bedroom and washroom, including a wheel-in shower as well. “When Susan and Louis first contacted me, from the start, they made it clear this house had to be enjoyable for the entire family,” recalled Stephen Tobey. “That was a huge priority. Family is

extremely important to them, and everyone had to be part of the party.” Stephen and his father Gordon have built more than 400 R-2000 and Energy Star homes in the Quinte area, and have won regional, provincial, and national awards for their stunning designs and über-energy efficient homes. Stephen, an engineer like his father, particularly enjoyed this project. “Susan devoted herself to this full time,” he noted. “This was her project, and she had very

definite ideas, and at the same time placed a lot of trust on us to execute them in the best possible manner. She was open to new ideas, and we were loyal to her vision. She wanted a beautiful Cape Cod home where their entire family could gather together and enjoy the lake.” Stephen was impressed with the level of detail, including input from Susan’s designer. “We do big heavy stuff. We build houses. We don’t do colour and


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texture and pillows. If it’s going to be done, it’s going to be done by someone else,” he smiled, although for the record, Tobey homes are beautifully designed, and Stephen plays a large role in that. “Susan had a designer involved from the beginning. That helped all of us create the vision.” Working with Timothy Badgley from Acanthus Interiors, Susan developed a design to bring all the elements together. “Susan wanted a cottage feel, with lots of natural materials, starting with predominately whites and blues; she wanted a Nantucket essence,” explained Timothy. The result is a cohesive, pleasingly relaxed and eclectic interior, harmonized but not homogenized throughout the main floor and three bedrooms on the upper storey. White custom linen drapes flow in the breeze, and on a warm spring day, Timothy said it’s hard to remember the view is of a lake and not an ocean. True to the homeowners wish to keep it local, all the drapery, cushions, headboards, and bench seats were created at Acanthus in Port Hope; the furniture is custom designed and made in Canada.

Inside and out, the Blue Heron brings Cape Cod to Lake Ontario, and the lake itself is a personality at the home. “The lake was a big part of the design decisions,” said Susan. Whether it’s a calm spring

day, a blustery winter afternoon, or clear summer night, it’s always a new experience. “It’s a cold lake, and takes time to warm, and it’s unpredictable,” noted Louis. “One day last year, it was really rolling, and we insisted everyone wear a lifejacket if they were going swimming. Our son-in-law walked into the water and a while later walked up the road. The waves took him down three cottages.”

atlas and realized we were seeing Chimney Bluff State Park, just east of Rochester. The atmospheric conditions were just perfect and we could see the bluffs reflected. We often see the glow of the lights at Rochester, but never this, and perhaps never again.”

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They love exploring the area, visiting farmers’ markets in Codrington and Wellington, shopping in Bloomfield, touring wineries in the County, and reconnecting with old acquaintances. “The water surprises us, said Louis. Th e Gables in Brighton is a favourite “The calmness, the violence, the noise, dinner destination, and they dropped the quiet. We love it, and the light of into Cheer Farms and ran into the the skies, the constantly changing family of Susan’s grade five teacher. skies, and the view, the images we couldn’t imagine when we bought Finding magic in their new retreat the property. is part of the charm. Toronto will One evening, Louis was relaxing, looking over the lake, and thought his eyes were playing tricks on him. “We saw what looked like sand cliffs across the lake. We’re used to seeing the island reflected on the water, but this was different. We checked an

always be their base, but the Blue Heron is their getaway. The interior is familiar and welcoming, the lake unpredictable and captivating, family is close, and new adventures await.


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Beyond the blooms Story by Catherine Stutt Photography by Daniel Vaughan

Word travels quickly in these parts, especially about a new discovery, and one of the hottest topics of the last year revolves around a young flower farmer who set up shop on her family farm just south of Stockdale, on the road by the same name. “Have you heard of Dahlia May?” was the question in 2015. “Did you see Dahlia May’s post today?” is the new version, because there is a rapidly decreasing number of people who have not heard of Dahlia May. It is very difficult to write about Dahlia May Flower Farm without including sensation in the same sentence. Dahlia May is talking the world – our world, her world, the flower world – by social media storm. She went from not owning a computer to having more than 28,000 Instagram followers (up 5,000 from the week prior), in two years. Add another 2,700 Facebook followers, and a faithful stream of visitors to her farmgate and market stands.

This flower farmer – Melanie Harrington When Melanie was six months old, is the human behind Dahlia May – is one her parents’ world turned upside down. of those once-in-a-generation sensations, Bev was diagnosed with the same rare and she has built her business on honest and very aggressive type of cancer and very long days of work, an undying Terry Fox had. It spread to her spine, love for her family, and an abundance subsequent surgery left her paralyzed, of talent. Mix in fierce independence, and Bev has been hospitalized ever since. a stunning work ethic, an ability to “This is part of my story,” shared Melanie, see over the horizon to what clients sitting at a busy table in the farmhouse, surrounded by pots and seeds and works of tomorrow want, and confidence to in progress of her husband Alex. On the follow her heart. It’s simply a pleasure to sun porch, amid more flats awaiting watch Dahlia May flourish. seeds and designs slept Sampson, the Melanie was born and raised in Newfoundland lapdog. Stockdale, and still farms the family Melanie doesn’t remember a different property. Her parents Russ and Bev time, so this is her time. Shortly after bought the beautiful red brick two-storey her mother’s diagnosis, Melanie’s home, hoping to fill its five bedrooms grandfather passed away. Russ now had with children, grow vegetables and a six-month-old, a family farm, a fullflowers, and build on the family’s love of time job at the paper mill, and now he farming. Her grandparents lived around was helping his mother with her farm. “We made it through,” recalls Melanie. the corner and raised beef cattle.

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“Between the rows of vegetables, we’d plant flowers, watch them grow, enjoy them as we readied our produce for the market on the tailgate, and off we’d go. We grew tomatoes for Tomasso’s, we vended at the Trenton market. When Dad was working shifts, my grandmother looked after me. I’d speak with my Mom every day, and we’d have Sunday dinners together at the hospital. That was our definition of family.”

problem and find a solution. It took a while to accept not everything is my problem to solve, but we weigh the options and keep going. I’m a pusher of projects; I have a vision and I know where I want to go.”

The road home was not immediately clear upon graduation from high school, but Melanie has never truly left the land her parents loved. Realizing her future involved working with plants, in high By 10, Melanie was self-sufficient, school she did her co-op placement at able to make her own meals and tend Wain’s Greenhouses in Brighton. Out the house. “I was identified early on as of necessity she had her driver’s licence a problem solver,” she said. “Identify the at 17, and she’d finish her co-op in the



afternoon and then work evenings and weekends, through most of high school, and after graduation. After high school, when many of her classmates went to college, she travelled throughout Europe, experiencing the culture, and loving the tulips and other locally grown flowers. She came home and studied floral design at night school at Loyalist College, where she learned the basics, and a lot of Latin. “If you’re creative, you just know what works. I’ve always loved art and plants and flowers. Floral design brought it all together.”

After formal training, and stints at local flowers shops – one lasting five years – Melanie remained unfulfilled, mostly because there was little chance to create her own designs. “I was young, passionate, and had a million ideas of how to be creative, and I had an epiphany. I couldn’t change the world, but I could change myself.” The family farm was calling, as were music and art, and the long hours at the flower shop were consuming her. Five years ago, Melanie’s father passed way, and another realization set in. “I loved flowers, and working indoors all day

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wasn’t for me. I was a lousy employee,” dollars for advertising, it is invaluable.” she laughed. “I’m like a plant. I need She attended a workshop in Washington state and learned vital techniques about seasons and light.” flower farming and marketing. “One By that time, Melanie was married to speaker stressed we needed to be the face the love of her life, Alex Ferri, whose of our business, to share our personal family has The Garden Network, story, and make the investment in a Natural Themes Nursery, and Heissler professional photographer.” Fortunately, Greenhouses in Stockdale. Melanie and Ashley Slessor, a high school friend, Alex were renovating her childhood was just starting out as a professional home, and her vision cleared. photographer, and the two women have Dahlia May Flower Farm was born, grown their businesses together. launching in 2015. Melanie’s father Melanie’s social media content is raw always called her mother Dahlia, and and gripping and personal. She doesn’t May was her grandmother’s name. pull punches, and she shares as many Honouring those strong women in her of the tribulations as the triumphs. life remains important. Her expectations “The tough days are when it’s the most were modest. important to write.” “I came home, planted some seeds, That first year, she planted seeds in and watched them grow. I learned, and I the spring, thousands of seeds sprouting overcame prejudices,” she noted, adding in every available space in her house, she was never a fan of Facebook, of living and transplanted them to her gardens, life in a virtual space. “I had to get over enlisting every pair of available hands that, and for a start-up business with zero she could find.



She was up before dawn, and laughed when she explained she has been known to build bouquets late in the evening, lighting the work space with a headlamp. She is open about the challenges. “Farming is seasonal; utility bills not so much. We have to pay for seeds and supplies in January and February when we haven’t had an income for three months, and our hydro bill is past due. This isn’t easy, but it’s the only thing I want to do.” Believing in community rather than competition, Melanie sees the path ahead with clarity. “I want to stay in my own lane, do what I do, and attract my own customers; those who are right for me. My job is to find customers interested in sustainably grown heirloom flowers. We’re not in competition with other florists. There’s lots of business for all of us. We all have a niche, and we can all work together. I’d love to work with a florist who wants locally grown flowers.”

A NEW START Live well at the Wellings of Picton


et a new lease on life at the Wellings of Picton. This unique apartment community was specifically designed for vibrant adults, and recently opened at the end of 2016. New residents, their families and visitors were quick to sing the praises of this spectacular development where a game of pool or shuffle board or catching up on the daily news can occur in the Wellings’ central living and dining area – an 8,000-square-foot atrium. Four stories high, the atrium is at the heart of this unique lifestyle community, which has been meticulously desiged for comfort and convenience. A total of 88 one and two-bedroom apartments are offered at the Wellings, with rents starting at $2,495 per month. “This concept is the first of its kind for our company,” says Kevin Pidgeon, president and COO of the Nautical Lands Group, which has been building award-winning retirement communities across Ontario for more than 25 years. “Our company has always been on the forefront of innovation for senior housing. This is a first for Canada.” Offering a healthy social life, the Wellings’ concept offers generous-sized apartments, as well as a high quality evening meal prepared by chefs from Marquise Hospitality, and served by friendly staff in the atrium. Also on site is a health and wellness

gym, weekly fitness classes, and employees from Paramed who offer health and housekeeping services as required. Residents decide on, and only pay for, the services that they want. In addition, there’s a full-time concierge, hair dressing services and residents are always welcome to bring their pets. “We opened a few months ago and we are over 60 per cent occupied,” says Rachel Henry, general manager. “People love the idea of living in Picton, just minutes from downtown, surrounded by vineyards and beautiful beaches.” David Baillie and Ginny Wilson are long-time residents of PEC. Last year they decided to sell their dream home due to ongoing maintenance and associated costs. ”Ginny had her eye on the Wellings even before the shovel went into the ground,” says Baillie, who can no longer handle stairs because of a bad knee. “We have zero regrets. Friends who come to visit say that it’s like a five-star hotel.” Doug and Marjorie Marchant are among the very first residents to move into the Wellings, after deciding that they didn’t want to worry about maintaining their Gothic farmhouse outside of Picton. “We are active people,” says Marjorie. “Now we can lock the door and travel. No worries. It is perfect.”

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She’s already consulting with brides for 2017, and her wedding business is growing, as are demands for her designs at special events. Her flower subscriptions are popular, and her farmstand will be open seven days a week from May to December, and for special celebrations and most weekends from February to April. She is a regular at the Codrington Farmers’ Market, where she can be found surrounded by clients happy to be part of this phenomenon. Realizing a full-time business needed more revenue than two or three days a week at farmers’ markets, Melanie invested heavily in her business last year. She added a hoop house in the summer and will use it to extend the seasons this year. In the autumn, she had a local Mennonite contractor build a charming farmgate stand, which she used throughout the Christmas season, and recently opened for tulips and ranunculus she acquires from a family grower in Niagara. Alex just finished installing new benches in the studio, and everything finally has electricity. “No more designing by headlamp at midnight,” Melanie laughed. This year, she put off plans to buy a new tractor in favour of two more hoop houses and a van, and she is constantly expanding her gardens. She’s in love with ranunculus, will always be faithful to dahlias, has seemingly miles of zinnias, and will be adding to her peonies and anemones and sunflowers. There’s another project which will challenge her

tendency to be somewhat of a control enthusiast. Local independent film maker Brittany Ollerenshaw recently completed a Kickstarter campaign and is spending the season shadowing Melanie for an upcoming documentary. Melanie’s path is clear. “There are so many factors I can’t control, but I can control how I attract and connect with customers, how I seek inspiration from fellow flower farmers. Everything I do is customer directed; the business grows through their demand, and they are showing me they want sustainably grown local flowers.” Sensational though Dahlia May’s popularity is, Melanie is the first to acknowledge she is one of a growing community of flower farmers. She was delighted to meet another local grower at a conference of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG) during a farm tour in Niagara. Sas Long started her flower farm in Milford a year before Dahlia May opened. From Toronto, her family moved to eastern Ontario and Sas followed, after working as a cook for a food stylist in Toronto. Through her, she connected with Vicky’s Veggie’s, worked there, and fell in love with the County. She was attracted to its natural beauty and to the growing community of entrepreneurs of all ages. “They are all doing such creative things on their own terms,” she admired. “I always had a fascination for flowers and this inspired

me to pursue my dream of becoming a flower farmer.” In 2013, she planted an acre on rented land. She returned to her Toronto roots to see if the business could succeed at city farmers’ markets. It did, and the next year Sas bought property, built her first greenhouse, and doubled production. By 2016, she had three greenhouses and 2.5 acres under cultivation. While Dahlia May Flower Farm has a strong focus on the local market, Sas takes her Floralora Flowers on the road, selling during the season weekly at the Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market, once monthly at the Toronto Flower Market, and selling wrapped bouquets at several locations in Toronto, and at Sobey’s in Picton this year. She also wholesales to local and Toronto flower shops. She’s toying with the idea of farmgate, but not for this year. “We’re off the beaten track and there isn’t a lot of driveby traffic, but we do have a great tourism culture here, so maybe I’ll open for special events in the future,” pondered Sas. “There’s so much work producing the flowers, and I’m not prepared or willing just yet. I’d rather support the retailers I supply.” Sas and Melanie, strong allies and sometime customers of each other, both say they are doing the same thing differently. They sustainably grow cut flowers, design for weddings and special occasions, work ridiculously long hours, and believe completely in their vocation.

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“I want to attract people who are greenminded,” Sas explained. “My customers are looking for locally grown flowers – less traditional with garden-inspired aesthetics.” Like her colleague in Stockdale, Sas enjoys growing the unusual – she grows and sells birdhouse gourds at the market, and has a flair for choosing just the right shrub for ornamental foliage. “I want it to echo how it looks in nature, looser with lots of greens and unusual components,” she continued, adding she loves adding berry and currant and tomato branches in her arrangements. “I’d rather do that than have a tightly wound bouquet. I’d like the bouquets to reflect the freedom of the fields.” She is expanding her gardens to ensure a constant supply of her favourites, from the traditional to the weird and wonderful. A full acre is devoted to annuals, and the other one-and-a-half acres is set aside for perennials and flowering shrubs. She is building her renowned peony collection – over 800 plants this year – and starts 10,000 Flowers are all naturally grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.

seeds in succession so flowers will be at their freshest all season. Knowing her market, she has divisions within divisions. Part of the garden grows the grocery flowers – celosia, sunflowers, marigolds and dahlias – sturdier flowers with a longer vase life. Another part is her design garden. “Some people want a bouquet to last a week or longer, and there are other times when it just has to last for the day, for weddings and other special events.” That’s where Sas likes to incorporate her less familiar yet always gorgeous greenery and unusual vines and flowers. With a keen designer’s eye, she mixes it up sometimes, creating very natural designs with unique content. Weddings represent about half of the business, and the peony project is a driving force. “I have a group of brides who decided to get married in June so they could use peonies in their bouquets,” she smiled. “I see myself as a flower farmer first, but events are half of my product,” Sas

continued. “It’s nice to have the balance of farming and design, and I love the culture of the farmers’ markets; we need the balance of retail, wholesale, and events.” Sas and Melanie recognize they are part of a growing local flower movement in Ontario. Their membership in the ASCFG connects them to like-minded farmers internationally. “It’s an amazing association,” said Sas, adding it has more value to her than the four years she spent studying sociology. “Buy local, shop local, eat local, that’s all well-established culturally, and certainly strong in Prince Edward County. Sustainable local flower farming wasn’t on the radar, but there’s a real emergence in the last few years.” Pretty though they are, imported flowers can have a dark side. “About 85 per cent of flowers in stores are imported, and growers are huge consumers of pesticides,” explained Sas. “Flowers are one of the least organic, high carbon



Downtown Brighton Has it All! footprint crops. The awareness of responsible local growers and demand for our products is growing quickly. Flowers are a luxury item, and people are questioning their origin. They appreciate what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and the change we’re effecting. This isn’t about a couple of local flower girls; we’re part of a movement.” Neither Sas nor Melanie use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. The flowers are all naturally grown, the soil carefully amended by locally produced mushroom compost, and hard labour. The pest battle is continuous. “Bugs love dinner plate dahlias as much as florists,” smiled Sas. “Instead of chemicals, we use netting.” As spring hints its arrival, Sas is ready. “It’s the most exciting season. It’s maddening and worrisome and frustrating. It tries my patience, and rewards my efforts.”

For all the hard labour, and it is, Sas can’t hide the joy. “This isn’t easy. You wake up and realize you don’t have one job, you have 18. You’re not just a farmer, you’re an accountant and a marketer and a manager, and you work as hard as you can because you have never loved anything this much in your life. I consider every new season a chance to start over with a really great experiment. I love the pace; I created my dream job. I work in nature every single day.” Melanie and Sas are almost an embarrassment of riches. They are young entrepreneurs forging their businesses and more importantly, their life paths. They are shrewd, focussed, and talented, and they share their love of flowers joyously. They are a sensation, and they are flower farmers.

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Story by Jennifer Shea Photography by Daniel Vaughan What do the taillights of a Dodge Charger, bushings for the international space station, Mini-Wheats breakfast cereal, and dinosaur museum displays have in common? They are all made in the Bay of Quinte region (by Autosystems Manufacturing, Kennametal Stellite, and Kellogg Canada, all in Belleville, and Quinte West’s Research Casting International respectively). The diversity of the manufacturing industry located along the shores of the Bay of Quinte in the municipalities of Belleville, Quinte West and Brighton is quite surprising – from food processing to logistics and distribution, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, machining and fabrication, and information and communications technology. From two-person operations to companies employing more than 1,000 people. The region’s vibrant industrial sector continues to grow and diversify.

“In the manufacturing sector, we have about 11,000 direct jobs in the region and probably 120 manufacturers,” said Chris King, CEO of the Quinte Economic Development Commission (QEDC). “Every dollar of output of manufacturing has a multiplier effect of $3.25 which goes across other sectors – including housing, retail, trucking, warehousing.” QEDC is tasked with attracting and supporting businesses from several value-adding, wealth-creating sectors for the region – businesses where a product or service is made/developed locally and sold outside the area. There are currently 50 companies who have expressed an interest in the Bay of Quinte region, making initial contact with the QEDC. Another 17 have submitted information about what they are seeking. Six have visited the area, actively looking at industrial opportunities. One is in the final proposal stages. The region’s popularity among such businesses has a lot to do with its location. QEDC’s focus area is centrally located between Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa and provides access to those major Canadian markets. The U.S. border crossing at the Thousand Islands is just over an hour away, which opens the entire eastern seaboard. Serviced industrial land is a big attraction, especially at a fraction of

the price for locations like the Greater of the curve in terms of where we are with Toronto Area. “Thirty-five or $40,000 per our workforce.” This includes investment acre of serviced land is very attractive, by the QEDC in skills development especially if you look at the Toronto area, programs. “We’re doing a program right where you could be paying $800,000 now called Elevate Plus, where we take or $1 million dollars per acre,” noted people with some kind of barrier to Chris. “Coupled with that, you have the employment and we put them through development charges. In some areas in an intensive four-week training program the GTA, you can be paying an additional – both technical and soft skills, including $20-some a square foot for development employer expectations – with two weeks charges. For industry coming here, there on-the-job training. One hundred per are no development charges. Saving cent of those people who graduate get a some of those up-front costs is another full-time job offer.” attractive feature for businesses coming From a historical perspective, the here.” Bay of Quinte region has had a thriving Belleville, Quinte West, and Brighton industrial sector for more than 200 years. have established serviced industrial The heritage atlas of hastings county land to attract new companies. The (Orland French, Editor) describes the communities are also well-equipped in importance of water power to industries terms of infrastructure. “That’s another in the mid-1800s. Where the Moira River huge asset,” said Chris. “Whether it’s ran fastest, mills were built to generate the water and sewer capacity; the fact power for local industry. At the time, we have Highway 401 and both CN and an axe factory, grist mill, foundry, chair CP rail running through the heart of our factory, tannery, woolen factory, and saw communities; even the port of Montreal mill were among the industries thriving four hours away is a great asset for a lot along the river in Belleville. Another wellof our companies.” known locally made product was spirits, with Corby Distilleries establishing in Another attractive element for 1859 in the city. industry coming to the Bay of Quinte region is the quality of the workforce here. “It’s probably one of the top factors in terms of why companies locate, stay, and reinvest here,” said Chris.” In terms of availability, skill level, and training programs, we’re always trying stay ahead

In Trenton, woodworking, bridge, and engine works were important industrial ventures in the 1800s. Later, worsted suiting, buttons, munitions, jewellery and silverware, wood preservative, paper, yarns, textiles, and shoes were

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among the products manufactured in the community. A government-backed film studio was established in 1919, with several silent films produced there, some featuring scenes shot on location in Trenton. Today, the manufacturing sector is increasingly sophisticated. Area businesses are incorporating robotics and other high-technology systems and this trend is expected to continue. “You’re going to see more integration of technology and manufacturing,” said Chris. “You’ll see more use of robotics and advanced sensors; really measuring and pulling together all of the systems of a manufacturing process. I think you’ll start to see more technology, more innovation within the manufacturing process, which doesn’t necessarily mean fewer jobs, it just means a higher skill to meet that demand. The message is resources available to industry. “We level required to run those state-of-the- getting out there slowly that you should have Trenval with their business loans art pieces of equipment and technology.” be looking at manufacturing for career and their counselling work,” said Chris. opportunities.” “Also, there is the Business Development Loyalist College plays an important Chris predicts the manufacturing Bank of Canada (BDC) here. We have role in supporting area industry a representative full-time for financing by establishing manufacturing-related sector of the future will continue to see of larger projects. Loyalist College and training programs and tweaking these more global competition, which also their corporate training arm is down the programs where required to meet the presents more global opportunities hall.” changing needs of the local industrial for local industrial players. Mike noted Added Mike, “RBC has an office here companies. Mike Hewitt, QEDC’s one local business has really embraced this. “Th e manufacturer used to make now. Sometimes people come in and Manufacturing Resource Centre what was basically a commodity product BDC can finance a portion, Trenval can Coordinator noted, “Loyalist had three for medical equipment. Th ey realized bring a certain portion, and then the times the amount of applicants they they couldn’t compete with China on banks can contribute, too. We have three anticipated for a January intake for their manufacturing technician program, the commodity part, so they developed different entities in the room who aren’t so they were trying to find classroom new, cutting-edge technology. They’re competing with each other and can space and instructor time and resources now the ones the medical equipment provide a very comprehensive support suppliers come to and say, ‘What are package. You don’t get that in every you working on? We need something community.” like this.’ They totally did a 180 on where “We also try to keep track of company their company is and their employment expansions,” said Mike. “We try to have levels have gone up. They’re probably up that relationship with them where they’ll 50 per cent in employment over where let us know what they’re planning, so they were.” we can see if there’s any government The QEDC plays an important role in assistance to help them, whether it’s Proudly Serving You Since 1996! not only attracting industry to the Bay training people or capital. We also look of Quinte region, but supporting them at what we can do to help companies stay Pearson Int. Airport - Door to Door - 24/7 to stay and prosper here. The Quinte here and what can we do to help them Private Direct! Shared Ride! Manufacturers Association, which expand. It’s not just bringing people in Special Events! QEDC administers, allows the 120 here, but once they get here, engaging Wine Tours! Weddings! member companies to meet on a regular with companies to see how we can help Town Cars – Mini Vans – Full size vans basis to share issues, strategies, and them grow.” – Mini Buses success stories. QEDC has an extensive network of community partners to tap 613-968-2058 into for industrial support as required. This is the first of a four-part series on Within the Business Development Made in the Bay of Quinte – a look at 1-888-677-4287 Centre on Wallbridge-Loyalist Road industry – the economic backbone of www.ontariocoachway.com where QEDC resides, there are financial our region for almost 250 years. 58


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signposts Port of Call: Trenton

Story and photography by Lindi Pierce

Port of Call: Trenton A tourist map posted at Trent Port Marina declares, “You are here!” This enthusiastic welcome might echo the sentiments of many of Trenton’s civic leaders, industrialists, and citizens who had envisaged a marina on this site for a great many years.

City Hall’s beautiful library (hands down winner of the ‘Best View from a Library’ award.) Were it not for an obelisk near the entrance to the marina park, visitors (and many residents) might have no idea of what came before.

The distinctive marina building, Early industries developed along topped by canvas sails snapping in the water transportation routes; railway breeze, is a signpost for boaters. The lines followed. Town dumps and marina’s motto, “Slip into something sewer outlets proliferated, reflecting more comfortable,” doesn’t fail to our persistent belief the water would deliver. There’s efficient moorage clean up our mess. During the first for 374 resident and visiting craft half of the 20th century, the shores of and a luxurious shower wing and the Trent River and Bay of Quinte boaters’ lounge. A function room were lined with industries: coal with soaring ceiling and wide expanse yards, boat builders, a dairy, various of bayside windows provides a venue manufactories, and a cold storage for celebrations. Trenton’s military (which still operates) loading lake presence is acknowledged by a freighters at its docks. Where Fraser handcrafted canoe built in honour Park now delights with Christmas of a fallen hero, purchased by a light displays, an unappealing local businessman in support of the slipway extended behind downtown Military Family Resource Centre. In businesses. the entry hall, a plaque recognizes the An historic Trenton company, the mayors and municipal councils who Trenton Cooperage Mill, founded saw the marina project through. 1908, once occupied the Trent Port Gardens of grasses and native Marina area. The mill produced plants greet returning sailors, and barrels for the export of apples to paths following the shoreline and England. Old photos show booms of breakwater welcome waterfront logs floating offshore, acres of stacked strollers. A word to the wise walker lumber, a sawmill and planing mill – it’s popular spot with the resident with tall smokestacks, freight sheds, gulls and geese. To the east are the and railway shunting yards. Roy Bonisteel Memorial Gardens, Fast forward. In the 1960s, with their bronze statue commemorating federal funds available for marine a much-loved local journalist and development, a plan for a marina on broadcaster. Do join Roy on the bench. the property was floated, but sank, to Trent Port Marina sits adjacent to acres of playing field and undeveloped shoreline to the west. The building is reflected in the glass expanses of

resurface a few years later. When the Trent Port Marina finally opened in 2016, it was a great idea whose time had truly come.



at h

me with

’s Alan Gratias

Above and Middle images

Photography by Daniel Vaughan image directly right

Photography by Alan Gratias



Ann Wood photo by Mia Lane

Arts on Main

The invitation came when Joanie and I had just settled in Charleston, South Carolina, our ABF (Anywhere but Florida) winter escape destination for the past few years. Judy Kent, the Chairman of Arts on Main (AoM), asked me to a members’ luncheon to plan for the 10th anniversary of the gallery. I accepted pronto because AoM has been close to my heart since its launch in May 2007. For one thing, I knew it to be a thriving co-op with 25 members (and a waiting list) practicing all manner of the visual arts. For another I was the landlord of their premises at 223 Main Street.

Story by Alan Gratias

It all started with a derelict building. A fire in the 1950s destroyed the third level and disfigured the run of roof lines at the corner of Main and Ross. What had once been a classic three-storey structure that bookended the main commercial block of Picton was now a two-storey rump. Without ornamentation on top, that rump sat deformed against the common wall of its neighbour to the west. But I liked the way the building – previously home to Roblin Motors – asserted its disfigurement so I bought the ugly duckling which had been shuttered for years in September 2005. I had an idea of occupation. Before moving to the County, I had lived for several years in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, where there were half a dozen galleries in a town smaller than Picton. Lunenburg and Picton share many characteristics, both shire capitals surrounded by water, settled by United Empire Loyalists, both remote peninsulas with a good supply of heritage houses to be rehabilitated. Despite all their parallel attractions to artists and wayfinders, there was a striking difference in their towns’ commerce. There were no galleries in Picton. In those days, there were three of us who set out to launch an arts co-op. Terry Williams was an carver of whimsical animations who with his wife Joy had recently pulled up stakes in Toronto for a quieter life in the County. Terry was a folk artist in temperament and in practice. Not only did he march to a different drummer, he was that drummer. The third member of our incubation group was Ann Wood who had

terry Williams photo by Mia Lane

also recently relocated to the County after a career in advertising in the Big Smoke. Together, Ann and Terry developed a business plan and a constitution, secured a grant from Prince Edward Lennox and Addington Community Futures Development Corporation, and trickiest of all, won over a skeptical community of artists. As Ann observed, “Co-op galleries are the shooting stars of the art world, bright and hopeful at the outset, but fading quickly.” With the endorsement of the local arts council, and heaps of charm and arm twisting, Ann and Terry persuaded a core group of artists to join the new space in the cultural heart of gritty Picton. My job was to deliver a worthy auditorium for the new venture. I removed the interior pillars, upgraded the electricity and plumbing, installed new windows and a maple and birch floor. When the entire space was painted in pearl button white, the old Chrysler showroom was transformed to Manhattan chic.





HomeFinder.ca Judy Kent, Ann Wood and Alan gratias photo by Mia Lane

AoM officially opened on May 18, 2007. Terry, Ann, and I along with Mayor Leo Finnegan cut the ribbon under the banner, “Once a showroom, always a showroom.” A diverse group of 27 artists made a commitment to support the gallery with their membership and staffing ’year-round and not just during the tourist-rich summer months. Their media included many forms, from blown glass to jewellery and painting, to photography and fibre to sculpture, porcelain, and folk art. A hundred guests, artists, family, and friends raised a champagne toast to the sparkling transformation of Roblin Motors. Twelve pieces sold the opening night. Now, a decade later, I was on my way to the gallery for a members’ luncheon to plan for the 10th anniversary celebration. That downtown corner proudly facing the Monarchs of Main Street, the Regent Theatre, the Carnegie library, and the Armoury, is about to welcome a reborn Royal Hotel down the street. AoM has flourished since that first spring and summer of 2007. It has become a destination for the expanding arts scene in the County with salons, art classes, and new shows every few months. Sales have increased as the word spread about the quality of work available under the green and red awning. Gross sales have exceeded all expectations with 80 per cent going back to the artists, validating the original business model of low commissions and monthly membership fees. Terry’s mantra was, “The essence of a co-operative gallery is when you are just as happy to sell others’ work as your own.” I arrived at the gallery at noon on the last day in February with the temperature at 10 degrees. Arriving members were stacking art work for the spring show ‘March into May,’ opening the next day. The hardwood floors glistened in new coats of urethane and the walls shone in fresh paint. Members David Drown, a potter, Pat Hayes, a woodworker, and Ron Pickering, a painter were busy doing touch-ups to the walls and dozens of new plinths and dividers to mount the new show. Judy Kent called the meeting to order as we sat in a semi-circle munching cut sandwiches and brownies. There was a camaraderie and joviality around the discussions for the 10th anniversary in May linked to Canada’s sesquicentennial a few months later in July.

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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 .

Linwood Barclay answers 20 Gravitas questions with Alan Gratias What are you going to do about growing old? Complain relentlessly. But also, keep loving and working and playing and taking on new challenges. What makes your heart stand still? Being in the airport and thinking I have lost my passport, then realizing I have slipped it into my shirt pocket for easy access. Oh, and yeah, love. If you knew the truth, how would you reveal it? I’d post it in a sign over the urinal. What do you wish your mother had understood about you? That I wanted my own life. Name one secret you do not want to discover before you die? How our son really wrecked the Mazda more than 15 years ago. If you were going to launch a new prohibition, what would you outlaw? Motion-activated soap dispensers, taps, and hand dryers. I have this idea for a sci-fi novel where someone goes back in time and keeps the inventor of these devices from being born. How would you like to rewire your brain? It would be nice, if, when I have my long, annual meeting with my accountant, I were able to understand just one word of what he is saying. What do you wish you understood about the workings of the universe? How could anyone play the piano as magnificently as Oscar Peterson did? How is it possible? What are you fatally attracted to? Cupcakes.

About Linwood Linwood Barclay is a former columnist for the toronto star

and the bestselling author of nearly 20 novels, including no time for Goodbye, The Promise Falls trilogy, and The accident, which has been turned into a television series in France. He and his wife Neetha divide their time between Oakville and Prince Edward County. They have two children, Spencer and Paige. His first novel for children, chase, will be released in July. His standalone thriller, no time for Goodbye, was published in 2007 to critical acclaim and great international success. It did seven straight weeks at the top of the UK bestseller list and has been translated into 30 languages. Over the years, several of Linwood’s novels have been optioned for film and television. no time for Goodbye has been optioned for television in France, and trust Your Eyes was the object of a film rights bidding war between Universal and Warner Bros. Another County resident, director Gail Harvey, is to start shooting soon a film of his book never saw it coming. He is also working on adapting his novel trust Your Eyes for a six-part television series for ITV in the UK. Linwood was born in the United States but moved to Canada when his father, a commercial artist whose illustrations of cars appeared in life, look and saturday Evening Post, accepted

How do you stay clear of the rocks and shoals? If only one could. Sometimes you have to run aground so you know how to do it the next time. Why should we hang onto our illusions? Without dreams, what’s the point? What would your father make of you now? I’d like to think he’d be very proud. What I would give to be able to sit down with him and bring him up to speed.

Photo by Alan Gratias


Why do we sometimes crave chaos? It’s exciting, and it breaks the monotony. When I worked on the city and news desks at the Toronto Star, nothing got the adrenaline flowing like chaos. All we had to do was control it by the time the presses rolled.

When do reality and fantasy merge? I have been advised by counsel not to answer this question. What is your favourite recipe for unhappiness? Dwelling on the failures instead of the successes, failing to see that on balance, things are pretty damn good. If you were in charge of the world for one day, what would you change? Everyone’s smart phone would be disabled. Especially mine. If we come into this world with sealed orders, what are your orders? “You’ve got one shot. Don’t screw it up.” How are you different from the way others perceive you? After 14 years of doing a humour column for the Toronto Star, and relative success in the book biz, everyone figures I must be insufferably happy-go-lucky. But there’s a lot of angst under the surface. If you had your own country, what is the first law you would enact? That everyone must subscribe to a newspaper (online version acceptable) and spend at least 30 minutes a day reading it. You’d never know when there might be a snap quiz.”

a position with an advertising agency. He graduated with an English literature degree from Trent University. After spending his formative years helping run a cottage resort after his father died, Linwood got his first newspaper job at the Peterborough Examiner. At the toronto star, he held such positions as assistant city editor, chief copy editor, news editor, and Life section editor, before becoming the paper’s humour columnist in 1993. He retired from the position in 2008 to work exclusively on books. When I asked him how he came to be in the County, he explained that three years ago, Neetha spotted a house she loved in a real estate ad. “Where is it?” Linwood asked. “Prince Edward County,” she said. “Prince what?” he replied. “They’ve got wineries and festivals and restaurants and this great beach.” “Stop,” Linwood said. “You had me at wineries.” “One last question,” I plead. “What is it about the County that makes you want to make a life By Alan Gratias here?” “It’s heaven,” he replied. “And the pickerel at Portabella.”

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Give your children a lifetime of

Confidence comes from feeling good about yourself – your skills, your intelligence, and your appearance. Children with crooked, gapped and overlapping teeth are often teased by their peers, leading them to hide their smile – and their true personality.

Dr. Julianne Peterson can transform your child’s smile into one that is straight, beautiful and healthy. Call our office at 613-969-8822 for your orthodontic consultation today.

613-969-8822 petersonortho.ca

220 Dundas Street East | Belleville | ON K8N1E3 | 613-969-8822 | petersonortho.ca ©2010 GPM Inc.

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