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Fall 2010

Cjbq On The Air Buddhism Retreats To Hastings Artful Couple Drawn Here

Covering the arts, outdoors, history, people and places


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Contents Volume 3, Issue 3, Fall 2010

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CO-PUBLISHER & EDITOR

Nancy Hopkins 613 395-0499 CO-PUBLISHER & EDITOR

John Hopkins 613 395-0499 ART DIRECTOR

Jozef VanVeenen SALES Department

Michael Beeston michael@countryroadshastings.ca 613 395-6226

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CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Anna Sherlock Brandon West • www.westphotography.ca CONTRIBUTING writers

Michael Beeston Shelley Wildgen HOW TO CONTACT US Telephone: 613 395-0499 Facsimile: 613 395-0903 E-mail: info@countryroadshastings.ca Website: www.countryroadshastings.ca For written enquiries you can reach us at: PenWord Communications Inc. P.O. Box 423, Stirling, ON K0K 3E0 COUNTRY ROADS, Discovering Hasting County is published four times a year by PenWord Communications Inc. Copies are distributed to select locations throughout Hastings County including the ­communities of Bancroft, Belleville, Madoc, Marmora, Stirling and Tweed. Copies are also delivered to select homes within southern Ontario. Subscription rates: 1 year: $10.50 2 years: $18.90 3 years: $27.30 All prices include G.S.T.

F e at u r e s

6 - A breath of fresh air CJBQ Radio trusted voice of the region

10 - Peace and Tranquility Asian religion finds home in Hastings

14 - Man of Many Tastes Artist Jim Christy tough to pin down

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18 - Striking a Chord Mercier takes music back to its roots

22 - Back to the Future Local farms take a step back in time D e pa r t m e n t s

The contents of this publication are ­protected by copyright. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part without prior written permission of PenWord Communications Inc. is prohibited.

28 - Country Calendar

The advertising deadline for the Winter 2010 issue is October 22, 2010.

Things to see and do in Hastings County

Cover Photo: Irene Van Rompaey, IVY Photography, Frankford, Ontario info.ivyphotography@gmail.com

26 - Cross Roads Sweet Music for local church

29 - Marketplace 30 - Back Roads Armistice Day 1918

Fall 2010 • Country Roads

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discovering hastings county

Fall in rural Ontario

FALL IN LOVE WITH

COMFORT COUNTRY Photo: Haley Ashford

• Shops • Hiking • Heritage Sites • Accommodations • Sumptuous Dining • Live Entertainment • Antiques • Artist Studios & Tours • Lakes and Rivers to Explore September 25 & 26 MADOC

Maguire’s Motocross Racing Series Don’t miss the season wrap up at the Madoc Fairgrounds. WWW.MMRS.CA

MARMORA

October 31

Spooktacular!

Have a ghoulish good time trick or treating at Memorial Park WWW.MARMORAANDLAKE.CA

STIRLING

Star Lite Christmas House Tour November 25 4 - 9 pm

Tickets $20.00 For info: 613-395-0015 or 613-395-2976

Tour 6 lovely area homes, and historic St. Paul’s United Church in Stirling - all are ready for the Holidays and waiting to welcome you !

FUNDS RAISED TO SUPPORT THE HASTINGS COUNTY MUSEUM OF AGRICULTURAL HERITAGE.

October 2 & 3

October 8

TWEED

13th Annual Tweed & Area Studio Tour,

TWEED CHARITY JAMBOREE Tweed Royal Canadian Legion

27 ARTISTS, 21 STUDIOS

Free Admission. Free Draw Prizes in Most Studios.

613-336-9633

WWW.TWEEDSTUDIOTOUR.ORG

DESERONTO

Experience Deseronto’s specialty shops, restaurants & charming accommodations, scenic waterfront parks, boating facilities, and unique heritage.

TO OTTAWA

WWW.DESERONTO.CA

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MADOC 7

MARMORA

TYENDINGA TOWNSHIP

Come visit Tyendinaga Township in Hastings County and experience our exceptional agriculture, recreation, and history – or just take a quiet ride in the countryside.

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TWEED

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DESERONTO

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...and more.

STIRLING 14

TO KINGSTON

401 401

BELLEVILLE

DESERONTO

TO TORONTO TRENTON

For more information on events, attractions, places to dine, accomodations, shopping and more.

www.comfortcountry.ca

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If you read this ­column regularly you may have noticed that the ­photograph has changed. Winnie, top dog and Country Roads CEO has been joined by two felines that now grace, or should I say, rule our home. Our neighbour Cathy found Coriander (on left) under her porch early last summer. Only five weeks old she weighed less than a pound. By the time Christmas was approaching we knew the gift she needed was a friend. So circa the Belleville Humane Society Mr. Skittles (on right) arrived on the scene. They became fast friends and tear around the place with typical kitten energy. Animals aside, we hope this issue captures your interest. We worked hard to provide a wide range of articles and are proud to also be a vehicle for area businesses and organizations to get the word out about the many great things they have to offer our readers. In many ways they are the backbone of the community and we encourage you to support their endeavour, whether it is a retail business, local event or community service. Fall in rural Ontario is synonymous with studio tours. The opportunity to soak in the colours of Mother Nature alongside the creations of local artists makes it a special time of year. It’s very exciting to report that Hastings County is developing The Arts Route. The Arts Route will be promoted through a new website (www.artsroute.ca and .com), signage along the roadways throughout the county and at each participating location, and through printed materials. Fall Studio Tours will always be a special outing but it won’t be long before you can follow the arts route year round. On a different note we want to share an interesting statistic with you, one that as magazine publishers we found very encouraging but one that we believe also speaks about our communications world at large. We have excerpted parts of a piece that ran in an April 2010 issue of Sports Illustrated as follows: “Barely noticed amidst the thunderous internet clamor is the simple fact that magazine readership has risen over the past five years. Think of it this way: during the 12-year life of Google, magazine readership actually increased 11 percent. What it proves once again, is that a new medium doesn’t necessarily displace an existing one.” Now don’t get us wrong. We love technology. It makes our job significantly easier and we hope it helps us produce a high quality product. But we also love the feel of a magazine in the hand, and seeing it on a coffee table or countertop – ready for reading when the time is right. The fact that you’re reading this editorial tells us you were drawn to pick up our magazine, and that’s very important to not just us as publishers but to all the people profiled in these stories, advertisers that have chosen to spend their money on our pages, and all involved in the production of Country Roads, Discovering Hastings County magazine. On behalf of all – thanks for picking up our rag. Hope you enjoy the read and get to know a bit more about Hastings County, Ontario. Happy Fall!

Correction: In the Stirling-Rawdon advertisement that ran in the Summer 2010 issue we incorrectly stated that the Farmer’s ­Market runs from 9 – 1. The correct time is actually 8 – 1. The market ­continues through Thanksgiving weekend. We regret the error.


Celebrating our 6th Anniversary this October JOIN uS FOr IN StOrE SpECIAlS All mONth lONg!

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New & Used Books, Fairtrade & Organic Coffee & Tea, Local Tea, Honey & other food products Unique Gifts Ideas, Home Decor as well as Art Gallery featuring local Photographer Brandon West! While at West Wings visit Allure Day Spa (2nd floor) and Infinity Clothing (next door)

clothing & accessories

14 West Front St. Stirling, ON K0K 3E0 613-395-0990 Email westwings@hotmail.com

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Star Lite Christmas House Tour Thursday November 25th, 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.

A prelude to Christmas Hi Country style!

6 Stirling and area homes - all decorated for the holidays. Sponsored by the Hastings County Museum of Agricultural Heritage 437 West Front Street,Stirling, Ontario. Tickets $20.00 each Tickets available by calling the Museum office 613-395-0015 or Sandy Donnan 613-395-2976

Thursday, October 28, 2010 6:00-9:00 pm

A FUNDRAISER FOR

20 Mill Street, Stirling Phone: 613.395.2929 Fax: 613.395.2930 mlbelanger@thelivingcaregroup.com

,

Get a taste of Fall at The Apple Store Visit this charming, old-fashioned, best smelling store in the world! • Over 15 Varieties of Fresh Apples • Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch • Cooney Farms Home Grown Beef • Specialty Foods – Jams and Jellies • Hot Cider ... and a whole lot more! A harvest of apples… A harvest of gifts… All hand-picked for you!

It s a

in Stirling-Rawdon! View the wreaths, trees, swags and centre pieces that abound in the village. Place your prize draw tickets in the gold and silver boxes of the items you would like to take home for the holidays! Pick up your Village Christmas map and brochure at participating business locations to view the draw prizes available! ate: Event D r 1-25 e b Novem 1.00 each :$ Tickets6/$5.00 or e 25th

til th ble un availa

Vintage Junction

22 West Front St. 613-395-4555

Rustic Routes & HI Country 18-20 Mill St. 613-395-2929

Wine Kitz

30 West Front St. 613-395-0002

Fine Line Design

Family owned and operated Celebrating our 26th anniversary 613 395-2395 • www.cooneyfarms.com

5 miles north of Stirling on Hwy. 14

22 North St. 613-395-1717

Stirling Festival Theatre 613-395-2100 Panto “Hansel & Gretel” Nov. 19 - New Years!

www.stirling-rawdon.com Fall 2010 • Country Roads

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Radio station CJBQ has become a well recognized part of Belleville’s heritage. Photo courtesy CJBQ

A breath of fresh air CJBQ Radio trusted voice of the region By Shelley Wildgen

‘It’s not true I had nothing on. I had the radio on.’ -Marilyn Monroe

And so it goes. Since the early 1920’s, radio has woven a continuous thread into the fabric of our lives with ­music, information, nostalgic rumblings, and in the case of Ms. Monroe - a blanket of imagery. Often referred to as ‘theatre of the mind’, radio toes that fine line between passive techno consumption and the brain calisthenics of reading. From the ‘Fireside Chats’ of Franklin D. Roosevelt to the launch of rock and roll, radio rides the tide of cultural awareness, rarely missing a beat. Here in Hastings County, it all started in Belleville at a 250 watt AM radio station. On August 12, 1946, CJBQ erupted onto the airwaves with 25-year-old general manager Bill Stovin at the helm. Managing a staff of no more than 20, the crew announced/op-

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erated, pulled music, ripped news from the teleprinter, even ad-libbed children’s stories. Stovin remembers sitting in his office on Victoria Avenue. “I’m reminded of the ire of one ladieswear merchant I had to face who was extremely unhappy with one of our announcers giving weather forecast details and suggesting that people not venture out that day. The window in my office overlooked a brief alleyway to the rear of The Belmont restaurant where the garbage cans rested with the swill waiting for a farmer to pick it up for his pigs. The aroma was a bit overpowering.”

The NBC Thesauraus transcription service provided music and programming on LPs with accompanying scripts. Horatio Hornblower starring Gregory Peck was a favourite. Bill Arnold was Program Director, Jack Devine held the title of Sports Director. Sales Manager was Tommy Wilkinson. Hamie McDonald became his sales staff and Jack “Bucky” Buchanan, the Engineer. All were RCAF veterans. But not every new hire was airborne. Bill Boyle, ex Royal Canadian Navy took up duties as an operator, and Phil Flagler, another Navy man arrived just a little later.


Phil Flagler joined CJBQ early on and was a graduate of the Lorne Greene Academy of Radio Arts. But he says a lot of the education came on the job.

Lee Jourard came on board in the 1950s as a production manager and stuck around. Photo courtesy CJBQ

Marg Farrell (standing) and Margo Hall confer with Phil Flagler. In the early days of the station roles for women were limited.

Photo courtesy CJBQ

Photo courtesy CJBQ

Arnold and Flagler were grads from the highly respected Lorne Greene Academy of Radio Arts. “We were trained to talk well,” Flagler explains, “but the business surrounding the talk, that was different. Had to learn that once the job was landed.” By the 1950’s, Scott Hannah was program director and Lee Jourard had joined the team as production director. When asked to define his role and announcing shift, Lee stated that there was no “shift.” “We did it all. Everything was a production. Starting at six in the morning till five in the afternoon, we put it all together LIVE. From the Party Line and Trading Post, which was chit chat and the selling of household items, to Jack McCaughen and the Trent Valley Ramblers performing in the Trianon Ballroom, to the Commodores at the Belleville Fairgrounds’ Club Commodore. We were there, putting it all on air.” “We were broadcasters,” Jourard says with a smile. “That was it. We worked all day.” Somewhere along the line, news reporter Harry Mulhall nestled into the red leather couch at CJBQ’s Victoria Avenue location. Long since passed away, Mulhall still defines the spirit of old school radio. Boasting a charming Irish brogue, shaggy black hair, and an uncontainable twinkle, his name is never mentioned without a smile. Always working far too late, Mulhall sometimes slept at work, on Stovin’s couch. His mop of black hair would pop up at the first sound of a key in the door. From day one, CJBQ has been owned by the Morton family, who bought out two minority shareholders very early on. The station has been owned solely by the family ever since. Good business instincts, along with the wisdom to hire some amazing talents have helped the Mortons secure the continuing success of “CJBQ - 800 on your AM dial.” Perhaps you were raised by Quinte’s original morning man, Russ Hawkshawe, or you took to Tom

Flagler believes, “It’s not the music that matters; it’s what happens between the songs.” Who could forget the long running open-line talk show host Quinte loved to hate – ‘Why Not Call’s’ Milt Johnston? For almost 30 years Johnston covered a myriad of topics ranging from farmers’ woes to federal election candidates -sometimes with an acerbic wit, but often with stone cold silence. If Milt was bored by your call, then you were no more. But despite his cool manner, Milt’s ratings grew, as did the unshakeable popularity of CJBQ. And say what you will about the moody man with the mike, he managed to land a most impressive guest in the early seventies - then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. The Bridge Street radio station was bustling with local folk, all craning their necks to get a better look at the glamorous politico. In his seersucker suit, and everpresent lapel rose, the PM glided into Milt’s studio with smiles and handshakes for all. Johnston left the radio station in the nineties and was last seen shuffling along a tropical beach. It’s been rumoured that he was grinning. In contrast to the mercurial temperament of Johnston, many decades were guided by the steady and affable Flagler. He took a turn as program director, ran the sales department, wrote awardwinning ads, and was one of the most recognized voices on BQ, heard daily on the noon hour Farm Report as well as on oodles of commercials. You may think that such a likeable guy wouldn’t be bothered with surly Milt, but that wasn’t true. The duo could be seen every lunch hour, sharing bologna sandwiches and a newspaper in Milt’s soundproof studio. They are still friends today. That’s the thing about radio in general. Personalities and friendships that wouldn’t thrive in other daily grinds often flourish within the unconventional rhythms of a radio station.

This 1961 flyer celebrates 15 years of CJBQ. While some of the names moved on a number couldn’t pull themselves away from the Quinte region. Photo courtesy CJBQ

Hookings, who was “Up With The Sun” and never failed to deliver the best of the double entendres, once even broadcasting live while milking a cow. Maybe you greeted your day with the big city tones of Peter Thompson, who spent some valuable core career years as ‘Red Knight’ at CFTR in Toronto. If you’ve been a BQ listener since the mid-eighties, you’ve been enjoying a.m. laughs with mighty Matt Mitchell in the morning. Whoever led the way, you’re not likely to forget the radio announcers and their music, nudging you through the early part of your days, year after year.

Fall 2010 • Country Roads

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a breath of fresh air

Together again (clockwise from top left): Peter Thompson, John Ferguson, Phil Flagler and Lee Jourard. Photo courtesy CJBQ (Below) A memento of the grand opening, suitable for the times.

Virginia and Bill Morton now run the station their great grandfather founded over 60 years ago. Selling to a larger broadcasting company is not in the immediate plans. Photo courtesy CJBQ

Photo courtesy CJBQ

As with many industries, the early years were arguably the best according to those who were there. By the late fifties, Stovin left for greener Saskatchewan pastures and Frank Murray became general manager. Murray’s vast sales experience included a knack for schmoozing, very elegantly! He liked his people to be professional, and they were – Bill McKay and Al Hall on air, Ted Snider in Trenton, sales mavericks Dave Sovereign and Bob Rowbotham in both Belleville and Trenton. No women. In the sixties, Murray did not like women to wear pantsuits and he didn’t fancy them in sales.

The sixties and seventies brought many changes to radio. What started as a big contraption in the living room providing family entertainment was now music driven and moveable – the Beatles, Elvis Presley and the advent of the transistor radio. The medium now shimmied, shook and went to the beach! CJBQ needed a rock ‘n roll deejay, and so it got one. Dave Charles shot out of high school and took on the ‘British Invasion!’ His knowledge of rock ‘n roll charged through the airwaves with excitement and yes, sex appeal. This was a new genre for the staid radio station and it somersaulted through all the changes.

Charles got the kids listening, but what about the country and western fans? They were there long before the Beatles grew bangs and darn it, they were loyal. So Ryerson grad, sloooooow talkin’, homespun Dick Lovering saddled up, came to Quinte and carved a notch in the Country audience, hosting his radio show by day and Stirling’s live Trent Valley Country Jamboree on Saturday nights. Eventually, Lovering felt the call of the west and returned to his hometown of Winnipeg, but by the mid-eighties he too returned to Belleville to be best friends with his grandkids - and he is. Then there were the old standards. Classical music expert Eugene Lange played album after album of classical favourites on Sunday afternoons, Art Watkins took on the world of Jazz late into the night, and if you listen carefully after a quiet snowfall, you just might hear Jimmy Corradi tickling the ivories from his grand piano in the back studio.

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F I V E S TA R


a breath of fresh air

Bill Stovin (shown with his wife Doreen) was just 25 years old when he became general manager of CJBQ upon its launch in the summer of 1946.

A station poster from 1986. CJBQ owes much of its success to an ability to adapt to the times and keep abreast of listeners’ tastes.

Photo courtesy CJBQ

Photo courtesy CJBQ

Longhaired Jack Miller joined the staff in the early seventies, first as a daytime rock jock, later moving into sports, even spending some time with Global TV. Miller maintains his title as sports director at CJBQ today, as well as city Councilman. The seventies is also the decade the station rolled out promotions like Pandemonium, whereby big buses delivered giant Pandas to long term advertisers. Why? Don’t ask. It was huge and everyone wanted one. Many BQers, like CBC’s Roy Bonisteel, Hollywood producer/director Bill Davis, and CTV’s Beverly Thomson cut their teeth at Quinte Broadcasting then moved on - although both gentlemen are residing again in the Quinte area. There are also a curious number of individuals who rode the waves and stayed at CJBQ. Despite the transient nature of the business, Quinte’s mothership consistently held onto Flagler, Jourard, John Fer-

guson, Mary Thomas, Miller and ultimately the station’s prodigal son, Peter Thompson. Son of local photographer Lloyd Thompson, Peter started out at BQ after graduating from Ryerson, but soon headed for the ‘Big Smoke’ and beyond, Toronto and Windsor being his more notable stops. Not for long though. Home, hearth and raising a happy family were more valuable and so Peter returned in the seventies, first as morning man then, after Milt’s abrupt departure, he pulled up a chair and brought a new flavour to the open line show. Gerry Fraiberg, Tom Gavey, Paul Laing, John Henderson and Lance Jeffrey also polished up the airwaves as the best in their field of news, sports and music respectively. Ferguson started at CBC Ottawa then came to CJBQ, twice, the second time after working in Hamilton, Ontario and then Hamilton, Bermuda. Ferguson met everyone from the Queen

to the Pope, but as with Peter, he wanted family stability and Belleville was his best bet, so he returned to BQ as news director. No one knows exactly how long Thomas has been steadfastly reporting the news, but let’s just say she’s attended all retirement parties, including her own, written books, taken assignments in war weary Bosnia, and still shows up for regular work. With a current staff of 46, and a wattage of 10,000, CJBQ is now run by Bill Morton and his sister Ginny Morton. This is a family business. Bill has been managing the day to day business of the station since 1984. Ginny manages the reception desk while her dachshund, Lily sits on her lap and greets the guests at 10 South Front Street, the third building to house the 64-yearold radio station, as well as its FM offspring, MIX 97 and ROCK 107. CJBQ AM lives well with a full-on retro fifties show, starring Freddy Vette in the afternoons, Lorne Brooker hosting the open-line show, Jim Wright playing the hits of yesteryear and Mitchell kicking off every weekday. Miller continues to cover local hockey and the station is front and centre with all election coverage. With AM radio stations becoming almost nonexistent, and the recent passing of Bill and Ginny’s dad, Myles Morton, grandson of founder W.H. Morton, the question of the station going on the auction block sometimes travels through the streets of Quinte. “There may come a day when it makes business sense to sell to a larger company,” Bill Morton says, “but at this time we don’t see that day coming anytime soon.” If it ever happens, Harry Mulhall will no doubt sleep through the huge party from the big red couch in the sky, while the many former BQ broadcasters still walking among us will gather at downtown Belleville’s Cozy Grill, hoist a coffee and celebrate having had a great run. But it’s not today. It’s seven minutes past nine at 800 CJBQ, on a pleasant Thursday morning in November, and you’re on the air.

New pub brings an old-world tradition to Madoc! Step through our doors and enter into another time. Our newly-renovated old building with a patio overlooking Deer Creek will charm even the most discerning of tastes. Enjoy one of our freshly cooked meals and wash it down with an ice-cold beer on tap – we have nine to choose from! Our menu has a wide variety too. From the traditional: Fish & Chips (made with real Atlantic Cod) and homemade fries, Cottage Pie and Liver & Onions, to a more eclectic fare like Chicken Panini sandwiches with roasted red peppers, elegant salads and freshly made soups - it’s all good. You’ll find us at: 40 St. Lawrence St. W., Madoc, Ontario p: 613.473.1800 f: 613.473.1801 Check out our menu at www.barleypub.ca Open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Seven days a week.

Fall 2010 • Country Roads

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Peace and Tranquility Asian religion finds home in Hastings By John Hopkins Photos by Brandon West

The marble dragons, at Zen Forest, protect the Buddha at the top of the steps. These pieces came from Viet Nam eight years ago.

The road in from the hamlet of Cooper, a little north of Madoc, is long, narrow and winding. There is little ­evidence of civilization, and it is easy to assume that you must have taken a wrong turn somewhere. But, after about 8km of driving, the dense trees open up to reveal the stunning profile of the Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong, a 350-acre retreat for the study and practice of Nyingma Dharma, a form of Tibetan Buddhism. The centre is funded and maintained by the Palyul Foundation of Canada, an incorporated, non-profit charitable organization. The centre is equipped with a large temple, a 15-room retreat house and a Lama house for the ‘head’ of the group. If the middle of Hastings County seems like a strange spot for a Buddhist temple, well, how about two? If you were to drive north of Tweed on Highway 37 to the village of Actinolite, and take a right turn onto Bridgewater Road you would eventually come to a sign pointing in the direction of the Huong Hai Zen Forest, a 25-acre retreat that specializes in the practice of Vietnamese Zen Buddhism. Spend a few minutes at either location and it soon becomes clear what draws Buddhists to the area. The peace and quiet, and natural beauty of the region provides an ideal setting to meditate,

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reflect and leave behind the cares and worries of daily life. “It’s so isolated here and people appreciate the tranquility,” explains the Venerable Lama JigmeChokyi Lodro, who was installed as the head of the Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong in a special ceremony on Aug. 21. “For someone who might live in Toronto, it’s like coming to another planet.” Given the idyllic and remote setting, it is perhaps not surprising that the Palyul Foundation of Canada was not the first group to settle on the land in Cooper. Indeed, what is now the main temple was in fact part of the Hastings-Rawdon Rifle Club, a men’s club that was established on the property in 1959. As legend has it, the club was in operation for two years before the wives of some of the members determined that hunting animals wasn’t the only recreation their husbands were enjoying at the club, and paid a little visit one weekend. That was the end of the HastingsRawdon Rifle Club… The property was basically unused until the Palyul Foundation discovered it in 1985. The organization had been based in a Victorian house

The Venerable Thich Thong Tri came to Canada from Viet Nam and spent considerable time finding a location for his Zen Buddhist retreat. Photo by John Hopkins

in Toronto but had outgrown the property and was looking for a more expansive, rural setting. “The place was in pretty bad shape when we got it,” admits Lama Jigme, a 54-year-old native of Niagara Falls, New York. “It’s been an ongoing renovation project. But the basic structure has some nice features. They used good BC cedar to build it.


The Tibetan retreat consists of 350 acres of land in a quiet and remote setting.

Buddhist-lite By John Hopkins Photos by Brandon West

ZenRiver Gardens is designed to give visitors a taste of the contemplative life without taking on the full Buddhist experience.

The building that serves as the main temple of the Tibetan retreat was originally constructed for a gentlemen’s club in the 1950s.

“Soon after we bought it people would come around and use the property because they weren’t used to anyone being here. But that soon died out. We’ve acquired a lot since we’ve moved here.” Having a suitable building already on site was an appealing aspect of the property, but so was the lay of the land. The Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong is bordered on one side by the imposing Mount Moriah, one of Hastings County’s most prominent geological features. Not only did the setting appeal aesthetically to the Palyul Foundation, but the significance of Mount Moriah in Native Canadian history also had an impact. “We felt the mountain was sacred and it projected good energy,” Lama Jigme says. “We later discovered that one of the native groups associate Mount Moriah with the creation of their people. It turns out archaeologists have discovered evidence of human activity there dating back 5,00010,000 years, so there is a sense that it represents the origin of life.” In a similar vein, the Venerable Thich Thong Tri got a positive vibe from the land around Actinolite when he bought it 20 years ago.

“I looked in many places but I felt this was the best,” explains the 60-year-old native of Viet Nam, who came to Canada in the late 1980s. “To me, I feel more healing, from the rocks, the trees, and there is good weather.” The land was vacant when Tri acquired it, and he waited before starting construction of his retreat. “I built a small cabin, 10x10, and I meditated for four winters,” he explains. “Then, in the fifth winter I started to build and clean up the area.” There were practical considerations when the location was chosen as well, as the Huong Hai Zen Forest is equidistant between Toronto and Ottawa (about a two and a half hour drive from each city) making it relatively easy to access. Tri also has occasional visitors from the United States, and his facility is equipped to handle up to 20-30 visitors. The buildings at Huong Hai Zen Forest are perhaps not quite elaborate as the main temple of the Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong in Cooper, but the setting is no less spectacular. The retreat is located in a serene, forested area with a river running adjacent to the buildings.

Madoc poet Chris Faiers wasn’t ­really trying to create a Buddhist retreat when he began construction of ZenRiver Gardens, but the finished product does possess some connections to the Zen Buddhism traditions. Located in the hamlet of Malone, ZenRiver Gardens is a secluded getaway designed to afford visitors a chance to meditate and reflect in a peaceful and calming setting. “I consider ZenRiver Gardens a ‘gateway’ introduction to Buddhism and meditative retreats, maybe ‘Buddhist-lite,’” explains Faiers, who was featured in the Summer 2009 issue of Country Roads. “I find many westerners are comfortable visiting ZenRiver Gardens, who would be a bit apprehensive or even intimidated by a visit to either of the formal and traditional retreats.” The venue is a focal point for PurdyFest, the literary festival organized by Faiers in honour of the late Al Purdy, which runs over the August Long Weekend each summer. The property is bisected by a river, and includes about 150 feet of river bank and a third of an acre of land on one side, and 300-feet of river bank and almost an acre of land on the other. The only structure on the land is a ‘Shaman Shack’, which consists of a bed and a desk. The term ‘feng shui’ gets thrown around a lot in home decorating circles, but it has its roots in ancient China and its principles were adopted by Buddhism when it reached that country. The very basic concept of feng shui specifies that a property should have raised land to the north of it with a river to the south, flowing east to west. The Venerable Thich Thong Tri of Huong Hai Zen Forest visited the retreat last year and, according to Faiers, credited it with possessing, “powerful feng shui. “We’re right on the edge of the Canadian Shield, the toenails of the Shield, and so this area has the power and energy of the Shield. “The spot chose me and I worked on the area on an intuitive level. I wasn’t sure what I was doing but it worked out to be very right.” Faiers considers ZenRiver Gardens an ideal retreat for artists. “It’s a quiet place for people.” Fall 2010 • Country Roads

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Peace and tranquility

The 25-acre Zen Forest retreat is located in ­Actinolite, just north of Tweed.

The Venerable Lama Jigme was recently installed as the head of the Tibetan monastery.

The Tibetan retreat consists of 350 acres of land in a quiet and remote setting.

The most spectacular elements of Zen Forest are the marble statue of Buddha and two dragons located just inside the entrance gates. These were carved in Viet Nam and transported to the retreat about eight years ago. The dragons are protectors or guardians. Although the setting is modest overall, Tri has big plans for Huong Hai Zen Forest. He would like to build a meditation centre and eventually a meditation village that can accommodate a larger

number of visitors. He is a tireless worker, and on the mid-August morning of my visit proudly showed off a recently completed gazebo just off the main building where visitors can enjoy their tea. “Some of this I build myself, some with help,” he acknowledges. “Every year we move step by step. It is not work. We build because we feel good. When we need something we build it.” Tri has also co-authored a book with Canadian writer Martin Avery titled ‘Zen Forest Medita-

tions,’ which provides an introduction to Zen Buddhism. Development of the Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong has been quiet since the death of Lama Jigme’s predecessor, the Venerable Lama Jampa Rabjampa on May 14, 2009. But with the investiture of Lama Jigme in August expansion plans have resumed. This fall construction will begin on the ‘Padmasambhava World Peace Temple’. The temple is named for the seventh century Buddhist master

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Peace and tranquility who is credited with bringing Buddhism from India to Tibet and is regarded as the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. The first floor of the three-storey temple will house a 13-foot statue of Padmasambhaya, one of several that are being cast, consecrated and ritually installed around the world to promote peace. The first of these was placed in Pharping, Nepal and others have been erected in India, Bhutan and Alameda, California. “The funding for this project is being raised solely by donations,” says Lama Jigme. “The building will be constructed in a traditional Tibetan architectural style, but using modern methods and materials, and is designed by an Ottawa architect, Toon Dreesen.” The members of the Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong and Huong Hai Zen Forest are clearly comfortable in their surroundings, and it looks like they plan to stay for many years to come.

For more information on the Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong and the Palyul Foundation of Canada please visit www.palyulcanada.org. Readers can contact Huong Hai Zen Forest by calling (613) 478-5984. Our thanks to Chris Faiers and Dr. John Burke for acting as guides on our tour of the retreats and giving us an introduction into Buddhism.

Buddhism in brief

While not particularly well known in Canada, Buddhism is the fourth largest of the world’s religions, the domiBy John Hopkins nant religion in Asia and there are estimated to be 350 million practicing Buddhists around the world today. Buddhism was founded about 2,500 years ago and is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who lived in what is now Nepal (in northeastern India). He became known as ‘The Buddha’, or ‘Awakened One’ after he experienced a profound realization of the nature of life, death and existence. He travelled and taught people how to realize this enlightenment for themselves. Indeed, a key element of Buddhism is that it is nontheistic and focuses on practice rather than belief. Enlightenment comes through one’s own experiences. At the core of Buddhism are the Four Noble Truths: The The tranquil setting of much of Hastings County truth of suffering; the truth of the cause of suffering; has made it a popular retreat area for those the truth of the end of suffering; the truth of the path practicing the Buddhist faith. that frees us from suffering. As with many forms of religion, such as Christianity, Buddhism has divided into different schools over the centuries. About 2,000 years ago, the first split came and two schools were formed, Theravada and Mahayana. There are many subdivisions of the Mahayana School, and they include Tibetan and Zen. According to a BBC article, Buddhism took hold in Tibet near the end of the 8th century when it was brought from India at the invitation of the Tibetan King, Trisong Detsen. He invited two Buddhist masters to Tibet and had important Buddhist texts translated into Tibetan. Tibetan Buddhism consists of four groups – Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Geluc. According to the Palyul Foundation of Canada, the Nyingma (or ancient) school was founded in the eighth century. The Geluc group is led by the Dalai Lama. The Nyingma school was further divided by the six monasteries that upheld that tradition, one of which was the Palyul in eastern Tibet. Zen Buddhism reportedly emerged in China 15 centuries ago and then moved on to Viet Nam and Korea. It became popular in the west after the Second World War. The word ‘Zen’ is roughly translated as ‘meditation’.

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By John Hopkins

Man of many tastes Artist Jim Christy tough to pin down

In July Christy opened an exhibition of his artwork at Gallery ArtPlus in Belleville with a reading of some of his poetry. Photo by John Hopkins

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Country Roads • Fall 2010

If you’re lucky, you may find writer/poet/artist/adventurer Jim Christy relaxing on his ­recently acquired 100 acres of property just north of ­Stirling. More likely, however, he will be working on a new art ­project, or penning one of his regular ‘Scalawags’ columns for ­Vancouver-based NUVO magazine, or heading off to a poetry reading in Europe or Australia. Or any combination of the above. Suffice to say Christy, who turned 65 in July, is not an easy man to pin down – or define. Rather than try to achieve notoriety or financial stability through excelling in a single line of work, he has drifted wherever the mood has taken him, and not without considerable success along the way.


“I’ve always done the stuff I want to do,” he says simply. Born in Virginia and raised in Philadelphia, would go through the mailbag and come up Christy has travelled much of the world. He with funny answers for the questions. has made his home in Canada since 1968, howHis boxing exploits were slightly more disever, and it perhaps says something about the tinguished and he won his first two Pro bouts area around Stirling that even a man with the before deciding to get out of the ring. nomadic leanings of Christy feels a sense of “I knew I would get killed sooner or later,” permanence here. he admits. “You have to be dedicated to be any “I love it here and I don’t intend to move,” good and I just wasn’t prepared to go there.” says Christy, who has now lived in his 1830s Christy’s love of boxing never diminished, era stone farmhouse with his partner, painter and among his writing credits is a book, Flesh Virginia Dixon, for about a year and a half. and Blood, about boxing in Canada. Indeed, a Christy came this way from BC, great deal of his writing borrows extenwhere he had lived since 1981 besively from his varied personal expefore finally tiring of the weather, riences. He began running away from among other things. (“Whoevhome at the age of 12 and learned to er named the ‘Sunshine Coast’ ride the freight trains at a young age. probably also gave ‘Greenland’ Christy dabbled in writing while its name,” he says cynically). living in the U.S. and worked in a He was familiar with southern variety of jobs, but it wasn’t until he Ontario through his research for came north permanently in 1968 that the TV program ‘Weird Homes’, he took on journalism as a career. which ran on the Life Network “I would write now and again but for three seasons in the 1990s. I just wasn’t confident enough,” he But it was Dixon who evenrecalls. “But when I got to Toronto tually found the property I started an underground paper, they now consider home. Gorilla, and that got me writing “My trips east from Vanjobs.” couver whetted my appetite Christy contributed pieces to to be back in Ontario,” exSaturday Night, Toronto Life, The plains Christy, “but not in ToCanadian, and a magazine called ronto. Other than Texas, for Quest, which was edited at the some reason southern Ontario time by current CBC national rais the best place to find weird dio host Michael Enright. homes. So I spent a considerable Christy travelled the world as amount of time driving around a freelancer, covering internasouthern Ontario and I got to tional events for a variety of publike it, especially this side of Tolications. ronto, it seems more diverse. “I probably covered six or sev“Virginia found this place but en wars,” he says. “I would just I fell in love with it right away. do the stuff that I wanted to do.” It just seemed too good to be In the early 1970s Christy had true. Before I even saw the his first book published. Titled house, as we turned into the The New Refugees: American Voicdriveway, I knew.” es in Canada, it was a compilation of Rural Ontario is a far cry from submissions from American deserters Philadelphia, a city Christy deand draft dodgers who had settled in scribes as, “where all the singers and Canada, all edited by Christy. boxers came from.” Perhaps not surChristy’s star shone brightly in the prisingly, he got a taste of both in his Canadian literary constellation in the youth. early 1970s, and he was described by American Bandstand, hosted by noted journalist June Callwood as Dick Clarke, was taped in Philaone of the best writers in Canada. delphia and Christy was among But despite such high praise he the throng of teenagers who maintained a low profile in the would sometimes appear on mainstream, partly because he camera in the studio audience. held a number of other jobs. It was through the show that “It was not the life of Christy also discovered the writer I admired his knack for writing. He so much as just the dated the sister of a girl writing itself,” he exwho wrote a teen advice plains. “I was not so column for a magazine, concerned with puranswering questions subsuing the social life ‘Nice Walk Anyway’ gives another mitted by readers. Christy that goes with it, not example of Christy’s creativity.

‘March Break’ was part of the Gallery ArtPlus ­exhibition this summer. Photo courtesy Gallery ArtPlus

Christy uses objects he finds around him to create his pieces. ‘Danger On The Farm’ consists of objects he gathered from his new property. Photo courtesy Gallery ArtPlus

‘Escondido Night’ combines Christy’s poetry with painting. This piece had a run on transit vehicles in numerous Canadian cities. Photo courtesy Gallery ArtPlus

Photo courtesy Gallery ArtPlus

Fall 2010 • Country Roads

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Man of many tastes

Some of Christy’s work shows a somewhat irreverent sense of humour! This one is titled ‘He Feels It But I Think He Likes It.’ Photo courtesy Gallery ArtPlus

because I didn’t like these people but because I had fun elsewhere. I was working other jobs at the time and when I got home in the evening I didn’t always feel like going out to a poetry reading or something like that.” Christy’s debut as a novelist came in 1981 with the publication of Streethearts, which also set the stage for his settling in the Vancouver area. In 1997 he published Shanghai Alley, the first of a series of detective novels set in Vancouver in the 1930s. The fourth in the series, Nine O’Clock Gun, came out in 2008 but Christy says that will likely be the end of the road for the series. “I’m tired of writing prose,” he admits. “I did what I had to do. I invented a Vancouver I liked, and that’s more or less over. In the old days Vancouver was like a frontier town, there was the shipping and logging, industries like that. It used to be a city where people would come in from the bush and put up at a hotel until they were ready to get another job. “That lasted until about the time I first went out there in the early 1970s. Now all Vancouver really consists of is an aggressive yuppie part and a desperate crime and poverty part.” Christy’s emergence as a poet has come about somewhat late in life, although that is now the focus of his written work. His first book of poems, Palatine Cat was published in 1978 but it was almost 20 years later, he says,

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before he started reading poetry in public after a publisher asked if he had anything available. “I always wrote poetry but I didn’t make a big noise about it,” he says. “I guess it was a matter of confidence. It’s only recently t h a t I started getting invited around. In 2003 I did 15 gigs in New Zealand. I couldn’t believe it. Here I am about to turn 65 and I’ve discovered this whole new gig. I’m backed by bands full of guys half my age. When I was in Melbourne they were amazed that a guy my age was doing this. And that sort of thing is big over there, unlike here. I mean there, they’ll get 400-700 people out to a reading.” On May 19 Christy appeared in Amsterdam at the Fiery Tongues Poetry Festival, a four-day celebration featuring dancers, singers and poets. That was part of a tour that also included stops in Germany and England. On May 6 in Toronto he celebrated the launch of his 25th book, an autobiographical novella. Nowadays Christy says art occupies an increasing amount of his time. “I wrote a bit before I came to Canada,” he recalls, “but before that I was inclined to draw.” Perhaps not surprisingly, Christy’s art covers a wide range of forms. “Right now I’m making figures

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out of driftwood, but I’ll use whatever I find around,” he explains. On July 15 a month-long solo show of Christy’s work opened at the Gallery ArtPlus in Belleville. He has previously been part of two group shows, one also at the Gallery ArtPlus. Sometimes Christy integrates his poetry with his artwork, and a painting with one of his poems, ‘Escondido Night’ written on it was displayed on public transit buses and trains through most of Canada as part of a national poetry appreciation campaign. Although his poetry and art consume more of his time, Christy continues to contribute a quarterly column entitled ‘Scalawags’ to Vancouverbased NUVO magazine. The column first ran in 2000 and in 2008 a collection of his columns was put into a book of the same name. The book profiles no fewer than 36 “rogues, roustabouts, wags and scamps” and Christy says there is always plenty of material to mine for future columns. Just in case Christy finds he has some additional time on his hands, or is looking for a diversion from his ‘mundane’ existence, he has started a company called Extreme Research (www.extremeresearch.com). Christy and his business partner, a Vancouver-based private investigator, assist in specialized research for reports, dissertations, articles or personal use. “We gather information that cannot be obtained at the usual sources,” says the company’s website. “We go places where you are not prepared to go.” The business suits Christy’s adventurous nature and provides a stark contrast to the more sedate country existence he has found in the Stirling area. But that dichotomy has long been a part of Christy’s life, and as much as he has enjoyed the travel and discovery that has taken him around the world, he is also looking forward to pursuing his art and exploring the possibilities available to him on his 100 acres in the country.


Man of many tastes

Jim Christy and Virginia Dixon met while she was running the Pteros Gallery in Toronto. Photo by John Hopkins

Shared passion By John Hopkins

In May, 2009, when Jim Christy and his partner Virginia Dixon both exhibited at Belleville’s John M. Parrott gallery, she earned first prize for painting, he earned an honourable mention for crafts. Although Christy recalls the snub with a touch of resentment, it doesn’t appear to have affected their relationship. Both share an appreciation for the written word as well as visual art, and each has carved out their own reputation in the field. Dixon has had her art exhibited across Ontario, including Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario in 1997. A collection of her work can be found at Victoria College at the University of Toronto, and in May, 2009 she received the Juror’s Choice Award at a show at the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery in Kingston. Dixon, who turned 55 in late August, was born and raised in Montreal, where she pursued paint-

ing, modern dance and writing at the Musee des Beaux Arts, the Saidye Bronfman Centre and Concordia University. “I think from the age of four I just thought I was going to be a painter,” Dixon recalls. “But all art interested me and I felt like it added to my knowledge base. I did mime and modern dance because I felt that contributed to my understanding of the human body.” After completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Concordia Dixon moved to Toronto, where she continued to pursue her artistic interests while raising a family of three children. “I had a studio and always painted full time,” she says. “I exhibited fairly regularly and really just tried to balance everything.” Once her children had become a bit more independent Dixon returned to school, com-

pleting a Masters degree in Fine Art at Vermont College in 1996-97. “I felt out of touch with modern theoretical practice,” Dixon says. “It was a low residency program which brought together people of different backgrounds and ages. It was two very intense years. After that I reached a point where my art career and married life were in flux.” Once on her own Dixon opened the Pteros Gallery in Toronto in 2001. The gallery featured the visual work of writers and featured such poetartists as Christy, who was living in Vancouver at the time, Bill Bissett and Joe Rosenblatt. “The primary focus was showing the visual art of writers,” explains Dixon, who also writes poetry. “I find a lot of similarities between poetry and painting. They’re both non-linear ways of making a picture. I find words are big triggers for things for me. “When I was at Concordia I did a lot of abstract work, which is great if you’re a shy or private person because it’s a way of not revealing yourself. But when you’re writing poetry you can’t do that. “We managed to get a fair amount of publicity [for the gallery]. We had articles in the Toronto Star, Border Crossings, a national art magazine. When you consider the competition for space it’s really quite remarkable. But I recognized I wasn’t a businessperson, and I reached a point where I either had to treat it as a business, and focus less on being an artist, or close it down and concentrate on my art.” In her online biography Dixon describes her paintings as responses to “the episodes, emotions, enigmas and entrails of life.” “There’s a lot of autobiographical stuff in my work,” she says. “But I like to think that it’s not only relevant to myself. Anyone in this field has their own reasons for doing the work. I’m focused on developing myself and my work, and being as honest as I can be. “The last few years have been the most exciting. I feel like I understand what I am doing.”

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Striking A Chord Mercier takes music back to its roots

By Nancy Hopkins Photos by Anna Sherlock

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“Music is not an escape; it presents a way to make it possible for life to go on.” - John Cohen

Violins in various stages of repair can be found all over Mercier’s workshop.

A Luke Mercier hand-crafted violin.

Springbrook’s Luke Mercier makes music. And he does so in a number of ways. He plays a ­variety of different musical instruments, ­performs and records with multiple bands, is an accomplished composer, and a highly skilled ­luthier (a luthier is someone who makes stringed musical instruments such as violins or guitars).

tion ready for their new owners. Over the summer 100 or so school violins were fine tuned and returned in time for the start of the new semester. The workshop of a master craftsman like Mercier looks much like it might have for the last few hundred years. “The tools and methods have been virtually unchanged for the past 300 years,” he says. “Some things have changed, clamps, etc., and they are not easy to find. I’ve made a lot of the tools myself. I’ve been lucky by having or inheriting certain tools - chisels, files, hand held planes – the ones you see at old garage sales.” These old tools come into play when the next gem comes through the door. “And you never know what is going to walk in,” Mercier points out. “Recently I had a very rare Russian violin that I restored. The instrument had been sat on and the belly was completely crunched so that needed extensive restoration.” The owner was apparently from eastern Ontario.

At only 37 years of age he has been crafting, restoring and repairing violins, banjos and other stringed instruments for nearly half his life. And if he’s not in his workshop you may catch him playing a fiddle with the local trio Lazy John. Stepping into Mercier’s workshop is like entering another world. Clad in a thick apron Mercier is surrounded by hundreds of clamps, chisels, gouges and other tools of his trade. A cello with a cracked back is propped up on a stand. Over in the corner on the long work bench rests a hurdy

gurdy that will one day be the focus of his attention when he brings it back to working order. Hanging from the wood beam is a row of violins in need of repair. A banjo and parts in various stages of creation stand out from the overriding presence of violins. In a separate space outside the workshop are instruments in pristine condi-

(Inset opening page) Mercier holding a Mercier. Springbrook’s Luke Mercier shows off a ­violin built by A. Mercier, who worked at Mirecourt in France between 1860 and 1882. Two violins and a viola on the right.

Mercier’s interest in roots music encouraged him to learn how to build and repair banjos. Photo courtesy Luke Mercier

Fall 2010 • Country Roads

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STRIKING A CHORD

This 1860-era violin is awaiting a soundpost patch, which will involve making a plaster cast of the belly. Original wood will be excavated from the inside of the soundpost area and new wood grafted in to replace the damaged wood. The plaster will serve as a backing to work and clamp against as well as prevent the belly from distortion due to the introduction of moisture (glue) in the region of the crack once the belly thickness has been reduced to 0.3mm in the soundpost area. There are also other repairs to belly cracks needed.

Mercier works his magic on a violin made by John Frederick Lott II of Soho, London in the 1850’s.

“It was made in early 1900’s but what was special about it was that any dealer of rare (musical) instruments has probably never seen a great Russian-made violin,” Mercier continues. “There were only a couple of makers (Russian) but even there most were destroyed. This instrument was most likely made when Czar Nicholas was sending students to France and Italy (to learn the fine art of a luthier).” Mercier’s foundation in music began at the piano at age four with his mother Leslie, a very competent pianist and by the age of 18 his solo piano composition ‘Five Meditations’ was premiered by Juno Award-winning recording artist Antonin Kubalek to critical acclaim. Mercier studied under Kubalek at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Mercier’s own journey toward becoming a luthier began in his final semester of high school. In search of a co-op work placement, he was hoping to learn to build a harpsichord. This was spurred partly by his experience playing pianos, and his years of study. But it was the suggestion of a close friend that set things in motion. The young Mercier had just borrowed a violin from school with the goal of learning how to play. On the inside it said the instrument was distributed by Geo. Heinl & Co. Ltd. Before long an interview was set up with the noted shop. “George Heinl is a fourth generation business,” explains Mercier. “They are the foremost violin

carpentry construction with my father. And everyone’s job there is equally important.” For the next 15 plus years Mercier studied under Timothy Bergen, head of restoration, and alongside Steve Martinko and bowmaker John Sirdevan. “All highly skilled craftsmen,” Mercier points out. “I was always picking up little bits from all of them. During my time there, there was always something exciting on the (work) bench.” Mercier’s hands have worked on pieces worth millions of dollars. “To put it into perspective,” he says, “a Guadagnini violin can be worth as much as a Da Vinci painting. “But they teach you to get over your nerves quickly and even when starting out they hand you school instruments and you simply learn repairs the proper way, which is the only way.” While at Heinl Mercier continued to compose and perform music. In 1997 he was part of a funk/ rock group ‘Magnificent Octopus’, which appeared on the Toronto club circuit and made numerous recordings before disbanding three years later. During the same time period Mercier found himself drawn to old time Appalachian music, also known as bluegrass. “Old time is the term for music from the turn of the 19th century,” he explains. “Really early black string band music, rural music that is mountain music, the result of melting pots of people coming from all over the world – poorest of the poor.”

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experts in Canada – on an international scale. Ric Heinl is valued by other big shops in the world. “An employee had just left a couple of months before that. A violin house prefers that you don’t have prior training. They prefer to groom you from the start. You just need to be competent or have experience with tools, which I had through


STRIKING A CHORD

Inside the workshop of luthier Luke Mercier.

His exposure to this style of music led to him learning how to make banjos. “I needed to find out, not just because of my own personal interest through Appalachian music playing the fiddle (another name for violin) but also from the violin maker perspective,” Mercier says. “I was drawn to the pre-industrial revolution era of the banjo, 1850-1880, when they were hand made. “It’s a very small niche but I build them in the style of those hand made instruments. Orders have been mainly from the States, UK, Australia.” A basic fretless model takes Mercier 30-35 hours to produce while a fully-fretted instrument can take up to 120 hours to manufacture by hand. By comparison, a violin can take up to 200 hours to construct. So how does a world class luthier wind up settling in Springbrook? Mercier made the decision to come to the area in 2003. “My folks bought land here 16 or 17 years ago so I already knew the area,” he says. “I wanted to build a house.” Initially Mercier and his wife Janet lived in a cabin on the property while the house was built. At this time Luke experienced a surreal moment when he unexpectedly heard his composition ‘Fantasy for Violin & Piano’, played by Martin Beaver and Jamie Parker, on CBC Radio. Mercier had written the piece nearly 10 years earlier. Although no longer based in Toronto Mercier

These violins for sale have been professionally restored by Mercier. Prices can range from $500 to $10,000.

This unusual instrument, a Hurdy Gurdy, is also known as a mechanical fiddle. It is made of a variety of different types of wood including maple, oak, fir and beech. The head is really the highlight of this piece. Photo courtesy Luke Mercier

continues to do work for Heinl as well as his own projects. “It was nice to be able to plant myself here,” he says. “I’m the first person from Heinl to contract work outside of Heinl, so they trust me enough to do what I do.” Mercier’s Springbrook workshop is humidity controlled, which is important to his work, and features large, bright windows and a walkout basement. These days you won’t find Mercier sitting for countless hours composing at the piano. “When family life started up it was too self-absorbing,” he says. “I didn’t pursue a career solely

in music because I didn’t want it to be work; it dictates life and becomes a chore.” He gets great musical pleasure from his trade and his connection with old time music. “After moving here I had no idea that the interest in the violin was so big in Ontario,” he says. “The grandparents of two of the members of Lazy John played bluegrass music in this area.” Mercier has clearly found a musical home in the area with plenty of opportunity to enjoy his craft. Mercier’s business card says “Luke Mercier Handmade Violins & Banjos, builder and restorer of quality stringed instruments.” Perhaps he could simplify it - Luke Mercier - maker of music!

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Back to the future Local farms take a step back in time By John Hopkins The Hadwens now offer seminars on how to drive a horse team as they encourage other farmers to take a step back in time. Photo courtesy Jeanne Hadwen

Almost as soon as a visitor steps through the front door of the Farm Meat Shoppe, the ‘farm gate’ establishment located on Wallbridge-Loyalist Road, a few kilometers north of Belleville, they are confronted by a sign posted on the wall. “Back to the future farming is practiced on our farm wherever possible as time allows,” it reads. “More and more ‘of the older ways’ will be re-established. It is our part in reducing our footprint on Mother Nature.” What the heck is “back to the future farming?” In short, it is the attempt by some farmers to revert back to the practices used in farming a few generations ago; things like replacing tractors with horses, eliminating the use of pesticides on crops, not treating animals with growth hormones or antibiotics. The Farm Meat Shoppe proprietors Kim and Jeanne Hadwen have spent the past eight years selling eggs and meat from their farm, specializing in Black Angus beef, and they tout their meat as being hormone free, antibiotic free and naturally fed. What has been consumer response in the area? “At first we were open five days a week but we couldn’t keep up with demand, so now we’re at three days a week and we’ve even reduced our hours,” says Kim. With business so brisk, one would imagine the Hadwens are raking in the money, right? Perhaps not. “There is so little margin,” Kim explains. “It takes three, four or five months longer to get cows to the

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The Farm Meat Shoppe has been selling meat and eggs for eight years now, but had to cut back its hours due to overwhelming demand. Photo by Jeanne Hadwen

size than it would if we used hormones. The big operators have to do it to survive. “I’d hate to be a young guy getting into farming. A farmer shouldn’t have to work off the farm to keep the people of the world fed.” So why do it? “We do it because this is the way we want to eat,” adds Jeanne. Two factors have given a boost to operations like the Hadwens’. One is the ‘100-Mile Diet’. Launched by Vancouver writers Alisa Smith and J. B. MacKinnon as an experiment to see how they could manage if they were forced only to eat food produced

within a 100-mile radius of them, the 100-Mile Diet has turned into an international phenomenon. “Locally raised and produced food has been called ‘the new organic,’” says their website, www.100milediet.org, “better tasting, better for the environment, better for local economies, and better for your health. From reviving the family farm to reconnecting with the seasons, the local foods movement is turning good eating into a revolution.” A second key is a film called, ‘Food Inc.’, the Academy Award nominated documentary that analyzes the massive consolidation of the American food producing industry and the widespread use of growth hormones, pesticides and other chemicals in an effort to produce food at a faster pace and in increasing quantities. The film features commentary from experts such as Eric Schlosser, who wrote Fast Food Nation and Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The Hadwens spent 25 years as dairy farmers north of Toronto before they decided to downsize and change their operation. They now have about 300 head of Black Angus beef cattle on 150 acres of land. Raising free range, hormone free animals has had its benefits, the Hadwens point out, as they find there is less need to treat their animals for disease. “We don’t have the health issues we used to,” Kim says. “In the dairy years, when we were milking three times a day, it seemed the more we pushed them [the cows] the more we had to treat them.”


e c n e i r e p x E

TWEED this Fall 



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Tweed’s rich heritage on display year round at the Tweed & Area Heritage Centre New art exhibits monthly in the fall

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The Tweed Chamber of Commerce invites you to enjoy Tweed’s natural beauty and the many talents of its shops and artisans. We are very thankful and proud of our Members; AdGraphics , AON’s Moira Place, Bosley’s Heating and Cooling, By The Way Tweed’s Cafe, Community Futures, DeGenova Consulting, Duffer’s Chipwagon, Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance, Fresh Landscaping & Garden Solutions, Fun & Furry Inc., Guthrie House, Gateway Community Health Centre, Land O Lakes Tourist Assoc., Leonard Bryan/Lawyer, Liz VanDijk, Lakeside Holidays Bed & Breakfast, McConnell Funeral Home, Newton House Bed & Breakfast, Park Place Motel, Rashottes Building Supply, Rayburn Insurance, Sue’s Kitchen Catering, Terriplan Consultants, The Chicken Coop, The Food Company, Trudeau Park & Recreation Centre, Tweed Dental, Tweed Heritage Centre, Tweed News, Tweedsmuir Hotel/Tavern, Tippers Campground, Tweed VALU-MART, Vito’s Pizzeria, Welch LLP. For more information contact Roger Guthrie at 613-478-5094 • Special thanks to David Crighton for his amazing artwork.

Fall 2010 • Country Roads

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Back to the future

This summer the Hadwens launched a new venture, Community Gardens, where folks can raise and pick their own vegetables. Taking 30 acres of land, they planted 10 acres this year and will rotate the gardens through the remainder of the land in subsequent years. “As soon as spraying with pesticides started people got away from this sort of crop rotation,” Kim explains. “But if you keep the land fallow it improves weed control and you don’t need the sprays. The weeds are pretty heavy in there now, but as we go along it will get better. “So far it’s been great. We’ve got millions of tomatoes – I’ve never seen so many tomatoes in my life. And we have so much produce that we’re even selling some of the stuff up here [at the main shop].” In another throwback to an earlier era, the Hadwens also are increasingly using horses in their farming work in place of tractors. Horses have been used to prepare the land for the Community Gardens project, and Kim recently sold four of his seven tractors. “The price of fuel was a factor,” he says. “We decided to just go back to the way it used to be. I guess you could say it cuts out the middleman.” The Hadwens have 24 Belgians on their farm that are used for the work. The farm now offers seminars on how to drive a horse team. “Last year we did quite a bit of seeding and manuring with the horses,” says Kim, who estimates planting 12 acres with a tractor would take about three hours, as opposed to four hours with a fourhorse team. Pioneer Equipment Inc., an Ohio-based company specializes in farm equipment that is well suited to applications with horse or mule teams. Kim Hadwen used a Pioneer Power Forecart for cutting and baling his hay this summer. The air-cooled motor on the cart used five gallons of fuel for cutting, raking and baling 12 acres of hay, a fraction of what a tractor would have burned up. Another operation, albeit a smaller one, reverting to more traditional practices is Shanrock, owned

The Shannons have started using natural remedies to treat their cattle and have moved away from ­pesticides and commercial fertilizer. Photo by John Hopkins

by Terry and Ann Shannon and located just north of Stirling. The Shannons have a modest dairy farm that’s been in operation for 25 years. They milk about 25 cows and also have 25-30 acres of corn they grow primarily as feed for their cattle. They started changing some of their practices about eight years ago, on the recommendation of friends in the farming community. They started by getting away from commercial fertilizer and now use strictly manure. “The manure is cheaper and we find we have healthier soil, more worms,” Terry explains. “We feel it’s better for the environment.” They have stopped the use of herbicides on their corn.

“We cultivate it [the corn] so it gets rid of the weeds in the middle of the rows,” Terry explains. “Then when the corn comes in ahead of the weeds it acts as a canopy that prevents the weeds from getting much sun and thriving.” The Shannons also rely more on herbal remedies for their cows. “We’ve been using the herbal remedies for the past six years,” Terry adds. “We’ve had astonishing results. I was skeptical but the proof is in the pudding. We will still go to antibiotics if we feel the need.” One of the diseases the Shannons have to deal with in their cattle is Mastitis, a condition that affects the udder of animals. According to a University of McGill study, Clinical Mastitis affects 15-20 percent of cows in major milk-producing countries. While it is common to treat this disease with antibiotics, the Shannons have discovered natural remedies like oil of oregano can also tackle the condition. As an added benefit, milking can continue during treatment, which is not the case if antibiotics get into the system. “With the herbal remedies, you have to start right away for the best results,” Ann points out. The Shannons agree that their practices take a bit more work but feel the extra labour is worth the time. “People are conscious of what they eat; they want to know,” Terry says. “We’re just doing something our forefathers did, and they seemed to get along pretty good.” ‘Back to the future’ farming may have its drawbacks. The profit margins aren’t great and it may not be the most efficient way to feed a growing world of hungry people. But concerns over the environmental impact and health risks of certain products, plus campaigns like the ‘100-mile diet’ have definitely opened up both consumers and producers to alternatives to modern farming practices. The good old days weren’t always as great as people like to think they were, but they did have their good points too.

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Fall 2010 • Country Roads

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• cross roads • Sweet music for local church Sunday, July 4 was a big day for the Reverend Bradley Smith and Christ Church, Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal of the Mohawks in Deseronto. Father Smith and 10 parishioners from the Church, which was featured in the Spring, 2010 issue of Country Roads magazine, attended the Sunday Liturgy at Toronto’s St. James Cathedral. Special guests at the service were Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of England, who were in the midst of their Canadian Royal Tour. Additionally, the Queen presented the Chapel Royal with a gift of eight bells to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the alliance between England and the Mohawks. The event was spectacular according to Father Smith, who read the Second Lesson as part of the Liturgy. “About three weeks out I was contacted by St. James Cathedral,” Father Smith said, “and then the Saturday of the week before I was told I could bring 10 people. I was a bit worried about trying to limit the group to 10, but actually it was not that hard. We put names in a hat and then a number of people were gracious enough to bow out because they had met the Queen when she was here in 1984, or earlier, so we actually were left with 10 people. “It was a fantastic liturgy, awesome. When you heard 2,000 people singing ‘God Save The Queen’ it really sent a chill down your spine.” The bells are just the latest gift from the English Royal Family to be presented to Christ Church, which is one of only six Chapels Royal outside of the United Kingdom. The church also has in its possession a footed paten, chalice and flagon Queen

Christ Church, Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal of the Mohawks, had its links with the English crown reinforced this summer. Photo by John Hopkins.

Anne presented to the Mohawks in 1711, a bell, a triptych that depicts the Apostles’ Creed, the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer in the Mohawk Language, a bible received from Queen Vic-

toria in 1842 and the Bicentennial Chalice given by Queen Elizabeth II in 1984. There is also a royal coat of arms from King George V that replaced the original coat of arms that was given by King George III in 1798 but was destroyed by fire in 1905. In 1710 four Mohawk chiefs based in Fort Hunter, NY travelled to England to seek an alliance with the Crown. When they returned they built Queen Anne’s Chapel and received as a gift a seven-piece communion set from the Queen. During the American Revolution the Mohawks relocated to Lachine, QC and eventually divided themselves between the current Tyendinaga Territory and Brantford. The communion set was preserved and a flagon, footed paton and chalice went with each group. The seventh piece, an alms basin was kept by the Brantford Mohawks. Christ Church, Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal of the Mohawks was built in 1843 and elevated to the status of Chapel Royal in 2004. The eight handbells presented in July were manufactured by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, the oldest and most distinguished manufacturer of bells in the world and the oldest continuing factory in the United Kingdom. “The bells are really beautiful,” said Father Smith. “You can’t get any better.” The only disadvantage to the bells is they are diatonic – there are no sharps or flats in the octave – so there is a limited amount of music that can be played with them. “The trick now is we’ve got to find some music,” Father Smith explained. “But I had researched getting bells to start a handbell choir and they are very expensive. So I guess our prayer was answered. And by only having the eight to start with it will be a little easier for people to learn to play them and they’ll be less intimidated.” To learn more about Christ Church, Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal of the Mohawks, you can reach Father Smith at 613-396-3797 or visit www.parishoftyendinega.org/chapelroyal.

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Dear COUNTRY ROADS

Your magazine really grabbed my heart and soul. I was born in Marysville and know all about the Wyman’s bridge being replaced and the general area of Hastings County. You people have it all covered. Love it. I was in the 4H Club through high school and always had to go to Stirling for the Awards Night. My Dad drove me there to pick up my award and four dollar cheque, just for being in the 4H Club. Edward Freeman Oshawa, ON

Dear COUNTRY ROADS

I look for the new issue every time I go to the library and enjoy every story, and I often visit places you have written about, either by myself or with company. There are so many wonderful areas here in Hastings that it would take a lifetime to find them without you. Thanks for the mag. Patricia Beurtreaux Marmora, ON

Dear COUNTRY ROADS

This is just a short note to pass on our satisfaction with your magazine as an advertising medium. The response to our ad has been quite gratifying. We’re very proud of our products and our service, but we’ve rarely advertised, so it’s nice to have such a positive response, and to be able to reach a wider audience. Thank you for your excellent publication. Julie Lange Director of Wealth Management; Branch Manager Scotia McLeod, Belleville office

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Stirling’s Casey Ruttan, who was one of the experts consulted in our ‘Gone Fishing’ feature in the Summer, 2010 issue of COUNTRY ROADS, placed eighth in the Quinte Fishing Series bass tournament Aug. 28-29. Ruttan and his teammate Jeff Kerr pulled in a fish weighing in at 17.15 pounds. The event was the final qualifier for the Quinte Classic. First place went to Danny Elliott and Ed Bunnett with a fish weighing 19.90 pounds to lead the 67 teams competing.

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Casey Ruttan recently placed in the top 10 in a Quinte Fishing Series event. Photo courtesy Casey Ruttan

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Don’t miss a single issue! Get your subscription today. Covering the arts, outdoors, history, people and places P.O. Box 423, Stirling, ON K0K 3E0 • P: 613 395-0499 • F: 613 395-0903 E: info@countryroadshastings.ca • www.countryroadshastings.ca

ADVERTISER DIRECTORY....... Page # Albert College......................................................31 Amazing Coffee ..................................................29 Apple Store, Cooney Farms ................................ 5 Artists in Motion...................................................24 Barley Pub & Eatery............................................... 9 Bernard Interiors ...........................................12, 32 Brandon West Photography ..............................29 Can Asia Imports..................................................25 Carpet One Floor & Home...........................12, 32 Comfort Country.................................................... 4 DeDell Seeds . ....................................................... 2 Deer Fence Canada . ....................................17, 29 Deerhaven Farm & Garden Ltd..........................31 Dinkels Restaurant & Courtyard.........................25 Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance . .........................13 Eco Alternative Energy .......................................24 Elizabeth Crombie, Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty.....................29 Fine Line Design.................................................... 5 Greenley’s Bookstore...........................................25 Hastings County Historical Society....................28 Hearts to God, Christian Books and Gifts.........29 Hunter Douglas....................................................32 Johnston’s Pharmacy & Gift Shoppe.................16 Kelly’s Flowers & Gifts..........................................29 L’Auberge de France Bistro, Bakery & Gourmet Shop..................................25 Leona Dombrowsky, MPP, Prince Edward-Hastings..........................24 Madawaska Art Shop Gifts & Gallery.................26 Market Café & Fudge Factory, The....................29 Maynooth General Store . ..................................26 McKeown Motor Sales ......................................... 8 McMichael Jewellers...........................................16 Mill Creek Spa......................................................29 Municipality of Tweed..........................................23 Old Hastings Gallery, The ..................................17 Old Tin Shed, The . .............................................17 Prince Edward County Antique Show & Sale....29 Paulo’s Italian Trattoria . ......................................25 Plumbing Plus.......................................................12 Quinte Global Foods...........................................29 Regent Theatre, The ...........................................13 Rustic Routes/HI Country ..................................... 5 Scotia McLeod Financial Services Inc................25 Star Lite House Tour.............................................. 5 Stirling Festival Theatre......................................... 5 Stirling-Rawdon BIA............................................... 5 Studio 737 Art Gallery ........................................23 Sun Volts Unlimited . ...........................................29 Tweed & Area Studio Tour..................................23 Tweed Chamber of Commerce..........................23 Vintage Junction.................................................... 5 Ward’s Marine.......................................................31 Welcome Wagon.................................................28 West Wings/Infinity Clothing . ............................. 5 Wild Rose Sandwich Shop, The..........................29 Wilson’s of Madoc . .............................................16 Wine Kitz................................................................. 5

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• country calendar •

Things to see and do in Hastings County To submit your event listing email info@countryroadshastings.ca or call us at 613 395-0499. ART GALLERIES/EXHIBITIONS Art Gallery of Bancroft, 10 Flint Avenue, Bancroft, 613-332-1542 www.agb.weebly.com Sept 29 - Oct 31 - “Bark, Bark” Works by Kevin & Julie Lockau Opening Reception October 1, Sponsored by Bartlette Insurance, Insurance Brokers Nov 3 – 28 - Early Christmas at the AGB (Featuring the work of DAVID PARSON) Opening Reception November 5 - In memory of Paul David Cooke Belleville Art Association, 392 Front St., Belleville. 613-968-8632. Sept 14 – Oct 9 - ...scapes Oct 13 - Nov 6 – Artists Choice Nov 9 – Dec 11 – Autumn Colour Gallery ArtPlus, 54 North Front St. Belleville. K8P 3B3 613-961-1977 ext. 246 , www.galleryartplus.com info@galleryartplus.com September 25 & October 1 1 1 am – 5pm - Intermediate oil and acrylic painting classes with Bruce St. Clair, unlock the mysteries of realism For more information call 613 961 1977 x 231 John M. Parrott Art Gallery, Belleville Public Library, 254 Pinnacle Street, Belleville, 613-968-6731, ext. 2240, www.bellevillelibrary.com Sept 2 – 30 - Galleries One, Two and Three - Celebration of local artist Manly MacDonald! Original works from our own collection, the Loyalist College Collection and private collections. Glanmore National Historical Site will also display artifacts and personal items which once belonged to the artist. Oct 7 – 28 - Galleries One and Two – Mindscape - Annual juried exhibit – works by members of the Belleville Art Association. Open Studio Tuesdays - second Tuesday of each month from 10 am to 1 pm, begin-

ners and professionals come together to create, share and learn in this unstructured and casual atmosphere. Madoc Performing Arts Centre, Centre Hastings Park, Madoc Nov 5 – 7pm – KEN WHITELEY, Blues, Roots & Gospel - One of Canada’s most respected “roots” musicians and a 7 time Juno award nominee he has performed and recorded with such legends as Pete Seeger, John Hammond Jr., Tom Paxton, Blind John Davis, Stan Rogers, The Campbell Brothers, Guy Davis, Raffi, Linda Tillerey & the Cultural Heritage Choir and countless others. Tickets $15.00 call Dianne at 613-473-4281 or available at the door. Doors open 6pm Tweed Heritage Centre Art Gallery 40 Victoria St., Tweed. 613-478-3989. Sept – Native Show Oct – Abstract Nov – Military Show Dec – Art Show and Sale

THEATRE/LIVE ENTERTAINMENT Bancroft Village Playhouse, 613-332-5918 Oct 2 – MY SWEET PATOOTIE! - Armed with fiddle, finger-style guitar and two voices, My Sweet Patootie is an old-fashioned shotgun wedding of cool uptown swing and rural Ontario grit. Annual Fundraiser for the Bancroft Village Playhouse. Belleville Theatre Guild, 613-967-1442 www.bellevilletheatreguild.ca Oct 14 – 30 - STAFF ROOM by Joan Burrows, directed by Bill Petch. A funny and sometimes poignant glimpse at the adventures behind the door of “any” high school staff room. Winner of Best Production at the 2004 Theatre Ontario Festival! Quinte Film Alternative, P.O. Box 22172, Bellevile, www.quintefilmalternative.ca or call 613-391-4310 Sept. 15- Mao’s Last Dinner Sept. 29- Max Manus Oct 13- The Secret In Their Eyes

Oct.27- I Killed My Mother Nov. 10- I Am In Love Nov. 24- The Girl Who Played With Fire Dec. 08- Winter’s Bone The Regent Theatre, 224 Main St., Picton, Ontario, 613-476-8416, ext. 28 or 877-411-4761 www.theregenttheatre.org The Stirling Festival Theatre, West Front St., Stirling 613-395-2100 1-877-312-1162 www.stirlingfestivaltheatre.com Sept 18 – 8pm - The Big Band Revue featuring The Commodores A benefit for the Community Cupboard (Special Dinner at 6PM) Sept 22 - 25 - ELVIS - The Concert Series, The great Stephen Kabakos returns with an exciting series of concerts, each one perfectly re-creating the songs, costumes and arrangements. Pre show dinner $20. Oct 1 - Jimmy The Janitor - Jimmy returns from P.E.I. with a comedy show that is sure to please everyone. Jimmy’s “clean” style of humour is will keep you in stitches! Oct 6 – 2pm & 8pm - Walter Ostanek The Polka King returns to Stirling for a great concert of polka and traditional tunes, favourite country classics and beer barrels of entertainment! Oct 16 – 8pm - Hot Rocks The Rolling Stones Show - A theater-like show complete with the sound, the look and the energy. You’ll get satisfaction!

FALL STUDIO TOURS Sept 18 &19- Apsley Autumn Studio Tour - www.apsleystudiotour.com 705-656-2235 Sept 25&26, Oct 2&3 - Bancroft and Area Autumn Studio Tour. Various Locations. www.bancroftstudiotour.org 613-332-4111 Oct 2 &3, – 13th Annual Tweed & Area Studio Tour – 10 am – 5 pm www.tweedstudiotour.org Oct 2, 3, 9 & 10 - Haliburton Studio Tour, Haliburton County www.haliburtonstudiotour. on.ca 705-457-9110

Oct 16, 17 - 10 am - 5 pm -The County Handspinners present their annual FIBRE ARTS SHOW AND SALE at Foxglove Studio, 30 Wellington St., Bloomfield, Ont. Handknit, woven, felted, hooked items and more. Spinning and weaving demonstrations. Call (613) 393-1352 Free admission. Oct 30, 10am - 4pm - Arts Quinte West Autumn Show and Sale, Knights of Columbus Hall, Trenton. Recent works in painting, photography, sculpture and more. Free admission. 613-392-7635 www.artsquintewest.ca

and the always popular alpaca socks, we have hats, mittens, scarves and shawls made from our alpacas’ fibre. All of our product is Made in Canada. Free admission. 127 Sine Road, Stirling, 613-395-6406 www.amazinggrazealpacas.ca

EVENTS

Nov 1 – 25 – Stirling Village Christmas – Raffle for holiday wreaths, trees, and swags. Visit participating stores to pick up map and tickets. www.stirling-rawdon.com

Sept 17 – 19 – Prince Edward County Antiques Show, Featuring a wide selection of antiques and collectibles...Crystal Palace, Picton Fair Grounds, 375 Main Street East Picton, Prince Edward County. Admission $4.00 For more information contact: Holly Newland at (613) 393-5886 boogleberry@sympatico.ca Sept 19, 10 am-4 pm - First Annual Open Farms Tour - Visit more than 30 operating farms within a 100 km radius of Kingston in the height of the harvest season! Learn about local food production and meet the farmers who grow our food. Buy products at farm gate. www.openfarms.ca. Sept 25 -TASTE! a celebration of regional cuisine Historic Crystal Palace, Picton 11am – 5pm A Top 100 Ontario Festival. TASTE! showcases the finest artisanal products, wines, beers, cider and cuisine that Ontario’s Gastronomical Capital, Prince Edward County, has to offer. Must be 19 years of age and older to attend.866-845-6644 www.tastecelebration.ca Sept 25 & 26, 10 am - 4pm - Amazing Graze Alpacas - Canadian Alpaca Farm Days Open House Experience the joy of alpaca! Meet this year’s cria crop. Spinning, felting and weaving demonstrations will be happening throughout the day. In addition to our usual selection of yarns, rovings and felt sheets

HASTINGS COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY ANNUAL BANQUET AND CELEBRATION OF HERITAGE

GUEST SPEAKER

FLORA MacDONALD P.C., C.C., O. Ont., O. N.S. on

The Other News From Afghanistan Efforts to Build Peace Through Social Development Flora MacDonald is deeply involved in developing social projects in Afghanistan to improve daily life in that war-torn country. Her presentation will focus on efforts to stimulate and encourage self-sufficiency on the part of the Afghan people. It’s a story of what one influential Canadian can do to better the lives of people half a world away. RAMADA HOTEL BALLROOM

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sept 25 & 26 - Maguire’s Motocross Racing Series, Don’t miss the season wrap up at the Madoc Fairgrounds. www.mmrs.ca Oct 31 - Spooktacular! Have a ghoulish good time trick or treating at Memorial Park www.marmoraandlake.ca

Nov 5 -7 - Batawa Race Club Ski Swap, Batawa Ski Hill, Batawa, Sat 8am - 4pm, Sun 8am - 2pm 613-398-6568 www.batawaskiracing.on.ca Nov 6 - Hastings County Historical ­Society- Annual Banquet And ­Celebration Of Heritage, Guest Speaker - FLORA MacDONALD P.C., C.C., O. Ont., O. N.S. Flora MacDonald is deeply involved in developing social projects in Afghanistan to improve daily life in that war-torn country. Her presentation will focus on efforts to stimulate and encourage self-sufficiency on the part of the Afghan people. Ramada Hotel Ballroom (Social Hour 6:00 pm, Dinner 7:00 pm) Tickets $50 Book Now: Richard Hughes 613-961-7772, Vera Morton 613-966-4859, Greenley’s Book Store, Front Street, Belleville. Proceeds to the Community Archives Development Fund Nov 11 - Remembrance Day in Bancroft, Bancroft Legion Hall (613) 332-3250 Nov 11 - Remembrance Day in Maynooth, ANAF Cenotaph, Maynooth, 1pm (613) 338-2343 Nov 13 & 14 - Bancroft Art & Craft Guild Christmas Show & Sale 2010 10 am – 4 pm: (613) 338-5431

Nov 17 – 7pm - Bancroft Horticultural Society Meeting, Riverstone Retirement Residence, 34 Hastings St. S., Bancroft (613)-332-4365 Member discussion. Garden successes and disappointments. Competition: “Tall Pines” An arrangement featuring tall greenery, branches, seed pods, dried flowers and suitable props. New members always welcome. Nov 19 & 20 - Rally of the Tall Pines, Dungannon Recreation Centre, Just imagine if you took a small car, gave it four-wheel-drive, turbocharged it to over 300 horsepower, and then drove it flat-out sideways down twisty treacherous forest roads – lined with trees, rocks and rows of cheering fans. Kicking up dirt or snow, spitting flames. Sliding on the edge of control, and sometimes over it! www.tallpinesrally.com Nov 20-Dec 5- P.E.C. –WASSAIL WINE FESTIVAL - Wassailing is an age old tradition, as the harvest comes to a close Winegrowers (and wine drinkers!) celebrate the harvest with music, entertainment and generally toast to good health and good crops. www.thecountywines.com or call 613-921-7100 or 1-888-313-WINE Nov 25 – 4 – 9 pm - Star Lite Christmas House Tour, Tour 6 lovely area homes, and historic St. Paul’s United Church in Stirling - all are ready for the Holidays and waiting to welcome you ! Tickets $20.00 For info: 613-395-0015 or 613-395-2976 Funds raised to support the Hastings County Museum of Agricultural Heritage.

(Social Hour 6:00 pm, Dinner 7:00 pm)

Tickets $50 Book Now: Richard Hughes 613-961-7772, Vera Morton 613-966-4859 Greenley's Book Store, Front Street, Belleville

Proceeds to the Community Archives Development Fund

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Country Roads • Fall 2010

If you would like to include your community event in ourfree COUNTRY CALENDAR listing please email details to info@countryroadshastings.ca Oct. 22, 2010 is the deadline for events occurring early Dec thru mid Feb 2011.


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Country Front Street, Belleville on Armistice Day, November 11,Roads 1918.

discovering hastings county Vehicles and dogs decorated for the occasion.

Country Roads

Photo appears in Belleville – A Popular History, by Gerry Boyce. Photo courtesy Hastings County Historical Society

discovering hastings county

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P.O. Box 423, Stirling, ON K0K 3E0 • P: 613 395-0499 • F: 613 395-0903 discovering hastings county www.countryroadshastings.ca

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Country Roads • Fall 2010


Bernard Interiors Hilden Square 393 Sidney Street Belleville 613.962.4976

Carpet One Floor & Home 285 Coleman Street, Belleville 613.966.9988 www.carpetone.ca

Profile for COUNTRY ROADS, Celebrating Life in Hastings County

COUNTRY ROADS Fall 2010  

Seasonal lifestyle magazine celebrating life in Hastings County, Ontario.

COUNTRY ROADS Fall 2010  

Seasonal lifestyle magazine celebrating life in Hastings County, Ontario.

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