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MARCH/APRIL EDITION 2016

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Riley Michaels, 15, of Beamsville is featured prior to his first CD release party, which will double as a community fundraiser. He is pictured in his basement studio.

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o have about 8,000 bee hives sitting around would be a lot to process for people passing by, particularly neighbours but if bee populations continue declining, it would seem logical to want those little buzzers close to home. This dawned on me while chatting with Mike Parker at Charlie Bee Honey this month when shooting photos for the profile of his long-standing business. There are several components which need to be in place to make the whole food supply chain work. Bees are part of that mix. Without them pollinating plants the problems which would quickly materialize are clear. The problem there has been diagnosed as a pesticide which had a far greater sweeping effect than ever anticipated and its use has been legislated to terminate next year. The need for the lowly worker bee cannot be underestimated and neither can the efforts of unique entrepreneurs like the Parkers. And speaking of effort, Beamsville has another sparkplug in Riley Michaels. The Grade 9 student at Blessed Trinity has been on a bit of a mission to make his interest in music transcend into a full-time career. More power to him! He is going about it the right way: learning he all he can both about music itself and from those involved in the industry already. If you like rock, as he does, having The Beatles and Led Zeppelin as a couple of foundation faves is not a bad way to go. As well, he understands that if you do well you treat others around you as he would hope to be treated: karma if you will. Riley and some musical cohorts will be performing a benefit concert for Convos Youth Centre tomorrow (March 4) to help out the place has liked to hang out at in recent years. Convos, in Conversations Cafe, hosts area youth looking for a safe, comfy spot to chill, play games or listen to music. The concert will double as a CD release party, too. Best wishes there, folks. Similarly, “Just Isaac” Mitchell is another one with big aspirations, but his are much more diverse. A hip hop performer, workout guru, actor...this fellow has a lot going on with much of it based right in Grimsby. This edition of ClubWest is just another example of the many and varied great story subjects right here in Niagara West under our collective noses. When I launched this magazine some wondered, “what will they put in it?” Well, the problem is what to leave out as we always have many more ideas than space will allow. Publisher, ClubWest Magazine Mike Williscraft


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Riley Michaels hopes to develop his own music, created in his Beamsville home’s basement, into a full-time music career. Williscraft - Photo

Straight Outta Beamsville By David Erman If you were to trace the start of Riley Michaels’ love affair with music, a good place to start would be Beamsville’s Strawberry Idol competition. That’s where Michaels first got on stage and it was a place where he immediately felt comfortable. He won, and knew that music was something he wanted to pursue. He was only seven or eight years old at the time, and admits it was a rush when he stepped on stage and sang his heart out for the first time.. “It was kind of exhilarating,” said Michaels. “It was my first time really singing and I didn’t expect much out of it, but I just went up there and did what felt natural to me.” The 15 year-old Beamsville resident loves and lives music. The singer-guitarist,

6 clubwest.ca | March/April 2016

whose stage name is Riley Michaels—his real name is Riley Fyfe, estimates that on average he spends 6-7 hours a day doing something music-related. “(Music) is my life,” said Michaels. “I just feel that without it I wouldn’t be the person who I am.” Every day Michaels spends time practicing, jamming, rehearsing and then listening to music. Then he practices some more. In the book Outliers, Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. If he keeps up his pace, Michaels should hit the 10,000-hour mark by the end of high school. Michaels is a Grade 9 student at Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary

School, where he is part of the school’s music program. After winning Strawberry Idol, Michaels learned the basics of guitar through the video game Guitar Hero. “It was all these classic rock and roll hits and I thought-- this was pretty cool,” Michaels said. He later took guitar lessons and the love affair with music blossomed further. Michaels has already opened for local legends Honeymoon Suite and won the Niagara’s Next Star competition in 2012. All heady stuff for someone who is still a year away from legally driving a car. Michaels has an eclectic taste in music. The song he sang to win Strawberry Idol during his on-stage debut was Twisted Sister’s heavy-metal ballad ‘The Price.’


PASSIONS Music Continued from Page 6 His influences include John Mayer, Elvis Presley and Led Zeppelin. “I’m pretty versatile when it comes to listening to music,” Michaels said. On stage, Michaels knows he has to please an audience that has a wide range of musical interests. “I have to try and please everyone, ...I try to play some modern stuff, some new pop so that people that are into the recent stuff get a good performance,” Michaels said, noting that if the audience is older he will switch to classic rock. Michaels first CD is coming out on March 4. It’s called Mysterious. He recorded the whole album—mixed, mastered and produced it—in his home recording studio. The studio was built by his father. “I was on a trip to Los Angeles and while I was gone my dad decided it would be a cool idea to turn my living quarters in the basement into a recording studio,” Michaels said. The recording studio was a chance for

Michaels to experiment and work on his music. Mysterious is mostly classic rock, some acoustic stuff and modern pop, Michaels said. He isn’t sure where the future will take him, but he said he knows that music will always be a part of his life. “I am hoping I can make it my career.” Michaels, along with his band is hosting a CD launch party and fundraiser for a local youth drop-in centre (Convos Youth Zone) on Friday, March 4 at Great Lakes Christian High School. The band includes; James White on rhythm guitar, Zeno Nella on drums, and Max Urban on bass. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Conversations Cafe and Bistro. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Michaels said the youth zone is a good place to hang out. “When I go there it’s a very fun place. It’s nice to be around some very good people. It’s a good community to be

around and deserves to be supported.” Convos Youth Zone’s Deborah Dueck said that Michaels is “amazing.” “He’s only in Grade 9 but already a professional in his music life and in maturity,” said Dueck. Dueck, who also owns the Conversations Cafe and Bistro, which houses and supports the Convos Youth Zone within its cafe, said Michaels is a pleasure to work with. She notes that he generously offered to do a large, all-out fundraiser for the youth centre. In combination with his CD release, all proceeds will go to support the centre’s work with marginalized youth. “He’s an amazing performer, very talented, and this concert will be incredible,” Dueck said. Michaels is a regular, playing Friday nights at Beamsville’s Conversations Cafe and Bistro, and at other venues. When he doesn’t have a gig, Michaels usually spends his weekends jamming with other musicians. It all adds up to the 10,000 hours.

Riley spends a lot of time in his closet....which is really his computerized sound board. Williscraft - photo March/April 2016 | clubwest.ca

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Lorraine. The Laufmans have operated their hearing clinic since 2010 and love being part of the Beamsville community. “We love our clients, they are like family to us,” says Lorraine. Just like speech or sight, hearing is something you never stop doing: all the more reason to protect it. Hearing aids are not those of your parents’ generation: they can be used with your bluetooth and you can stream music through them. The clinic offers counselling and hearing aid prescriptions; audiology and hearing aid sales and service and much more. Your initial consultation is free.

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Movie magic mixes well with travel plans Many will recognize this as the meadow from the iconic Sound of Music...not a bad follow up to Mary Poppins. By John Potter Have you ever wanted to see where scenes from your favourite movie or television show were filmed? The entertainment industry has, perhaps unknowingly, created a new type of tourism – film location travel. For example, tourism to New Zealand has soared in recent years due to the popularity of The Lord of the Rings movies. Here you can do a self-drive vacation and follow a pre-planned itinerary to visit several sites where scenes from the movie were shot. Still in New Zealand, near the town of Matamata on the North Island, you can visit a tranquil farm property and see Middle Earth from The Lord of the Rings

movies, and the Hobbit film trilogy. This is Hobbiton. While a tad off the beaten path, it is extremely popular with visitors, especially fans of the film. During your two hour walking tour, you can walk amongst the miniature houses while your guide explains how the set was created and why the director of the film, Peter Jackson, chose this particular spot. After your tour, have a drink in the Green Dragon Inn. Another popular example of film location tourism is Salzburg, Austria. In 1964 the film crew from one of the most popular musicals ever made, travelled to Salzburg to film the outdoor sequences for The Sound of Music. Have you ever wanted to see the lake where the rowboat scene was

filmed? How about a visit to Mondsee to see the church where the wedding scene was filmed? Walk along the laneway where Maria dances and sings “I Have Confidence” on her way to Frohnburg Palace that was depicted as the Von Trapp home (which is nowhere near the lake, by the way!) Spend time in the Mirabel Gardens that were featured in the beautiful Do-Re-Mi sequence – you can even dance and sing the song while climbing the “Do-Re-Mi” steps (don’t be embarrassed – hundreds of visitors do this every day). On almost any given day, you will see visitors, armed with their Sound of Music Location Guide strolling the streets of March/April 2016 | clubwest.ca

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PURSUITS Travel Continured From Page 11 Salzburg looking for the exact spot seen in the film. Tourism to Salzburg has increased in recent years in large part due to the popularity of The Sound of Music. Poor Mozart has almost taken a back seat! One of the most popular television shows in recent years is Downton Abbey. Fans of the show travel to the UK from all over the world to see where scenes from the show were filmed. Insight Vacations are offering a nine-day tour featuring filming locations from Downton Abbey. Visit Highclere Castle, then stroll the streets of Brampton, where many of the series’ outdoor scenes were filmed. Here you will see St. Mary’s Church, the village pub, the library, and Matthew Crawley’s house. Next, visit Yew Tree Farm, which first appeared in series four of Downton Abbey. Back in London, you will visit additional film locations

One of the sets from Lord of The Rings.

where scenes from the show were shot. The possibilities are endless: Every summer, fans of the movie The Birds flock (pardon the pun) to Bodega Bay, California to see the town depicted in the film. Remember the movie Born Free? Travel to Kenya and visit the area George and Joy Adamson called home on the tour offered by Goway appropriately called In Elsa’s Footsteps.

Travel to Scotland and see where films like Braveheart and Chariots of Fire were filmed. Scenes from The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter were also filmed in Scotland.

When planning your next holiday, why not think of adding a touch of modern culture to your trip and visit the iconic places depicted in your favourite film.

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Travel to New Zealand to see how they really roll in “The Shire” 12 clubwest.ca | March/April 2016

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Yvonne and Darren Hendriks of Homes By Hendriks. While the company “Women Build seemed has a steady workload like a logical connection of new builds and renosince Ron got us invation projects, it also volved in the Blitz Build makes time to put back project a few years ago into the community in when a big group of various ways. volunteers built a house One way they have in 49 hours and 20 mindone this is through utes,” recalled Yvonne. Habitat For Humanity’s “That was near and Women Build program. dear to Ron’s heart so Yvonne, who assumes this was good to conthe role as president tinue the type of things of the Niagara Home he liked to support..” Builders Association in With many projects October, was also in the on the go and steady high-profile position of growth becoming a co-chairperson for the regular habit, both 2015 Habitat For HuYvonne and Darren said manity Niagara Women they pay special attenBuild. tion to detail to ensure The first-ever Niagara all keeps moving in the Women Build projright direction. ect was completed in “Growing can be Welland last year and tricky because you can accommodates two grow too fast and not families. maintain our high

standard of excellence,” said Yvonne. “Our growth has been managed carefully and methodically so we are never ahead of ourselves.” To succeed in that, Darren pointed out, the hiring of a great team is the key. “We have always worked with the best sub-trades, suppliers and designers. We align ourselves with great people and organizations because they all represent us when on the job,” said Darren. Because of their solid team, they are able to confidently take on unique and challenging projects without batting an eye. “We have one project building a home to all LEED certified standards. That means new materials, new suppliers. That is really interesting. As well, we have another new home build where the customer did not want any wood, so the structure is all steel and concrete,” said Darren. “Again, new challenges there, too.” Regardless, the Homes By Hendriks team is ready to take on any project, whether it be a new home from design to construction, or a home renovation project such as redoing a bathroom. “It’s a team, a strong team from top to bottom. It is Ron’s vision and we are carrying it on,” said Yvonne.

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Just Isaac seeks just desserts for all Hip hop performer “Just Isaac” Mitchell uses boxing training to motivate others and himself. By David Erman Isaac Mitchell is someone that you want in your corner. The Stoney Creek native, who often goes by Just Isaac or JI, is a boxer, a boxing trainer and a hip hop musician. Mitchell trains boxers at Mobile Boxing based out of Grimsby. He also trains at other Niagara locations. His specialty, and the thing that might set him apart from others, is having the ability to motivate people into doing things they didn’t even know they could. Whether it’s becoming an expert on the speed bag, doing a drill or stepping into the ring to take a punch to the face—Mitchell somehow has the ability to get ordinary people, whether they’re accountants or housewives, to bear down and do things that they didn’t think they were capable of doing. Mitchell calls training the “impartation of truth.” “There are words used during the training that empowers and can maximize (someone’s) potential. Not just in boxing but in other areas of their life,” he said. Boxing opens up parts of people that

16 clubwest.ca | March/April 2016

are locked up inside, Mitchell added. Almost every person he trains experiences an increase in confidence. He noted the psychological aspect to boxing, as people realize what they’re capable of achieving. Mitchell points out that after undergoing boxing training they push their limits and do things that they couldn’t do previously. By pushing themselves, Mitchell said he sees clients do better at work or school. The confidence is visible, as his clients’ posture and demeanour changes and they are able to walk with their chin up and their shoulders square. Those moments—where someone pushes themselves and does things they didn’t think they were capable of—bring joy to him. “I love doing what I do. ...I am thankful that I am able to help people,” he said. People train with Mitchell for various reasons, whether it’s to get in better shape or build their confidence. Some train so that they can compete. A lot of the people that came to train with Mitchell—mostly women—didn’t think that they could box. They came in

doubting themselves. “Once they tried it, it was like it opened up a whole other dimension,” Mitchell said. His clients have different personalities and backgrounds. Boxing gives a lot of those people a chance to vent. It also gives them a chance to hit something. For a lot of people that’s a release. It also gives people a sense of empowerment. “Once the endorphins start moving, it’s a high,” Mitchell explained. Laurie Ford, an entrepreneur from Stoney Creek owns a couple of businesses, has trained with Mitchell for just over a year. Ford said she started boxing as a workout to stay healthy and get fit. It’s challenging and a great workout, Ford said. “It’s about finding out what you can do and pushing past your own limitations that you think you have in your mind.” “There are things that I can do now that I couldn’t do when I started,” Ford said. She notes that after a workout she feels invigorated and energized. “There is a lot more to it than


PURSUITS Motivation Continued from Page 13 just a workout or just getting healthy.” Ford said Mitchell is very intuitive. “He’s really good at pushing you to that next level,” Ford said Mitchell is always watching and picking up on the small things when someone is focusing on technique, while pushing her to achieve more than what she thought she could do. Heather Cleaver, a Stoney Creek mother of three teenagers, has been trained by Mitchell for over a year. In the past year Cleaver has lost 25 lbs. She said of the boxing training, “it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.” Like Ford, Cleaver said that Mitchell is smart and can pick up on small things, and fixes those things in a positive way. Cleaver said Mitchell is the most genuine individual she has ever met. “I honestly believe that whatever he says to you he truly means,” Cleaver said, noting that he’s also a hard worker and humble. Cleaver works in the mental health field. She said boxing training is a great stress relief. “Working in the mental health field one of the things that I preach is exercise, because exercise changes the chemical balance of your brain, but it has to be something you enjoy doing.” Along with the stress relief, the boxing training helps keep you focused, Cleaver said. “It really allows your brain to focus on that one thing for an hour or hour-anda-half.” Mitchell has an interesting background. As a youngster growing up in Buffalo he was gang-affiliated. He says a lot of the people he hung around with are now in jail or dead. Mitchell, who now lives in Stoney Creek, said having a vision and a purpose that is greater than himself helped him survive.

“It helped me to change. I received direction in my life,” Mitchell said. That purpose helped Mitchell to decide to give back in some way and help people. “Give something back. That’s a real vision and purpose that I believe is viable and can be very impactful as well.” He later moved over to Canada when he was a teenager with his mom and took up boxing. Yet, many people, including his trainers, thought he wasn’t cut out for the rough sport of boxing. “I was told I could never be a champion. I was told I would never amount (to much) as a fighter,” Mitchell said. A lot of Mitchell’s influences, whether it was his teachers, his family or others, told him that he was too soft and too much of an intellectual to have success as a fighter. “When someone tells me that I can’t do something, I just do my best to achieve whatever goal that I have,”

Mitchell said, noting that he relishes the underdog role. A former provincial and national boxing champion, Mitchell has close to 100 amateur fights on his resume. The soft-spoken man doesn’t fit all the tidy check boxes that most stereotypical brawlers have. He’s smart, caring and aware. Friends and clients all say that unlike the bragging bombastic boxer stereotype, (think Muhammad Ali), Isaac Mitchell, a.k.a Just Isaac, is very humble. “I’ve been told that I’m a gentle person. I have been told that I think too much,” Mitchell said with a chuckle. “But what I’ve found with boxing is that it’s a thinking man’s game.” During a lot of his amateur bouts there is no doubt that Mitchell fought fighters who were tougher, stronger and faster than him, yet he found ways to beat them. Mitchell struggles to find the words

Just Isaac works out for the cameras while filming continues on his documentary. March/April 2016 | clubwest.ca

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Pursuits Motivation Continued from Page 17 very interesting. Even if he loses it will be to describe why he found success in the fascinating. As a documentary we can’t lose brutal sport of boxing despite his affable with that. We hope he wins and goes all the nature. Perhaps it’s determination or perseway,” Munoz said. verance, he said. Munoz said Mitchell is an intriguing “Good things have seemed to come to me person and a deep thinker. my whole life, but I have been through a “There’s almost a mystique with him, whole lot.” almost like a philosopher.” Mitchell’s life story caught the attenLike a lot of people, Munoz is impressed tion of Cube City, a Niagara-based film with Mitchell’s humble nature, which is company. They’re working on producing not what a lot of people expect with typical a documentary about boxers. Mitchell. They are also “He’s very gentle and interested in doing a kind,” said Munoz, notfeature film about him ing Mitchell’s work as a as well. trainer and relating to Producer Roberto the people he trains. Munoz said Mitchell Working as a boxing has a compelling story. trainer isn’t Mitchell’s He notes that Mitchell, only conduit for motiwho declined to give vating people. his age, but is likely on Performing as Just the wrong side of 40, Isaac, Mitchell’s acoustic is considering making style of hip hop has a return to the ring as allowed him perform a fighter, with a goal across Canada and the of winning a Canadian U.S. When not in the gym or working on his Unlike traditional hip championship. “It’s just going to be documentary, Just Isaac gets in some stu- hop, Just Isaac focuses

on positive and genuine messages that motivate. Using his music and positive messages, Mitchell said he wants to work more as a motivational speaker, going into schools and talking and performing for youth. He gives credit to his previous trainers who mentored him. He points out the late Hank Boone as someone who taught him perseverance, as well as learning that fear is just a thought. Boone was a well-known boxing trainer in the Niagara Region for decades. Boone died in 2011. “He made me want to do well,” Mitchell said. There were a number of people who helped Mitchell during his boxing journey. Now, Mitchell is the mentor. He’s the person who is pushing people to new limits and making sure that people are the best they can be, not just in boxing, but in every avenue of life. “I am nothing in myself. It was the people who helped me that got me to where I am and to what I’ve achieved,” Mitchell said. “It’s because people took time with me and showed me and poured into me and I’m forever grateful for that.”

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Right where they BEE long

Charlie Bee Honey: Ontarios’ s largest apiary Mike Parker with one of the thousands of frames they have in production with their 9,500 hives. Each hive holds nine frames. Williscraft - Photo

By David Erman Farming is not an easy job. With so many variables, such as weather and prices, it can be a fluctuating and fickle business. Mike and April Parker, owners of Beamsville’s Charlie-Bee Honey, Parker Bee Apiaries Ltd. know all about the challenges of running an agricultural operation. Located south of Beamsville, near the Mountain Road and Fly Road intersection, Charlie Bee Honey is a success story, as they’re likely Ontario’s largest honey producer, as well as the province’s largest bee keeping operation, but like a lot of lot of agricultural operations have found out, it hasn’t been an easy and smooth ride. Despite all the challenges, April Parker said she is proud of their business and their role in agriculture. Without their bees there would be a lot less good things to eat. Along with honey production, the business also rents out hives. When asked if they are considered beekeepers or honey producers, April Parker said yes to both, as they focus on both avenues. “When you have that many bees, you have a lot of honey, so we do both,” said Parker. Parker-Bee is Ontario’s largest apiary with about 9,500 hives. While Parker said it’s something they’re proud of, it’s not something they actively promote. “We just do our thing. What happens happens.” Hives are loaded onto about 15-17 transport trucks to pollinate blueberries from late May until the end of June in Quebec and New Brunswick. They have about 600 hives in Manitoba. Then they’re brought back south, spread around the Niagara Region, for the remainder of the year. In business for 45 years, Charlie Bee Honey has experienced highs and lows. There are challenges in keeping up with a number of losses over the past few years. “Trying to keep your head above water because of those,” said Parker, noting that they had to rebuild due to those losses. There has been bee decline caused by March/April 2016 | clubwest.ca

19


PASSIONS Business Continued from Page 19 neonicotinoid pesticides. The cold weather has also been a huge challenge for beekeepers. In the winter of 2014, Ontario beekeepers lost 58 per cent of their bees, more than three times the average of the rest of Canada according to a report from CAPA, the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists. To put these numbers in perspective, beekeepers consider 15 per cent the acceptable over-winter loss for beekeepers. The winter of 2015 was also unusually cold. Ontario beekeepers reported losing almost 38 per cent of their bees during

the 2015 winter. This was more than three times the national average of 12.4 per cent of other provinces. Those losses really stung. “It hurt a lot, but again, that’s part of farming,” Parker said about the cold weather. The winter of 2007 was also a bad one for the company. Only 30 per cent of their 6,000 hives survived the winter. It was a bad year province-wide, as 28,000 of 76,000 hives were lost, with Niagara being one of the hardest hit areas. The Parkers had to spend over $300,000 to rebuild their business. Despite the challenges, April Parker said there are positives. She said they are proud of their role in the food chain, as their bees are responsible for fruit farmers having a good crop. “It’s nice knowing

that we have a quality product and we do our best,” Parker said. She notes that her husband not only loves his job, but he takes pride in it as well. “He likes being his own boss and he likes being outside and being part of that...and knowing that he is part of the food chain,” April said. Charlie Bee Honey employs 10 fulltime staff and hire seven for the summer season, Parker said. All of this work makes them busy bees. Items which Charlie Bee Honey sells at their retail location includes: liquid honey, creamed honey, unpasteurized honey, comb honey, propolis, pollen, beeswax, beeswax candles and cosmetics. April said that around April 1 is their “go-time” when their bees embark on a mission in the Charlie Bee trucks. Flowers start to bud and the farmers start calling. Hives are transplanted into orchards where the worker bees buzz around, pollinating flowers.

Gail Schellenberg pours the latest fresh honey at Charlie Bee’s Mountain Road facility. Williscraft - Photo 20 clubwest.ca | March/April 2016


PASSIONS Business Continued from Page 20 Parker said things are very busy until about November. Even during the winter months they are kept busy as well. “The winter time is maintenance, getting equipment ready and we pack all year round,” Mike said. Despite the challenges, the business continues to grow substantially. The company won’t get smaller. It just keeps expanding and expanding. In 1999, Charlie Bee Honey had 3,700 hives. In 2003 they had 5,000 hives. A few years ago they had 7,000 hives. “If you’re scaling down you might as well go home,” said April. “We’re always looking at bigger and better.” The expansion is neces-

sary to get the bees needed to support the pollination that’s required in the company’s contracts. “We’ve always got big plans,” she said. Founder Charlie Parker (Mike’s father) bought his first two honey bee hives at age 12. It started off as a hobby. He later met and married Ruth in 1968, and by that time Charlie Parker’s hive collection had grown to 100. The couple, who were elementary school teachers, decided to go all in and become full-time beekeepers as their business continued to grow. Their passion turned into a livelihood. For a long time, the bulk of the business was done in the

old farmhouse kitchen. Now there are several large buildings behind the farmhouse where honey is extracted, processed and packaged. Founder Charlie Parker died in 2010. He mentored his oldest son, Mike, to run the business. A third generation is now working at the business and learning the ropes. “It’s really nice to keep another generation interested and able to keep it going,” he said. April said Niagara is the “sweet spot” for beekeepers and honey production. There’s a number of fruit farm operations that need hives to do well. “With all the pastures and the fields with the wildflowers, it’s wonderful,” Parker said of the benefits of Niagara.

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Eating Healthy One Choice at a Time

By Jan Willem-Stulp Kind of a soft winter, for us hardy Canadian folk but, to be honest, I like it. We need balance, and I’m ok with a nice load of snow, once or twice. Also a couple of hard frosts, to keep it real, and kill off the bugs, but after that I’m all for skipping the ‘dreary’ part. This is why so many of us head south for March Break. It’s not only the warmth we crave but the vibrant greens and flourishing plant growth which makes things so exhilarating! When it was still complimentary, we used to take the kids into the Parkway Greenhouses, once or twice, each winter; amazing how the tropical ‘Flora and Fauna’ can lift the spirits. The sheer volume of cheery colour was really a great mood-booster. At $5 per person, it’s still a great way to get a bit of a tropical experience, while staying close to home, and on this side of the border. The reality is that, like that cold snap last month, the frosty glitter of snow in the cold air is magical in its own right and I’m thankful for what we have. Several weeks ago, we had the opportunity to visit a small Caribbean island, and the state in which the residents there were living, pulled the contrast into pretty sharp focus. They told us they had ‘seen’ snow on their TV, but had never actually seen it, nor were they ever likely to. For most of them, on an island smaller than the city of Toronto, their lifetime range of movement was whatever walking distance is from their ‘home’ (which is a whole other discussion). So, yes, Canada has subzero weather, humid summers, and income tax but trust me, it is for many people in the world as accessible as the moon. They know where it is, but cannot physically ever

22 clubwest.ca | March/April 2016

hope to get there. Every so often I get the notion to try to see things the way ‘foreigners’ would. Things we never really stop to think about, include: snow, frozen lakes, expansive forests, near-tropical summers, and significant winters, plus everything from tender fruit and icewine. Our infrastructure, though often the subject of much scorn, criticism and discussion, is pretty impressive, given our ratio of people to size. I hate potholes as much as the next guy, but at least there’s a road around the pothole! I think sometimes we’re a bit spoiled/ We have it so good, we only see the potholes, and not the road. It’s good to be aware of all we have, and make our kids share in the wonder of that. So, this March, I think we’ll stay home, and visit the Sugarbush. There is a lot of wonder, right there! And patriotic to boot! (I bet most Amercian kids, for example, never get to see an Eagle, just saying…..) If you haven’t been recently, do yourself a favour, and go, ideally with a group. It’s such a sensory positive experience and a harbinger of spring. You’ll feel awesome just to have been out and spent quality time, and made some memories (and maybe supported the local economy. The recipes here are meant to inspire you to check out the local maple producers, this March Break. There’s always a great selection of maple goodness at the Grand Oak; spreads, dips, seasonings, sauces and jellies, as well as lots of syrup; come and see us in Vineland! (Chef Stulp co-owns, along with his wife Jane, Grand Oak Culinary Market in Vineland.)


Chef In Residence CUISINE

Delicious maple dressing This is actually pretty delicious for how simple it is. INGREDIENTS • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice • 4 tablespoons Canola or Grapeseed Oil • 2 tablespoon pure Local maple syrup, (dark is awesome!) DIRECTIONS Combine the lemon juice with a pinch of salt, as it won’t dissolve well, once the oil is in. Add the maple syrup, oil, and stir. A grind of pepper and some fresh thyme make this really nice. I serve this with a green salad, and it works beautifully with soft goat’s cheese and toasted walnuts.

pring is around the corner, Go West S MARCH • Vineland Estate ‘Spring Fling’ offering at our restaurant: March 2-April 30 (not offered on sunday evenings, Monday’s and Tuesday’s since our restaurant is closed those 2.5 days). Join us this spring for our fresh, seasonally inspried ‘Spring Fling’ menu! Lunch $25 pp & Dinner $45 pp * all beverages, taxes and gratuity extra. For reservations please contact: 1.888.846.3526 ext. 33. • Music Trivia with Ted Yates at Calamus Estate Winery, 3100 Glen Road, Jordan, March 5 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Please join us and host Ted Yates for our next music trivia night. Doors open at 6:30pm, trivia starts at 7 pm sharp. Five rounds of 60’s, 70’s & 80’s Music Trivia $20 per person, two wine tastings and snacks, prizes for the winning teams. $20 includes HST ($17 Cosmic Club) pp, prizes for the winning teams. Call 905-562-9303

• Ontario vs. Burgundy Debate ~ You be the Judge! March 5, 6 p.m. at Red Stone Winery, 4245 King St., Beamsville. Join Winemaker Paul Pender in this on-going debate as he leads you through a blind tasting of four Ontario wines against four from Burgundy. Learn about the winemaking philosophy at Tawse and Redstone while enjoying a four-course meal with wine pairings. Sparkling wine and canapes will be served at 6 pm followed by a four-course dinner with wine pairings (one Ontario and one Burgundy wine per course) at 7 pm. The cost of this exclusive dinner is $139 pp, plus taxes and gratuities. For tickets, call Emily at 905-563-9463, ext. 201. **Due to the popularity of this event a second date will be announced soon! • Lamplighters in Lincoln, Saturday March 5, from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Jor-

dan Historical Museum (3800 Main St., Lincoln). Join us for a special one-act play and a behind-the-scenes discussion with a costumed lamplighter guide. All Ages $5. Call Sylvia Beben, 905-563-2799 . • Be a wine club member for a day! Saturday, March 5, at Tawse Winery. If you’ve ever considered joining a wine club, this is an event you won’t want to miss. We’ll be hosting two seminars, 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm in our private cellar for an in-depth look at the Tawse Wine Club. On this day you will have the opportunity to meet our wine club manager, Vicki Smyth, and learn about the wines and the many benefits of this exclusive program. You’ll also be treated to complimentary tastings of our Wine Club exclusive wines and other premium wines. The wines will be served alongside a variety of delicious cheeses. There is no cost for this event. Space is limited so book your spot asap: v.smyth@tawsewinery.ca March/April 2016 | clubwest.ca

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Chef In Residence CUISINE

Sweet potato & maple winter shepherd’s pie We began making this at the Grand Oak several years ago, and it’s been a hit ever since. The concept of a shepherd’s pie still applies (meat, vegetables and potato) but we add a lot of vegetables, and use maple whipped sweet potatoes as the topping – our customers have continued to rave ever since! INGREDIENTS • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled, course chop • 1 medium onion, peeled, slivered • Juice of 1 lemon • 2 tblsps maple syrup DIRECTIONS Simmer or steam the sweet potato in a bit of water, with the onion and lemon, and

perhaps a pinch of salt. Once tender, strain off the liquid, and allow the potatoes to steam dry for 5-6 minutes.

Add the maple syrup to the potatoes, and either mash by hand, or whip in a mixing bowl.

Season with a pinch of pepper if preferred, then top your shepherd’s pie, and finish in the oven, as per normal.

pring is around the corner, Go West S Continued from Page 23 • Easter Eggstravaganza Hunt 2016 at Puddicombe Farm. March 19. Preregistered tickets only. Times 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Easter Egg Hunt (2 age groups) with an Easter goodie bag, Easter craft, train or wagon ride (depending on weather) with Darcie Chick; snack with the Easter Bunny (bring your camera to take pictures). Three Wine & Chocolate Tastings for the adults. Campfire marshmallow roast. Ages: 24 months & up Cost $15 pp + taxes, add a horse & buggy ride $5 pp. 1468 Hwy. 8, Winona. Call 905643-1015 for more information. • Traditional English Cream Tea. Sunday, March 20, 2:30 pm at Aure Winery 3749 Walker Rd., Beamsville, A constant favorite! We will be starting the new year with our English Afternoon Cream Tea Finger sandwiches, scones with jam and

24 clubwest.ca | March/April 2016

cream, cakes and biscuits, Trifle and Victoria Sponge. All washed down with Teas imported from England. $25 incl HST. Reserve now, call (905) 563-7256. • Rockway Vineyards Open House. Discover our wines and golf course. Sunday, March 6 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wines from $9.99 per bottle or $99 per case. Restaurants specials, Green Fees : $25 (18 Holes)/Carts $9.99. Membership specials. 3290 Ninth St., Jordan for more info 1-877-rockway. • Soup-Er Bowl Challenge at Flat Rock Cellars & Fielding Estate Winery March 12-13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Flat Rock has challenged Fielding Estate Winery to a cook-off and they want you to be the judge. Who has the best soup? Try both soups with two wine pairing at each winery and cast your vote. You will be entered in a draw for a prize pack. May the best bowl win! $10 for both wineries.

• The Irish Flight at Fielding Estate Winery (4020 Locust Lane Beamsville) March 17-20, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Fielding is pairing four wines with four different Irish cheeses. No reservations needed. • Casablanca Winery Inn Presents their Easter Brunch Buffet in Bogey’s Grillhouse Sunday, March 27 from 10 am to 3 pm. $19.95/adult, $9.95/child (4-11 yrs). This Easter Brunch features much more than the usual buffet items. Waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, sliced fruits, salads, roast turkey, honey glazed ham, fish, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy, seasonal vegetables, a sweets table and coffee/tea. Regular Breakfast menu only offered from 7-9:30 am. Regular a la carte dining resumes at 3 pm. For reservations, please call 905-309-7171 or 1-877-446-5746 and ask for Bogey’s Grillhouse.


Chef In Residence CUISINE

Seared trout filet, with dark maple & mustard grains When I was a kid, we lived in the northern interior of British Columbia where a lot of the Natives were unbelievably adept at catching, processing and sometimes selling their salmon and trout. It was amazing how good the sweet ‘salmon candy’ was, and how well the sweetness worked with the fish! This is based on that experience. Trust me, it’s delicious! INGREDIENTS • 2 Filets fresh trout, deboned is best • Half-cup dark maple syrup, (extra dark if you can get it) • 2 Tblsps grainy mustard • Zest of half a lemon DIRECTIONS Season the trout with salt and pepper, and a pinch of the zest, then quickly sear in a non-stick pan, skin UP first,

(the skin pulls together when touching the hot pan, making it too ‘round’ to sear the flesh). When you have achieved a nice colour, flip the fish and turn off the heat. If you are serving the fish with other components, (wild rice, stir-fry etc.) plate

that first, then finish with the trout. Quickly mix the maple syrup and mustard with the zest and a pinch of pepper, and apply liberally to the fish. Left overs of this sauce could last for weeks in your fridge (covered) but won’t, because it’s so good!

S pring is around the corner, Go West Continued From Page 24 APRIL • Vineland Estate Riesling Revel: April 2-3. Riesling is like a tonic and it wakes us up from our winter slumber and gets us ready for warmer weather and longer days! Details to come for the weekend offerings. “Revel by Reservation” Saturday, April 2: ($98.40 for public and $61.50 for Connections Wine Club Members) 6:30-9 pm which includes reception, rotation of four stations and ending the night with prizes to the winners from each station. Full details at: www.vinelandwineshop. • Watering Can at the Jordan Museum, Tuesday, April 19 from 7-9:00 p.m at the Jordan Historical Museum (3800 Main St., Lincoln). Learn to make a beautiful floral arrangement inspired by our local history in the 1859 school house. All ages, price :$55 pp Phone:(905) 562-0088.

• Good Girth Supper Club Presents: Land of Oz April 23, 5:30-8:30 pm. G’day Mate. We’re celebrating ANZAC Day with traditional dishes from Australia & New Zealand. Good Girth Supper Club is a sumptuous prix fixe dinner menu priced at $50 pp. (Gratuity, HST and all beverages extra). Appetizer Australian Rissoles/Coorong Red Pipis Chowder/Roasted Kumara Salad  Main Course Samoan Inspired Chicken Chop Suey/ Modern Maori Hangi/Anzac Day Fish & Chips, Shared Dessert Platter. 4556 Lincoln Ave., Beamsville) No membership required, but reservations are, please call 905.563.6333. • Sunday Brunch at The Restaurant at Redstone (4245 King St., Beamsville) April 24, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Join us at the winery every Sunday from 10:30 am to 2 pm for our Farm-to-Table a la carte brunch menu. Each week Chef

David Sider will be preparing seasonallyinspired dishes featuring the bounty of Niagara wine country. Reservations can be made by calling The Restaurant at Redstone: 905.563.9463. • Themed Dinner at Grand Oak Culinary Market (4600 Victoria Ave., Vineland) April 25 from 6:30-9 p.m. Chef Jan-Willem Stulp builds an amazing, flavorful menu around a different food each time. Sampling included. See website for details. www.grandoakculinary.ca • “Package Deals” April 30 at The Good Earth Winery (4556 Lincoln Ave. in Beamsville). Enjoy a demonstration-style four-course meal prepared by a talented chef paired with wines from The Good Earth Winery! Two hours of “edutainment”! $95 pp (HST & wine included). For more information check out: goodearthfoodandwine.com/event/ package-deals/ January/February 2016 | clubwest.ca

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Chef In Residence CUISINE

Maple mousse I had to include a dessert; it’s maple, after all, Canada’s oldest Sweet! This is nice and light, and can be made ahead. As a matter of fact, I recommend just that to give it time to set. INGREDIENTS • ½ cup Maple Syrup •2 large egg yolks • 2 tsp gelatin powder • 1 Cup 35% Cream • Maple Sugar (if you have it) DIRECTIONS Whip the egg yolks, in a small bowl. Warm the maple syrup in a small pot, then add to the yolks, stirring well, and set aside. Dissolve the gelatin powder in about a ¼ cup of the cream. Give this a few minutes to properly ‘bloom’, then put into the small pot recently vacated by the maple syrup, and gently warm just so the gelatin is liquefied (not hot, just warm). Whisk this into the maple/yolk mix, and combine well.

Whip the rest of the cream (with a bit of maple sugar, if you have it) to soft peaks, and fold the tepid ‘maply’ syrup/ yolk mixture into the cream.

Pour or pipe into appropriate dishes or molds, and allow to set. To serve, dust with maple sugar, or drizzle a bit of Dark Syrup over top.

cup of soup paired with our featured wine of the month. Featured Soup: Good Ol’ Chicken Noodle. Featured Wine: 2013 Cabernet. This delightful duo is sure to warm you up and chase away Old Man Winter. Receive a complimentary tasting flight upon arrival by booking a reservation: 905-562-7207. Reservations welcome but not required! • Get Fresh in the Valley April 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 2016 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Twenty Valley’s annual spring passport program! Choose a weekend, buy a passport and visit up to 23 participating wineries to enjoy specially created food & wine pairings. $45.20 plus HST – weekend passport (valid one weekend only); $30 plus HST – designated driver passport (valid one weekend only). • Group Scavenger Hunt at Back 10 Cellars Vineyard (4101 King St. Beamsville ) $55 p.p. Acquisitions and mergers

looking a little stodgy? Break out of your office and have some fun in wine country! This is a great team building event. Your group will be split into teams and you will delve into the world of wine as you never imagined in the private Back 10 vineyard. This fabulous outdoor venue includes a picnic lunch and wine for each guest and will run approx. 2-3 hours. We can also arrange door to door transport. Call for more info or an idea you have in mind. 905.562.3365 info@back10cellars.com • Puddicombe Estate Tracker Inspector – Winter & Early Spring. You will enjoy a train and/or wagon ride (weather permitting) throughout the orchards, vineyards, by the pond and view the Niagara Escarpment. Take a nature hike and look for signs of wildlife; identify prints, foods sources. After your hike is finished all will enjoy a marshmallow roast with hot chocolate Interested? Call 905-643-1015.

pring is around the corner, Go West S Continued From Page 25 Multi Dates • Back 10 Cellars Chic Tasting Bungalow Come and visit our chic Tasting Bungalow all Saturday’s in March and April from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. or happily by appointment. Serving $5 flights for 2-30 guests. (4101 King St., Beamsville) • Cuvée en Route March 4-6.Tour and taste your way along Niagara’s wine route all weekend. Guests can travel the wine route Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as the wineries roll out the red carpet to feature special tasting flights embodying the best of Ontario wines during Cuvée en Route 2016. Our guests had the exclusive opportunity to shop for featured Cuvée wines direct from the wineries. For mor info visit http://cuvee.ca/  • Soup’s On! March 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27. Stop by Greenlane Estate Winery this winter to sit, sip, and savour a warm

26 clubwest.ca | March/April 2016


ADVERTORIAL

Tracy and Dave Smith have been renovating their Ontario Street store to showcase more variety.

Elves Flooring ready to grow as community does Elves Flooring & Design is expanding. “We are very proud of the fact that this company has been around since 1969. What we want our customers to know how passionate we are about our business,” said Dave Smith, who bought the business in June of 2015. “With the market changing constantly it’s our job to make sure we are educated with new product lines, seasonal trends and design ideas. We want to help create an atmosphere where customers can come in and find premium selections in flooring, value and creative design.” Along with his wife, Tracy, Elves entire team prides itself on first-rate customer service. “This new venture that David and I have embarked on is something that both of us take pride in. We both love interacting with people, being able to help customers with choice and selection that make their house a home,” said Tracy.

“We both know how important customer service is and as a family owned and operated company we provide quality service. Our inspiration is people!” With current in-store renovations underway, soon customers will see nearly double the display space in their Ontario Street shop in Beamsville. “We have been expanding some of the product lines we carry and we will be able to showcase those with the additional space,” said Dave. Customer service, great selection and industry experience make Elves Flooring a great place to work with when planning a build or renovation. David has been in the flooring business for almost 23 years. He started off as a contractor, which has given him a lot of experience with the construction end of things as well. Through the years David’s experience includes retail, sales rep and commercial work. March/April 2016 | clubwest.ca

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ADVERTORIAL

The Co-Operators: a full service insurance office Whether you call or stop by their Grimsby office, John Darch and his team of advisors at The Co-operators Insurance can help you with all your insurance or investment needs. Established in 1945, The Co-Operators Group Ltd. is owned by 45 members including coops and credit union centrals. “We are a full-service office offering home, auto, life, group, business, farm and travel insurance, as well as investments such as RRSP, TFSA, RESP, RRIF and annuities,” said John Darch, insurance/financial advisor and owner of the

JOHN DARCH Grimsby location. “Co-operators offers all of the insurance and financial services someone may need, plus great service at a local office in the community. Our Grimsby office, which is located at 12 Ontario Street, primarily

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Spring is almost here ... It’s a great time to renovate! Louwes has been offering quality home renovation products for 50 years. North Star energyefficient windows are made right here in Ontario and have a limited life time warranty. You will save you money year round on your home by keeping your it cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Call or visit our showroom today! FLEXIBLE FINANCING AVAILABLE (OAC)

Call 905.562.5831 for a FREE Estimate 3435 King Street Vineland, Ontario WINDOWS & SIDING SINCE 1966 • WWW.lOuWES.Ca

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ClubWest e-edition March April 2016  

ClubWest e-edition March April 2016