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Holiday 2007 | Volume 1 | Issue 3

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Enjoy the Holiday Season!

Find out what’s happening in Elgin County


FRONT PAGE

Holiday Greetings

Inside

Feature Article

This is Relish Elgin’s first Holiday Edition and we are excited about the many reasons to celebrate the season in Elgin County.

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St. Thomas-Elgin Artists Guild

Food & Dining

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Recipe Holiday Entertaining

Events

9 & 12

What’s Happening Where

Map

10 - 11

Artist Profile

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Connie Greger

Recreation

We feel that it is important to support our local community, especially during the Holiday Season, and hope that you will consider buying gifts for friends and family from local sources. You can find a gift-giving guide of local products on our website. We also believe that giving back to your community is invaluable - many of the services that we enjoy throughout the year would not be available if not for volunteers. In their honour, and perhaps to inspire you, our December edition will feature an article on “giving” in its many forms.

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Walking with Spirits

Wine & Spirits

This third edition is a little bigger than our last. Our hope is for the magazine to continue to grow, with lifestyles information related to enjoying Elgin. Our philosophy is to promote unique local businesses, good eating (highlighting local and seasonal foods), active living (taking advantage of abundant recreation and leisure opportunities) and our community. Relish Elgin Online was introduced in June; articles are archived if you missed any editions. New articles and news about the people and places that make Elgin such a great place to live can be found at www.relishelgin.ca every month.

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Food & Wine Pairing Layout & Design Joanne Bagshaw Editor Debra Bagshaw editor@relishelgin.ca Copyright 2007, Relish Marketing & Promotions Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material published in Relish Elgin is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the Publisher. Relish Elgin is published by Relish Marketing & Promotions Inc.

Like many people, I sometimes get annoyed at the everearlier rush to the next season. But it does give you time to make your Christmas dream-list and check it twice: love, peace, joy, giving, building traditions with your children, baking, remembering those we have lost, walks to enjoy the lights, singing... There’s still time, before your priorities get lost in the holiday bustle, to put your most important wishes at the top and let the rest go. Happy Holidays!

Joanne & Debra

Cover image © istockphoto.com/bedo

Relish Elgin

P.O. Box 20058 St. Thomas, ON N5P 4H4 519.633.1992 www.relishelgin.ca

For a 1-Year Subscription: Send a cheque for $8 (to cover mailing) to the address at left. Includes 5 issues.

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2007

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FEATURE

The New St. Thomas-Elgin Artists Guild Bringing together artists and their ideas from across the county.

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rillium House Fine Art Gallery owners, Grace and Wayne Northcott, feature many local artists in their store. They often heard them express in one way or another that “there should be a local artists guild.” After hearing this enough times, Wayne says that they finally decided to “set the wheels in motion” to start a group for the promotion and advancement of the visual arts in our community. A newspaper ad was placed to determine interest, and the positive response encouraged them to move forward. The guild had their first official meeting in March 2007. As members of a young, grass-roots type organization, the artists are able to enjoy being part of a group with a feeling of newness and enthusiasm, without too many ideas set in stone. They wish to welcome artists of any age in any medium from across Elgin, as well as non-artists who just think local art and culture are important. Northcott notes that “the group is somewhat informal” and the “goal is for the artists to understand each others’ needs, to network and bounce ideas off each other. The relaxed atmosphere of meetings is conducive to brainstorming.” However, the aura of laissez faire enthusiasm shouldn’t be confused with lack of purpose. All involved wish to grow and develop as artists—as a group they will be able to pool resources to bring in workshops, demonstrations and presentations where they can work together and learn about techniques, media, etc. Members also share a belief in developing art in our community, showcasing talent here and involving those outside the artist group. “The guild can also be invaluable,” notes Northcott, “in mentoring students. For example, artists who have gone through the process themselves

can show students how to prepare portfolios for college, or how to prepare in other ways for art as a future career or hobby. Students can also become aware of different media, and ask questions of artists with a range of backgrounds.” City residents often bring visitors to the Trillium House to show off the local talent. A while back, Wayne noticed that there were small groups of Japanese businessmen stopping in for quite long visits on a few occasions. When the news

broke about St. Thomas being chosen as the site for a new Japanese stamping plant, Wayne was surprised to recognize some of the photographed executives as being the ones who had earlier visited Trillium House. Did their visit have an effect on their decision? “We will never know for sure, says Northcott, “but you have to wonder, if this might be a bit of evidence for the contribution of culture to economic development.” The Trillium House and the Artists Guild share a belief in the importance of art and culture to the quality of life in our community—development of this idea has benefits for all of us. The Guild now has about 20 official members and is growing. They celebrate their first official show and sale, Christmas, and our railway heritage Continued on page 6

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2007

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FEATURE at the Southern Ontario Railway Station with “‘Twas the Art Before Christmas” on November 30th, December 1st and 2nd. The diversity of the Guild members will be reflected by the works on display. They include sculpture, pottery, print-making, photography and painting. Times are 7pm to 10pm Friday, 11am to 6 pm Saturday and 11am to 6pm Sunday. Visitors to the opening reception on Friday will have the opportunity to meet many of the artists, and enjoy a cash bar and light refreshments.

The St. Thomas-Elgin Artists Guild meets on the third Monday of each month at Trillium House in St. Thomas at 7pm. For more information, contact Grace at 519.637.8354.

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FAMOUS ARTIST QUOTES > “Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” -Kafka > “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” -Degas > “Art is everywhere, except it has to pass through a creative mind.” -Louise Nevelson > “To be an artist is to believe in life.” -Henry Moore > “A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world.” -Edmond de Goncourt > “We all know that art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth.” -Pablo Picasso

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2007


FOOD & DINING

Maple Marinated Pork Tenderloin Recipe Explore local flavours with this recipe using maple syrup and pork. One of the goals of Relish Elgin is to promote the concept of eating locally grown and raised foods whenever possible. Not only does it support our local economy, but it also reduces the environmental impact of transporting goods

thousands of kilometers. Sandy Douglas used this recipe from Rush Creek Wines’ collection ‘From Plate to Palate!’ in her article ‘Food & Wine Pairing’, on page 18. Try it using Ontario pork and locally made maple syrup.

Maple Marinated Pork Tenderloin DIRECTIONS

1 Pork Tenderloin 2 tbsp Rush Creek Maple Wine Vinegar 1 tbsp maple syrup 1 tbsp salad oil 1 onion, sliced 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 tsp powdered sage

1. Remove any fat from tenderloin. 2. Place meat in a sealable bag. 3. Combine remaining ingredients & pour over pork. Seal bag & refrigerate for minimum 6 hours or overnight to marinate. 4. Transfer pork to rack in small baking dish. Pour marinade over top. Roast, uncovered in a 350o F oven until done (about 40-50min). 5. Baste with marinade 2 or 3 times during baking. Slice about 1/2” thick to serve.

From Rush Creek Wines Collection of “From Plate to Palate!” New Edition

Holiday Entertaining Made Easy Many new products on the market make holiday entertaining effortless.

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he holidays are just around the corner with lots of reasons to celebrate with family and friends. While most people love to entertain, the stresses of planning and preparing those special events that create memorable connections can be overwhelming. One way to kick back and have more time to enjoy family and friends is to plan an appetizerstyle meal. This is more informal and allows your guests to mingle as well as solves any issues of seating and table space. Set the food out on a sideboard that guests can revisit. Minimize your time in the kitchen by serv-

ing room temperature items that can stay out on your table during the duration of the event. Continued on page 8

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2007

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FOOD & DINING Be sure to serve a variety of finger foods. Professional caterers estimate 10-12 items total per person for appetizers for a cocktail-style party. Choose a selection of savoury antipastos or tapenades, flatbreads and crisps, a variety of cheeses, as well as warm and cold dips or spreads. There are lots of gourmet products as well as serveware on the market that make entertaining very simple and will provide your guests with an opportunity to enjoy wonderful new taste sensations. Raise your glass and toast the holidays! Try premixing your cocktails so you can spend your time mingling. This year, Canadian specialty food company, Wildly Delicious, has introduced a new line of “Mélange Infusé”, European inspired cocktail mixes that are slow mulled in advance with a chosen wine, liquor or cider to create an extraordinary cocktail experience. Another cost-friendly alternative is to arrange the ingredients for three or four popular cocktails

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out on the table along with shakers and instructions so guests can create their own drinks. For a spectacular dessert option, consider Wildly Delicious’ selection of dessert enrobing sauces that are delicious served warm in a beautiful pedestal fondue that is part of their new LUXE line. The sweet sauces include Chocolat Noir with Tangerine Zest, Divine Caramel with Brandy, Silken Irish Cream and Luxurious Raspberry Crème with Champagne. These sauces are equally tantalizing served with crêpes or ice cream!

Written by Yvonne Ethier, proprietor of Abbeywood Baskets & Gifts. A wide selection of gourmet goods, including Wildly Delicious products, is available at her business at 435 Talbot St., St. Thomas. Drop by to check out the selection and try their delicious samples.

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2007


What’s Happening Where in Elgin Find out what’s happening in your neighbourhood, or take a road trip and discover what’s happening in someone else’s. FRI. NOV. 2ND POP ART AUCTION An annual art auction and fundraising event. St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre FRI. NOV. 2ND - SUN. NOV. 4TH COBBLESTONES CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE Artist Shelley McVittie and potter Lydia Harder welcome you to their Christmas social. 48664 John Wise Line, RR#5 Aylmer 519.773.5912 SAT. NOV. 3RD & SUN. NOV. 4TH BERRY HILL 13TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE Please bring a donation for our local food bank. 75 Burwell Rd, St. Thomas SAT. NOV. 3RD EDISON MUSEUM’S ANNUAL MURDER MYSTERY DINNER Table reservations accepted. Vienna Community Centre. 519.874.4505 FRI. NOV. 9TH, 8PM LAUGH OUT LOUD An evening of comedy and musical comedy starring Teresa Pavlinek, with Debra Di Giovanni and The Doo-Wops. Capitol Theatre, St. Thomas www.thecapitol.ca SAT NOV 10TH & SUN NOV. 11TH, 10AM-4PM ROTARY CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES St. Thomas. 519.633.0838 www.rotarystthomas.org SAT. NOV. 10TH - SUN. JAN. 6TH EXHIBITS: GERALD VAANDERING - UNDER THE INFLUENCE & LESLIE PUTNAM ALTERNATE ROUTE St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre

SAT. NOV. 10TH & SUN. NOV. 11TH CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE AT HERITAGE LINE HERBS 53443 Heritage Line, RR#1 Aylmer 519.866.5577 SUN. NOV. 11TH VIENNA LIONESS CRAFT SHOW & SALE Vienna Community Centre. 519.874.4325 FRI. NOV. 16TH, 6PM ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY St. Thomas, beside City Hall. FRI. NOV. 16TH - SUN. NOV. 18TH LIGHTING UP THE WINDOWS OF CHRISTMAS A $25 donation will light up a window candle. CASO Railway Station, St. Thomas. 519.633.2535 SAT. NOV. 17TH & SUN. NOV. 18TH CHRISTMAS AT CANADALE Decorating workshops and much more. (see ad on page 2) SAT. NOV. 17TH & SUN. NOV. 18TH RUSH CREEK WINES FESTIVE OPEN HOUSE Join Rush Creek Wines for wine & cheese. 48995 Jamestown Ln, RR#2 Aylmer www.rushcreekwines.com SAT. NOV. 17TH, 9:30AM-1:30PM SPRINGFIELD LIONESS ANNUAL CRAFT SHOW Lions Community Hall, Springfield 519.269.3095 SAT. NOV. 17TH, 6PM ST. THOMAS SANTA CLAUS PARADE

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2007

More on page 12

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Eat, Shop, Play ... Locally y ille W ad Ro


More Elgin Events (Continued from page 9)

FRI. NOV. 23RD - SUN. NOV. 25TH LAKEVIEW GARDENS POINSETTIA FESTIVAL The gardens will be bursting with colour with thousands of poinsettias. (see ad on page 17) SAT. NOV. 24TH, 1PM DUTTON SANTA CLAUS PARADE SAT. NOV. 24TH, 2PM AYLMER SANTA CLAUS PARADE FRI. NOV. 30TH, 7PM WEST LORNE SANTA CLAUS PARADE FRI. NOV. 30TH, 7PM PORT STANLEY DICKENS DAY (SANTA CLAUS) PARADE FRI. NOV. 30TH - MON. DEC. 31ST ST. THOMAS HOLIDAY FANTASY OF LIGHTS Lighting displays through the park are illuminated each evening until 10pm. Pinafore Park, Elm St FRI. NOV. 30TH - SUN. DEC. 2ND ‘TWAS THE ART BEFORE CHRISTMAS SHOW & SALE Price of admission is a non-perishable food donation for Christmas Care or Caring Cupboard. CASO Railway Station, Talbot St, St. Thomas 7-10pm Friday; 11am-6pm Saturday & Sunday (see ad on page 6) SAT. DEC. 1ST, 1PM SPRINGFIELD SANTA CLAUS PARADE

SAT. DEC. 1ST, 6:30PM PORT BURWELL SANTA CLAUS PARADE SUN. DEC. 2ND, 3PM CAROL SING AT OLD ST. THOMAS CHURCH A festive annual community event by the Salvation Army, with a non-denominational service followed by refreshments. FRI. DEC. 7TH, 2PM & 8PM CHRISTMAS WITH DAVE HOY & RANDY DAWDY A musical holiday show mixed with humour and energy, featuring special guests & surprises. Capitol Theatre, St. Thomas www.thecapitol.ca (see ad on page 13) SAT. DEC. 8TH , 10:30AM STRAFFORDVILLE SANTA CLAUS PARADE SAT. DEC. 8TH, 5:30PM RODNEY SANTA CLAUS PARADE WED. DEC. 19TH - SUN. DEC. 30TH ALICE IN WONDERLAND Starring humans and life size puppets. Capitol Theatre, St. Thomas www.thecapitol.ca (see ad on page 13) MON. DEC. 31ST NEW YEARS EVE GALA Featuring dinner, dancing to the Sahara Swing Band, champagne and party favours. CASO Railway Station. 519.633.2535

SAT. DEC. 1ST, 6-8PM CHRISTMAS SPIRIT WALK Springwater Conservation Area 8079 Springwater Rd (see article on page 15)

Please note that due to the large number of events occurring during the Holiday Season, some details have been omitted. You can find more information on each of the events listed on our website, www.relishelgin.ca.

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Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2007


ARTIST PROFILE

Connie Greger Between Inhaling & Exhaling: A Breath in Elgin County

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onnie Greger’s exhibit, “Between Inhaling and Exhaling—A Breath in Elgin County” was a joyous reflection of the look and feel of Elgin. Her paintings of 48 outdoor scenes were displayed from September 20th to 30th at the St. Thomas-Elgin Art Centre.

The exhibit consisted of 48 summer scenes throughout Elgin County—homes with architectural interest, barns, windmills, flowers, rolling vistas and fields with haystacks. Bright colours sometimes appear in startling places but they somehow seem right. The more familiar scenes bring back the sensation of warmth, bouncing light, the sound of the breeze and the joy of breathing and beholding a place at a certain moment in time. Connie pays tribute to several influences. She describes idyllic childhood countryside rambles near her Copenhagen home south of Aylmer, art classes at East Elgin High School with Mr. Hill, and management courses at Western University. Later, Connie studied many great works Continued on page 14


ARTIST PROFILE of art throughout Europe and was strongly influenced by the impressionist desire to capture the colour of light on an object. In Canada, Connie studied with local artist Roy Morris who had a close association with the Group of Seven and taught her their graphic style of painting. She continues to learn with Paul Schleusner in his Port Stanley studio. Enthusiasm bubbles over when Connie describes the synergy that can occur as artist, art and appreciators, and friends come together. She enthuses about the possibilities for an art guild which includes not just artists, but those who want to appreciate art, and the potential this gives for growth of a vibrant artistic community. To Connie, this exhibit is all part of a big picture philosophy of life. The gift of breath should be taken and used to live a life of joy and purpose.

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Purpose in the political and community sphere means good government, responsibility, accountability, an interest in history and a quest of where we came from as a group and individually. These concepts infuse her approach to her work in administration at Employment Services Elgin. Her passion is to encourage in people everywhere a sense of purpose and joy. Inclusion of art programs at any level of government can serve this purpose, and Connie has worked toward that end. Connie’s art and her sense of purpose make one glad to be a part of Elgin County, and looking forward to more of her art.

Some of Connie’s works can currently be seen at Minerva Art Gallery, 11078 Springwater Rd N, Aylmer. She is a member of the St. Thomas-Elgin Artists Guild and the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre.

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2007


RECREATION

Walking with Spirits Join the Elgin Hiking Trail Club & Catfish Creek Conservation Authority for their annual Spirit Walk.

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ake a look at the events listings for the upcoming months and you will find an exciting variety of ways to celebrate the season. And this is just a sampling! You can pick up holiday decorating inspiration, plants, gifts and décor items and, for most, you are also supporting a worthy cause. These are the “star” fundraising efforts of the year for many organizations.

eration with Kettle Creek and Catfish Creek Conservation Authority and 35 private prop-

One of the events that you might consider putting on your “must do” list is the 11th Annual Christmas Spirit Walk at Springwater Conservation Area on Saturday December 1st. It is uniquely Elgin with its stroll on candlelit paths through old growth Carolinian forest. Perhaps because the Christmas story is set against a backdrop of starry skies, outdoor events often seem to most effectively convey the spirit of Christmas. Groups are guided along the paths where they will come upon performers of traditional carols, a barbershop quartet, a master illusionist, and the King’s company of Historical Reenactors who will take their audience back 250 years. The Spirit Walk becomes more popular each year. Hundreds of cups of hot chocolate are served to over 600 visitors who come from as far away as Windsor. Proceeds from admission are split between the Conservation Authority and the Hiking Club for trail maintenance. About 100 volunteers, Hiking Club members, Catfish Creek staff and students, and performers organize the event, light the paths, guide groups and entertain. While you are enjoying the Spirit Walk, you may find yourself stumbling (not literally we hope) upon the perfect Christmas gift for yourself or your family--a membership in the Elgin Hiking Trail Club. The Club works in coop-

erty owners to maintain 41 km of trails through Carolinian Forest. They issue a quarterly newsletter, The Pathfinder, outlining the next threemonths’ activity schedule, plus other important events and information for the 130 members. Hiking Club president Brian Wilsdon notes that “the Club is part of the network of Ontario Hiking Trails which are maintained for hikers. This differs from the Trans Canada Trail which is multi-use.” He says that “fall and spring are the best times for hiking but weekly planned hikes continue throughout the year. Hiking in winter can also be very enjoyable. Adaptation is made by sticking mostly to easier trails and city walks. There is even a January moonlight hike, and a New Year’s Day Hike.” What other ChristContinued on page 16

Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2007

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RECREATION mas gift could bring you so many benefits-relaxation and stress reduction, communion with nature, and the health benefits of hiking? To get to Springwater Conservation Area: Drive to Orwell on Hwy #3 between St. Thomas and Aylmer, go south on County Rd. #35 (Springwater Rd) till Conservation Line, turn East and follow the candle lights on the road to the park gate. Gate opens at 5:30pm, the first walk starts at 6pm from the pavilion, followed by regularly scheduled departures with the last walk leaving at 8pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $1 for children 2 through 16 years.

For more information about the Spirit Walk or joining the Elgin Hiking Trail Club, visit www.elginhikingtrail.org or contact Brian Wilsdon at 519.633.3064.

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Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2007


WINE & SPIRITS

Food & Wine Pairing Take these tips for pairing local wines with holiday favourites.

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o me, it’s always been a sort of “egg or chicken first” dilemma when deciding upon the wine and food for a meal. My goal was to use a wine from each of Elgin County’s wineries and then find a food that compliments my choice. My strategy was to do one meal with different courses, each course using a different wine. It sounds basic. Even more than that, it made sense. It still made sense after visiting Meadow Lane, choosing their cranberry wine. It still made sense after visiting Quai du Vin, choosing their Baco Noir. It still made sense after visiting Rush Creek, choosing their Pearvana. Returning home, I realized that I actually chose more than one wine from each winery and that now I had a case of wine in my kitchen. First

lesson learned was that Elgin County has three wonderful wineries. Second lesson learned was that each winery has a large selection of exceptional wines to choose from. Third lesson, my choices were all meant for the main course.

The Meadow Lane Cranberry was wonderful with the traditional roast turkey dinner. The light, fresh taste of the cranberries compliments not only the turkey, but all the side dishes as well. If you have friends that enjoy a sweeter wine, they will like this one. The cost per 750ml bottle is $10.95. Quai du Vin’s Baco Noir, with its bold flavour, pepper notes and the hint of oak went extremely well with a sirloin roast. This wine is not sweet, but is easy on the palate. You could also pair this wine with any spicy dishes. The cost per 750ml bottle is $12.50, certainly reasonably priced for such a versatile wine. At Rush Creek Wines, not only did I find the wine I wanted to pair, but I also found the recipe. Rush Creek has published a cookbook called “From Plate to Palate.” The book has not only recipes, but also suggested pairing and tips about wines. I tried their Maple Marinated Pork Tenderloin with the Pearvana and was the recipient of many compliments from my dinner guests. The wine has a wonderful flavour from Bartlett pears with a hint of vanilla. You can enjoy this wine on its own. The cost per 750ml bottle is $11.25; make sure that you serve it well chilled. Take a drive to the Elgin County Wineries; taste their wines. Each winery has friendly, knowledgeable staff on hand to answer your questions. They will be happy to recommend pairings for their wine. Enjoy, and don’t be afraid to try your own pairings.

I’m glad that I love to cook and entertain. I never have a problem finding friends to help taste and give their opinions when I am trying new recipes, wines or any combination.

Written by Sandy Douglas. Sandy is a passionate cook and entertainer and operates a catering business in Aylmer called Plates and Platters. See her ad on the back cover.

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Relish Elgin Magazine • Holiday 2007


Distributed by your Local Businesses Relish Elgin can be found at businesses across Elgin, including:

Abbeywood Baskets & Gifts 435 Talbot St, St. Thomas Canadale Nurseries Ltd. 269 Sunset Dr, St. Thomas Celebration Creations 11 Hiawatha St, St. Thomas City Coffee 552 Talbot St, St. Thomas Cobblestones Gallery & Gift Shop 48664 John Wise Line, RR#5 Aylmer Cravings Coffee Market 9 Princess Ave, Unit 1 Crickets Art Shop 6333 Yarmouth Cntr Rd, St. Thomas A Day to Remember 160 Currie Rd, Dutton Farmgate Markets 310 Wellington St, St. Thomas Harbourside Antique Market 177 Main St, Port Stanley Heart Angel 46349 Sparta Ln, Sparta Heritage Line Herbs 53443 Heritage Ln, RR#1 Aylmer

The Iris Patch Flower & Gift Shoppe 216 Furnival Rd, Rodney Lakeview Gardens & Greenhouses 9353 Graham Rd, Eagle Minerva Art Gallery 11078 Springwater Rd N, Aylmer New Sarum Diner 46230 New Sarum Ln, St. Thomas Pinecroft & Green Frog Tearoom 8122 Rogers Rd S, RR#5 Aylmer Rush Creek Wines 48995 Jamestown Ln, RR#2 Aylmer Shutter & Brush 302 Bridge St, Port Stanley Spare Moments Craft Supplies 530 Talbot St E, Aylmer The Sparta Bakery 46341 Sparta Ln, Sparta St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre 301 Talbot St, St. Thomas Wind n Willow 435 Talbot St, St. Thomas The Woodpecker 9600 Walker Rd N, RR#4 Aylmer


Relish Elgin Holiday 2007 Edition