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Culture Home Recreation Spring 2013 | Volume 7 | Issue 2

FREE

Railway Nostalgia PLUS Cycling in Elgin Local Theatre: Live & Lively Art as Conversation: Port Stanley Artists' Guild Aylmer Area Community Choir's 10th Anniversary Mazak's Asparagus


MAY

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3rd Annual Sparta

Community Wide Garage Sale Saturday May 25th (rain or shine)

JUNE

Inventory Clearance 20% OFF EVERYTHING IN STORE (EXCEPT CANDLES)

Sparta’s 200th Anniversary Saturday June 29th BBQ & Dance at Quai du Vin • Parade through the Village Lunch & Photo Display at Sparta Community Hall Sunday June 30th Garden Party Display at Sparta Church Museum

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FROM THE EDITOR In this arts-focused edition, you’ll find articles about local people involved in visual art, music and theatre. In Art as Conversation, Dorothy Gebert chatted with three members of the Port Stanley Artists’ Guild and found that many artists will create a piece in isolation but consider the sharing of it to be the completion of the artistic process. The Aylmer Area Community Choir has been meeting together since 2003 to learn and practice; the community benefits when they present concerts like their recent 10th anniversary one. Actors put hours of creative energy into becoming their “characters” and then come together with all the behind the scenes people to present shows at local playhouses—be sure to take in some of the upcoming productions. That process of finding your passion, nurturing it and communicating it is one that goes beyond the narrowly defined “arts” as can be seen in our articles on the railway and cycling. Enthusiasm for railway nostalgia is being expressed in so many ways that the “Railway Capital” theme seems ready to take off. Many who have long had a passion for cycling have looked for ways to increase interest in the sport in Elgin County. The Active Transportation Initiative will support those goals. Artistically speaking, if spring is a song, asparagus is one of the first high notes. Check out our interview with a creative young farm family who grows it, and an article by Chef Cindy Bircham who knows how to cook it artfully. The work of creative expression, shared, can become the most interesting part of community conversation.

Debra Passion is the very fuel of inspiration. ~Carole Katchen

RELISH LATE SPRING 2013

INSIDE THIS ISSUE 5 15 18 20 23

The Season's Events in Elgin Cycling in Elgin Local Theatre: Live & Lively Elgin Map & What's in Season Art as Conversation: Port Stanley Artists' Guild

By Dorothy Gebert

27 Aylmer Area Community Choir Notes on an Anniversary Concert

29 Railway Nostalgia: Fuelled by Enthusiasm 33 Mazak's Asparagus 37 Asparagus

By Chef Cindy Bircham, with recipe for Ale Battered Asparagus

OUR COVER IMAGE Our cover image of a train at St. Thomas's historic CASO Station is titled Windsor Bound (24 x 30", acrylic on canvas) by St. Thomas artist Jonathon Hayes. Find more about Jonathon's work at jonathonhayes.blogspot.ca. Editor • Debra Bagshaw • editor@relishelgin.ca Design • Joanne Rowles • jo@relishelgin.ca Advertising Info • ads@relishelgin.ca TO SUBSCRIBE Send a cheque for $10 (to cover mailing) to the following address. Includes 5 issues. Relish Elgin Magazine P.O. Box 20058, St. Thomas, ON, N5P 4H4 519-633-1992

www.relishelgin.ca

Copyright 2013, Relish Marketing & Promotions Inc. All rights reserved. Relish Elgin is published by Relish Marketing & Promotions Inc. Reproduction of any material published in Relish Elgin is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the Publisher.

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Events

Get Out! EVENTS ACROSS ELGIN • MORE AT WWW.RELISHELGIN.CA

ONGOING EVENTS

Every Sat until Nov Horton Farmers' Market

Annual Pancake Breakfast May 11 8am-12pm | Manitoba St, N of Talbot www.hortonfarmersmarket.ca

Sat & Sun Apr TO Jun, MAY 20 Wed TO Sun Jul TO Aug, Jul 1 Scenic Train Rides

Complete Line Tours Sat 11am Booking not req'd; arrive 30min prior Trains depart 11am, 1pm & 2:30pm Adults $15, Children (2-12) $9 Port Stanley Terminal Rail 309 Bridge St, Port Stanley 519-782-3730 | www.pstr.on.ca

Every Sun Jammin' Cabin Open Jams

All musicians welcome | 1-4pm Pinecroft | 8048 Rogers Rd S, Aylmer 519-773-3435 | www.pinecroft.ca

Every Mon Port Stanley Music Group Open Jams

Musicians and audience welcome 6:30-9pm | Royal Canadian Legion 310 George St, Port Stanley www.facebook.com/groups/ portstanleymusic/

3rd Sun of Month STEPAC Paper Craft Pop-In Free, kids JK to gr 5 | 12:30-2:30pm St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre 301 Talbot St, St. Thomas 519-631-4040 | www.stepac.ca

Last Thurs of Month Coffee & Culture at the Perc

Artifacts from Aylmer-Malahide Museum & Archives | 519-773-9723 10:30-11:00am & 11:00-11:30am The Perc, 49 Talbot St East, Aylmer amtelecom.net/~aylmermuseum/

Until Sat Jul 6 Exhibition: March of Time

A Bicentennial Commemoration of the War of 1812-15 Elgin County Museum 450 Sunset Dr, St. Thomas, 4th Floor 519-631-1460 x160 www.elgincounty.ca

Until Sat Sept 28 Exhibition: Parade of Elephants

Decorated by artists/artisans on the Elgin Arts Trail Visit website for schedule & map Sat in May & June Cineplex Family Favourites www.elginartstrail.ca 11am | $2.50 | 519-631-2261 Until Mon Oct 14 Galaxy Cinema St. Thomas Exhibit: Accounts of a 417 Wellington St, St. Thomas Hard Day's Work www.cineplex.com/Events Prices of living in Dunwich 1850-99 Mon TO Sat LATE May TO Aug Backus-Page House Museum 29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown Free Tours of Old 519-762-3072 St. Thomas Church 9am-5pm | 55 Walnut St, St. Thomas www.backuspagehouse.ca www.oldstthomaschurch.com

Until Fri May 31    Exhibition: Art Emporium 1st Anniversary

Various Dates Social Painting Nights

Preregistration req'd | 519-652-5556 Art Gallery of Lambeth 2454 Main St, Lambeth (London) 177 Main St, Port Stanley 226-658-1888 | www.ArtEmporium.ca www.artgalleryoflambeth.com

RELISH ELGIN LATE SPRING 2013

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Events Sat May 11 Sparta's 200th: Historical Re-enactment Dinner in the Woods

6:30-10pm | $20 | villageofsparta.com Contact Sally Martyn, 519-775-2292

Sat May 11 Tim Hortons Trout Derby

Springwater Conservation Area 8079 Springwater Rd, Aylmer 519-773-9037 | www.catfishcreek.ca

Sat May 11 Parkside C. I. Plant Sale

8am-12pm | 519-633-0090

War of 1812 Weekend at Backus-Page House (Photo by Mark Girdauskas) Parkside, 241 Sunset Dr, St. Thomas

MAY EVENTS Wed May 1 to Fri May 31 May is Museum Month

www.museumsontario.com

Sat May 4 & 18, Jun 1 & 15 Silverthorn Seminars

Build a Pond, 10am; Build a Water Feature, 1pm | 519-765-2379 Silverthorn Landscape Supplies 46400 Talbot Ln, St. Thomas www.silverthornlandscape.com

Thurs May 9 to Sat May 18 Aylmer Community Theatre: Honeymoon for 3

Thurs-Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm $15/adult, $10/student Aylmer Old Town Hall Theatre 38 John St S, Aylmer | 519-765-3039 www.aylmertheatre.ca

Thurs May 9 to Sun May 19 Elgin Theatre Guild: Old Love

Thurs-Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm | $15 Princess Ave Playhouse 40 Princess Ave, St. Thomas 519-633-8530 www.elgintheatreguild.ca

Sat May 11 Treble Makers Women’s Choir: Swinging on a Star

www.tvdsb.ca/Parkside.cfm

Sat May 11 Books, Blooms & Bake Sale

9am-12pm | Union United Church 6008 Stone Church Rd, Union

Sat May 11 Shuug & the Temporary Men at STEPAC

8pm | $10 (cash bar available) St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre 301 Talbot St, St. Thomas 519-631-4040 | www.stepac.ca

7:30pm | Adults $10 adv/$12 at door; Sat May 11 students $5/$7; family of 4+ $25 Ladies Night for Habitat West Lorne United Church for Humanity 271 Graham Rd, West Lorne Choose 3 15 minute services | 6pm Sat May 11 $25/person, $40/mother & daughter Aylmer & District Hort Tickets at Elgin Mall & Giant Tiger Society Annual Plant Sale Parkside, 241 Sunset Dr, St. Thomas 7am-12pm | Aylmer Old Town Hall 519-455-6623 x270 38 John St South, Aylmer www.habitat2home.ca/events

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RELISH ELGIN LATE SPRING 2013


Events Sat May 11 & Sun May 12 Mother’s Day Open House at Heritage Line Herbs

Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 11am-4pm High Tea Sun (reservation req'd) 53443 Heritage Ln, Aylmer 519-866-5577 www.heritagelineherbs.com

Sat May 11 & Sun May 12 War of 1812 Weekend

Backus-Page House | 519-762-3072 29424 Lakeview Ln, Wallacetown www.backuspagehouse.ca

Sun May 12 Mothers Day at Sparta House TEA ROOM

Gift for mom with every reservation Main St, Sparta | 519-775-2313 www.spartahouse.com

Sun May 12 Lavender Sense Season Opening

28011 Ash Ln, Wallacetown 519-762-2188 | lavendersense.com

Wed May 15 9 Wednesdays: Culinary Hands-on Experiences

Pasta & Cheese with Chef Erin Harris Arts & Cookery Bank | 519-768-9986 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne www.theartsandcookerybank.com

Fri May 17 Eat, Drink, Create

7-10pm | $25/person or $40/two St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre 301 Talbot St, St. Thomas 519-631-4040 | www.stepac.ca

Sat May 18 Four Seasons Long Lunch

Sat May 18 to Sat Jun 29 Exhibition: Picture a Tree

St. Thomas–Elgin Public Art Centre 301 Talbot St, St. Thomas 519-631-4040 | www.stepac.ca

Sat May 18 to Sat Jun 29 Exhibition: Deep Rooted

From the Permanent Collection St. Thomas–Elgin Public Art Centre 301 Talbot St, St. Thomas 519-631-4040 | www.stepac.ca

Thurs May 23 Reviving the Lost Arts

From One Generation to The Next 6:30-8:30pm | $25 Arts & Cookery Bank | 519-768-9986 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne www.theartsandcookerybank.com

Fri May 24 Guys' Night Out

Sun May 12 Steed & CoMPANY LAVENDER MOTHER'S DAY SEASON Opening

6:30pm-9:30pm | $75/person 11am-1pm | The Arts & Cookery Bank Arts & Cookery Bank | 519-768-9986 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne 519-768-9986 www.theartsandcookerybank.com www.theartsandcookerybank.com

Sun May 12 5th Annual Mother’s Day Countryside Tour & Winery Tour

7:30am-noon (or sold-out) Palmer Park Bandshell, Aylmer Horton Farmers' Market, St, St.Thomas Fri May 24 Shelley MacKenzie, 519-769-2529

47589 Sparta Ln, Sparta 519-494-5525 www.steedandcompany.com

Winery tour 1pm (booking req'd) $15/adult, $10/ages 10-19 Rush Creek Wines | 519-773-5432 48995 Jamestown Ln, Aylmer www.rushcreekwines.com

Fri May 24 Sat May 18 Aylmer Area Community St. Thomas & District Hort Band Year-End Concert Society Spring Plant Sale Free will offering

UNITED WAY BBQ Sat May 18 to Mon May 20 Hamburgers $3, hot dogs $2, pop $1 Association of Port 11:30am-1:30pm | City Hall Stanley Artists' May Show 545 Talbot St, St. Thomas

Gallery APSA | portstanleyartists.com 519-631-1680 x4279 www.city.st-thomas.on.ca 172 William St, Port Stanley

Now Open! LOCAL SEASONAL PRODUCE

LOCAL SEASONAL PRODUCE & HANDMADE BAKING DATE DATE SQUARES, SQUARES, TARTS, TARTS, FRUIT FRUIT BREADS BREADS

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Daily 8am-6pm (including holidays) mid-Apr to Dec 24

11143 Highbury Ave • 10 min south of 401 North of St. Thomas at Ron McNeil Ln.

MEALS: QUICHE, MEAT PIES, CABBAGE ROLLS & MORE

Plus Plus local local cheese cheese & & honey, honey, maple maple syrup, syrup, fudge, fudge, jam, jam, salsa, salsa, pickles pickles & & sparkling sparkling cider cider

www.saltcreekmarket.com • 519-633-9338

RELISH ELGIN LATE SPRING 2013

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Events Sat May 25 Great Grandma's Rose Garden

Guest speaker Harry McGee | 2pm $5 advance, $6 at door (if available) Backus-Page House Museum 29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown 519-762-3072 www.backuspagehouse.ca

Sat May 25 3rd Annual Sparta Community Garage Sale 519-775-0054 or 519-775-2312 www.spartacandles.com

Strawberry Fields Kite Festival Fri May 24 & Sat May 25 ELGIN-St. Thomas EMS Open House

9am-4pm 125 Edward St, St. Thomas

Sat May 25 The Snake Lady at Moore Water Gardens

11am-3pm | 519-782-4052 4683 Sunset Rd, Port Stanley www.moorewatergardens.com

Fri May 24 to Sun Jun 2 SAVOUR ELGIN: ElginLicious Sat May 25 Members offer $10, $15 or $25 deals Royal Ascot Tea & Hat/ www.savourelgin.ca Fascinator Competition 2:30-4:30pm | $10 | 519-631-3844 Sat May 25 Knox Presbyterian Church Winemaker's Dinner 6 course dinner with winemaker Jamie Quai and chef | 6:30pm $85 (includes wine, tax & gratuity) Quai du Vin Estate Winery 45811 Fruit Ridge Line, St. Thomas 519-775-2216 | www.quaiduvin.com

Sat May 25 Songs of the Rat Pack

The Sahara Swing Band & Port Stanley Community Choir | 8pm $20 (at Village Square Coffeehouse) Kettle Creek Golf & Country Club 320 Carlow Rd, Port Stanley

Sat May 25 Kids’ Pond Workshop

Kids aged 5-10 create own pond Register by May 18 | 11am-12pm $20 | Moore Water Gardens 4683 Sunset Rd, Port Stanley 519-782-4052 www.moorewatergardens.com

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55 Hincks St, St. Thomas

Sat May 25 25th Annual Tiny Tots Trike-a-Thon

9am-12pm | Tiny Tots Co-Op Nursery 217 Furnival Rd, Rodney 519-785-2164 | www.ttcns.ca

Sat May 25 Golf For Kids Sake

4th annual Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Thomas-Elgin golf tournament Kettle Creek Golf & Country Club 320 Carlow Rd, Port Stanley 519-633-3830 | www.bbbselgin.org

Sat May 25 Something for Everyone Show & Sale

10am-3pm | 519-852-2161 Knights of Columbus Hall 265 Wellington St, St. Thomas

Sat May 25 Port Stanley Community Sidewalk & Yard Sale

8am-noon | www.portstanley.net

Sat May 25 & Sun May 26 22nd Annual Strawberry Fields Kite Festival

1-4pm | South Lawn of St. Joseph's Regional Mental Health Care, corner Sunset & John Wise Ln, St. Thomas 519-775-2527 www.gothicdesign.ca

Sun May 26 Dutton/Dunwich Chamber of Commerce Spring Classic

Enter by May 14 | Marg, 519-762-6060 Dutton Meadows Golf Course 28411 Thomson Ln, Dutton www.ddchamber.ca

Sun May 26 Purina Walk for Dog Guides

9:30am registration, 10:30am walk Pinafore Park, 89 Elm St, St. Thomas Jack McBride, 519-207-1779 www.purinawalkfordogguides.com

May 28 to Jun 8 Port Stanley Festival Theatre: Back in ‘59

Port Stanley Festival Theatre 302 Bridge St, Port Stanley 519-782-4353 www.portstanleytheatre.ca

RELISH ELGIN LATE SPRING 2013


Events Wed May 29 Ikebana Floral Design

St.Thomas Hort Society Workshop 7pm | $20 (floral materials supplied) Msgr Morrison Catholic School 10 South Edgeware Rd, St.Thomas Shelley MacKenzie, 519-769-2529

JUNE EVENTS Every Sun Jun TO Aug Music in the Park Concert Series

Weather permitting; bring chairs 6-8pm | 519-633-7112 Pinafore Park, Morris F. Jones Bandshell | 93 Elm St, St. Thomas www.city.st-thomas.on.ca

Thurs May 30 & Fri May 31 AVSS & The Off Broadway Singers: What We Are, Sat Jun 1 What We Do, What We Sing, Fest-A-Month: Portugal TONIGHT Cultural dinner celebration

7pm (doors 6:30pm) | 519 631-3770 $10/adult, $5/student/senior Arthur Voaden, 41 Flora, St. Thomas

Fri May 31 (rain date Jun 7) 3rd Annual Motorcycle Ride for United Way

6:30pm-9:30pm | $30 Arts & Cookery Bank | 519-768-9986 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne www.theartsandcookerybank.com

Sat Jun 1 Brodericks Ice Cream'S 29th Birthday

Lunch 11:30am, ride 1pm $40/rider, $10/passenger Free cake, while supplies last County Bldg, 450 Sunset Dr, St.Thomas 290 Bridge St, Port Stanley 519-631-1460 x164 | elgincounty.ca brodericksicecreamparlour.com

Sat Jun 1 Hawksley Workman in Concert

$35 (available at Bell's Book Bin or by calling 519-878-4452) Doors 7pm, show 8pm Princess Avenue Playhouse 40 Princess Ave, St. Thomas www.elgintheatreguild.ca

Sat Jun 1 Russell House Apparel Anniversary Celebration

10am-7pm | 519-782-7781 211 Main St, Port Stanley www.russellhouseapparel.com

Sat Jun 1 Redtail Cocktail Party & Silent Auction

4-7:30pm | $100 ($65 tax receipt) Redtail Golf Club 7020 Mill Rd, RR#2 Port Stanley 519-631-4040 | www.stepac.ca

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RELISH ELGIN LATE SPRING 2013

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Events Sat Jun 1 Vienna EdisonFest

9am-6pm | Vienna Memorial Park 6226 Plank Rd | 519-866-5521 www.bayham.on.ca

Sat Jun 1 & Sun Jun 2 Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Wed Jun 5 to Sat Jun 8 St. Anne’s Festival

Opens Wed & Thurs 4pm, Fri noon, Sat 11am | 519-631-3640 St. Anne's Community Centre 20 Morrison Dr, St. Thomas www.stannesfestival.com

Thurs Jun 6 to Tues Jun 11 Classic cars, model aircraft, trains and Pink Plants for a Cure

Fri Jun 7 to Sun Jun 9 21st Annual Rosy Rhubarb Festival

Shedden Keystone Complex & community | 519-764-2600 www.rosyrhubarbfestival.com

Sat Jun 8 Hammer Time Beach Volleyball Tournament

museum displays, music & activities 10am-4pm | 519-637-6284 Elgin County Railway Museum 225 Wellington St, St. Thomas www.ecrm5700.org

Pink plant proceeds to Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Canadale Nurseries | 519-631-7264 269 Sunset Dr, St. Thomas www.canadale.com

Proceeds to Habitat for Humanity 8am-4:30pm | 519-782-4555 $235/team, $35/individual GT's Beach Bar & Grill | www.fcssc.ca 350 Edith Cavell Blvd, Port Stanley

Sun Jun 2 Club Fitting & Demo Day

Fri Jun 7 St. Thomas PA Day Camp

Sat Jun 8 Van Fest

10am-3pm | 519-782-7447 The Bluffs Golf Club 35593 Lake Line, Port Stanley www.thebluffsgolfclub.com

Sun Jun 2 Six Sundays: Risotto

Culinary hands-on experience Arts & Cookery Bank | 519-768-9986 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne www.theartsandcookerybank.com

Mon Jun 3 to Fri Aug 30 Exhibition: Short Routes & Easy Grades

8:30am-4pm (extended available) $30 (includes lunch) Timken Community Centre 2 Third Avenue, St. Thomas Parks & Rec, 519-633-7112 www.city.st-thomas.on.ca

Fri Jun 7 to Sat Jun 8 13th Annual Relay For Life 7pm-7am | St. Joseph’s High School 100 Bill Martyn Parkway, St.Thomas 519-432-1137 | www.relayforlife.ca

Fri Jun 7 to Sun Jun 9 Port Stanley Artists’ Railway Heritage of Elgin/St. Thomas Guild Show & Sale Elgin County Museum 450 Sunset Dr, St. Thomas, 4th Floor 519-631-1460 x160 www.elgincounty.ca

Fri 7-10pm, Sat 12-8pm & Sun 12-5pm | Royal Canadian Legion 310 George St West, Port Stanley www.portstanleyartguild.com

Canada's Premiere Truck Show Springwater Conservation Area 10am-5pm | 8079 Springwater Rd 519-773-9037 | www.catfishcreek.ca

Sat Jun 8 & Sun Jun 9 14th Annual East Elgin Sportsmen's Association Open House Try shooting and archery 9am-5pm (gates close at 4pm) $10/person, $30/family; ammo $1 East Elgin Sportsmen’s Association 9586 Springfield Rd, Aylmer 519-615-6377 | www.eesa.ca

Sun Jun 9 Kids, Cops & Canadian Tire Fishing Day

Port Bruce | www.kidsandcops.ca

OVER BAYHAM DwIwSw.C bayham.on.ca • 519-866-552 1

Edison Museum of Vienna

14 Snow Street • 519-874-4999

Port Burwell Marine Museum & Historic Lighthouse

20 Pitt Street & 17 Robinson Street • 519-874-4807 Museums Open Daily Mid-May to Labour Day

Wind Interpretive Centre Information Kiosk

5361 Brown Road at Nova Scotia Line

HMCS Ojibwa Submarine, Port Burwell

www.elginmilitarymuseum.ca

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Gateway to Erie’s Shore

EDISON FEST • JUNE 1 Memorial Park, Vienna, 9am-6pm, 519-866-5521 Kids’ activities, free draws, museum tours, entertainment, food & craft vendors and family fun. CANADA DAY PARADE & CELEBRATIONS Parade at 11:30am, Port Burwell, followed by cake cutting and festivities.

RELISH ELGIN LATE SPRING 2013


Events Sun Jun 9 Elgin Theatre Guild: Wingfield's Folly

2pm | $40 (at Bell's Book Bin) Princess Avenue Playhouse 40 Princess Ave, St. Thomas 633-8530 | elgintheatreguild.ca

Sun Jun 9 THE Grape Escape Vineyard Run

2.5, 5 & 10km races, plus kids race Lunch, entertainment & prizes Quai du Vin Estate Winery 45811 Fruit Ridge Line, St. Thomas 519-775-2216 | www.quaiduvin.com

Jun 12 to Jul 6 Port Stanley Festival Theatre: Henry & Alice Into the Wild

Matinees 2pm, evenings 8pm Port Stanley Festival Theatre 302 Bridge St, Port Stanley 519-782-4353 www.portstanleytheatre.ca

Thurs Jun 13 Cedarhurst SALON & SPA Summer Open House

1-7pm | 519-631-7629 76 Talbot St, St. Thomas www.cedarhurstsalonandspa.com

Fri Jun 14 Shedden Tractor Pull

Shedden Tractor Pull Sat Jun 15 Extreme Elgin

Extreme athlete fundraiser for ElginSt. Thomas Community Foundation Preregistration required Springwater Conservation Area 8079 Springwater Rd, Aylmer 519-637-8230 | www.escf.ca

Sat Jun 15 Family Bike Festival

9am-11am and 11am-1pm Timken Community Centre 2 Third Ave, St. Thomas activeelgin.ca

Sat Jun 15 Dancing in the DOC

Barn dance with Hey Loretta Port Stanley Village Assn fundraiser 8pm-12am | 519-782-4563 $30 advance, $35 at the door Dominion of Canada (former Omstead) building Harbourside Port Stanley

Sat Jun 15 5th Annual Sparta Girls' Day Out

Breakfast, lunch, gift bag, discounts $30/person (sales end May 25) Sat Jun 15 Shedden Keystone Complex 46272 Sparta Ln, Sparta 35921 Talbot Line (Hwy #3), Shedden Springfield Family Fun Day Sheila, 519-775-2642 sheddentruckandtractorpull.com www.fun-day.ca www.villageofsparta.com

QUAI DUVIN 2013 EVENTS

may 25 WINEMAKERS DINNER Jun 9 GRAPE ESCAPE VINEYARD RUN Jul 7 ULTIMATE TRIBUTES Jul 28 MOTOWN MEMORIES aug 11 DISCO MANIA aug 25 REDS, WHITES & THE BLUES

519-775-2216 • www.QuaiduVin.com 2km north of Sparta, Ontario

RELISH ELGIN LATE SPRING 2013

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Events Sat Jun 22 & Sat Aug 17 Spikes Beach Volleyball Tournament

GT's Beach Bar & Grill 350 Edith Cavell Blvd, Port Stanley 519-782-4555 | www.spikes.on.ca

Sun Jun 23 & Sun Aug 11 Victorian Tea

$10 | Backus-Page House Museum 29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown 519-762-3072 | backuspagehouse.ca

Thurs Jun 27 5th Annual Warden's Charity Golf Tournament For Elgin County United Way $125/person | 519-631-1460 x456 St. Thomas Golf & Country Club 42325 Sparta Ln, Union

Lions Club Father's Day Car Show Sat Jun 15 Sarah & Jeff'S June & Johnny TRIBUTE Show

3pm & 7:30pm St. Thomas–Elgin Public Art Centre 301 Talbot St, St. Thomas 519-631-4040 | www.stepac.ca

Sat June 15, Jul 6 & Aug 17 Downtown St. Thomas Street Art

Artisans, live music, kids crafts & more 1-6pm | Next to St. Thomas City Hall Mondamin St, St. Thomas www.downtownstthomas.com

Sat Jun 15 to Sun Jun 16 Family Horse Camp

$80/person | Register on website Horseshoe J Dude Ranch 32553 Erin Line, Fingal 519-762-5402 www.duderanchontario.com

Sun Jun 16 16th Lions Club Father's Day Car Show $10/car registration 8am–4pm | Pinafore Park 89 Elm St, St. Thomas Wayne Cudney, 519-631-2148

Sat Jun 22 Belmont Summer Fun Day

www.belmonthub.ca

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Sat Jun 22 St. Thomas & District Hort Fri Jun 28 to Sun Jun 30 Great Lakes Society Annual Rose & International Airshow Flower Show

2-6pm | Msgr Morrison Catholic School Featuring the Snowbirds Off-site parking $5/vehicle 10 S Edgeware Rd, St.Thomas Arrival Day & Hour of Power Fri Shelley MacKenzie, 519-769-2529 4-8:30pm; Sat & Sun displays 10am6pm, flying 1-4pm Sat Jun 22 & Sun Jun 23 St. Thomas Municipal Airport Pinecroft's 65TH Anniversary Celebration Talbot Line/Highway 3, St. Thomas greatlakesinternationalairshow.ca Ron Meyers Pottery Workshop, Sat & Sun, $150; Lake Erie Perch Fry, Sat Fri Jun 28 to Mon Jul 1 6pm, $25; Valdy Concert, Sat 8pm, Port Stanley Canfest 2013 $20 advance/$25 at door; Live music, boat parade, vendors & Entire Weekend $176.99 more; Fireworks Sun in front of GTs Pinecroft Pottery | 519-773-3435 www.portstanleycanfest.ca 8048 Rogers Rd S, Aylmer Sat Jun 29 & Sun Jun 30 www.pinecroft.ca

Sat Jun 22 to MON JuL 1 Steed & Co Lavender Bloom Celebration

47589 Sparta Line, Sparta 519-494-5525 www.steedandcompany.com

Sat Jun 22 & Sat Jul 27 9 & Dine: Play by the Lake

Proceeds to Port Stanley Theatre $65/one day, $100/both days The Bluffs Golf Club | 519-782-4353 35593 Lake Line, Port Stanley www.portstanleytheatre.ca

Sparta's 200th Birthday Celebration

Parade Sat 11am; Photo Display Sat 9am-4pm, Community Hall; Lunch Sat 12-1:30pm, Community Hall; BBQ & Dance Sat 5pm, Quai du Vin Garden Party Display, Sun 2-5pm, Church Museum | villageofsparta.com

Sun Jun 30 West Lorne Optimist Club Show & Shine in the Shade

8:30am–noon, breakfast 8:30–11am Miller Park | 519-768-2972 134 Chestnut St, West Lorne

RELISH ELGIN LATE SPRING 2013


Events JULY EVENTS

Mon Jul 1 Daily Jul & Aug (except Jul 27) Fingal Canada Day Celebrations Summer Days with the Fingal Ball Park, Fingal Beekeeper Mon Jul 1 11am-2pm | 519-773-5503 West Lorne Canada Day Adventure farm open 9am-5:30pm $11/person, $50/group of 5 Celebrations

Mon Jul 1 St. Thomas Canada Day Celebrations

Fireworks display at 10pm Pinafore Park | city.st-thomas.on.ca

Mon July 1 Port Burwell Canada Day Celebrations

Clovermead Bees & Honey 11302 Imperial Rd, Aylmer www.clovermead.com

Activities 1pm; fireworks 9:30pm Miller Park www.westelgin.net

Parade at 11:30 (Legion to Library) www.bayham.on.ca

Mon Jul 1 Half-Price Herb Sale

Mon Jul 1 Belmont Canada Day Celebrations

Tues Jul 2 to Fri Aug 30 City of St. Thomas Summer Day Camps

11am-3:30pm | 519-866-5577 Heritage Line Herbs 53443 Heritage Ln, Aylmer www.heritagelineherbs.com

Mon Jul 1 Dutton Canada Day Celebrations

Activities at noon; fireworks at dusk Sons of Scotland Park, Dutton www.duttondunwich.on.ca

F

Activities 9am; fireworks at dusk Village of Belmont

Pinafore & Waterworks Parks 519-633-7112 | city.st-thomas.on.ca

Mon Jul 1 Malahide & Aylmer Canada Day Celebrations

Thurs Jul 4 to Tues Jul 16 Canadale Customer Appreciation Sale

Activities 5-9pm; fireworks at dusk East Elgin Community Complex 531 Talbot St West, Aylmer eastelgincommunitycomplex.ca

S

Everything in stock 30-70% off Canadale Nurseries | 519-631-7264 269 Sunset Dr, St. Thomas www.canadale.com

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Fresh produce from our field to your table, guaranteed! www.fergusonproduce.com Strawberries . Raspberries . Sweet Corn . Pumpkins . Preserves

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Events Fri Jul 5 to Sun Jul 7 Balls Bike Rally

Sun Jul 7 Rodney Kiwanis Club Kids Fishing Derby

Ride with a thousand for charity Springwater Conservation Area Registration 9:30am, fishing 10-2pm 8079 Springwater Rd Port Glasgow Marina | 519-785-0163 519-773-9037 | www.catfishcreek.ca

Wed Jul 10 to Sat Jul 27 Port Stanley Theatre: Not In My Backyard

Sat July 6 to SUN July 14 Ontario License Free Family Fishing Week Sun Jul 7 St.Thomas & District Hort Society Garden Tour

302 Bridge St, Port Stanley 519-782-4353 www.portstanleytheatre.ca

gardenontario.org/site.php/thomas

Pinafore Park | 89 Elm St, St. Thomas

Fri July 19 to Sun Jul 21 THE All New FreshFest

Tasting event Fri evening, Horton Market breakfast Sat morning, local food BBQ & entertainment Sat evening, Savour Elgin tours Fri-Sun CASO Station, 750 Talbot, St. Thomas www.freshfest.ca

Fri Jul 19 to Sun Jul 21 Port Stanley Pride Weekend

FRI Jul 12 11am-5pm | $10/person (at Canadale) Kids, Cops & Canadian Tire Shelley MacKenzie, 519-769-2529 Fishing Day

www.portstanley.net

www.kidsandcops.ca Sun Jul 7 Summer Sounds Delicious: Fri Jul 12 to Sun Jul 14 Ultimate Tributes Open Garden: Daylily 2–7pm | In support of Easter Seals Ensemble Gardens

8am–6pm | $20/ages 2+ St. Thomas Elgin Memorial Centre 80 Wilson Ave, St. Thomas 1-888-222-6608 www.thomasandfriends.com/dowt www.ticketweb.ca/dowt

$25 advance, $30 at gate 25 Mandeville Rd, St. Thomas Quai du Vin Estate Winery 519-631-8927 45811 Fruit Ridge Line, St. Thomas 519-775-2216 | www.quaiduvin.com Sun Jul 14

Sun Jul 7 Port Glasgow Yacht Club Annual Steak BBQ

Golf Fore a Cure

Register before Wed July 10 $55/golfer | 519-782-7447 2pm | The Bluffs Golf Club $15 | Everyone welcome 35593 Lake Line, Port Stanley Port Glasgow Marina | 519-785-1765 www.thebluffsgolfclub.com

Fri Jul 19 to Sun Jul 21, Fri Jul 26 to Sun Jul 28 Day Out With Thomas

Sat Jul 20 & Sun Jul 21 Cactus, Cattle & Cowboys Western Festival

New Extreme Cowboy on Sun Miller Park, West Lorne 1-866-401-2965 www.cactuscattleandcowboys.ca

WE STRIVE FOR ACCURACY IN THESE LISTINGS, BUT DETAILS SOMETIMES CHANGE SO PLEASE CALL AHEAD.

FIND MORE AT WWW.RELISHELGIN.CA

More events, details and past event photos can be found on our website.

Make our garden your garden! strawberries raspberries tomatoes and much more seasonally available

48937 Glencolin Ln, Aylmer Open Mon-Sat 8am-6pm 519-765-1752 www.berryhillfruitfarm.com

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Strawberries begin in early June. Visit us at the Horton Farmers’ Market in St. Thomas, Saturdays 8am-noon.

RELISH ELGIN LATE SPRING 2013


3 Port Cycle Tour, photo by Dave Helsdon of Aylmer Express

Recreation

Cycling Taking a bicycle for a spin can be a simple pleasure with wonderful side effects. Bicycling’s potential as a form of relaxation, exercise, sport, transportation, and driver of tourism has recently been receiving increased local interest. The move is on to encourage participation and also to showcase the particular appeals of bicycling in Elgin County.

Recognizing the important lifestyle benefits of active transportation via walking and biking, Elgin St. Thomas Public Health (ESTPH) has spearheaded an extensive Active Transportation Initiative. It includes a plan to ensure a network of on-road and off-road corridors and routes across the area. Measures to encourage, educate and advocate in order to make walking and cycling more convenient, fun and safe are all important elements of the strategy. Early in June, ESTPH will launch its “Share the Road” campaign across the county. It’s designed to spread a blitz of reminders that sharing the road is the rule of the road. Being just a little more conscious of fellow travellers would go a long way toward increasing the well-being of everyone. A Bike Summit on Friday June 14th will bring together experts and enthusiasts with ideas and inspiration for those who are striving for a more

IN ELGIN

bicycle-friendly community. On Saturday June 15th, a Family Bike Festival will be held at Timken Centre in St. Thomas. Support for Active Transportation is also being driven by a new community group started in February, Citizens for Active Transportation. The group is excited about working at the grassroots level to help build a community culture, atmosphere and facilities which will be conducive to cycling, hiking, walking, running and rolling. Find out more about the above initiatives by visiting www.activeelgin.ca.

Mapping a Route to Leisure Cycling

Maps for five routes incorporating lovely scenery and historical or cultural notes of interest are available at www.elgintourist.com (follow the “Things to Do” and “Adventure” tabs). A little gem, “Cycle Historic Elgin” was written by avid historian and cyclist, Paul Baldwin. It includes eight local history / cycling experiences and is available at libraries. The Elgin-St. Thomas Cycling & Hiking Trail Map is a fullcolour, large-scale map with hiking info on one side and cycling routes, tips, and references on the other. Find it at ESTPH, Elgin Tourism and municipal offices.

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Recreation Events for Cyclists »» Sport in Port, based in Port Stanley, is a com-

munity organization whose goal is to grow sport in the community. Biking, running and other sporting events can be found at www.facebook.com/ sportinport in the events section.

»» The annual Three-Port Cycle Tour has three

routes of 160, 100 and 50 km; it started in 2011 with over 100 riders and grew to almost 250 in 2012. This year’s tour takes place on Saturday August 17th. All three supported, scenic routes start and finish in Aylmer with lunch in Port Bruce. Sponsored by Aylmer Express, the event was conceived as a way to promote Elgin County as a cycling destination, with funds going to youth projects. It was named the national winner of the 2012 Outstanding Community Service Award by the Canadian Community Newspaper Association. To find out more visit www.threeporttour.ca.

»» The Great Waterfront Trail Adventure, an

annual 7-day, fully supported recreational bike tour comes to Lake Erie August 11th-17th, 2013. The work of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust started with the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. In 2013, it expanded westward along Lake Erie with the addition of 27 new waterfront communities along a signed, mostly on-road route. Great Waterfront Trail Adventure—Lake Erie will mark the launch of this portion of the trail, now 1400 km from Windsor to Quebec. Stops in Elgin County include Backus-Page House Museum near Wallacetown, Port Stanley and Port Burwell. Find out more about the trail and the tour at www.waterfronttrail.org. Find more about these and future cycling events in Elgin at www.relishelgin.ca. Photo (previous page) of 3 Port Cycle Tour by Dave Helsdon of Aylmer Express

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RELISH ELGIN LATE SPRING 2013


Recreation

PROFILE OF AN ELGIN COUNTY CYCLIST One local cycling enthusiast, Aylmer resident Bill Murch, shares his thoughts on biking. How long have you been biking? Since I was a kid, in the early sixties. Then, it meant freedom. I didn’t have to take the bus to go to school or get a ride from my parents to go somewhere. My friends and I could head out and explore the world. Presently, I have two bikes. One is heavier with saddle bags and fenders which I use to do errands around town or check out the yard sales on Saturday morning. You would be surprised what you can carry on a bike! The other is a low end road bike but I find it is good for cruising. The Christmas before I retired I was invited to join a group who would be doing an eight day, 50 km per day bike tour along the Mosel River in Germany the following September. I spent the summer getting ready. By luck that was the first year of the ThreePort Tour, so I used the 50 km tour as my initial goal.

Are you a leisure/recreational or serious biker? Definitely a leisure/recreational cyclist. I am not a pretty sight in spandex! What have you found to be the biggest benefits for you personally? Now, it’s the ability to go somewhere not in a car – smaller environmental foot print. It is an economical way to get around. Really, it’s the ability to explore an area and meet different people. If I can’t bring a bike with me on a trip, I will look for ways to borrow or rent one. I enjoy both the physical and mental feelings I get from cycling. And it is a way to take on a challenge, like getting ready for your first 50 km bike ride. Favourite trail, route or place for biking? The Three-Port Tour 50 km route; Wolfe Island in the St. Lawrence across from Kingston; the next place I go on a ride, even if it is simply downtown. Is there anything you find particularly appealing about cycling in Elgin County? You have a range of topography—long stretches of level roads as well as the descent and climbs of the valleys of Catfish Creek, etc. I avoid the main roads like Highway 3. Most of the other roads are paved and well maintained. The drivers for the most part give you the right of way and pull out when passing. Do you have any thoughts/hopes about the future of cycling in the local area? I would like to see the Share the Road program increase in popularity. Capital infrastructure projects such as road improvements should include provisions for cyclists. Wider shoulders are important. More bike stands in downtown areas would be great. Attract younger riders to the enjoyment of cycling. And reintroduce the ‘zoomers’, the people of my age and older, to it too. It would be great if Elgin County would be recognized as an interesting part of the north shore of Lake Erie cycling route. It certainly has routes for every type of cyclist. Photo courtesy of Bill Murch

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Entertainment

Live & Lively in Elgin County

The energy and dynamic of live actors playing for a live audience makes for an experience unique from that of movies or television. Whether professional or community, what shines through at most performances is that the actors, director and all those behind the scenes are dedicated to giving the audience a memorable theatre experience.

In the Elgin Theatre Guild’s upcoming production of Old Love, Rob Faust plays Bud Mitchell who reconnects with a woman he had known twenty or so years ago, at her husband’s funeral. A younger actor plays Bud in flashback scenes. Rob smiles, “It’s the role that I might have played twenty years ago when I started acting. It’s a play that should have appeal to a broad audience. I am looking forward to acting in it.” It starts May 9th. (519-633-8530, www.elgintheatreguild.ca).

Relish Elgin chatted recently with a local actor, Marina Silic and actor/director, Rob Faust. Both worked on Heart’s Desire with the Elgin Theatre Guild in March. Rob directed; fourteen-year old Marina played the role of teenaged Alison Smiley. They offered some insights into their experience with community theatre from behind the stage lights. The action goes from sublime to ridiculous as the Aylmer Community Theatre presents Honeymoon for Three starting May 9th (519-765-3039, www.aylmertheatre.ca). Port Stanley Theatre kicks off their season on May 28th with the Back in ’59, a rollicking nonstop journey through the top musical hits of the 50s and 60s. It runs to June 8th, and is followed by four more productions you won’t want to miss (519-782-4353, www.portstanleytheatre.ca).

JOE PRESTON M.P. ELGIN - MIDDLESEX - LONDON

Ready and available to help with your Federal concerns. Constituency Office: 2-24 First Avenue, St. Thomas, ON N5R 4M5 Tel: (519) 637-2255 • Fax: (519) 637-3358 Toll Free: 1-866-404-0406

www.joeprestonmp.ca

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Entertainment ACTOR/ DIRECTOR ROB FAUST On directing... After having acted in two previous versions of Heart’s Desire, I felt well prepared to put my directional spin on the Elgin Theatre Guild’s production. Some directors don’t give a lot of direction, but I tend to give a fair amount. As an actor I was given some helpful insights by professionals, and was pushed to portray a guy, for example, who was hurting. I appreciated that. I think good actors crave direction. Benefits of theatre for young people... For one thing, discipline—it may look easy but the

ACTOR MARINA SILIC On learning lines and getting into character... You become the character, and it gets easier to remember the lines. A date is set to go off-book and by then it is pretty easy. To get in character, you imagine that you are in the real world and figure out how your character would act. For the first couple of rehearsals we did character analysis. You think about what your character would do in different situations and share ideas. The woman who played my mother (Judy Cormier) was really good at doing that. Also, you feed off of each other’s energy—in some of the scenes with

challenge is not just learning lines but being able to interact with the other characters, and being totally in the moment. It’s also a chance to meet a lot of wonderful people and learn what you’re capable of. Hopes for the Elgin Theatre Guild... We want to attract more audiences to come and see that amateur theatre can be of high calibre. We want to present quality shows with characters who come across as real people. The plays next season cover a lot of bases—there are comedies to start and end the season, another Pantomime, Little Shop of Horrors in March and Postcards in May. We also want to increase community involvement by offering acting courses for adults and children, and attracting more volunteers. They are needed for every aspect of the shows—ticket sales, concession, acting, direction, lights, sound, make-up, props. Our volunteers are appreciated and they end up having a lot of fun. my brother (Jake, played by Alex Pickersgill) I was so frustrated with his terrible behaviour that my heart would start pounding. On acting in Heart’s Desire... I liked the character that I played—she was loud and hyper and her movements were ‘big’. It was a fun character to play. I learned a lot from working with the actor who played Sueleen. [Ashley Grech gave a memorable performance as the over-the-top sexy girlfriend of the main character.] She was very good at what she did. She also got me interested in, some day, trying out acting in murder mysteries. The importance of live local theatre… To me, local theatre is a necessity. It’s a way for people to get into acting. In drama class you maybe don’t put yourself out there as much as in a theatre play. It gives you real experience with props and lighting and everything.

Photos courtesy of Claudia Hepburn. Opposite page: Marina Silic, Ross Hepburn & Judy Cormier in Elgin Theatre Guild's Heart's Desire; This page, top: Rob Faust; This page, bottom: Marina Silic & Ross Hepburn Find the complete interviews and more of Claudia Hepburn’s photos at www.relishelgin.ca.

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Map of Elgin

Locally Grown

MAY & JUNE PRODUCE

Asian Vegetables • Asparagus • Beans (Wax/Green) Bok Choy • Broccoli • Cabbage • Cauliflower Cherries • Cucumber • Lettuce Mushrooms • Onions (Cooking/Green) Peas (Green/Snow) Peppers (Greenhouse) Potatoes • Radicchio Radishes

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PORT GLASGOW

Rhubarb Rutabaga • Spinach Sprouts • Strawberries Tomatoes (Greenhouse)

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DISCOVER • INDULGE • ESCAPE

Our gift boutique offers unique handcrafted gifts & gourmet foods created from our harvested lavender. Open Wed-Sat 10-5 & Sun 12-4 • Mother’s Day until Christmas

MAY 12 - MOTHER’S DAY SEASON OPENING JUNE 22 - JUL 1 - LAVENDER BLOOM CELEBRATION 47589 Sparta Ln, Sparta • 519-494-5525 • buds@steedandcompany.com • www.steedandcompany.com growers & creators of fine lavender products

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JOHN WISE LINE 73

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QUAI DUVIN RETAIL STORE

OPEn yEaR ROunD QUAI DU VIN REDS & WHITES Specialty WineS • Fruit WineS Wine JellieS • Sparkling cocktailS gourmet goodS • giFtWare PluS TOuRS, WEDDIngS & EVEnTS

519-775-2216 • www.QuaiduVin.com 2km north of Sparta, Ontario


Arts

Art

AS CONVERSATION BY DOROTHY GEBERT

Painters stand alone in contemplation in front of their easels, sculptors sit by themselves on their stools while molding clay, and photographers peer through their camera lenses in isolated concentration. The act of creation can be solitary work. But, as much as the enjoyment of producing a work of art is a major attraction of being an artist, many practitioners consider sharing their work with others to be just as meaningful. It’s what painter Susan Shurish calls “the other half of the conversation,” where the creation of a piece is just the beginning of the process, completed only when someone else responds by viewing it. In this spirit of interaction, the Port Stanley Artists’ Guild is holding its 23rd Show and Sale June 7-9,

2013. The 50 members of the Guild, who range in ability from beginner to very experienced, pursue their craft in a variety of media, including photography, sculpture, and painting. The show is an opportunity for member artists to get out of their studios and connect with the public and each other. “Because we have the show,” says painter Aganetha Sawatzky, “I see other people’s work. It inspires me, and I learn so much.” One of the pieces Aganetha will have on display is an oil painting called Peaches in Muffin Liners on Foil. The fruit caught her eye at a farm stand and was so artfully arranged that she thought, “I just have to paint this.” What resulted was a still life in brilliant blues and oranges that combined realistic

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Arts form with abstract detail. “It’s exciting for me to see a blank canvas, have something come out of it, and have other people relate to that.” Sandra England is relatively new to the art world, having taken up painting in 2005. “When you’re a new artist you’re afraid to venture out and show your work in public,” she says. “The Guild gave me the confidence to put my work out there.” Sandra will be showing one of her paintings called Las Ramblas, an abstract streetscape in vibrant acrylics. She didn’t create it with that subject in mind, but when her husband saw the finished work, he said it reminded him of the bustling Barcelona promenade they had once visited. “Sometimes there’s things that other people see that you didn’t,” she says, “but if that’s what speaks to them, that’s what the painting becomes. And that’s okay.” Susan Shurish agrees. “It’s not important that people see the same thing I see in it. But you want

to be communicating something, because the painting is, after all, your particular point of view of the world. It’s nice to connect on that level with other people.” In her work, Susan communicates with viewers through the use of texture, colour, line, and rhythm. In the abstract acrylic painting she is displaying at the show called Blue, she experimented with textured paper in combination with bright blues and warm reds. “Wherever your eye goes, a line is going to take you back to the middle eventually. It’s sort of like a big puzzle, and that’s the fun of abstracts for me.” To acknowledge excellence in the artwork and provide encouragement to the artists, the pieces in the show are judged by an outside expert (this year, it’s contemporary mixed media artist Jill Price from Barrie) who presents 10 Juror’s Choice Awards and 10 Honourable Mention Awards. The judge’s remarks are posted beside the award-winning pieces so that the public can understand why the judge made her decision. “It’s a conversation starter to have these comments posted,” says Susan. “You often see animated conversations about what the judge has said in relation to a particular piece and whether they agree or not or would find another piece more worthy by the same artist or by someone else.” Artists will be on hand at various times throughout the show to discuss their work, but the public can become part of the dialogue by casting a vote for the Patron’s

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Arts

Choice Award. “It’s not necessarily that you have to be their favourite in order to get the pleasure out of it,” says Sandra. “It’s just a very positive experience if you get some votes. And that’s great feedback.” The Port Stanley Artists’ Guild 23rd Annual Show & Sale will be at the Royal Canadian Legion, 310 George Street, Port Stanley on June 7 (7-10pm), June 8 (128pm) and June 9 (12-5pm). Admission and parking are free. For more information, visit www.portstanleyartguild.com. WORKS PICTURED • Sandra England, Las Ramblas, acrylic, 39x31 (previous page) • Susan Shurish, Blue, acrylic, 12x12 (at left) • Aganetha Sawatzky, Peaches in Muffin Liners on Foil, oil, 18x24 (above) Photos courtesy of Port Stanley Artists' Guild Dorothy Gebert is an Elgin County writer with an interest in telling our local stories.

RELISH ELGIN LATE SPRING 2013

Affordable for Fa milies GROW WHAT WE GROW

Get transplants at the farm mid-April & the Market in May

EAT WHAT WE EAT

We can all eat certified organic meat, eggs and produce HORTON FARMERS’ MARKET • SATURDAYS 8-12 (MAY-OCT) Organic Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs & Preserves THE FARM • 42828 SHORLEA LN, ST. THOMAS Organic Pastured Pork & Beef • Organic Brown Eggs Fresh Organic Chicken available on Chicken Days (see website for details and prices)

519-631-0279 • 42828 Shorlea Line, St. Thomas

www.McsmithsOrganicFarm.com

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CENTRAL TO EVERYTHING, SECOND TO NONE

Beach, beauty, boats... EXHIBITION: APRIL 12 - JULY 6

...come discover Port Glasgow Marina & Beach UPCOMING EVENTS

MARCH Of TIME:

A BicentenniAl commemorAtion of the WAr of 1812-15

Features reproductions of works of art related to nearly every major action of the four years of the war. It provides an engaging overview of the war and its key figures. Includes artifacts of the era. Marine art by Peter Rindlisbacher, Reproduced and circulated by Canadian Art Cards

West Lorne Optimist Car Show - Sun Jun 30th West Lorne Canada Day Celebrations - Mon Jul 1st 1:30pm - Kids Country Carnival - Bouncy Castle, Clown, Games, Splash Pad & More! FREE, FREE, FREE!

Kids’ Port Glasgow Fishing Derby - Sun Jul 7th Cactus, Cattle & Cowboys - Sat & Sun Jul 20th & 21st New Event: Extreme Cowboy Competition on Sunday

WEST ELGIN

We’re just down the road and off the beaten path.

Elgin County Administration Building, 4th Floor, 450 Sunset Drive (Hwy 4), St. Thomas, Ontario Open year round - Call for seasonal hours 519.631.1460 ext. 160

WEST LORNE • RODNEY • PORT GLASGOW

WWW.ELGINCOUNTY.CA

519-785-0560

www.westelgin.net


Entertainment

Aylmer Area Community Choir NOTES ON AN ANNIVERSARY CONCERT

“Alleluia!” began the Aylmer Area Community Choir’s 10th Anniversary Concert this past April. The buoyant mood of the choir marking ten years of making music together, and the audience enjoying the pleasure of listening, was perfectly summed up by the choir’s rendition of the Alleluia Canon. In preparing to emcee the concert, Adele Miles had picked up on a water theme winding through the musical selections, and worked it into a light hearted introduction to each piece, one that set the tone and let the audience in on a little choir background. The choir was launched back in 2003 after Jackie Baldwin, an Aylmer Area Community Band member, suggested the creation of a spin-off group for singers. With some financial assistance for start-up from the Aylmer Community Foundation, the founders advertised for interested people and with replies from ten or so enthusiasts, the choir was

born. It grew over the years to the present thirty members, approximately one-third men and twothirds women. At the concert’s closing, appreciation was expressed to Director Dave Dykeman “for his patience herding us cats and his ability to choose music we sound good singing.” Dave has directed the group since it started; choir executive member Joanne Orton notes, “He is exceptional. He has remarkable patience working with singers at many varying levels.” Accompanists have changed a few times since the choir’s inception. Evan Thompson took on the role this year and was given thanks at the end of the show for his playing and “remarkable musical wit”. The ten-year milestone is a good indicator that, together, director, members and executive seem to have come up with a combination of fun and challenge that hits just the right notes.

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Entertainment Says Joanne, “What members seem to enjoy the most is the different types of music along with the camaraderie. As well as concerts, we do community visits to nursing and retirement homes, entertain at church anniversary services, and even do a Christmas Carol sleigh ride (if the weather cooperates).” With Dave as guide, members enjoy the challenge of taking on even more difficult music. Says Joanne, “He helps us learn the challenging pieces by breaking them down, then adding each section back in one by one. He is good at listening to what we find difficult, and to having us listen to music as an aid to learning. He puts a lot of effort into directing, even creating midi files that are sent to choir members so that they can practise at home.” The longevity of the choir (several have been members since the beginning) is one indicator of their success. It has also been recognized by others. For example they won the St. Thomas Rotary Music Festival Chairman’s Award for both 2012 and 2013. Being part of this choir is clearly a commitment to musical growth and development. It’s also, as the last four pieces of the concert showcased, a source of joy (Stodola Pumpa), a way to enjoy musical variety (Give Me A Choral Medley), an outlet for emotive expression (Until We Sing Again) and a great way to become energized and up-lifted (River in Judea, “a Gospel favourite”).

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Up from the valley we will make our way, Leaving behind the worries of the day, Being at one with all that we survey, Oh Stodola, stodola, stodola pumpa, Stodola pumpa, stodola pumpa… ~ Stodola Pumpa – A Folk Song All you have given me and all we have shared as friends Will stay within my heart Until we sing again… ~ Until We Sing Again The Aylmer Area Choir warmly welcomes new members. Rehearsals are 6:30pm Monday evenings at East Elgin Secondary School. Aylmer Area Community Band often joins the choir for concerts—together they have created a $200 scholarship for post-secondary music education. On May 24th, they will join the AAC Band for their year-end concert in Palmer Park Bandshell. For more information, contact Joanne Orton at 519-765-2216 or Dave Dykeman at 519-773-5506. Photos courtesy of David Orton (below right) & Mark Girdauskas (previous page, below left)

RELISH ELGIN LATE SPRING 2013


Heritage

Railway Nostalgia FUELLED BY ENTHUSIASM

It has often been suggested that St. Thomas & Elgin’s status as “Railway Capital” of yesteryear should be transformed into one of “Railway Nostalgia Capital” of today. It’s an idea based on the enormous impact of the railroad on the development of the area; local interest in railway history; attractions, activities, events (and beer) related to the railway; extensive collections of railway artifacts and several key elements of built railway heritage. The effect of the railway on the development of villages and towns, work, play and lifestyle of the people of St. Thomas and surrounding area was profound. Here is just a mini-sampler of some ways railways shaped the area.

PLACES & NAMES The railway, predominantly the Canada Southern (CASO) Railway, influenced the location of villages and towns and, frequently, even their names. When the Canada Southern Railway arrived at what is now the main intersection of West Lorne, development quickly took off. An impasse over naming

rights resulted in two names – West Lorne for the south section and Bismarck for the north. However, when the railway couldn’t track down a carload of freight which had mistakenly been unloaded in another town called Bismarck, CASO made the decision – it was West Lorne from there on in. St. Thomas was originally two centres, St. Thomas and Millersburg. When the CASO Railway arrived and purchased a large block of land for its station and car shop in Millersburg, the shape of St. Thomas changed forever. St. Thomas had spread out from the area adjoining the Old St. Thomas Church to around St. Catherine Street. Sparsely populated Millersburg, near Alma Street, was far outside of town, but it began to develop rapidly after the CASO land purchases. St. Thomas businessmen became concerned about the centre of commerce moving eastward; there was argument and namecalling but eventually a compromise was reached. Millersburg was annexed, with an agreement that it would be taxed at a lower rate to account for the considerably higher debts of old St. Thomas.

Photo: London & Port Stanley Railway Station, St. Thomas, circa 1940s, Elgin County Archives, Scott Studio fonds

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Heritage

Pere Marquette Railway Station, Shedden, circa 1923; Pere Marquette Railway depot, Port Stanley, circa 1911 Both Elgin County Archives, Robert Moore Postcard Collection

WORK In 1903, St. Thomas had five important continental railways and was the divisional headquarters of four of them. The people of St. Thomas and area were the beneficiaries of jobs related directly to the rail, in workshops, trains and offices, with sizable monthly payrolls. Hotels and businesses grew up to support the railway and attractive buildings were erected. Workers were hired for observation towers, track inspection and station operation in smaller communities. In 1906 approximately 46 passenger trains and numerous freight trains came in and out of St. Thomas on a daily basis.

DERAILMENTS & TRAGEDY Over the years, derailments were costly and inconvenient, but if not too serious were also a diversion for the crowds who would gather at the scene. What unfolded at a derailment was often dependent on what spilled from the rail cars – one news-making multi-car derailment in West Lorne in March of 1960 saw a tank car of molasses form a black creek along the right of way. The worst disaster in St. Thomas happened in July 1887 when a London and Port Stanley (L&PS) Railway train returning from Port Stanley ran into a Michigan

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Central freight train. Fourteen deaths and numerous injuries were caused to passengers and rescuers, first by the crash, and then by the fire which burst out when oil gushed over the engine.

PLAY With the advent of railways, circuses began to carry their handsome wagons and everything that went into their shows on rail cars, making possible the Golden Age of Circus. The public began to rank circus shows by their number of elephants soon after their first appearance in 1815. When Jumbo was killed in 1885, he and companion, Tom Thumb, were the last of 33 elephants to be loaded onto the Barnum and Bailey circus cars. St. Thomas’s famous monument commemorates a moment in history which made world headlines, but also a time when railways had tremendous influence and also brought to railway towns an amazing entertainment spectacle. The L&PS Railway brought the first passenger train to Port Stanley in July, 1856. Years later, the service was electrified. With the construction of amenities in Port Stanley which included a boardwalk, bath house where you could rent bathing suits, huge swimming pool and outdoor dance floor, Port

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Heritage

Michigan Central Railway station, West Lorne, circa 1930s, Elgin County Archives, Scott Studio fonds Stanley quickly became the Coney Island of the Great Lakes. In 1926, the L&PS Pavilion (later the Stork Club) built by the City of London opened to overwhelming response; frequently 6,000 people would crowd onto the dance floor. Local house bands of high calibre, along with names of the big band era drew crowds six nights a week through the 30s and 40s. In 1943, 1.7 million people rode the L&PS. Recollections of dancing at the Stork Club in the 50s and 60s can still bring a youthful smile to those who remember the experience.

TODAY »» The Port Stanley Terminal Rail is Elgin County’s

longest running tourist attraction. Volunteers have operated and maintained their trains and track for over thirty years. The original Port Stanley Station was restored for use as a museum and gift shop.

»» The Canada Southern Railway Station, built in 1873, has undergone extensive renovations to return it to its former grandeur and make it an attractive community venue.

»» 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the build-

ing of the MCR Locomotive Repair Shops, now home to the Elgin County Railway Museum. Volun-

teers and staff maintain an impressive collection of rolling stock, artifacts and displays. The museum brings “Thomas the Train” to St. Thomas each year; it attracts thousands of young train enthusiasts and is a significant fundraiser for the community.

»» The next exhibit at the Elgin County Museum,

debuting in early June, will detail the railway history of the region. It is being mounted to coincide with the anniversary of the MCR Shops, and in recognition of the number of railway projects underway. The exhibit showcases the surprising network of rail lines which reached far beyond the better known ones.

»» Last spring, the City of St. Thomas announced its

L&PS Corridor Project whose goal is to transform the heritage rail corridor from Wellington Street north to Kains Street. A highlight will be the installation of a replica of the L&PS Station which had originally opened at the same location in 1920. Other components will include re-installation of track from Centre Street and development of Moore Street as a public space and festival venue with paved corridor and other landscape beautification. Eventually, the tracks will carry Port Stanley Terminal Rail trains to the new L&PS Station.

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Heritage »» The MCR Railway Bridge has stood at the

western edge of the city since 1929, an iconic structure spanning Sunset Drive. It is the third bridge built on this historic railway crossing dating back to 1871. In April, community group On-Track St. Thomas, concluded an agreement to purchase and secure the bridge with future plans to create Canada’s first elevated park. The purchase includes the rail corridor running west to Lyle Line in Southwold Township. Initiatives and interest from many quarters seem to have reached the critical mass needed to give the “Railway Nostalgia Capital” idea plenty of steam. Coordination of all of the information, expertise, projects, and investments to maximize the impact of the theme would give it the momentum to achieve far-reaching beneficial impact for our community. Trains once powered by steam, and later diesel, could soon be powered by enthusiasm.

Find references for this article and more on the railways of St. Thomas and Elgin County at www.relishelgin.ca. The Elgin Historical Society (EHS) has recently launched a new website with extensive resources related to the history of Elgin County, including railway history. The site, www.elginhistoricalsociety.ca, was developed for EHS by local historian, Pete Sheridan. Find out more in his article posted at www.relishelgin.ca. Pete also has a railway history site in the works—it will be a central source for local railway history resources. Visit the galleries of the Elgin County Archives at www.elgincounty.ca/archives for more great Elgin railway photos.

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RELISH ELGIN LATE SPRING 2013


Food & Dining

Mazak's

Sarah and Barry Harrison had some time this year in mid-April to chat about Mazak Farms and growing organic asparagus. That wouldn’t have been true in 2012 when, by April 11th, they had already picked one hundred pounds of asparagus. The unusually early start to the season was followed by a cold snap that put an end to harvesting for the next two weeks.

horse farm into an asparagus growing one. Her dad had researched alternatives, including asparagus growing and sheep farming and had told them, “The decision has to involve the whole family.” Sarah laughs, “My sister and I voted on asparagus—I’m not sure if we really had any influence.” But asparagus it was.

Though the business of growing food can be at times a roller-coaster of strange weather and other uncertainties, Sarah and Barry have a definite upbeat mood as they look forward to another season. They have good reason for their positivity—they are building on a great foundation established by Sarah’s parents on the farm they now own; they have seen an ever-growing appreciation for local food and they are confident in their own commitment to a focused product line, done well.

The Mazaks chose to grow organically and to plant a variety called Jersey Giant. “It was an important choice,” Sarah notes, “because asparagus is a 20year crop.” Beginning in 1998, they began the first of three stages of planting, all by hand, inside what had been the ¼-mile track for horses.

Sarah remembers when her parents, Rick and Mary Mazak, decided to transition their thoroughbred

From the beginning, the Mazaks worked to develop a network of markets for both green and white asparagus. Popularity of the white asparagus has grown steadily, predominantly with people of German background. Sarah says, “My parents worked hard to sell directly to stores. Along with the farm

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Food & Dining gate operation, they built a solid customer base of stores in Toronto by maintaining good lines of communication, and offering helpful services like taking back boxes and re-using them so the vendor doesn’t have to pay for disposal.” Mazak Farms Asparagus’s current retail customers include Big Carrot, Whole Foods locations in Toronto, Organic Garage in Oakville, Eat Green Organics, London Co-Op and Gentle Rain in Stratford. Sarah has found that, “There’s been more interest in the farm in the last couple of years; the ‘buy local’ philosophy has had a huge effect, especially with asparagus being the first crop of spring.” It’s as if there is pent up demand to have the taste parade of a new season begin. Just-picked asparagus also possesses a distinct flavour advantage which makes it particularly attractive to farm gate shoppers. Says Sarah, “People are looking for us, wanting to come to the farm

34

to buy just-picked, and to buy their food from a farmer they trust. Social media has also been good for marketing.” Development of successful employee recruitment strategies and relationships has also been a boon to their operation. Harvest lasts only seven weeks and students need to understand that “it grows when it grows”. Barry explains, “The asparagus is graded to a length of 9 inches—letting it grow past that is a waste so, on good growing days, we will sometimes pick twice in one day.” Sarah looks forward to the return of two students from the past season. “Last year was ideal. We had a lot of fun—we solved many of the world’s problems around that grading line.” Barry explains that over winter they get equipment ready, stock supplies and prepare for the annual organic certification. In April the grading line gets set up. In July, after harvest, he discs the asparagus

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Food & Dining

under. That helps to kill weeds without using chemicals. The asparagus then comes up weed-free to fern out in the summer. Although many customers have suggested they would like the Harrisons to grow more vegetables, they have chosen to focus on fewer products and doing them well. They did expand last year with a crop of music garlic, and this year will be adding the elephant variety. People are happy to find a local alternative to the garlic from China which dominates the market. Managing organically means relying on Mother Nature and paying the costs related to yearly certification and sourcing organic nutrients, but the Harrisons believe it is an investment in health. They both studied for professional careers and, with a young family, like the security of having jobs off-farm as well as on. Asked how they see the future of farming, Barry and Sarah agree, “We would like to think it is ‘us’, the small farmer, and the local food trend.” And when those first spears of spring start to appear, their customers are likely to happily echo that hope.

WHITE VS. GREEN

As asparagus spears push their way out of the earth, sunlight causes chlorophyll production which turns the spears green. To produce white asparagus, farmers conventionally mound earth over the asparagus, preventing the sun from turning it green. White asparagus is traditional in northwestern Europe, considered to be milder in taste, although the process does add considerable labour and cost. However, always thinking about ways to be more efficient, the Mazak’s came up with the innovative idea of hooding the asparagus to shade it from the sun, significantly reducing the labour (and mess). Mazak Farms products are certified organic and they are located at 40075 Longhurst Line, St. Thomas. For more information, email mazakfarms@hotmail.com, visit ww.mazakfarms.ca, call 519-633-4634 or find them on Facebook and Twitter (Mazak Farms). Asparagus harvest usually continues until mid – or late-June. Photos courtesy of Mazak Farms

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Food & Dining

Asparagus BY CHEF CINDY BIRCHAM

The King of Spring, asparagus, is one of the first locally grown vegetables available each year. Although you may find spears available in grocery stores all year round, the taste and quality of locally grown dramatically differs from the imports. Similar to corn and peas, asparagus contains a lot of sugars at the moment of harvest. As soon as the spears are cut from the underground crown, those sugars begin to transform into starches. Fresh spears taste sweet and slightly herbaceous while old asparagus will taste bitter and astringent. All the more reason to purchase your vegetables direct from the farmer and as close to home as possible. When selecting asparagus, look for firm stalks with tight, closed tips. The cut ends should look fresh and moist, never dry and woody. The best way to store asparagus is similar to storing cut flowers: with the ends submerged in water (tips up) and loosely covered with a plastic bag. Store them in the refrigerator and eat as soon as possible. To trim asparagus, forget the advice to break the ends off

by snapping wherever the spear wants to break. Instead, use a knife and cut the ends off where the colour noticeably changes from white to green. If the outer skin of the asparagus is chewy or fibrous, use a peeler to remove it before cooking. Save the skins and woody ends to create stocks for soups or to cook rice in. Asparagus is suitable to a wide variety of cooking methods and can actually pair quite well with other foods. Thick asparagus can be shaved thin lengthwise and used raw in salads or as a pizza topping. Blanching asparagus briefly in salted boiling water until just knife tender then shocking the spears immediately in ice cold water ensures the vegetables keep their vibrant green colour and firm texture. Add blanched spears cut into 2-inch pieces to risottos, soups, tacos, potato salad or under Eggs Benedict. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper and barbeque to caramelize the outer skin leaving the interior tender and juicy. Asparagus can also be pickled in a brine, steamed in the microwave,

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Food & Dining or wrapped in phyllo dough and baked. What are some asparagus flavour pals? Butter, cream, and olive oil are a few. Mushrooms, cheese, mustard, citrus, bacon, onions, potatoes, smoked salmon, lake perch, horseradish, ginger, celery, parsley, and eggs are a few others. As soon as the weather warms up I’m outside not only plotting and planning gardens and patio set-ups, I’m also baking and frying. The barbeque gets fired up, of course, for asparagus pizzas and burgers, but so does another rarely used piece of cooking equipment: the deep-fryer. If you avoid fast food joints, eating something deep-fried is a royal treat. By using the fryer outside, I eliminate the long-lingering cooked oil aroma from filling up the kitchen but still am able to enjoy light and crispy ale battered asparagus that is fit for a king or queen. A mayonnaise-like lemon-garlic sauce served on the side with the spears makes a great snack for celebrating the first local veggies of the year.

ALE BATTERED ASPARAGUS Batter 1 tsp active dry yeast 1 bottle beer (341 mL) ¾ tsp kosher salt 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted Dissolve yeast in ¼ cup of beer. Stir in remaining beer and salt. Stir in flour all at once until smooth and slightly thin. Cover and set aside at room temperature until well-risen, about 2-3 hours. Lemon Aïoli 2 cloves fresh garlic ½ tsp kosher salt ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil zest and juice from 1 lemon 1 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs (chives, parsley, tarragon, etc.) Using a mortar and pestle, crush garlic with salt; put in a small food processor bowl and add lemon juice. Process while adding olive oil in a steady stream until thickened. (It won’t be as thick as mayonnaise but does get thicker with refrigeration.) Stir in lemon zest and herbs. Cover and store in refrigerator. For a quick version, combine 1 cup real mayonnaise with the crushed garlic, lemon zest and juice and fresh herbs. 1 lb 2-3 L

fresh asparagus, trimmed to 5" lengths safflower oil kosher salt

Heat deep fryer to 375°F. Dip spears into batter and coat completely. Allowing some of the excess batter to drip back into the bowl, carefully slide spears into hot oil and fry 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally until crisp and golden brown. Remove spears from oil and drain on paper towels; lightly sprinkle with kosher salt. Serve hot with lemon aïoli on the side.

Photos courtesy of Cindy Bircham

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Cindy Bircham is a Certified Professional Chef and food enthusiast with a passion for quality, local, and made-from-scratch. Visit www.elginharvest.ca for her blog ‘From the Kitchen’, to see what else she’s been “cookin’ up and puttin’ up.”

RELISH ELGIN LATE SPRING 2013


Experience Elgin’s Finest Visual Arts Attractions on the

From original paintings to pottery, the studios, galleries and crafters that comprise the arts trail are ready to take visitors on an imaginative and unforgettable journey.

2013 Experience Elgin County Visitor’s Guide now available For a free copy, visit www.elgintourist.com or call 1-877-GO-ELGIN

www.elginartstrail.ca

PARADE OF ELEPHANTS ON NOW UNTIL SEPTEMBER 28TH visit website for parade schedule & map

From fine dining to fresh produce, farmers’ markets, wineries and a brewery, Elgin County will satisfy every taste. You’ll find new locations and recipes in the latest Savour Elgin Culinary Guide. Pick up your copy today!

Savour the tastes of Elgin County. For more on Savour Elgin, call 1-877-GO ELGIN x137 or visit

www.savourelgin.ca


share the road

same road, same rules, same rights www.activeelgin.ca

ST. THOMAS

Profile for Joanne Bagshaw

Relish Elgin Spring 2013 Edition  

Relish Elgin magazine features the people, places, businesses and events that make Elgin County and St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada unique.

Relish Elgin Spring 2013 Edition  

Relish Elgin magazine features the people, places, businesses and events that make Elgin County and St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada unique.

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