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Culture Home Recreation Spring 2016 | Volume 10 | Issue 1

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Goodbye with Gusto: Teacher Tom Pietrangelo's Retirement The Port Stanley Artists' Guild Annual Show Portside Gallery's 20th Anniversary • Spring Events in Elgin


Table of Contents

INSIDE THIS ISSUE 4

A Musical Goodbye with Gusto Retirement of teacher Tom Pietrangelo

9

The Port Stanley Artists' Guild Annual Show

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

10 Looking Back on 20 Years of Portside Creativity The Portside Gallery in Port Stanley 12 Events in Elgin

www.relishelgin.ca

OUR COVER IMAGE

Copyright 2016, 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.

A Few of the Buoys, by Marcia Pensa, a member of the Port Stanley Artists' Guild. For a story on their annual show, see page 9.

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From the Editor

FROM THE EDITOR It’s that time of year again when spring shifts into summer and everything seems to be bursting with colour and energy. Farm markets offer local bounty; many of our museums open in May for the season; Elgin County’s ports come to life and weekends are event-filled. This year, there seems to be more happening than ever. New restaurants have opened in Port Stanley and the theatre there has undergone a great renovation; Periscope Playhouse in Port Burwell has a new home; Railway City Cycling Club is newly formed; along with all the other annual events county-wide, there’s a weekend of commemoration of the 91st Battalion’s departure for WWI from St. Thomas 100 years ago. So much to do, see and appreciate.

This edition features two milestones—the 20th year for Portside Gallery and the final student music shows directed by teacher Tom Pietrangelo. As we start into our tenth year of Relish Elgin we continue to be passionate about telling stories of people and happenings in St. Thomas and Elgin County. To do that more effectively we are making the shift to presenting each seasonal edition as a more streamlined print magazine and a complementary online version with more content presented in an easier to browse format. You’ll find more on local food, arts, entertainment, recreation, lifestyles and heritage online at www.relishelgin.ca.

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Community

A Musical Goodbye

With Gusto

Youth can be found accomplishing remarkable things, often through school programs, right across Elgin County. Of course, that shouldn’t be a surprise, but it’s sometimes easy to forget what the agile minds and exuberance of the young can accomplish with a little nurturing and encouragement. One of the most delightful ways to encounter their talents is during live music or theatre performances.

off to Western University where he majored in Music Education, obtaining a background in a wide range of instruments. He gained experience with choral conducting with the university’s travelling choir, in bands and teaching jazz, before becoming a high school teacher. His career has taken him to Parkside, Central, West Elgin and finally, Arthur Voaden.

One teacher who is well known for fostering musical creativity over almost four decades and at as many schools in our county, has spent the past fifteen years of his career at Arthur Voaden Secondary School in St. Thomas. Tom Pietrangelo will retire at the end of June this year. Under his direction, the school’s Off-Broadway Singers are working hard on their year-end show, Goodbye, Italian Guy. It will be a fitting tribute to their teacher, the AVSS music program and to their accomplishments.

Those years have included many highlights. The one Tom mentions first is having seen thirty-five of his students pursue music in a wide gamut of careers which he has enthusiastically followed. He has led music trips throughout Canada and the States, had groups perform at Disney World, at the 1984 opening of the World Fair in New Orleans, and at Music Fest Canada national finals. AVSS groups went to New York for Broadway clinics three times—on the first trip they sang the American National anthem at Shea Stadium. Tom smiles, “It was cool to stand in a field in front of 50,000 people—they were impressed and a bit surprised with how well we sang their national anthem. It has been a lot of fun.”

Tom’s own interest in music began at an early age—at four years old he was playing the piano in Amherstburg where he grew up. He says, “My parents were immigrants and they had little education but they encouraged their children to go to school, and music seemed to be my direction.” He headed

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It may be surprising to see young people put heart and soul into Broadway music as they do during

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Community their performances as the Off-Broadway Singers. However, Tom points out, “Younger people nowadays are more familiar with Broadway music. Maybe it’s partly due to the popularity of the Glee TV series. Kids listen to show music on YouTube— they never would have done that in the past.” One can imagine Tom has some passionate views on what music can mean to students. He sums it up: “It teaches discipline. It teaches creativity. Out of that combination you get some very interesting things.”

or a choral group, they have to feel safe, secure and respected, learn discipline, and see, throughout the entire experience, the final goal. With experience, they learn more and more.” They also rehearse—a lot. For the year-end show, “We rehearse every day at lunch, Tuesday and Wednesday after school and closer to the show it

How does he get diverse groups of young people working together? This would be a secret worth knowing. However, Tom says, “I have been asked that question before. The answer is, I don’t know.” He does add, “Whether it’s jazz, instrumental

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Community gets more and more hectic every day. Early in April will be the first choreography day with a whole day of choreography for two or three numbers. Once they start dancing, they forget about the music, but it comes back easily because that came first.” Seeing the Off-Broadway Singers for the first time, back in 2013, I was struck by the performers’ maturity, focus and cohesiveness. Tom says, “They take care of each other. Part of that is travelling—they learn to look out for each other. It’s like being in our own family.” Looking back on his own career, Tom says he has to quote Frank Sinatra, “I did it my way.” That is a fortunate thing for his many students since, as he elaborates, “I put the kids first 100% of the time— that was my way of doing everything.” Several of those kids will shine and scintillate in June’s not-tobe-missed show, one which the whole community can support with pride.

Goodbye, Italian Guy under the direction of Tom Pietrangelo will feature numbers from several famous Broadway musicals including Phantom of the Opera, Ragtime, Chicago and West Side Story, Thurs Jun 2nd, Fri Jun 3rd, Thurs Jun 9th and Fri Jun 10th at 7pm. Tickets are $15 - call AVSS at 519-6313770 for advance tickets. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door. Find out more at http://avss99.wix.com/avsschoirshow. You can help by buying tickets and bringing friends. You can also show your support by contributing to the choir’s fundraising efforts—income tax receipts for donations over $50 will be issued by TVDSB. Classroom photos (pages 4 & 5) by Mark Girdauskas, Photos by MG

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26th ANNUAL SHOW & SALE

Port Stanley Artists’ Guild portstanleyartguild.com

Illumine Gallery presents:

Idyll

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The Fish Market, by Helaine Hindley

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Opening Reception JUNE 4, 7-9PM Oxanna Adams Sue Garrington Robin Grindley Ralph Heather Elizabeth Kusinski Carol Magrath Joanna Mozdzen Ann Marie Patrick Barbara Shaw Mary Louise White

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Arts

PORT STANLEY ARTISTS’ GUILD

ANNUAL SHOW

Early in June, the artists of the Port Stanley Artists’ Guild will come together to present the 26th edition of their always diverse and vibrant annual show. It has come to be an anticipated event each year and provides another good reason to visit Port Stanley as the little port town moves into the full swing of another busy summer season.

Many artists of the PSAG have been long-time members. The show provides them with motivation to create new work and to share the latest in their creative journeys. This year, there are also more than a dozen new members who will be showing pieces with the Guild for the first time. Marcia Pensa, one of those new members, is excited to be participating. She says, “Several of us who live in Port Stanley have been on the waiting list for PSAG membership for years! It is a wonderful opportunity for us to be featured in our own community.”

The PSAG annual show in June always attracts visitors who are enthused to keep in touch with and see new work by long-time members. This year, those artists will be joined by several new faces bringing their own distinctive styles and perspectives and even more reasons to attend and enjoy the show. The Port Stanley Artists’ Guild 26th Annual Show & Sale show takes place Fri Jun 3rd to Sun Jun 5th at the Port Stanley Legion, 310 George Street, Port Stanley. Photo below by Mark Girdauskas, Photos by MG

Not surprisingly, port subjects and scenes can often be found in the work which is displayed at this show. One of Marcia’s pieces, A Few of the Buoys, provides a close-up perspective on that theme and graces the cover of this edition of Relish Elgin.

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Arts

LOOKING BACK:

20 years

Portside Gallery will kick off the summer with a celebratory anniversary exhibition, 20 Years in Retrospect. “We each view that thought of the retrospective and how to deal with it a little differently,” says gallery partner Diane Dobson. It’s sure to make for an interesting June show and opening. Three of the Portside Gallery’s founders—Diane, Betty Burrell and Jean Johnson are still with the gallery. Recently, they chatted with us about the history of this long-standing Port Stanley art destination and their experiences over the years. Diane and Flossie Trimble went looking, back in 1996, for a place where they could show their work more frequently than just at a few yearly shows. Port Stanley had a reputation as a bit of an artist community, and also had shops, restaurants, inns and seasonal tourists—it seemed a perfect fit. A co-operative effort would be easier to manage than would a single artist studio. They were excited to find a location on the second floor of a heritage building (now the Telegraph House) and a group of fellow artists interested in joining the venture. On August 3rd, 1996 the seven founding members launched the gallery with a grand opening. The artists included Diane, Betty, Jean, Flossie, Andy Bernardo, Kay Janes and Jan Row. Betty, Diane and Jean agree that Port Stanley has been a great location for the gallery. Jean says, “People come back to the inns year after year and

10

OF PORTSIDE CREATIVITY

stop in here.” Visitors come from all over the world, but in greatest numbers from London as well as from along the whole Kitchener to Windsor corridor. Diane notes, “People often come specifically to see one artist … and then look through the gallery.” Betty laughs, “Some of us have a ‘room’ down at the Kettle Creek Inn (the guestrooms feature a specific artist’s work) and people will come in and say, ‘Oh, I’m in your room.’” Visitors to Portside are often return customers, ‘girl-trippers’ or couples on a getaway. The three artists were quick to point out the many rewards they have found in interacting with visitors to the gallery. Diane says, “It’s so positive here. People come in and they interact with the art and for me that was my initial incentive when we were starting Portside.” “It’s surprising how many people come in and you can tell if they are really interested and even if they are painters—they want to get right up close and look,” says Betty. Often the ensuing conversations are a sharing of ideas on various art topics and techniques. While working on new shows and interacting with the public both provide incentives to paint, the artists all agree that the partnership itself is another motivator. Some of the partners have changed over the twenty years, along with the associate membership. The present partners have, for the

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Arts

most part, been on-board for quite a while. Along with Betty, Diane and Jean, they include Jerry Cutting, Pat Curtis, Patricia Johnson, Kit Cutting, S'ine Maule, Susan Shurish and Patti Fisher. When they gather to go over business, plan shows and openings, have workshops or work together, they all benefit from the camaraderie, encouragement and fun (often, it would seem, quite boisterous and noisy fun). Since opening, Portside has been situated in four different locations on Main Street. Along with venue changes, members have also seen some shifts in the local art scene. Diane notes, “I think that people are more open to abstract art than they were a few years ago. They know how to look at it now.” Jean says, “There used to be a lot more watercolour work. And there are a lot more artists now—we belong to two associations which presently have over 100 members each.” They find there are also more venues for showing art. Diane says of their Port Stanley location, “It’s only going to get better with things like the new walkway and pier developments.” The partners have worked hard to develop their creative talents, present a variety of excellent art, and share it in a welcoming manner. Openings at the gallery are always popular. The one for 20 Years in Retrospect is sure to live up to that reputation as the artists celebrate enduring and rewarding relationships amongst themselves and with visitors to “Portside”.

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Portside Gallery is located at 187 ½ Main Street, Port Stanley; 519-782-7066; portside.cuttingpromotions.com. Open daily Mar-Oct, 11am-5pm. 20 Years in Retrospect runs during June, with the opening reception Sunday June 12th,1-4pm. Above: Betty Burrell, Diane Dobson & Jean Johnson

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Events

Ready,Set,Spring! EVENTS ACROSS ELGIN • MORE AT WWW.RELISHELGIN.CA This is an extremely condensed version of the events listings that can be found online at www.relishelgin.ca. Please visit the website for an extensive calendar of events, and more details on those listed here.

ON-GOING EVENTS & EXHIBITIONS Every Sat until Oct 29 • Horton Farmers’ Market • 8am-noon • Manitoba just north of Talbot, St. Thomas Sat-Sun to Jun 26, Wed-Sun Jul & Aug, Mon May 23 & Aug 1 • Port Stanley Train Rides • www.pstr.on.ca Exhibition: The Life and Legacy of General Sir Arthur Currie • Elgin County Museum, St. Thomas Exhibition: Jumbo Era Pressed Glass • Elgin County Museum • www.elgincounty.ca/museum Exhibition: Elgin County and the Great War • Elgin County Museum Exhibition: Behind the Canadian Line—Sketches of H.W. Cooper • Elgin County Museum

MUSEUMS OPEN FOR THE SUMMER WITH PERMANENT DISPLAYS Forge & Anvil Museum, Sparta • May-Aug daily 11am-4:30pm; Sept-Thanksgiving Sat, Sun & Holidays Backus-Page House Museum, Wallacetown • May-Thanksgiving • www.backuspagehouse.ca Gay Lea Dairy Heritage Museum, Aylmer • May-Sept • www.dairyheritagemuseum.ca Marine Museum & Historic Lighthouse, Port Burwell • 519-874-4807 • www.bayham.on.ca

MAY & JUNE EVENTS Sat May 21-Sun May 22 • Backus-Page House Museum: Road to Culloden • www.backuspagehouse.ca Weds, May 18-Sept 21, 6pm-dusk • Aylmer Shrine Cruise Nights • ICS Courier Parking Lot, Aylmer Tues May 24-Sat Jun 4 • PSFT: Witchita Lineman: Music of Glen Campbell • www.portstanleytheatre.ca Wed May 25 • Elgin Historical Society: The Talbot Toast • www.elginhistoricalsociety.ca

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Events Fri May 27, 6-11pm • Dennis Kalichuk 30th Anniversary Art Show & Sale • CASO Station, St. Thomas Sat May 28, 9am-1pm • Southwold Communities in Bloom Plant Sale • Shedden Keystone Complex Sat May 28, 11am-3pm • The Snake Lady at Moore Water Gardens • 4683 Sunset Road, Port Stanley Sat May 28 • Walk for Alzheimer’s • Pinafore Park, St. Thomas • www.walkforalzheimers.ca Sat May 28, 2pm • Royal Ascot Tea & Hat/Fascinator Contest • Knox Presbyterian Church, St. Thomas Sat May 28, 9am • Rodney Tiny Tots Co-op Nursery School Trike-a-thon • 519-785-2164 • ttcns.ca Sat May 28 • St. Thomas-Elgin Art Centre Redtail Cocktail Party & Silent Auction • www.stepac.ca Sat May 28 & Sun May 29, 1-4pm • Strawberry Fields Kite Festival • Sunset & John Wise Ln, St. Thomas Sat May 28 & Sun May 29 • Animal Display & Pony Rides Open House • 51080 Woolleyville Line, Aylmer Sun May 29 • Purina Walk for Dog Guides • Port Stanley • www.purinawalkfordogguides.com Sun May 29 • Discover Southwold Mystery Car Rally • 1-2pm registration • Fingal Ballpark • 519-631-3575 Sun May 29 • Easy Energy All Week Long • The New New Age, Port Stanley • www.thenewnewage.com Wed Jun 1st-Fri Jun 4th • St. Anne’s Community Festival • St. Thomas • www.stannesfestival.com Wed Jun 1-Thurs Jun 30 • Portside Gallery: Twenty Years in Retrospect • 187 ½ A Main St, Port Stanley Wed Jun 1-Thanksgiving • Exhibition: A Woman’s Work is Never Done • Sparta Church Museum, Sparta

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Events Thurs Jun 2 & 9, Fri Jun 3 & 10, 7pm • AVSS Off-Broadway Singers: Good-bye, Italian Guy • AVSS Fri Jun 3 • Friday Night Bites: French Café • The Arts & Cookery Bank • theartsandcookerybank.com Fri Jun 3-Sun Jun 5 • Port Stanley Artists' Guild 26th Annual Show & Sale • Port Stanley Legion Sat Jun 4 • EdisonFest • 9am-6:30pm • Memorial Park, Vienna Sat Jun 4, 9am-12pm • Get Active Downtown & Bicycle Festival • Railway Corridor, St. Thomas Sat Jun 4-Thurs Jul 14 • Exhibition: Idyll • Illumine Gallery, St. Thomas • www.illuminegallery.com Mon Jun 6-Fri Aug 26 • Exhibition: Mourning—Victorian Traditions • Aylmer-Malahide Museum Wed Jun 8-Sat Jul 2nd • Port Stanley Theatre: Ladies Foursome • www.portstanleytheatre.ca Jun 9-12, 17-19, 24-26 • Periscope Playhouse: 37 Postcards • Port Burwell • www.periscopeplayhouse.ca Fri Jun 10, 7pm • Friday Night Barn Dance for Big Brothers/Sisters • St. John’s Anglican Church, St. Thomas Fri Jun 10-Sun Jun 12 • 24th Annual Rosy Rhubarb Festival • Keystone Community Complex, Shedden Sat Jun 11 • Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation: Extreme Elgin • www.escf.ca/extreme-elgin Sat Jun 11-Sun Jun 12, 10am-4pm • Railway Nostalgia Weekend & Hobby Show • www.ecrm5700.com Sun Jun 12 • Raw vs Cooked • The New New Age, Port Stanley • www.thenewnewage.com Tues Jun 14 • 100 People Who Care Granting Event • 7pm • CASO Station, St. Thomas • www.escf.ca

WEST ELGIN WEST LORNE • RODNEY • PORT GLASGOW

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS • Edison on Display, 6209 Plank Rd, Vienna at the Bayham’s Family Table Restaurant, 6am-3pm Jun-Sep • Marine Museum & Historic 1840 Lighthouse, 20 Pitt St & 17 Robinson St, Port Burwell • Wind Energy Info Kiosk, 5361 Brown Rd, Pt Burwell • Port Burwell Municipal Beach & Provincial Park BAYHAM EVENTS • EDISONFEST • JUNE 4, 9am-6:30pm Vienna Memorial Park, 6226 Plank Rd • Family day with entertainment, draws, games, magician, face painting, bouncers, vendors, talent contest & more! • CANADA DAY IN PORT BURWELL • JULY 1 Parade at 11:30am and Harvard fly over, children’s games & activities, BBQ, refreshments & cake.

www.bayham.on.ca • 519-866-5521

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Upcoming Events West Lorne Canada Day • Fri Jul 1

1pm - Kids Country Carnival; 5pm - Fish Fry 7pm - Opening Ceremonies; 9:30pm - Fireworks

West Lorne Optimist Car Show • Sun Jul 3 Cactus, Cattle & Cowboys • Sat & Sun Jul 9 & 10 Kids’ Port Glasgow Fishing Derby • Sun Jul 10 We’re just down the road and off the beaten path.

519-785-0560

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Events Fri Jun 17, 5pm • Shedden Tractor Pull • Keystone Complex • www.sheddentruckandtractorpull.com Fri Jun 17-Sun Jun 19 • Van Fest Truck Show • Springwater C. A. • www.vanning.com/vanfest/ Sat Jun 18 • 8th Annual Sparta Girls Day Out • 10am-5pm • Village of Sparta • 519-775-2628 Sat Jun 18-Sat Jul 30 • STEPAC: Aiden Urquhart—New Canadian Cabins • www.stepac.ca Sat Jun 18, 2-4pm • Rock'n for Refugees • Faith Church, St. Thomas • www.uniteforrefugees.org Sat Jun 18-Sun Jun 19 • Great Lakes International Air Show • www.greatlakesinternationalairshow.ca Sat Jun 18-Sun Jun 26 • Steed & Co. Lavender Bloom Celebration • www.steedandcompany.com Sun Jun 19 • 19th Annual Lions Father’s Day Car Show • 8am-4pm • Pinafore Park, St. Thomas Wed Jun 22, 7pm • Elgin Historical Society: Waterworks Walking Tour • www.elginhistoricalsociety.ca Fri Jun 24-Sun Jun 26 • 100 Years: 91st Battalion Departure for WWI • events, with parade Sat 11am Sat Jun 25, 6pm-12am • Canadian Cancer Society: Relay for Life St. Thomas • relayforlife.ca/StThomas Sun Jun 26, 3-7pm • Wildflowers Farm Summer Solstice Festival • www.wildflowerstea.com Thur Jun 30th-Sun Jul 3rd • Canada Day Celebrations Across Elgin • www.relishelgin.ca

EVENTS ACROSS ELGIN • MORE AT WWW.RELISHELGIN.CA

Meet Me at the Market Saturdays 8am-12pm May to October 29th

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Relish Elgin Spring 2016  

Relish Elgin is a print and online magazine that promotes the people, places, businesses and events of St. Thomas & Elgin County, Ontario, C...

Relish Elgin Spring 2016  

Relish Elgin is a print and online magazine that promotes the people, places, businesses and events of St. Thomas & Elgin County, Ontario, C...

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