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Summer 2010 | Volume 4 | Issue 2

sh . reli elg RE FIND MO


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Culture Home Recreation

is h e l g i

The Artwork of

Jonathon Hayes PLUS

Briwood Farm Market Entertaining Elgin: Marc Beneteau Touring Local Gardens

Wind n Willow

Home Decor . Gift Ware Kitchen . Interior Decorating



July 17 - September 11 Opening Reception

with guest speaker Sandra Ainsley Friday July 16th - 7:00 pm


August 26th - August 29th Spin the Wheel & Save!

435 Talbot St, St. Thomas • 519.637.3904


301 Talbot Street St. Thomas, ON N5P 1B5 519.631.4040

Great shops, restaurants, services, offices and attractions!

Talbot Centre

Fresh, all natural beers - craft brewed in small batches using only the finest natural ingredients.

West Village

Movie Under the Stars Tuesday September 21st

Behind CIBC on Talbot Street • Vendors in Hepburn Parkette Check website for movie announcement • Bring your own lawn chair FREE Admission • (Rain Date Sept 23) Donations Welcome for United Way and DDB Christmas Decorations

East Village




Market Square

TRY OUR NEW LIGHT BEER - SPIKE LIGHT 168 Curtis St., St. Thomas • 519-631-1881

INSIDE THIS ISSUE 4 Elgin Events 8 Briwood Farm Market Your neighbourhood farm market

11 News We Relish 12 Map of Elgin

Featuring locally in-season produce & recipes


Horton Farmers’ Market, St. Thomas • Saturdays 8am-12pm Organic Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs • Preserves & Honey


Organic Meat Shop with Pastured Pork & Beef Fresh Organic Brown Eggs Fresh Organic Chicken available on Chicken Days Phone ahead to order for August 7 & August 21 Chicken Days (see website for September & October dates and prices)


42828 Shorlea Ln, St. Thomas

Beamish Landscape Services Want help with your

LANDSCAPING? It’s not too late!

• Landscape Design-Build Projects • Retaining Walls, Pavers & Patios • Garden Planting & Renovation • Enchanting Ponds

Book early for FALL CLEAN-UPS

519.633.9176 Proud Member of Landscape Ontario

15 Artist Jonathon Hayes Preserving memories on canvas 18 Entertaining Elgin Luthier Marc Beneteau

21 Touring Local Gardens

The St. Thomas & District Horticultural Society’s 2010 Garden Tour; A sneak-peek at one of this year’s participants, The Arbour B&B

Our Cover Image

A portion of ”Outward Bound”, by St. Thomas artist Jonathon Hayes. You can view other examples of his work on his blog at Editor Debra Bagshaw • Layout & Design Joanne Bagshaw • Advertising Info • Cover Image © Jonathon Hayes 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

Copyright 2010, Relish Marketing & Promotions Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material published in Relish Elgin is strictly prohibited without the written permission of the Publisher. Relish Elgin is published by Relish Marketing & Promotions Inc.


Summer Events


Visit to view our complete events listings.



SAT JUL 3 AMISH FARM & ICE HOUSE TOUR 1-2:30pm at 10737 Walker Rd 2:45-4:15pm at 52259 College Ln Both locations north east of Aylmer, 1-877-822-8606 SATURDAYS IN JUL & AUG PSTR’S COMPLETE LINE TOUR Port Stanley Terminal Rail SUN JUL 4 West Lorne Optimist CLUB’S Antique Car Show & Breakfast 8am-4pm; Miller Park Contact: Doug, 519-768-2972

SAT JUL 10 - SUN JUL 11 20TH ANNUAL BALLS DICE RUN Springwater Conservation Area SAT JUL 10 Dorchester Artists’ Network’s Art in the Park 11-3; Belmont Community Park

SAT JUL 10 TRAILS OPEN Day & Summer Celebration 10am-4pm; Backus-Page House & John E. Pearce Provincial Park, 29424 Lakeview Ln, Wallacetown

SAT JUL 17 Cactus, Cattle & Cowboys Western Festival Various Locations in West Lorne Contact: 1-866-401-2965

SUN JUL 11 Kids’ Fishing Derby 9:30am, Port Glasgow Marina Contact: Kiwanis Club, 519-785-0163 SUN JUL 11 Ultimate Tributes 2-7pm; Quai du Vin Estate Winery 45811 Fruitridge Ln, RR5, St. Thomas

MON JUL 5 - FRI AUG 20 KIDS’ SUMMER ART CAMPS St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre Register at 519-631-4040

WED JUL 14 12th Annual Seniors’ Picnic in the Park 9:30-3:30; Pinafore Park, St. Thomas Contact: Kathy, 519-631-3159 x254

FRI JUL 9 Johnny Cash & PATSY CLINE Tribute SHOW & TRAIN RIDE Port Stanley Terminal Rail Reservations at 519-782-3730

FRI JUL 16 - SUN JUL 18 & FRI JUL 23 - SUN JUL 25 Day Out with Thomas: The Celebration Tour 2010 Memorial Centre, St. Thomas

FRI JUL 9 - SUN JUL 11 Family Fishing Weekend Springwater Conservation Area

FRI JUL 16 - SAT SEPT 11 Ron Kingswood: Landscapes St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre


SAT JUL 17 TEDDY BEAR PICNIC Lavender Sense 28011 Ash Ln, Wallacetown Register at 519-762-2188

Cactus, Cattle & Cowboys SAT JUL 17 ANNUAL Street Dance 9pm-1am, Downtown Dutton Contact: Kate, 519-762-3209 SUN JUL 18 St. Thomas Horticultural Society’s Garden Tour 11am-5pm; Contact: 519-633-3213 WED JUL 21 - SAT AUG 7 Knickers: A Brief Comedy Port Stanley Festival Theatre FRI JUL 23 - SUN JUL 25 Dodge Rodeo Tour 24735 Downie Line, West Lorne


Events SAT JUL 24 Clovermead’s Annual Bee Beard Competition Clovermead Bees & Honey 11302 Imperial Rd, Aylmer SUN JUL 25 The Terry Sumsion Trio with the Jammin’ Cabin Gang Pinecroft, 8122 Rogers Rd S, Aylmer SAT JUL 24 1st Annual Jumbo Concert for STEGH Foundation 10am-10pm Timken Community Centre, St. Thomas Contact: 519-631-0767 SAT JUL 24 Kids, Cops & Canadian Tire Fishing Derby 9am, Springwater Conservation Area SUN JUL 25 Juke Box Memories 2-7pm, Quai du Vin Estate Winery 45811 Fruitridge Ln, RR5, St. Thomas MON JUL 26 - FRI JUL 30 & MON AUG 9 - FRI AUG 13 Pioneer Adventure Day Camp Backus-Page House, Wallacetown Register at 519-762-3072

Clovermead Bees & Honey’s Annual Bee Beard Competition FRI JUL 30 - SUN AUG 1 Port Burwell Tub Daze 9am-10pm, East Beach

SUN AUG 1 - MON OCT 18 Rush Creek Wines’ Corn Maze 48995 Jamestown Ln, Aylmer

SAT JUL 31 & SUN AUG 1 Star Gazing with the Royal Astronomical Society Dusk, Quai du Vin Estate Winery 45811 Fruitridge Ln, RR5, St. Thomas

SAT AUG 7 Elgin County Plowing Match Allen Millman Family Farm 45399 Sparta Line, Sparta

SAT JUL 31 Family Fun Day 11am-3pm, Old St. Thomas Church 55 Walnut St, St. Thomas SAT JULY 31, AUG 14 & 28 Murder Mystery Train Rides Port Stanley Terminal Rail Reservations at 519-782-3730 SUN AUG 1 Port Glasgow Annual Fish Fry & Waterfront Festival 4pm, Port Glasgow Marina Contact: Dennis Lee, 519-785-1765

SAT AUG 7 & SUN AUG 8 Home Building Centre Family Fishing Derby Springwater Conservation Area SUN AUG 8 “A Barrel of Laughs” Outdoor Comedy Festival 2-6pm, Quai du Vin Estate Winery 45811 Fruitridge Ln, RR5, St. Thomas WED AUG 11 - SAT SEPT 4 Wrong for Each Other Port Stanley Festival Theatre

Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence 2009 WINNER


PRESENT THIS AD & RECEIVE 10% OFF YOUR PURCHASE (Valid until December 31st, 2010; Meat Packs excluded) Why Farmgate? Our meats are all grown and processed in Ontario, with no antibiotics or hormones. Try our store-made deli meats, which are lean, low in salt and free of gluten, phosphates, chemical nitrates and nitrites.

Mon to Sat 9am-6pm • 519-637-0055 • 310 Wellington St, St. Thomas Visit our new & improved website at!



Events THURS AUG 12 - SUN AUG 15 Aylmer Fair Aylmer Fairgrounds FRI AUG 13 Reach the Beach Race 2010 2.5K & 5K Run/Walk in Port Stanley 7:30pm, GT’s Beach Bar & Grill SAT AUG 14 Port Stanley Firemen’s Annual August Fish Fry 4-7pm, Port Stanley Fire Hall Contact: 519-617-0496

WED AUG 18 Elgin Cattlemen’s AssOC’N Annual Barbeque 5-7pm, Pinafore Park, St. Thomas Contact: Amanda, 519-762-3749 FRI AUG 20 - SUN AUG 22 Fred Eaglesmith Charity Music Festival Springwater Conservation Area

SAT AUG 28 Talbot Trail of Yard Sales Events Across Elgin SAT AUG 28 Straffordville Watermelon Festival Bayham Community Centre Park

SUN AUG 29 SAT AUG 21 Railway Heritage Day NightWalk with the Spirits 10-4; Elgin County Railway Museum 9pm, Longwoods Conservation Area 225 Wellington St, St. Thomas

SAT AUG 14 Dixie Flyers with the Jammin’ in the Cabin Gang Pinecroft, 8122 Rogers Rd S, Aylmer

SUN AUG 22 Reds, Whites & the Blues 2-7pm, Quai du Vin Estate Winery 45811 Fruit Ridge Ln, RR5 St. Thomas

SAT AUG 14 Family Movie Night Old Boys Park, Port Glasgow Approx 9pm; Contact: 519-768-1380

THURS AUG 26 - SUN AUG 29 Iron Horse Festival Downtown St. Thomas

SAT AUG 14 PSFT Golf Tournament Kettle Creek Golf & Country Club Annual fundraiser for Port Stanley Festival Theatre;

THURS AUG 26 FreshFest: A LOCAL TASTE EXPERIENCE 5-10pm, CASO Station St. Thomas

SAT AUG 14 & SUN AUG 15 Elgin Historical Show Dan Patterson Conservation Area

FRI AUG 27 & SAT AUG 28 Aylmer Cornfest Various Locations in Aylmer

Chef Wade Fitzgerald at FreshFest: A Local Taste Experience

Visit for more information on these & other Elgin County events.


• PFAFF SEWING MACHINES • CLASSES FOR ALL LEVELS • ALL THE BASIC SUPPLIES FOR MACHINE EMBROIDERY, PLUS ODD & EXCITING PRODUCTS 24846 Pioneer Line, West Lorne N0L 2P0 • Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 - 5:00 or by appointment (519)768-1284 • (888)768-1284 • •



West Elgin Central to Everything, Second to None Discover

Visit the “Pink Store” in Rodney for

Farmgate produce, honey, flowers

Canadian-made fashions

Carolinian nature trails, bicycle routes, country roads, fishing spots

along with unique


Shop & Savour

Village shops and family-owned restaurants


Port Glasgow Marina & Beach, charming Bed & Breakfasts

Handbags Jewellery Accessories & Gifts Fran & Clive would love to see you. Open Monday - Saturday 10:00am - 6:00pm

213 Furnival Rd., Rodney 519-785-2000 Experience Cactus, Cattle & Cowboys Western Festival & The Arts & Cookery Bank Grand Opening July 17, West Lorne

Dodge Rodeo Tour July 24 & 25, 24735 Downie Ln, West Lorne

Port Glasgow Annual Fish Fry & Waterfront Festival August 1, Port Glasgow Marina



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


Briwood Farm Market Food & Dining


Brian Giles and Sherwood Lefler launched Briwood Farm Market 19 years ago. They had worked together at a Farm Market in Woodstock for many years (Brian since the age of 14, and Sherwood since he was 18). Both were produce managers there when the St. Thomas store came up for sale. It had been home to Gifford’s Market for many years and subsequently a couple other businesses had opened and quickly shut down.

The two men mulled over the idea of opening their own store for a few months. They liked the business model of the Woodstock store – it was an independent produce retailer which had developed good working relationships with local farmers. They had seen that model’s success, and already had a history of working well together. Both were aware that this type of business is built upon hard work, customer contact and hands-on involvement. When Brian is asked if there were any surprises for them as new business owners, he smiles, “no, not really”. Briwood provides a wide selection of produce, including items such as imported strawberries in midwinter if you desire them, but they also focus on local options. This has proven a boon to both area farmers and customers seeking fruit and vegetables grown nearby. Even when snow has fallen, and Christmas trees and greenery fill the storefront, there is lots of choice to be found in local apples, pears, root vegetables and other winter storage produce. Brian laughs, “After nineteen years, there are still people who will absently call the store ‘Gifford’s’.” However, the “new” name aptly sums up the Briwood outlook. When you put a piece of your own name on your business (“Bri” from Brian and “Wood” from Sherwood) it’s a good indication that the part-


Middle: Owners Brian (left) and Sherwood


Food & Dining nership is one in which you have confidence and your quality is something you stand behind. Brian recently shared some thoughts on the Briwood operation.

a couple of days. Basically we just split the work. Sherwood likes the garden centre and outdoors so he tends to do more of that – it works out well.

What are the enjoyable and satisfying aspects of owning and managing the store?

We have excellent, long-term staff. Some are secondgeneration at the store. Really, I do very little hiring and I don’t think I have hired “strangers”, people not referred by present staff, since we opened. Kids return from university and we are very accommodating to their schedules. Over the years, Sherwood’s and my children have worked here too.

The changing seasons, the produce each new season brings, selling products from local farmers – that is all enjoyable. Success does help make the business more exciting! It was less successful in the beginning – we had to build the business. I also enjoy the hands-on aspects, and dealing with people. Have there been changes in your focus over the years? Not really – customer service has always been the focus. What people expect has changed – it has become more and more important to provide friendly service and to respond to specific product requests. We have always had a large older clientele. Over the last few years we are seeing more younger customers, and more interest in preserving and buying local produce. Also, I think with job losses in recent years, many customers think more about the importance of supporting local producers and businesses.

How do you manage staffing of the store?

Briwood Farm Market is located at 1030 Talbot Street, St. Thomas. In addition to produce, they also carry a full range of grocery items. Also located in-store, you will find Sunset Bakery and Collett Meats. The store is open seven days a week, and they can be reached at 519-633-9691.

Business partnerships sometimes run into problems. How do you and Sherwood keep the partnership working smoothly? We are both able to do all of the work and manage comfortably when the other is gone. We overlap


Shop locally & support our farmers. 519-631-0666 • 1-800-265-7638 • TTY: 519-631-9904 • FAX: 519-631-9478 542 Talbot St., St. Thomas, ON N5P 1C4 •




HERITAGE LINE 519-866-5577

53443 Heritage Ln, RR#1, Aylmer

The Silver Birch Tea Room & The Silver Leaf

Daily 12-4pm • Herb-Infused Lunch & Desserts • High Tea by Reservation

Now Available to Rent for your Event • Catering Available Hold your shower, family gathering or birthday party under the gazebo amongst the beautiful Silver Birch Tea Room gardens.

Weekends on the Farm • July & August

Saturdays - Free classes, demos, wagon rides & children’s activities Sundays - 1:30-3:30pm - High Tea Special - $12.95 (kids prices avail.) Includes tea, clotted cream, scones, jam, sandwiches & desserts. Visit our website for information on other summer events. WE GROW ORGANIC POTTED HERBS & HEIRLOOM VEGETABLES

Come stroll in our gardens and experience the wonders of lavender Mother’s Day through Christmas. Our gift boutique offers unique handcrafted gifts & gourmet foods created from our harvested lavender. Culinary products also available at Kingsmill’s

Open Wed-Sat 10-5 and Sun 12-4 47589 Sparta Line (3km E of Sparta)


Make our garden your garden! raspberries peaches sweet corn and much more seasonally available

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

The Fine Art of


“All the World”

48664 John Wise Ln, Aylmer | Tues-Sat 11-4:30 & Sun by appt. | 519-773-5912 | Plus paintings, pottery, teddies, handwoven throws, vintage games, lotions, potions & more!

News We Relish

Good Ideas Grow in Elgin County

Three Elgin County businesses received Regional Premier’s Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence at a ceremony held on Tuesday July 15. Congratulations to Farmgate Markets Inc in St. Thomas, Berry Hill Fruit Farm and Nature’s Perfection Shiitake Mushrooms (both near Aylmer). All 3 producers are regulars at the St. Thomas Horton Farmers’ Market, 8am-noon each Saturday.

More Good Tastes to Savour

The new Savour Elgin Culinary Trail will include stops at some of Elgin County’s best restaurants, farms, wineries and culinary attractions. The “taste experience” will feature food and drink that’s local and unique to our region. Don’t miss the launch event on August 26th at FreshFest, where Savour Elgin is also sponsoring the Mobile Culinary Stage. Freshfest is a celebration of local producers, presented in partnership with talented area chefs, vintners and brewers. Find out more about FreshFest at Watch for the site in August!

Vesta Centre

Vesta Centre and Shop are now open at 767 Talbot Street in St. Thomas. The Vesta Shop is a source for high quality maternity and baby gear and ‘green living’ products. Vesta Parenting Centre is a resource centre and gathering place for parents. For more, visit or call 519-631-6461.

Railway City Brewing Company

Our local brewery continues to receive great reviews. In May “Dead Elephant Ale” was awarded a Silver Medal at the Ontario Beer Awards. The “jumbo” ale got the nod at Queen’s Park too, where it received the Speaker’s Choice award.


An Experience You Can Bank On

On Saturday July 17, The Arts & Cookery Bank will welcome the public for its highly anticipated Grand Opening. The unique venue is destined to become the hub of an emerging cultural tourist region in Southwestern Ontario. The Bank will offer the opportunity to be immersed in the rural culture of the area through hands on cookery, a digital photography lab and other interactive experiences. The Bank: 242 Graham Road, West Lorne, 519-768-9986,

The John & Dorothy Palmer Youth Library

On June 1st, the St. Thomas Library Board announced a most generous $300,000 donation from Dorothy Palmer and her late husband John W.F. Palmer. Mrs. Palmer’s donation honours her parents, Fred and Ethel Ingram, for their dedication to the demanding task of administering and operating the ‘Elgin County House of Industry’ which had been located on a 100 acre farm just west of St. Thomas. Board Chair Greg Grondin: “We hope the John and Dorothy Palmer Youth Library will come to be regarded as one of the very best in the Province.” It will feature a ‘Fred and Ethel Ingram Children’s Activity Centre’. Mrs. Palmer died June 18. Her obituary stated, “Over the past few months, Dorothy took quiet pleasure in thanking by generous donation, the three communities which have defined her life. One might say there was one each for the body, the mind and the soul. They were the Mocha Shriners Pediatric Orthopedic Clinic at the Children’s Hospital in London, the Youth department of the St. Thomas Public Library and the historic Bandshell and Park in Aylmer.”


Event Photos • Business Directory • Event Listings • Recipes • News Bits



Savour Summer Map of Elgin County



ille W

Apricots • Asian Vegetables • Beans • Beets • Blueberries • Broccoli • Cabbage Carrots • Cauliflower • Celery • Cherries • Corn • Cucumbers • Currants Eggplant • Garlic • Gooseberries • Grapes • Leeks • Lettuce • Melons Mushrooms • Nectarines • Onions • Parsnips • Peaches • Pears Peas • Peppers • Plums • Potatoes • Radicchio Radishes • Rapini • Raspberries • Rhubarb Rutabaga • Spinach • Sprouts Squash • Strawberries Sweet Potatoes Tomatoes Zucchini d


RECIPE: INSTANT FRUIT SORBET 3 Ontario peaches, peeled, pitted & sliced 1/2 cup Ontario raspberries Simple Syrup: 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup water 1 strip lemon rind


• Freeze peach slices and raspberries in single layer for at least 2 hours or until solid. • Simple Syrup: In small saucepan, bring sugar, water and lemon rind to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil for 1 minute. Cool completely and remove rind. • In food processor, process frozen fruit, pouring in syrup slowly, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately or store in freezer. Serves 4; Recipe Courtesy of Foodland Ontario


Map of Elgin County

RECIPE: MEDITERRANEAN ORZO CORN SALAD 2 cups orzo pasta 1 ½ cups small Ontario broccoli florets 2 cups fresh Ontario corn kernels 1 cup each diced Ontario sweet red and orange peppers 1/2 cup pitted black olives, halved 1/2 cup diced red onion 1/4 cup shredded fresh Ontario basil 1/4 cup chopped fresh Ontario parsley 1/3 cup olive oil 3 tbsp white wine vinegar 1 clove Ontario garlic, minced 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes salt and pepper


• In large pot of boiling salted water, cook orzo, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes. Add broccoli and cook until broccoli is tender and pasta is al dente, about 1 minute. Drain well and refresh under cold running water; drain again. Return to pot or large bowl. Gently stir in corn, red and orange peppers, olives, onion, basil and parsley. • In measuring cup, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, hot pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over salad and toss gently. (Salad can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours. Bring out to room temperature 30 minutes before serving.) Serves 6-8; Recipe Courtesy of Foodland Ontario


Pinecroft and the Jammin’ Cabin present their

Sun July 25th - 1:00 to 5:00pm

Country Music with

The Terry Sumsion Trio Sat Aug 14th - 1:00 to 5:00pm Bluegrass with

The Dixie Flyers

r e m m su

Come out and enjoy a taste of

at Rush Creek!

Featuring performances at BOTH shows by

The Jammin’ in the Cabin Gang

An eclectic mix of Bluegrass, Country and Folk Music

TICKETS - $20 plus taxes (Available at Pinecroft)

Events are held outside - Bring a Lawnchair Refreshments on Site • No Alcohol, Coolers or Pets Allowed

519-773-3435 and don’t forget to visit the Jammin’ in the Cabin Blog at 8122 Rogers Road South, Aylmer, Ontario N5H 2R4

Pinecroft is one mile west of Aylmer, and one and a half miles south of Hwy #3 on Rogers Road South

We’ll Rock Your World

Complementary tasting bar with over 21 award winning wines to taste! Treat yourself to lunch & dessert in our bruschetta bar. Our store is bursting with gifts and entertaining one-of-a-kind finds. Book a tour and have the Rush Creek experience. Our outdoor licensed BBQ area is open 7 days a week. Visit Our Corn Maze - Opens August 1st

Open 7 Days a Week: Mon-Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5

RR#2 Aylmer • 519-773-5432 South of Aylmer off of Hwy 73

Arts & Recreation


Jonathon Hayes’ first watercolour print which features the “1290”, reveals in life-like detail the workings of a steam engine. As he observes the ongoing renovations at the Canada Southern (CASO) Railway Station in St. Thomas, he dreams of completing a series of train works on a scale comparable to that of the station itself. Jonathon was born and raised in St. Thomas. It was during his years as a student at Central Elgin Collegiate that he began creating pencil crayon sports images that evolved into story-telling collages. He developed his skills at the Ontario Art College in Toronto and the University of Western Ontario in London before beginning his art career at a little studio back in St. Thomas. A revitalization of Port Stanley – both in appearance and ambiance – in the late 80s drew him there, and he spent the next 17 years living and working at galleries in the lake-side town. Jonathon’s body of work includes ethereal “regional landscapes”, including harbour-side villages, historic buildings and parks, in addition to his train series. Jonathon talked recently with Relish Elgin about his art.

It’s in the Details Jonathon notes, “I initially tried to pick subjects that required detailed work and I enjoyed meeting that challenge without consideration for the time


involved. A painting like “Nature’s Solitude” with branch over branch, took over a year to finish. My goal now is to obtain similar results but with fewer brush strokes and more texture. My watercolour style is unique, but I have used mainly acrylics in the last 7 or 8 years to achieve denser colour.” At this point in his career, Jonathon is intrigued by the challenge of using various techniques, textures, and styles. Doing so enables him to develop as an artist; it also allows him to take a theme like that of the railroad and its impact on St. Thomas, and to create a series of inter-related pieces in an interesting variety of styles. The most common response to his work is that it is “like a photograph, but different.” Jonathon’s expressed purpose is to get his viewers to “experience regional landscape intimately and indelibly.” His paintings do just that. They go beyond a photograph’s depiction with greater definition, depth and vibrancy – reality perfected. The viewer is likely to feel only a breath away from the scene.


Arts & Recreation

Responding to a comment about his skies, Jonathon says he really doesn’t consider them to be the finest aspect of his paintings. He notes, though, “You have to work quickly with clouds to get layers and dimension without losing control.” They do capture the eye and draw the viewer to take in the scene, imagine the roar of the locomotive, the smell of salty sea air, or the touch of lake breeze and sun.

Capturing the Air of Nostalgia Jonathon’s favourite subjects include water over rocks, familiar vignettes of a locale, places with an air of nostalgia, old structures and old mechanical means of transportation. He has often worked themes around things that are long gone, with the aim of preserving their memory in as much detail as possible. Jonathon gets a great deal of inspiration from the CASO station which is located not far from his home. When he walks across the railway tracks and spies vestiges from the steam era, images from old railway photographs click through his mind. Gradually,


he notes, these reminders of the railway past are being removed. He remembers when the roundhouse was torn out. Structures remaining, like the BX tower, bring back memories of how things used to be. Says Jonathon, “It would be nice to recreate some of those scenes.” For now, Jonathon’s time and attention are largely devoted to the care and love of Kincade, six-monthold son to him and wife, Beth. But the photograph images of railway days still continue to click away. The CASO station renovation continues to progress nicely and capture the imagination of visitors and residents. It would indeed be wonderful to see Jonathon recreate some of those grand scenes from the past and see them hanging in the magnificent old station when it is complete. Visit or contact him at 519-631-6809. His work is displayed at Harbourside Antique Market (177 Main St, Port Stanley) Matted Memories (1256 Talbot St, St. Thomas), and Minerva Art Gallery (11078 Springwater Rd, Aylmer).


Arts & Recreation

Above: The Roundhouse (acrylic), one of Jonathon’s paintings currently in progress Left: Alma College (watercolour) Opposite page, left, top to bottom: An Autumn Tradition; Elgin County Court House; Waterworks Park (all watercolour) Opposite, right: Windsor Bound (acrylic) Page 15: Summer Getaway (acrylic) Cover: Outward Bound (watercolour)



324 Smith St, Port Stanley • 519-782-4173 •



Brunch Weekends 9:30-3 • Live Music Sundays at 11:30 & 1:30 Lunch Monday to Friday 11-3 Dinner 7 Days a Week • BBQ Specials Sunday Evenings


Private Dining Room Available • Gift Certificates

Recommended in Where to Eat in Canada 2008-2010

Bed, Breakfast & Bistro

Over the Bridge, Before the Beach





The musical genres of Blues, Classical, Country, Jazz & Rock, to name a few, may differ in style but they do have something in common – the guitar figures prominently in all. For me, there is nothing more awe inspiring and relaxing than a fine acoustic guitar as it seemingly sings in the hands of a talented musician. Marc Beneteau is a local “luthier”, a maker of stringed instruments. For the last 35 years he has honed his craft, making handmade acoustic guitars. The popularity of Beneteau instruments reflects an appreciation for their handcrafted components, attention to quality, and Marc’s instinct for the nuances of the guitar. Marc began his musical journey in his early teens, playing electric guitar, intent on being a musician. By his early 20s, life on the road had lost its appeal. Living in Vancouver at the time, Marc made frequent visits to Bill Lewis Music. A rare breed of music store, it sold music and instruments, and also offered a course in guitar making. The guitar-making seed was planted. Marc also found himself gravitating toward acoustic music, purchasing a classic Martin D18. The idea of crafting guitars grew into one of making acoustic guitars as they provide a unique interest and challenge. After moving to Ottawa in 1974, Marc began to learn the craft on his own, creating rudimentary guitars that he sold to friends. Marc credits Jean Larrivee, an established and well noted Canadian luthier with having an early positive influence. In 1985 Marc left Ottawa and settled in St. Thomas to continue his craft and the marketing of his product. Over the years, he has developed a dealer network


that spans the globe and includes major markets for his Beneteau guitars in the United States. Musicians like Don Ross, Ray Montford and others who strum his product on stages all over the world are his greatest marketing asset, opening doors for his labours of love. Marc builds five or six instruments at a time over 3 to 3 ½ months. When he started making guitars, Indian rosewood, mahogany and maple were the most common. Brazilian rosewood was the Cadillac of guitar woods. In the last 10-15 years, the acoustic world has exploded with different types of wood. As Marc explains his craft, it is evident each guitar is built with pride and joy. He has found that “the only way to learn is to do it.” His work evolves constantly as he aims to “keep modifying, learning and growing.” The result is aesthetically pleasing, enchantingly tuneful and resonatingly perfect offspring that attract clients with a discerning taste for a distinguishable guitar. Visit to find out more about Marc Beneteau, his guitars, and the artists who play them, or email

Locally grown Dave Ferguson hails from the metropolis of Aylmer and has been writing in a variety of genres and styles for over fifteen years. He’s an active author of several writing groups, member of PWAC (Professional Writer’s Association of Canada) and currently chairs a creative writer’s workshop in St. Thomas. Find out more at



Photos courtesy of Jackie Noble,

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




11026 Wellington Rd • 519-631-6589



Include turkey on your menu all year long! Try our delicious turkey specialties on the BBQ: turkey breasts, burgers, sausages, broils, kabobs & more.

Early August to Mid-September

Fresh produce from our field to your table, guaranteed! Open Mon to Fri 9am-5:30pm & Sat 9am-4pm

Horton Farmers’ Market, St. Thomas, Saturdays 8am-12pm Strawberries . Raspberries . Sweet Corn . Pumpkins . Preserves

10882 Sunset Rd, Talbotville



Quality Used Cars & Trucks Sales, Service & Leasing


& The Greatest Show on Earth June 8 – August 28, 2010 Huge miniature circus, posters, Jumbo memorabilia and videos

Elgin County Museum 450 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas, Ontario

Tuesday to Saturday 10 to 4 519.631.1460 ext. 160

1207 Talbot St, St. Thomas • 519-633-0240

Briwood YOUR

Neighbourhood FARM MARKET

In-Store Bakery Fresh Produce • Meat Bulk Foods • Grocery & Dairy Pet Foods • Garden Centre


1030 Talbot St . St. Thomas

We Proud ly Support Local Farmers


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Garden Tour 2010 ST. THOMAS

Home & Garden

Gardening is a hugely popular Canadian past-time and garden tours are sought-after events for serious gardeners, homeowners looking for inspiration, and those who simply enjoy a garden stroll. The St. Thomas & District Horticultural Society, celebrating their 140th year, present their Annual Garden Tour on Sunday July 18th.

A Bit About the Tour Organizer Diane Vaughan has taken the lead in organizing this event every year since its inception in 1995. As I arrive at her house to talk about the 2010 edition, she is cooking up a decadent chocolate and strawberry dessert to be served at a meeting she is hosting that evening. (It’s from the Elgin County 2010 Plowing Match Cookbook.) Just as Diane is not an armchair cook, she is definitely not an armchair gardener. Her favourite gardening magazine, she notes, is “Fine Gardening” because it is packed with great information, and much more useful than the photographheavy publications. Although she keeps abreast of the latest gardening information, Diane advocates creating the kind of garden that brings you joy and satisfaction rather than following any trends. Her style is to create gardens which are butterfly and bird friendly; ones that will allow her to walk amongst the plants.


Diane is well-known locally as a Master Gardener. She gave 200 hours last year to sharing her no-nonsense gardening wisdom (well above the 30 volunteer hours required to maintain the Master Gardener designation). As she completes her last year as Horticultural Society president, she is already thinking about ways to use her “freed up” time – she would like to start a junior section of the group. She is enthused about the possibilities, although, as a former Brownie leader she knows that planning rich, worthwhile experiences for children takes plenty of time and effort. Diane will also take on the presidency of the Elgin St. Thomas General Hospital Auxiliary later this year. She is excited about the upcoming renewal plans for the hospital and the role the auxiliary can play. She points out that a lot of people don’t realize that the group is the biggest fund-raiser for the hospital. Speaking with Diane, one can’t help but be impressed by how effectively she channels her energy,


Home & Garden

enthusiasm and knowledge to accomplish so much (and with such calm) and I have to ask, “How do you do it?” Her answer is simply, “I work on one thing at a time – I get up in the morning and with a goal of completing one flower bed or one project and that is what I focus on till it’s done.”

The Gardens Each year, gardens featured on the tour are selected to “offer variety, elicit comment and maybe even create a little controversy,” says Diane. She notes, there is always something special about each of the gardens and their owners always seem to go the extra step in preparing for the tour. One of this year’s gardens started with just one rose and has been developed into a “walk in the roses” experience. At another location, a Day Lily Society member will treat visitors to a show of thousands of lilies, all labelled by variety. Diane’s garden is not on the tour this year, but is itself a treat of textures and layers of interest, including a little back-yard cottage. The beds were created over time by Diane and her “yard guy” and husband David.

The Arbour Bed & Breakfast This tour location is a little further afield than the others, but well worth the short drive to Talbotville.


Every gardener on the tour graciously volunteers to share their special retreat. In the case of the Arbour B&B, the oasis they share has been developed over the past thirty years. The 100-year old house was purchased in 1980 by the present owners, Jennifer and Peter O’Donell, along with Jennifer’s parents. The property had been vacant for several years, and ash seedling forest filled the area where the extensive gardens are now located. A photo album documents the O’Donell’s past thirty years there, and includes the original real estate ad, which touted the property’s potential as a “country estate”. It attests to the fact that a large measure of imagination, optimism and hard work were needed to realize that potential. The unique construction of the house, with two separate stairways, made possible the creation of living spaces with shared and private elements – convenient for the two-generation living arrangement. Soon after the families moved in, Jennifer’s mom Pat Paul insisted that the place should have a name. She came up with “The Arbour”, a reflection of her British upbringing – in England, “arbour” refers to both a wooded area and an outdoor archway. Today, with all the children moved away, the divided layout of the home is conducive to a great B&B operation. “The Arbour B&B” opened for guests beginning last summer.


Home & Garden Jennifer gives her mom credit not only for the name of their business, but also for being the vision behind the gardens on the property. Visitors on the Garden Tour will find, in their walk-about of the property, a retreat of country calm with many relaxing areas which invite the visitor to stop or sit awhile. The gardens have evolved over the years to take full advantage of the spacious property. They are a wonderful mix of fern-lined forest paths with contemplative statuary, flower bedecked arbours and walkways, lily beds, nooks and crannies and interesting vignettes. You might very well want to stay – the B&B offers opportunity to do just that. The St. Thomas & District Horticultural Society Garden Tour takes place on Sunday July 18, 2010 from 11am-5pm, rain or shine. Tickets are $5 and available at any of the stops: • John & Edna Meagher – 54 Manor Road • Gopal Trikha – 37 Pol Court • Lily McVety & Fred Bazley – 16 Thompson Ave • Brian & Lynn Sloan – 70 Mandeville Rd • Jane Fish – 25 Mandeville Road • Marlene Girouard – 59 Elizabeth St • Ed & Cheryl Jermyn – 182 Centre St • Jennifer & Peter O’Donell, Pat Paul – 10361 Gore Rd, Talbotville Photos, right & opposite: The Arbour Bed & Breakfast; Page 21: Diane Vaughan’s gardens

Bringing Colour to Life

55th Anniversary

Voted Ontario’s Favourite Garden Centre!

269 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas • 519-631-7264 • Summer Hours: Mon-Fri 8-5:30, Sat 8-5, Sun 11-4




Elgin County & ST. THOMAS


Summer Sounds Delicious ‘10


Ultimate Tributes

Featuring Abbamania with Rod Stewart, the Bee Gees & Englebert Humperdink 2-7pm - $20 in advance / $25 at gate


Juke50sBox Memories & 60s Rock & Roll 2-7pm - $20 in advance / $25 at gate

Check out our all NEW website and start planning your summer in Elgin County & St. Thomas!

WWW.ELGINTOURIST.COM Experience and appreciate the culinary delights our region has to offer.


Star Gazing

With the Royal Astronomical Society At Dusk / FREE


A Barrel of Laughs Outdoor comedy festival

2-7pm - $20 in advance / $25 at gate


Reds,Whites & the Blues Sample our reds & whites while enjoying the blues

2-7pm - $20 in advance / $25 at gate


Tuscan Brunch

A taste of Tuscany in our own backyard 11am - $30 per person Coming August 2010

45811 Fruit Ridge Ln, St. Thomas


Profile for Joanne Bagshaw

Relish Elgin Summer 2010 Edition  

Relish Elgin is a lifestyles magazine, promoting the people, places, businesses and events of Elgin County, Ontario, Canada.

Relish Elgin Summer 2010 Edition  

Relish Elgin is a lifestyles magazine, promoting the people, places, businesses and events of Elgin County, Ontario, Canada.


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