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Culture Home Recreation Summer 2012 | Volume 6 | Issue 3

FREE

Sparta Artist

Peter Robson

Musician Scott Brunelle Sculptor & Painter Paul Brunelle Port Burwell's Periscope Playhouse Imagination: A Recipe for All Seasons The Windjammer Inn Pantry, Port Stanley


From original paintings to pottery, the studios, galleries and crafters along the Elgin Arts Trail take visitors on an imaginative and unforgettable journey.

Experience Elgin’s Finest Visual Arts Attractions at: Art Emporium Port Stanley • Winter Wheat • Portside Gallery Peter Robson Studios • Pinecroft Ceramic Art Studio The Arts & Cookery Bank • Shelley McVittie’s Gallery St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre • Concreations Little Red Mitten • Village Crier Gallery • Minerva Art Gallery Clayworks Studio • Anything Used & Sparta Country Candles

www.elginartstrail.ca


FROM THE EDITOR

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

“Quietly remarkable” may be the quality that makes Elgin County so attractive to many who live and visit here. For example, the food grown locally is exceptional. In this edition of Relish Elgin, Chef Christie Massé urges you to develop your culinary creativity simply by giving full attention to the seasonal foods with which you prepare a meal.

5 The Season's Events in Elgin 16 Playing in Elgin County

In this arts focused edition, we feature sculptor/ painters Peter Robson and Paul Brunelle, and musician Scott Brunelle who, like so many creative people in Elgin County, work in low-key, but dynamic styles with impressive results. As with the Elgin County “trail” initiatives (the Savour Elgin Trail and Elgin Arts Trail) there are many gems to be found along the roadways leading from city to town to village. Just to keep life interesting, those trails of gems are punctuated occasionally with a few 100-carat whoppers, large in size or impact, like the Canada Southern Railway Station, Jumbo, The Arts & Cookery Bank in West Lorne and the soon to arrive to Port Burwell Ojibwa Submarine. Each has taken considerable leadership, creative thinking and co-operative effort to nurture a project from small beginnings to big reality. There’s a lot to be said for communities which are able to cultivate the quietly remarkable, but which are also ready to dream big and build something magnificent when opportunity comes along.

Debra QUAI DUVIN E S T A T E . W I N E R Y

Elgin's live theatre scene has a new player, Port Burwell's Periscope Playhouse

18 Map of Elgin

Featuring locally in-season produce

21 The Artwork of Peter Robson 25 Musician Scott Brunelle 27 Aylmer Artist Paul Brunelle 31 Imagination: A Recipe for All Seasons Including Seasonal Berry Cobbler recipe

35 The Windjammer Pantry OUR COVER IMAGE

The Back Field, Part of the GM Corporate Program (1936 Chevy 1/2-ton) by Peter Robson (courtesy of Peter Robson Studios and Gallery). See our article about Peter Robson on page 21. Editor • Debra Bagshaw • editor@relishelgin.ca Design • Joanne Bagshaw • jo@relishelgin.ca Advertising Info • ads@relishelgin.ca Relish Elgin Magazine • 519-633-1992 P.O. Box 20058, St. Thomas, ON, N5P 4H4

www.relishelgin.ca Copyright 2012, 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.

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

RELISH SUMMER 2012

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QUAI DUVIN E S T A T E . W I N E R Y to benefit

KICK-OFF BBQ & SHOW

Thurs Aug 16th CASO Station St. Thomas

Summer Sounds Delicious ‘12

SUNDAY JULY 8TH

Ultimate Tributes SUNDAY JULY 29TH

Motown Memories SUNDAY AUGUST 12TH

Caribbean Fiesta SUNDAY AUGUST 26TH

Reds, Whites & the Blues For more information on these and other events, please visit our website.

2km north of Sparta Ontario • 519-775-2216 NURSERY & GARDEN DESIGN

Steve Armstrong

EXCAVATING

www.QuaiduVin.com

Summer

IN ELGIN COUNTY & ST. THOMAS

explore • experience • enjoy

1-877-GO ELGIN • WWW.ELGINTOURIST.COM


© istockphoto.com/zeljkosantraczeljkosantrac

Events

Sizzling Summer! EVENTS ACROSS ELGIN • MORE AT WWW.RELISHELGIN.CA

Sundays Until Aug 26 Music-in-the-Park 7pm | Pinafore Park Bandshell 95 Elm St, St. Thomas 519-633-7112 www.city.st-thomas.on.ca Until Sat Sept 1 Elgin County Museum Exhibition: Cycling in Elgin 450 Sunset Dr, St. Thomas 519-631-1460 x160 www.elgincounty.ca Tues to Sat until Labour Day Tours of Old St. Thomas Church 9am-5pm | 519-633-2610 55 Walnut St, St. Thomas www.oldstthomaschurch.com Until Sat Sept 29 Aylmer-Malahide Museum Exhibition: The Movers & Shakers of Aylmer 14 East St, Aylmer | 519-773-9723 amtelecom.net/~aylmermuseum Saturdays Until Oct 27 Horton Farmers' Market 8am-12pm Manitoba St, 1 block N of Talbot www.hortonfarmersmarket.ca

Until Mon Dec 31 CASO Station Exhibition: Photos Through Time 750 Talbot St, St. Thomas 519-633-2535 | www.narhf.org Every Sunday Jammin' Cabin Open Jams 1-4pm | Pinecroft 8048 Rogers Rd S, Aylmer 519-773-3435 | www.pinecroft.ca July & August Children’s Summer Classes & Workshops St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre 301 Talbot St, St. Thomas 519-631-4040 | www.stepac.ca July & August Tim Horton's Free Swims See website for days & times Jaycees Pool | 519-633-7112 93 Inkerman St, St. Thomas www.city.st-thomas.on.ca Wed-Sun in July & Aug, PLUS Mon Jul 2 & Aug 6 Scenic Train Rides 11am, 1pm & 2:30pm Port Stanley Terminal Rail 309 Bridge St, Port Stanley 519-782-3730 | www.pstr.on.ca

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Wed July 4 to Sat July 21 PSFT presents Sexy Laundry 302 Bridge St, Port Stanley 519-782-4353 www.portstanleytheatre.ca Thurs July 5 to Tues July 17 Canadale Nurseries Customer Appreciation Event 30%–70% off most items 269 Sunset Dr, St. Thomas 519-631-7264 | canadale.com Fri Jul 6 to Sun Jul 8 Balls Bike Rally Springwater Conservation Area 8079 Springwater Rd, Aylmer 519-773-9037 | catfishcreek.ca Sat July 7 vogelJoy Live: Imagine 10am | Freewill donation Palmer Park Bandshell, Aylmer www.vogeljoy.com Sat JulY 7, 14, 21 & 28 Aug 11, 18 & 25 Saturday Afternoons with the Beekeeper 2:30pm | $10, $45/group of 5 Clovermead Bees & Honey 11302 Imperial Rd, Aylmer 519-773-5503 | clovermead.com

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Events Sun July 8 Kids Fishing Derby Registration 9:30am, fishing 10–1pm | Port Glasgow Marina Sun July 8 St. Thomas Garden Tour 11am-5pm | $10/person 519-769-2529 www.gardenontario.org Sun July 8 Ultimate Tributes 2-7pm | $20 adv, $25 gate Quai du Vin Estate Winery 45811 Fruit Ridge Ln, St. Thomas 519-775-2216 | quaiduvin.com Sun July 8 & 22, Sat Aug 4 & 18 Rural Roots Market 8:30am-1:30pm Sons of Scotland Park Pavilion www.duttondunwich.on.ca

Mon July 9, 16, 23 & 30, AUG 13, 20 & 27 Family Movie Monday 2pm | Free | 519-631-6050 St. Thomas Public Library 153 Curtis St, St. Thomas www.st-thomas.library.on.ca Mon July 9 & MON AUG 13 Aylmer-Malahide Museum Memorable Mondays 2-3pm | $5, members free 14 East St, Aylmer 519-773-9723 amtelecom.net/~aylmermuseum

Wed July 11 Reviving the Lost Arts: From One Generation to the Next 6:30-8:30pm | $25/person The Arts & Cookery Bank 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne 519-768-9986 www.theartsandcookerybank.com

Wed July 11 14th Annual Seniors’ Picnic in the Park 9:30am–3:30pm | Free Admission Pinafore Park | 519-637-6408 Mon-Fri July 9-13, 16-20, 23-27 95 Elm St, St. Thomas Youth Theatre Camps Fridays starting July 13 For kids 8-11 | 519-782-4353 Aylmer Farmers Market Port Stanley Festival Theatre 4-8pm | Bandshell Park 302 Bridge St, Port Stanley 519-773-7124 www.portstanleytheatre.ca

KATHY’S

CATERING & BAKERY DISCOVER OUR RANGE OF BAKED DAILY

GLUTEN-FREE

Artisan Breads, Bagels, Rolls, Muffins, Pies, Loafs, Cookies, Cupcakes & More GOURMET FOOD PRODUCTS FROM

STONEWALL KITCHEN & THE GARLIC BOX

PLUS READY TO SERVE MEALS AND TREATS FRESH PASTA & SO MUCH MORE

WE SPECIALIZE IN CATERING PARTIES, WEDDINGS, ANNIVERSARIES, MEETINGS & ANY OTHER SPECIAL OCCASION

24 First Avenue, St. Thomas

519-633-0040

kathyscatering@sympatico.ca

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Events Fri-Sun July 13-15 & 20-22 Day Out With Thomas 8am–6pm | $20/child aged 2+ St. Thomas Elgin Memorial Centre 80 Wilson Ave, St. Thomas 1-888-222-6608 www.ticketweb.ca/dowt Sat July 14, Aug 11 & Sept 8 Pizza Saturdays at Heritage Line Herbs 11am-4pm | 519-866-5577 53443 Heritage Ln, Aylmer www.heritagelineherbs.com Sun July 15 Archaeology Day 1–4pm | Longwoods Cons. Area 8348 Longwoods Rd, Mt Brydges (10km E of Melbourne) 519-264-2420 | www.ltvca.ca

Day Out with Thomas (Photos by MG)

Tues July 17 Afternoon Tea at the CASO Station July 15, 22, 28 & 29, 750 Talbot St, St. Thomas Aug 4, 11, 12, 19 & 26 519-633-2535 Rush Creek WINES Tues July 17 to Sat Sept 29 Winery Tours Aylmer & Malahide 1pm | $5 (reservations req’d) 48995 Jamestown Ln, RR2 Aylmer Museum Exhibition: Talbot Street 519-773-5432 14 East St, Aylmer www.rushcreekwines.com 519-773-9723 Mon July 16 to Fri July 20 amtelecom.net/~aylmermuseum PCI Summer Tech Camp Wed July 18 For students entering gr. 7 & 8 vogelJoy Live: Magic Piano $15 (registration req’d) 6:30pm 8:30am-2:30pm Freewill donation 519-633-0090 Old Town Hall Theatre 241 Sunset Dr, St. Thomas 38 John St S, Aylmer www.tvdsb.ca/Parkside.cfm www.vogeljoy.com Mon-Fri July 16-20 & Thurs July 19 July 30-Aug 3 Movie: A Mighty Wind Backus-Page House 7pm | Free Admission Adventure Day Camp St. Thomas Public Library For kids ages 6 to 10 153 Curtis St, St. Thomas 9am-5pm | 519-762-3072 29424 Lakeview Ln, Wallacetown 519-631-6050 www.st-thomas.library.on.ca www.backuspagehouse.ca

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Thurs July 19 Canada Southern Concert Series: Sarah Smith 7:30pm | $15 adv, $18.50 door CASO Railway Station 750 Talbot St, St. Thomas canadasouthernconcertseries.com Fri July 20 Guy’s Night at the Bank Two Fisted Whiskey Sampler 6:30-9:30pm | 519-768-9986 The Arts & Cookery Bank 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne www.theartsandcookerybank.com Sat July 21 The Snake Lady at Moore Water Gardens 11am-3pm | 519-782-4052 4683 Sunset Rd, Port Stanley www.moorewatergardens.com Sat July 21 PC BBQTown St. Thomas Celebration 2-7pm | Pinafore Park 95 Elm St, St. Thomas www.city.st-thomas.on.ca

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Events Sat July 21 Cactus, Cattle & Cowboys Western Festival Call 519-762-2783 for horse camp & trail ride info Miller Park, West Lorne 1-866-401-2965 www.cactuscattleandcowboys.ca

Sat July 21 to Sat Sept 15 STEPAC Exhibition: BEALART 100 Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Beal Secondary School 301 Talbot St, St. Thomas 519-631-4040 www.stepac.ca

Wed July 25 Dinner and a Show Fundraiser for Serenity House 6pm dinner, 8pm show $50 (reservation req'd by Jul 18) The Wharf & Festival Theatre Port Stanley | 519-637-3034 www.serenityhousehospice.ca

Artful Impact

This past October Parkside Collegiate Institute student Mira Rogosin-Lavoie captured on video a gorgeous autumn day and several St. Thomas landmarks from the long-boarder’s point of view. She posted it on YouTube where it has received close to five and a half thousand views. Her project demonstrated an appreciation for community, shared in an enticing format. Recently, Mira has been working at the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre and she reflects on another aspect of St. Thomas and Elgin County whose positive impact is worth noting. Recently I started working at the St Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre (STEPAC), and I love it. I've taken classes there since I was small and I remember how much fun I had doing them. I never thought I would be able to get a part-time job that had something to do with art. I don't think people realize how much impact art can have on someone's life, especially a child's. Giving children a chance to just be creative and express themselves is really special. I felt that when I took classes and I know it now when I see kids with huge smiles on their faces, running to their parents to show them what they've made. It makes me smile. Working at the Art Centre is great. I get to work with amazing people and meet many others from the community. I appreciate the gallery even more, now that I'm behind the scenes and see all the

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work that goes into the shows and events. The Art Centre puts on 16 exhibitions every year and is always rotating art from its permanent collection but it can only show a few at a time. Most people don't know that STEPAC used to be a bank so the permanent collection, which is made up of about 1100 works, is actually in a real vault in the basement. One of the bonuses of working there is that I get to see all the art. The best part about STEPAC for me is that I get to be surrounded by art. The best part for you is that it is absolutely free to visit. If you have a few minutes, pop in sometime and check it out! You will find Mira’s video at www.youtube. com/watch?v=o11Eeghj2BA. Visit the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre at 301 Talbot St, St. Thomas. Find out more about art centre exhibits, programs and children’s classes at www.stepac.ca or by calling 519-631-4040.

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Events Wed July 25 to Sat Aug 11 Port Stanley Festival Theatre presents Having Hope at Home 302 Bridge St, Port Stanley 519-782-4353 www.portstanleytheatre.ca Thurs July 26 Canada Southern Concert Series: Pauly Fagan 7:30pm | $15 adv, $18.50 door CASO Railway Station 750 Talbot St, St. Thomas canadasouthernconcertseries.com Fri July 27 Girl’s Night Out Extraordinary Herbal Experience 6:30-9:30pm | 519-768-9986 The Arts & Cookery Bank 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne www.theartsandcookerybank.com Fri Jul 27, Sat July 28, Fri Aug 10 & Sat Aug 11 Periscope Playhouse Presents Smart Ass Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm & 8pm Vienna Community Centre 26 Fulton St, Vienna | 519-874-4286 www.periscopeplayhouse.ca Sat July 28 Play by the Lake 9 & Dine PSFT Fundraiser 3pm | $50/person | 519-782-4353 The Bluffs Golf Club 35593 Lake Ln, Port Stanley www.portstanleytheatre.ca Sat Jul 28 (Rain Date Aug 11) Clovermead’s 8th Annual Bee Beard Competition 2:30pm | $10, $45/group of 5 Clovermead Bees & Honey 11302 Imperial Rd, Aylmer 519-773-5503 www. clovermead.com

Sat Jul 28 Heritage Line Herbs 10th Anniversary Open House 2–6pm | 519-866-5577 53443 Heritage Ln, RR 1, Aylmer www.heritagelineherbs.com Sat Jul 28 Kids, Cops and Canadian Tire Fishing Derby 9am | 519-773-9037 Springwater Conservation Area 8079 Springwater Rd, Aylmer www.catfishcreek.ca Sat Jul 28 & Sun Jul 29 Port Stanley Artists Show & Sale 11am-5pm | 519-777-3999 Lawn of Royal Canadian Legion 310 George St, Port Stanley www.portstanleyartists.com Sun Jul 29 Motown Memories 2-7pm | $20 adv, $25 gate Quai du Vin Estate Winery 45811 Fruit Ridge Ln, St. Thomas 519-775-2216 www.quaiduvin.com

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Wed Aug 1 to Wed Oct 31 Rush Creek Wines Corn Maze $5/person 48995 Jamestown Ln, RR2 Aylmer 519-773-5432 www.rushcreekwines.com Fri Aug 3 to Sun Aug 5 Port Burwell Tub Daze Fireworks on Sunday at dark 11am-11pm Port Burwell East Beach www.bayham.on.ca Fri Aug 3 & Fri Aug 31 Annual Lobster Nights at GT's Port Stanley $42.99 (reservations req’d) 350 Edith Cavell Blvd, Port Stanley 519-782-4555 www.gtsportstanley.ca Sat Aug 4 vogelJoy Live: Dance, Dance, Dance! 10am | Freewill Donation Old Town Hall Theatre 38 John St S, Aylmer www.vogeljoy.com

Clovermead's Bee Beard Competition

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Events Sat Aug 4 Port Stanley & AREA Pond Tour 11am-3pm | $5/person 519-782-4052 www.moorewatergardens.com Thurs Aug 9 Canada Southern Concert Series: Robbie Antone 7:30pm | $15 adv, $18.50 door CASO Railway Station 750 Talbot St, St. Thomas canadasouthernconcertseries.com Fri Aug 10 to Sun Aug 12 Aylmer and East Elgin Agricultural Fair 10am–10pm | Aylmer Fairgrounds 139 Pine St E, Aylmer 519-773-3445 | aylmerfair.ca

Fri Aug 10 to Sun Aug 12 Two-Night Horse Camp Ages 5+ | 2pm Fri to 2pm Sun Horseshoe J Dude Ranch 32553 Erin Ln, Fingal 519-762-5402 www.duderanchontario.com Fri Aug 10 to Sun Aug 12 Port Stanley Pride Festival 519-765-5000 www.portstanleypride.ca Fri Aug 10 to Sun Aug 12 Elgin Historical Show Presented by the Kettle Velley Pioneers Fri & Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 8am-5pm Dan Patterson Conservation Area Highbury Ave, just north of St. Thomas

HOWE

FAMILY FARM MARKET

Grown Fresh For You

OPEN EARLY JUNE TO NOVEMBER Our own strawberries, watermelon, canteloupe, squash, pumpkins, garden vegetables and much more, plus other local products grown nearby

Sat Aug 11 Lavender Fairy Festival 12–4pm | Fun for all ages Steed & Co Lavender 47589 Sparta Ln, Sparta 519-494-5525 www.steedandcompany.com Sat Aug 11 Ribs & Rubies: Dinner on the Ridge Signature fundraiser for the Arts & Cookery Bank, featuring live music, dinner on the former CN Railway tracks and cocktails 6pm | $150 ($100 donation receipt issued/ticket) 242 Graham Rd, West Lorne 519-768-9986 www.theartsandcookerybank.com

Daily Tastings • Picnic Area • Gift Store • Shipping Available

FRUIT LOOP THE WALKING WINERY TOUR Saturday August 18th

Tour the Tank Room and Fruit Vineyard, then enjoy food & wine pairings and the acoustic sounds of Jamie King in the English Garden

Limited Space • Advance Tickets Only $29.95/person

Distinctively Different!

100% Ontario Fruit Award Winning Wines Experience a Rush Creek

SUMMER WINERY TOUR EXPERIENCE 90 minutes of tastings, tips, food pairings & a goodie bag

Fun • Informative • Delicious Visit our website or call for details. Advance booking is required. MORE UPCOMING EVENTS

Mon-Sat 8-6pm & Sun 11-5pm

Corn Maze: Aug 1st - Oct 31 Annual Harvest Festival: Sept 22 & 23 Doors Open East Elgin: Sept 22

www.rushcreekwines.com

48556 John Wise Line, Aylmer

Open 7 days a week - Monday-Saturday 10-5 & Sunday 12-5

519-773-3779 www.howefamilyfarms.ca

Just 20 mins from the 401! Exit onto Hwy 73 and go south through Aylmer, then turn right onto Jamestown Line (we’re #48995).

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(519) 773-5432

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Events Sat Aug 11 & Sun Aug 12 Port Stanley Artists Show & Sale 11am-5pm | 519-777-3999 Lawn of Royal Canadian Legion 310 George St, Port Stanley www.portstanleyartists.com Sat Aug 11 & Sat Aug 25 Murder Mystery Train Rides Dinner 6pm, train departs 7pm Port Stanley Terminal Rail 309 Bridge St, Port Stanley 519-782-3730 | www.pstr.on.ca Sun Aug 12 Expedition Elgin 2012 Fundraiser for Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation 519-637-8230 | www.escf.ca

Sun Aug 12 Summer Sounds Delicious: Caribbean Fiesta 2-7pm | $20 adv, $25 gate Quai du Vin Estate Winery 45811 Fruit Ridge Ln, St. Thomas 519-775-2216 | quaiduvin.com Sun Aug 12 The Allen Family Band 1pm-4pm | $10, $15/couple Jammin’ Stage at Pinecroft 8048 Rogers Rd, Aylmer 519-773-3435 | www.pinecroft.ca Wed Aug 15 Elgin Cattlemen’s AssN. Annual Barbecue 5pm–7pm | $12/adult 519-762-3749 | Pinafore Park, 95 Elm St, St. Thomas

Experience the Fine Art of

“Lavender Blue”

Visit the chapters of our

NEW ONLINE

GIFT BOOK

Wed Aug 15 to Sat Sept 8 PORT Stanley Theatre presents Storm Warning 302 Bridge St, Port Stanley 519-782-4353 www.portstanleytheatre.ca Thur Aug 16 vogelJoy Live 6:30pm | Freewill Donation Palmer Park Bandshell, Aylmer www.vogeljoy.com Thurs Aug 16 Fred Eaglesmith Charity Picnic Kick-Off BBQ & Show BBQ at 6:30pm, show at 8pm $20 adv, $25 door Canada Southern Railway Station 750 Talbot St, St. Thomas www.fredeaglesmith.com

HERITAGE LINE

HERBS

Featuring over 180 varieties of potted herbs and heirloom vegetable plants

The Silver Birch Tea Room

Tues to Sun 12-4pm until the end of September Full menu of herb-infused lunch & desserts, including High Tea by reservation. Come for lunch, stroll through the gardens and browse through our country store.

SUMMER EVENTS AT HERITAGE LINE HERBS

Call us for details and to reserve your space. PIZZA SATURDAYS - SAT JULY 14, SAT AUG 11 & SAT SEPT 8 10TH ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE - SAT JUL 28 BRUNCH BY THE WATERFALLS - SUN AUG 19 TALBOT TRAIL OF YARD SALES - SAT AUG 25 Visit our website for a complete list of events, recipes & more.

ARTIST GALLERY & GIFT SHOPPE Paintings, pottery, teddies, handwoven throws, vintage games, lotions, potions & more!

48664 John Wise Ln, Aylmer | 519-773-5912 Tues-Sat 11-4:30 & Sun by appt.

www.shelleymcvittie.com

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Tuesday-Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-4 & Sunday 12-4 53443 Heritage Line • RR#1 Aylmer • 519-866-5577

www.heritagelineherbs.com

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Events Fri Aug 17 Reach The Beach Races 2.5 or 5km run/walk for Youth Opportunities Unlimited 7pm | GT's Port Stanley 350 Edith Cavell Blvd, Port Stanley www.newbalancelondon.com Fri Aug 17 to Sun Aug 19 ANNUAL Fred Eaglesmith Charity Picnic Springwater Conservation Area 8079 Springwater Rd, Aylmer 519-773-9037 fredeaglesmithpicnic.tumblr.com Fri Aug 17 to Sun Aug 19 Port Stanley HarbourFest & Tall Ships Drills & skirmishes at 11am & 3pm Sat | Port Stanley Harbour 519-633-6202 portstanleyharbourfest.com Sat Aug 18 Fruit Loop the Walking Winery Tour Tour with 9 wine tastings and 4 gourmet dishes & wine pairings with live music in the garden $25/person (reservation req’d) Rush Creek Wines | 519-773-5432 48995 Jamestown Ln, RR2 Aylmer www.rushcreekwines.com

Sat Aug 18 Night walk with the Spirits 9pm | Ska–Nah–Doht Village, Longwoods Conservation Area 8348 Longwoods Rd, Mt Brydges 519-264-2420 | www.ltvca.ca Sat Aug 18 Aylmer's Sweet Cornfest VogelJoy concerts 10:30am & 12:30pm | www.aylmer.ca Sat Aug 18 Three Port Cycle Tour 160km, 100km & 50km routes Port Burwell, Port Bruce & Port Stanley | 519-697-0018 www.threeporttour.ca Sun Aug 19 Wish Upon a Song 2 Studio Arts Charity Fundraiser 1-6pm | $20 adv, $25 gate Quai du Vin Estate Winery 45811 Fruit Ridge Ln, St. Thomas 519-775-2216 | quaiduvin.com Sat Aug 19 Brunch by the Waterfalls 11am-2pm (reservation req’d) Heritage Line Herbs 53443 Heritage Ln, Aylmer 519-866-5577 www.heritagelineherbs.com

Thurs Aug 23 FreshFest 5-9pm | $35, Early Bird $60/two Canada Southern Railway Station 750 Talbot St, St. Thomas 519-631-1460 x168 www.freshfest.ca Thurs Aug 23 to Sun Aug 26 Iron Horse Festival 11am–11pm Thurs–Sat, 11am– 5pm Sun | Talbot St, St. Thomas www.ironhorsefestival.com Sat Aug 25 Movie in the Park At Dusk | Free Admission Pinafore Park Bandshell, 95 Elm St, St. Thomas | 519-633-7112 www.city.st–thomas.on.ca Sat Aug 25 Watermelon Fest in Straffordville Straffordville Community Centre Park | 519-866-5573 56169 Heritage Ln, Straffordville www.bayham.on.ca Sat Aug 25 Talbot Trail of Yard Sales 100 km of yard sales & special events at businesses along the trail Starting at 8am at most locations www.elgintourist.com

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

growers & creators of fine lavender products

VISIT US SATURDAY AUGUST 11TH FOR OUR ANNUAL

LAVENDER FAIRY FESTIVAL

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

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Events Sat Aug 25 Heritage Line Herbs Yard Sale & BBQ Yard sales, BBQ lunch 8:30am-4pm 53443 Heritage Ln, Aylmer 519-866-5577 www.heritagelineherbs.com

Sat Aug 25 St. Thomas Horticultural Society Yard & Plant Sale 8am-2pm 35781 Fingal Line, Fingal 519-769-2529 www.gardenontario.org/site. php/thomas

Sat Aug 25 Empire Valley Yard Sale & BBQ Yard sales, vendors, firefighters’ breakfast & lunch 8am–2pm | 519-762-3504 27983 Talbot Ln, Wallacetown www.empirevalleyfarms.com

TRAINS TO TRACKS WITH

Fred Eaglesmith Musician Fred Eaglesmith grew up on a 200-acre farm near Brantford Ontario, hopped his first train at the age of 15, and has been riding the rails or running the road ever since. For the past 40 years the relentless chug-a-chug-a of the tracks has played an important roll on Eaglesmith’s 19 albums. He has recorded hundreds of songs to date, all of which are genuinely tied to the land, lives, labours, trials, tribulations and triumphs of everyday people. His songs featuring trains have been desirable covers for other musicians (James King, Flowers in the Dell; The Spades, 49 Tons; Allan Jackson, Freight Train) garnering him awards, number-one hits and gold records. It seemed suiting that Eaglesmith would one day bring his music to the CASO Railway Station, which he did last August, performing to a packed house in the Anderson Dining Hall. He was also on hand to accept the honour of induction into the North American Railway Hall of Fame at the 2012 ceremony on June 22nd, as an artist who has written, and performed so many songs about trains. Despite the fact that Eaglesmith is seldom at his Southern Ontario home and recording studio in Vittoria, his love for the area is reflected in both his

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Photo by Kori Heppner music and his actions. Each year he hosts an Annual Charity Picnic at Springwater Conservation Area in Aylmer. It’s three days of outdoor relaxation with music from the Fred Eaglesmith Travelling Steam Show and an always diverse line-up of his musical friends. The 18th Annual iteration takes place August 17th to 19th. This year it will kick off on August 16th with a BBQ and concert at the CASO Railway Station (750 Talbot Street, St. Thomas). Find out more about Fred Eaglesmith at www.fredeaglesmith.com and the picnic at fredeaglesmithpicnic.tumblr.com/.

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Events Sat Aug 25 Country Seat Yard Sale Yard sales, vendors, charities 8am–4pm | 519-762-2965 28143 Talbot Line, Wallacetown Sat Aug 25 & Sun Aug 26 Railway Heritage Days 10am–4pm Elgin County Railway Museum 225 Wellington St, St. Thomas 519-637-6284 www.ecrm5700.org Sun Aug 26 Summer Sounds Delicious: Reds, Whites & the Blues 2-7pm | $20 adv, $25 gate Quai du Vin Estate Winery 45811 Fruit Ridge Ln, St. Thomas 519-775-2216 | quaiduvin.com

Every Sat in Sept Clovermead Annual Honey Harvest Festival 11am–4pm, Bee Beard 2:30pm $10/person, $45/Group of 5 Clovermead Bees & Honey 11302 Imperial Rd, Aylmer www.clovermead.com Weekends in Sept Belmont Corn Maze 46614 Crossley–Hunter Ln, Belmont www.belmontcornmaze.net Sat Sept 1 vogelJoy Live 10am | Freewill donation Palmer Park Bandshell Sydenham St, Aylmer www.vogeljoy.com

Sat Sept 1 Friends of Springwater Carnival & Fireworks Springwater Conservation Area 8079 Springwater Rd, Aylmer 519-773-9037 www.catfishcreek.ca Sat Sept 1 & Sun Sept 2 30th Annual St. Thomas Fire Muster Pinafore Park, 95 Elm St, St. Thomas | 519- 631-0210 Thurs Sept 6 Canada Southern Concert Series: McCartney Years 7:30pm | $15 adv, $18.50 door CASO Railway Station 750 Talbot St, St. Thomas canadasouthernconcertseries.com

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

Wind Interpretive Centre Information Kiosk

5361 Brown Road at Nova Scotia Line Museums Open Daily Mid-May to Labour Day

Gateway to Erie’s Shore

CANADA DAY PARADE & CELEBRATIONS Parade at 1pm, followed by festivities, Port Burwell PORT BURWELL TUB DAZE • AUG 3-5 Fireworks at dark on Sunday STRAFFORDVILLE WATERMELON FEST • AUG 25 TALBOT TRAIL OF YARD SALES • AUG 25 EAST ELGIN DOORS OPEN • SEPT 22

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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Events Thurs Sept 6 RCMP Musical Ride 6pm | 519-764-2600 Southwold Keystone Complex, 35921 Talbot Ln, Shedden www.rosyrubarbfestival.com Wed Sept 12 Canadian Snowbirds Air Show ‘Smoke on the Water’ 2-3pm | Port Stanley Main Beach & East Berm www.airshows.forces.gc.ca

Canadian Forces Snowbirds (Photos by MG)

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

FIND MORE AT WWW.RELISHELGIN.CA

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Arts & Culture

playing

IN ELGIN COUNTY From east to west our local live theatre is intimate, friendly and entertaining. The West Elgin Dramatic Society has been staging live theatre performances at the Dutton Town Hall since 1971. The Princess Ave Playhouse is the newly renovated home of the Elgin Theatre Guild. Aylmer Community Theatre players present their often side-splitting antics at The Fabulous Old Town Hall Theatre in Aylmer. They and the Elgin Theatre Guild present a variety of plays during the fall to spring season which bring together seasoned ‘pros’ and budding actors with impressive results. Patrons of the Port Stanley Festival Theatre look forward each year to a varied line-up of professional summer theatre, the perfect complement to a day or evening of shopping or dining in Port. Now, another community group is excited to bring theatre to the eastern end of Elgin County.

SMART COMEDY SURFACING SOON The players of the Port Burwell Periscope Playhouse are presently on a voyage of learning and fun—

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they’ll re-surface later this summer when the curtain goes up on their inaugural play, “Smart Ass”. Starting in summer 2011, Director Jeff Rogers and Producer Marion Rogers gathered friends and neighbours in support of establishing a base for live theatre in the Port Burwell area. The ‘Periscope’ name salutes the upcoming arrival to the port village of Submarine Ojibwa. Although a permanent home for the group is somewhere in the future, they know that ‘the play’s the thing’ so they decided to jump right in and produce the debut of “Smart Ass” by Patrick Harding of Port Stanley. It’s a romantic comedy set in mythical Port Victoria. Marion notes that the cast consists of Port Burwellians Bob Smolders, Katy Wells and Tim Wells, “three newcomers who read like old pros”, witty Pete Matthews who is well-known to Tillsonburg audiences, and Larry Dawson of Simcoe (who has himself directed over 20 shows). Two other characters play a major role, although heard but ne’er seen, a Mr. Talbot played by Ray Talbot and Peaches,

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Arts & Culture played by Bonnie Abel. Both Wells family members remarked how each rehearsal helps them discover even more humour, and the rehearsals are “a blast”. Marion is excited about the opportunity to present Mr. Harding’s script with its “witty pokes and pointed jokes”, and also elated with support from the community and businesses interested in promoting the play and selling tickets. Performances of “Smart Ass” will take place at the Vienna Community Centre, Fridays July 27th and August 10th at 8pm, and Saturdays July 28th and August 11th at both 2pm and 8pm. For more information, including ticket outlets, call 519-874-4286 or visit www.periscopeplayhouse.ca. Adults $15, under 12 $10, groups of 20+ $12.

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LIVE THEATRE IN ELGIN COUNTY West Elgin Dramatics Society Dutton Town Hall, 199 Main St, Dutton weds.villagecrierdutton.ca, 519-762-2862 Aylmer Community Theatre Old Town Hall, 38 John St, South, Aylmer www.aylmertheatre.ca Elgin Theatre Guild Princess Ave Playhouse, St. Thomas www.elgintheatreguild.ca, 519-633-8530 Port Stanley Festival Theatre 302 Bridge Street, Port Stanley www.portstanleytheatre.ca, 519-782-4353

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Map of Elgin

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Arts & Culture

the artwork of

PETER ROBSON Peter Robson is undoubtedly one of Elgin’s best known local artists. Many a resident or tourist to the area has visited the Gallery in Sparta, been drawn to a print from the diverse range displayed there and become the proud owner of a “Peter Robson”. The subject of his work is often Elgin County with a signature Robson touch of whimsy or nostalgia. He’s also an accomplished sculptor—his “Circle of Life” pieces grace the Memory Garden in Pinafore Park, and in more recent years he added life-like detail to the deteriorating musculature of the Jumbo statue at the west end of St. Thomas.

Peter’s sculpture, watercolours and oil paintings have found homes locally and much further afield, in private and corporate collections around the world. His landscapes range from real to surreal. He’s also collaborated with author Laurence Gardner to illustrate his best-selling books, “The Bloodline of the Holy Grail”, and “Realm of the Ring Lords”.

1981 they moved to Sparta where Peter continued to build his body of work, and his reputation.

Peter’s studio is in his home, and he is very clearly “at home” in The Abbey’s sunlit studio which adjoins the kitchen. Though health problems limit his work to a few hours a day now, he creates with surprising energy and concentration in those hours. Graciously, he took some time recently to talk about his art. An insatiable sense of curiosity and need to create seem to have been part of Peter’s make-up since a very young age. He remembers his evacuation from war-time London to the countryside where he was captivated by nature and the more wide open spaces.

Peter was already an accomplished young artist when he arrived in Canada from England in 1966. He met and married Eleanor 36 years ago, and in

I note that his work seems to be influenced by poetry, mythology, history and literature. Says Peter, “Am I a romantic? Yes. And I’ve been a reader ever since I was a kid. I used to find a book I would want in the used book store and never be able to afford it, but then if I hung around long enough the shop owner would finally relent and give it to me for whatever I had in my pocket.” He points to a picture he painted depicting himself on the beach near the

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Arts & Culture

home where he grew up, the eldest of five children. “It was a busy and noisy house—typical of me when I was a kid, I would get a book and I would be on the beach.”

Australia, New Zealand and even to Newfoundland on a Norwegian ice-breaking vessel. “I would take these mini-adventures to get experience in life. I was always curious.”

His paintings of a mill in four seasons earned Peter a scholarship through the Royal College of Art. The award was somewhat irrelevant as his father had TB and his help was needed to support the family. “The bottom line was I couldn’t go away to school; that was impossible. It would have eliminated any possibility of me being able to earn any money to help the family, so it was out of the question.” However, the recognition led to his apprenticeship at age fourteen to the cathedral stone sheds at Canterbury which allowed him to take night school and fulfill the family obligations. As he took courses, worked and studied with some of the best artists in Europe, he developed his abilities through carving, sculpting, drawing, drafting and painting.

I wonder if any of Peter’s siblings were so determined to follow their dreams. He smiles, “No, I was it, a one of….and probably just as well.”

Peter also managed to find the means to satisfy his hunger for travel. He points to one painting, “That was at the end of the war; the guy was a sailor. His stories of different parts of the world really influenced me to travel.” Peter sought out opportunities to take sabbaticals where he would sign on to a ship to work for a week and cross to the continent. Eventually, he has able to venture off to

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As a sculptor and stone carver, Peter did a lot of masonry work and found the chemicals and materials he was using began to take a toll on his hands. That’s when he decided to branch off into painting. Even with brush in hand, Peter’s style is suggestive of sculpting. He paints from the shoulder, expressive and pacing. Says Peter, “I paint from ten feet away, I always have; I am constantly moving back and forth. I think to be expressive means to be ‘loose’— you don’t get that when you paint from the wrist.” As Peter paints one of a commissioned series, the feel is of the Mediterranean (it’s for a chain of pizza shops) and one gets the sense that he has a precise draftsman’s vision of the completed painting. Before that final scene appears, layers of dimension and light will be added, paint will be brushed on and removed and architectural elements and gondola will disappear and appear again in precisely the right spots. Through long experience, he has

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Arts & Culture developed his own techniques to get the effects he wants, from the media he uses to the surface they are applied to. This series is worked on birch board which Peter says he prefers for detailed work which needs to hold up. It has been used for thousands of years, often to paint still-life, offers tried and true support and doesn’t shift like canvas. Peter often creates silhouettes in paper to reposition elements that have disappeared as he applies layers further back in the painting. “The other way to do that is to scale it and draw it onto the canvas or board and then work it up from there; it’s a very long process and very difficult technically if you draw everything before you start.” He’s comfortable in a wide variety of styles and techniques. “Some things I don’t draw at all.” An elephant was drawn with the brush, and one painting with a nineteenth century look is entirely brush work. Thumb-nail sketches are worked in a flash, serving as little artistic post-it-notes. “They are no use if they take longer than 10 minutes. Here’s one worked from the car window—I just wanted to capture that there was a little snow, and the light was very bright. It gives you stuff to work on later.”

Inn or another for the Shaw Festival. As the list of galleries taking his reproductions grew to 140, commissions got bigger, recognition increased and fourteen hour work-days were the norm. Art shows took the Robsons across Canada; they also continued to travel further afield. “East Joins West through Art” documents Peter & Eleanor’s unforgettable trip to Russia, at the time when communist rule was just coming to an end. The experience was rich with comradeship and cultural discovery. They also visited England often; there Peter painted on the moors and collaborated with “Holy Grail” author, Laurence Gardner. Of necessity, Peter must now limit his work day to a few hours, but he uses the techniques he has developed over many years to accomplish more in less time. Just as when he was a young budding sculptor, he forges ahead, accomplishing his work and art by adjusting to life’s circumstances. From landscapes that shimmer, to scenes with elements of mystery or hidden meaning, to fine sculpture, Peter injects a sense of wonder and the energy of a symphony conductor into his work.

Sparta, Peter notes, was a good discovery. He and Eleanor had often passed through on their way to visit Peter’s brother in Union and were attracted to the village, though many of the buildings were ramshackle at the time. Initially, they rented for eighteen months, then began to purchase and fix up a few buildings at a time (nine altogether) and then sell them, hoping others would come to Sparta to live and work.

Peter Robson Studios and Gallery is located at 46340 Main St, Sparta and is open yearround. Eleanor and son Steven proudly display Peter’s paintings, prints and sculptures at the gallery. A custom framing centre is also located on the premises. Find out more by calling 519-775-2522 or visiting www.entropic-art.com.

The location worked well for Peter—as the only artist in Sparta he got noticed. He also made connections which led to an ever-growing demand for commissioned work, like a series for the Benmiller

Photos on opposite page courtesy of the Elgin Arts Trail, by Phillip J. Bell of Shutter Studios. Photo on page 21 (Miller's Glade, 8" x 11.75") courtesy of Peter Robson Studios and Gallery.

Peter Robson Studios and Gallery is a member of the Elgin Arts Trail. For more information on the Arts Trail and its members, visit www.elginartstrail.ca.

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Arts & Culture

SCOTT BRUNELLE Painting on the Windowsill Scott Brunelle opened a show this past October for Anne Lindsay at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre. Lindsay, an award-winning Canadian fiddler/violinist, readily stupefies audiences with her flying bow. Scott proved to be a fitting opening act as he demonstrated his considerable fingerstyle guitar agility, along with dynamic singing and song-writing talents. “Fingerstyle playing,” says Scott, “has had a niche following for a number of years, but it’s now becoming increasingly popular around the world”. The technique, which involves plucking the strings directly with fingertips, fingernails or picks as opposed to flatpicking, is challenging but also opens up exciting possibilities for the musician, like being able to play bass and melody over top simultaneously. The technique meshes well with a wide range of musical genres, and is one Scott has developed over several years. His guitar-playing skills and folk-artist leanings are but the starting point for his ever-broadening musical talents and interests. An Aylmer native and graduate of East Elgin Secondary School, Scott has just completed his first year of Popular Music at Western University in London. His creative bent and musical passion would likely have found their way to the forefront in his life, no matter what his upbringing, but it just so happened that in his early years he found lots of encouragement for his natural creative inclinations. He says, “On my dad’s side of the family, my dad, both uncles and cousins had musical equipment around the house. Guitars were always accessible—the opportunity was there, and I just picked it up and started to play. We were encouraged to make art in any form.” Scott took piano lessons in grade three, and played throughout public school. At the end of public school, he switched to the guitar and by the end of

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high school was immersed in writing his own music and playing the acoustic guitar. He took guitar class in grades ten and eleven but has never had lessons and attributes his fingerstyling finesse to having spent all of his spare time in high school practising. Instrumental influences early on included those of Steve Vai, Don Ross and Andy McKee. Scott then looked to artists like Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, James Taylor and the Beatles as creative inspiration for his boundary-pushing folk stylings. Currently, the names that pop to mind as being sources for broadening his perspective are Yes, John McLaughlin and Andrés Segovia.

Photo courtesy of Scott Brunelle

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Arts & Culture The songs that Scott writes are thoughtful, with nature imagery suggested frequently by both music and lyrics. True to the folk music genre, the songs have personal meaning, and his own voice and styling is a very listenable vehicle for that meaning. Scott is committed to the perfection and development of his craft. He laughs, “Year of Change” (his first acoustic CD) was self-made in my bedroom with 2 mics duct-taped to stands. I wanted to learn about recording.” His second collection of original material, an EP, “Circle of Pine” went all out with instrumentation. When we chatted, Scott had just finished with the mixing of his soon to be released CD, “Painting on the Windowsill”. For this recording, his goal was to blend “the organic acoustic sound with interesting but pared-down, to-the-point instrumentation”. His efforts will be heard on the CD in background vocals, guitars, harmonies, percussion and some bass guitar. His partners in producing the album at the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART) in London were Patrick Dal Cin (bass guitar), Corey Biluk (drums), Kristian Montano (guest vocals, guitar and arrangement) and Greg Enns (engineering). All involved were of like mind in wanting to push the folk music sound. Their quest, notes Scott, “was to create music people will find interesting and different, without concern for fitting a genre, but forming a nice cohesive piece of art and something fresh.”

Photo courtesy of Mark Girdauskas, Photos by MG Says Scott, “‘Painting on the Windowsill’ is ‘River Rock’, a painting that my Dad made for me for Christmas which was on my windowsill.” (Scott is the son of artist Paul Brunelle, featured in a separate article in this edition.) A sense of curiosity and an on-going quest for freshness and discovery seem to be traits shared by both father and son. “Painting on the Windowsill” is sure to be a musical treat, especially for those who appreciate discovering the rarity of a full-length CD crafted to be greater than the sum of its parts. Find out more on Facebook (Scott Brunelle Music) and watch for the release of “Painting on the Windowsill” later this summer.

Jeff Yurek, MPP Elgin-Middlesex-London

Here to help you with: Ontario Disability Support Program, OHIP Cards, Driver’s Licences, Ontario Works, Birth Certificates 750 Talbot Street, Suite 201, St. Thomas, ON, N5P 1E2 P: 519-631-0666 | T: 1-800-265-7638 | E: jeff.yurekco@pc.ola.org

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Arts & Culture

PAUL BRUNELLE Bird Man of Aylmer Aylmer artist Paul Brunelle’s bird sculptures so convincingly capture the shape, stance, stare and essence of their subjects that one might wonder if his mindset as he creates them is to “be the bird”. The St. Thomas Elgin Artist Studio Tour this past spring provided opportunity to meet Paul and see several of his sculptures and paintings in his studio and home. It is tucked into a country-side location near Aylmer and Paul explained that he gets daily inspiration from his surroundings. Both his paintings and sculptures reflect that closeness with nature and a keenly observant eye. The birds, up close and personal in their dimensional beauty, are both striking and enthralling.

at age twelve—“I always knew it was my thing.” He grew up in Aylmer, moved away in his early twenties to Alberta and British Columbia, and then returned to Aylmer to live, painting all the while.

Paul remembers being drawn to nature and art from an early age, completing his first oil painting

Shortly after returning to Aylmer in the early eighties, Paul met Jimmie Clennell, who had started the Pinecroft Pottery with wife Selma in 1948. Jimmie is remembered for his enthusiasm and encouragement to other artists and creative spirits. Says Paul, he knew I was selling paintings around town and he introduced me to clay—I did a sculpture of a bird and took off from there.”

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Arts & Culture “Jimmie could see the bird sculptures were going to be a success. He could see I was eager to get my art happening.” Though Jimmie was known for his wheel-thrown pottery he was a master of working with clay in all aspects and had training in design and sculpture as well. “Jimmie was creative, and loved to teach, a wonderful mentor. I set up in a cabin at Pinecroft for a few years, working and learning, then felt it was time to strike out on my own and take my work to the next level.” Paul took his sculpture to many shows—one of them was the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival, then known as the Buckhorn Wildlife Art Festival. The 35-yearold event is recognized as one of the premiere Canadian Art Festivals. There, he met American artists who were displaying, and also the publisher

of an American art magazine. They convinced him to come and show his work in the States. With their encouragement and connections, he found a market for his work there and for several years has focused primarily on American shows. However, Aylmer has remained home base and the place where he and wife Susan have raised their two sons. In the past couple of years, Paul has engaged in introducing his work to an audience closer to home. Paul’s sculptures are made of the same clay that potters use. It is shaped roughly into the composition and attitude of the bird that he envisions while the clay is wet and pliable and is very responsive and direct to the touch at this point. The sculpture is allowed to dry to the stage where he can carve the surface details and textures. He

Paul likes to consider the work and ideas of other artists, such as the ones expressed in this quote attributed to Auguste Rodin. “Conceive form in depth. Clearly indicate the dominant planes. Imagine forms as directed towards you, all life surges from a centre, expands from within outwards. In drawing, observe relief not outline. The relief determines the contour. The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope to tremble, to live. Be a man before being an artist!”

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Arts & Culture has focused largely on birds and on becoming a master at sculpting the details of feathers and other elements that make his bird pieces so lifelike. The completed sculpture is hollowed out, dried and kiln fired. Onto the hardened clay surface, Paul continues to refine the colour and detail with oil colours on the birds and acrylic on the branches and other settings. In his dedication to on-going development as an artist, Paul is often drawn outdoors to observe and gather material and inspiration. Many of his oil paintings are completed en plein air, as he becomes engrossed in portraying the scene and the light before him. He has spent countless hours at the Aylmer Wildlife Management Area and in a kayak at Springwater Conservation Area, photographing birds at many different angles as a reference to details of anatomy. Geese migrating through the AWMA this past spring prompted him to create his

“Canada Geese”, a large piece which he will take to the Buckhorn show this summer. Each sculpture is not based on any one photo, but on an amalgamation of Paul’s observations, experience and imagination. He infuses the clay with form, texture and colour that is stunningly lifelike but also somehow manages to portray the spirit of both bird and artist. Find out more at www.paulbrunelle.com & www.paulbrunelleart.blogspot.com. Paul also enjoys working with clients on a commissioned basis. He is available by appointment by calling 519-765-2683. Watch for information in the fall on a home show he is planning for November. Photos courtesy of Paul Brunelle.

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Mon-Sat 7am-6pm • 519-637-0055 19 Elgin Street, St. Thomas

www.farmgatemarket.com Farmgate Markets Deli & Fresh Meats

From fine dining to fresh produce, farmers’ markets, wineries and breweries, Elgin County will satisfy every taste. New locations, new recipes, and a new surprise are all part of the 2012 guide, available now.

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

www.savourelgin.ca

FarmgateMarket


© istockphoto.com/sorendls

Food & Dining

IMAGINATION A Recipe for All Seasons By Christie MassÉ

The best food you will ever taste can come as a result of shelving your cookbooks and letting your food freak flag fly. Recipes are intrinsically attached to an idea and expectation of a final product—a lot of the time influenced by photographs, or in this technological age, ambiguous star ratings and blog postings outlining faceless cooks’ raving successes and failures on recipe websites.

ever witnessed. Learning to appreciate that fruit or vegetable and getting to know its nature can be a life altering experience. It can change the way you cook and eat in a beneficial way, while creating a healthier diet and less work in the kitchen, not to mention less dishes. Who doesn’t want less dishes?!

The psychology behind cooking and food has the biggest impact on your experience, more so than your skills and palate. The excitement of the unknown in cooking rids the home cook of expectations and therefore potential disappointment. It also gives cooks the chance to challenge themselves and build new skills. As Chef Gusteau famously put it in the beloved Ratatouille, “anyone can cook.” As a psychology graduate turned professional chef, I genuinely agree with the orbed animation. All it takes is some passion, interest, and quality time spent with your ingredients.

All summer long, I stick to the same cooking techniques for our delectable dinners, simply switching between stovetop, barbeque, and fire pit depending on free time and ambition. You’d think this would result in redundant routine meals, but with the variety of ingredients at hand whether from the garden or the local farmer’s market, we never have the same meal twice. I challenge readers to follow this routine for a week and not get hooked.

In this seasonal climate we are fortunate enough to appreciate the growing season when it comes, following a long winter of potatoes and cabbage for the seasonal shopper. Come spring/summer watching a tiny seed turn into a marvelous fruit or vegetable is the closest thing to true magic I’ve

First, choose your protein (fish, chicken, pork, beef, or whatever else might tickle your fancy) preferably in single serving portions (fillet, breast, chop, or steak). Next, if a starch or grain is deemed necessary, make your choice (potatoes, rice, pasta, or the newly popular quinoa or cous cous) and prepare according to package directions, your grandma’s signature recipe, or what-have-you. Finally, following seasonality and your instincts, select a handful

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Food & Dining of different produce (this can include vegetables— don’t forget garlic, shallot, etc.—fruits and herbs), and prepare yourself for some first-base style courtship with your future side dish. Examine each item first with your eyes and nose. This is not practised enough, which has led to our food being taken for granted. Wash your vegetables one at a time making sure your fingers touch every crease, curve, and character. Squeeze them to determine their firmness and ripeness. This will tell you a lot about a vegetable, most importantly how to prepare and cook it. While you are familiarizing yourself with your feast, think about what you’d like to get out of each variety. This will help you determine how to chop/slice your vegetables as well as how long to cook them or if you’d like to cook them at all! The smaller you chop an item the more dispersed the flavour will be throughout the final dish. If you’d prefer an occasional flavour burst from a given vegetable chop it in larger pieces or keep it whole. For example, a whole, slightly pan-fried fresh garden cherry tomato is, to quote my green-thumbed cousin, “the best mouthful of tomato soup ever.” Once you’ve determined your veggie path, take a large skillet and heat some olive oil over high heat. Season your protein with salt and pepper and sear it to your preferred doneness. Reserve it on a plate under a foil tent. Using liquid of choice (wine, beer, whiskey, stock, juice, etc.) deglaze your pan and scrape the goodie-bits that have caramelized to the bottom of the skillet. Add your vegetables in the order you’ve decided based on your desired result and season them. Allow the liquid to reduce

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to your preference or add more if you’d like to cook it out and increase the amount of sauce (keep in mind this will lengthen your veggie cook time—if you are looking for saucy you might benefit from doing this step prior to adding vegetables). Once your veggies resemble what you’ve imagined, plate your prepared starch/grain, spoon your veggies and sauce on top, and finish with your perfectly personalized protein and voila! Dinner! The key to this meal being a success in spite of its simplicity is making sure to pay attention to what is happening in your mouth with every bite followed by a sip of your favourite wine or beer. It might take some time to drop the instinct of adding a condiment. Appreciating seasonal food for how Mother Nature intended it to taste is a gift. Treating it with respect is the best way to bring out its best flavour. Pastry on the other hand, is well known for requiring recipes. I will not argue this. Of course many bakers develop the same skills as cooks once ingredient familiarity has been conquered, but that can be our next adventure. For now, in the spirit of seasonality I offer my signature cobbler recipe, which can follow the same principles when it comes to the produce aspect of the dish. Any seasonal fruit can be utilized for this recipe. Again, depending on textural and flavour preferences, the cook can either keep the fruit whole, raw, chopped, sliced, stewed, or even caramelized with sugar and butter. I will give the most basic version of a filling recipe as a guideline, but please, feel free to play with both your filling and crust ingredients and flavours. Cobbler time:

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Food & Dining

CHRISTIE’S SEASONAL BERRY COBBLER

(yields 1 9x9 baking dish, approximately 8 portions)

FILLING

Ingredients: 1 C blueberries 1 C raspberries 1 C cherries, pitted 1 ½ C sugar, or to taste (That’s right! Taste your filling and adjust!) 1 tsp vanilla extract

© istockphoto.com/Vitalina

Method: 1. Preheat oven to 425˚F 2. In a large bowl, add all ingredients and mix until well combined. Pour into lightly greased 9x9 baking dish and set aside.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk until just combined. 4. Evenly spread over fruit mixture and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. 5. Allow to cool before portioning.

Crust

Wine Pairing: Having a winemaker for a friend can tend to be beneficial when trying to maximize one’s culinary experiences. Winemaker Jamie Quai of Quai du Vin Estate Winery never hesitates to lend a hand when looking for recommendations. With this recipe, he calls for a Saignee, a refreshing crisp rose—which sounds to me like a romantic date for our cobbler. Enjoy!

Ingredients: ¾C all purpose flour 1 Tbsp baking powder ½ tsp salt 1C large flake oats, uncooked ¼C sugar ¾C milk 3T butter, melted 1 lrg egg Method: 1. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Add oats and sugar and whisk until combined. 2. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, butter, and egg.

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Christie Massé is a graduate of Stratford Chefs School. She and husband Will Gaynor own Crust Catering & Bakery. Their artisanal breads are sold at Farmgate Markets (19 Elgin St, St. Thomas). For more information about their custom cakes and catering, go to www.crustcatering.ca or call 519-494-1061.

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CERTIFIED ORGANIC CHICKEN Whole or vac-packed pieces. Phone to order and arrange pickup.

EAT WHAT WE EAT

McSmiths is Affordable for Families, so we can all eat certified organic meat, eggs and produce

FEED WHAT WE FEED

Organic poultry rations available for “Backyard Farmers”

ROSS

BALACLAVA

ALMA

FLORA HORTON

MANITOBA

KAINS

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 or call for details and prices)

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

TALBOT

www.McsmithsOrganicFarm.com

HORTON MARKET

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

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

Wind n Willow

HOME DÉCOR . GIFT WARE KITCHEN . GOURMET GOODS INTERIOR DECORATING

435 Talbot Street, St. Thomas • 519.637.3904 • www.windnwillow.ca • windnwillow@bellnet.ca

NEW INSULATED

FOLDING MARKET BASKETS & EVERYTHING FOR GRILLING, INCLUDING FIRE WIRE SKEWERS Gourmet Goods from The Garlic Box, Wind & Willow, Rootham’s Gourmet & More

Plus Tea & Accessories, Lampe Berger, Wall Art, Jewellery and Much More!

LARGE SELECTION

DA VINCI BEADS


Food & Dining

FROM THE WINDJAMMER INN KITCHEN

to your table

Patrons of the Windjammer Inn Bistro in Port Stanley have come to appreciate Chef Kim Saunders' satisfyingly flavourful dishes created from fresh ingredients and served in the casually elegant dining room or on the spacious veranda. With the opening of the Windjammer Inn Pantry, those same tantalizing tastes are now available to take out and savour at home or anywhere you fancy—on a picnic, at the beach, or on your backyard patio. Since opening her restaurant in 2006, Kim has dreamed of starting a shop for ready-to-heat homemade entrees, artisan baked goods, and preserves. During the past fall and winter she regularly put together custom orders for people eager to stock their freezers with a supply of Windjammer specialties. This spring, she opened “The Pantry” just a few doors south of the Windjammer Inn. Kim is gradually working on expanding products and displays, working toward her vision to become, “A place to pick up gourmet picnic baskets for beach, concerts and events and a showcase for a

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selection of Savour Elgin member products—a snapshot view of the Culinary Trail.” Already, visitors to “The Pantry” will find preserves (some of the fruitful combinations that tempt one to use more than just a little on a scone); scones, soups, favourites from some of her suppliers like Coach House Shortbread, and entrees ranging from comfort favourites like chicken pot pie and lasagna to the more “gourmet” venison ragout, chicken korma or Lake Erie pickerel cakes. Like the restaurant menu, items will vary, reflecting Kim’s focus on seasonal and local. Visit the Windjammer Inn at 324 Smith St, Port Stanley and the Winjammer Pantry a few steps south at 172 William St. For more information call 519-782-4173 or visit www.thewindjammerinn.com. Photos by Mark Girdauskas, Photos by MG.

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A LOCAL TASTE EXPERIENCE THURSDAY AUGUST 23RD, 2012 • 5-9 PM

IN THE HISTORIC CASO STATION • 750 TALBOT STREET, ST. THOMAS

Sampling of Locally Produced Food & Drink Opportunity to Meet Area Chefs & Producers Food & Wine/Beer Pairing Workshops Local Entertainment

www.freshfest.ca TICKETS - $35 each / Early Bird Pricing two for $60 TICKETS INCLUDE SAMPLE COUPONS & A SOUVENIR WINE GLASS

AVAILABLE NOW • CALL 519-631-1460x168 FOR INFO Limited tickets - buy early to avoid disappointment. This is a 19+ event. Valid ID required for admittance.


Relish Elgin Summer 2012 Edition