Windsor Life Magazine Holiday 2019

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PUBLISHER/EDITOR Robert E. Robinson CONTRIBUTING Karen Paton-Evans WRITERS Leslie Nadon

Michael Seguin CREATIVE DIRECTOR Carol Garant ART DIRECTOR Michael Pietrangelo PRODUCTION George Sharpe PHOTOGRAPHERS Sooters Photography

Michael Seguin Chris Russell Scott Hughes Jesse Hebert Lynne and David Fox Lou Baldanza Roland Lorente Madeline Muzak Charlie O’Brien


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318-5060 Tecumseh Road East Windsor, Ontario N8T 1C1 Tel: (519) 979-5433 Fax: (519) 979-9237 Windsor Life Magazine is published by Campbell McGregor Garant Publishing Incorporated. Articles and art may not be reprinted without written permission from the publishers. The publishers assume no responsibility to return unsolicited editorial or graphic material. Windsor Life Magazine is a registered trademark of Campbell McGregor Garant Publishing Incorporated, Suite 318-5060 Tecumseh Road East, Windsor, Ontario N8T 1C1. Telephone (519) 979-5433, Fax (519) 979-9237. All rights reserved. ISSN 11955694. Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 43512513. Windsor Life Magazine is published 8 times per year. Mailed delivery in Canada is available for $40.00 per year including H.S.T. A $150.00 charge is required for mail delivery anywhere outside of Canada. Send cheque along with address information to Windsor Life Magazine, 318-5060 Tecumseh Road E., Windsor Ontario, N8T 1C1.


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Season’s Greetings During this holiday season and every day of the year, we extend our thanks to our community and wish you all the best. Benjamin Muon

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Publisher’s Note While editing the stories publishing in this Holiday issue of Windsor Life, it came home to me again that our region produces a lot of smart cookies with the right priorities. Take Brittany Rocheleau, a 24-year-old Harrow woman who flew nearly 14,000 kilometres to Thailand to teach kids in third world conditions. These youngsters taught her that relationships are what count most in our lives. Although she had to travel a long way to figure this out, I believe Brittany is much farther ahead than I was at her age. Jeff Burrows of The Tea Party, Crash Karma and The S’Aints also gained this wisdom along the way. In his Holiday Letter in this issue, he shares that in his home, while presents are appreciated, people matter more. Looking beyond his own family, the rocker, who shares his talents to help stock local foodbanks, rightly points out that, “Hard times won’t go away until we help one another.” I wholeheartedly agree with Jeff when he says, “Small acts of kindness mean a lot.” So I’m sitting here, contemplating which small acts of kindness I can personally do. Bring groceries to a food bank. Donate to local charities providing vital services. Search our linen closet for old towels and blankets needed by people fostering animals. Maybe buy coffee for the person behind me in the drive-through. During the holidays and afterward, my wife, Carol, and I will spend as much time as possible – and then a little more - with the people who mean the most to us. We shall keep them close and let them know they are important in our lives. Each one of them is a gift. One great thing about the holiday season is it is long. That gives us all time to connect with our favourite people. We can choose to make them a priority, even when tackling deadlines, household tasks, decorating, shopping for presents and preparing a feast. Being with loved ones is a good thing to do for ourselves and, I think, the world. It generates warmth and caring, creating a positive ripple effect. May you and yours be surrounded with love, now and in 2020. Sincerely,

Bob Robinson

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ON THE COVER A Magical Cirque Christmas, coming to the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor for two performances on Sat., Dec. 14.


Photography by Lou Baldanza See page 18


F E AT U R E S 18





Writing Home For The Holidays


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Pam Mady Wakes Up The Dining Table


Amherstburg’s Lynn and David Fox Travel To Hudson Bay 60


New Collection of Essays By D.A. Lockhart 64

Nostalgic Camp Comedy Filmed In Windsor

Local Musician Releases First Album 30


12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety 48



New Chief Of Police Takes Office

Enchanting Entertainment For The Holidays 24




Overcoming Language Barriers And Bathroom Lizards 68


ABX Blues Project Heads To International Blues Challenge

In This Issue

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This past year has been a memorable one for our community and happily, there is much yet to celebrate throughout the weeks of the holiday season. This issue of Windsor Life connects you to local people who have already done cool things and are planning to start 2020 off with a bang. Filmmaker and University of Windsor professor Mike Stasko has premiered his fifth feature movie, Boys vs. Girls. Unleashing shenanigans at summer camp, the comedy stars Colin Mochrie as the camp director and Emeryville’s Rachel Dagenais as a counsellor. Windsor band ABX Blues Project won the Canada South Blues Society Blues Challenge and are now rehearsing for the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge happening in Memphis, Tennessee this January. Tecumseh’s Alyssa Gill explores powerful emotions in State of Being, her debut album releasing in January. Poet D.A. Lockhart has penned a collection of essays in his new book, Wënchikàneit Visions, which unveils local history and tales. Serving with Windsor Police Services for 26 years, Pam Mizuno is now the City’s new Chief of Police, the first woman to hold the position. Windsor Fire and Rescue Services offers tips to protect you and your loved ones with its 12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety. Thailand and its people enchanted Brittany Rocheleau during her time as an elementary school teacher. Lynne and David Fox of Amherstburg are back from northern Manitoba, where they journeyed to photograph polar bears and other wildlife. If you’d rather embark on a tamer adventure, head into your kitchen and try out Pam Mady’s multicultural recipes in our Look Who’s Cooking at Home feature. Or grab a ringside seat at A Magical Cirque Christmas, performing at the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Sat., Dec. 14. A duo trapeze artist tells Windsor Life what goes through her mind when she flies through the air. Several interesting people who you’ve already met on Windsor Life’s pages in past issues have sent updates in Writing Home for the Holidays. Get ready to write your own story with a little guidance from the stars. Our astrologist Leslie Nadon has laid out the horoscope for the New Year. What will 2020 hold for you? Happy reading!

Karen Paton-Evans


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CIRQUE CHRISTMAS Musical Treats and Acrobatic Feats



Magical A

WITH HIS WIFE’S ANKLES locked around his neck, a muscular man on roller skates spins around and around until the couple are almost a blur. It’s an unorthodox way to perform to holiday music, however, there isn’t much traditional about A Magical Cirque Christmas. Duo Transcend, known offstage as Tyce and Mary Nielsen, were finalists on this season’s America’s Got Talent. Specializing in duo trapeze, aerial silk, tramp wall, diving and acting, the couple are now part of the exciting roster of entertainers in A Magical Cirque Christmas. When the festive circus comes to town this Sat., Dec. 14, audiences of all ages can catch special performances at 3 and 8 pm on The Colosseum stage at Caesars Windsor. Feats of athleticism that set the audience on the edge of their seats will be interspersed with comedy and magic acts. Beautifully costumed vocalists shall sing favourite carols. The action is non-stop. “We are thrilled to be bringing A Magical Cirque Christmas back to audiences around the country in 2019,” says Lee Marshall, producer of MagicSpace Entertainment. “Our amazingly talented cast has been assembled from all over the world and is looking forward to delighting audiences and spreading holiday magic. We hope this show becomes a special holiday tradition that families look forward to experiencing for many years to come.” Canada’s Zoé Sanscartier and her partner, Virginie Gerbeau of France, are performing in A Magical Cirque Christmas. The women began rehearsing for the show in October, finetuning their duo trapeze act with new music. Virginie began exploring the world of circus from age six, eventually studying at the National Circus School of Châtellerault in




Clockwise far left: A Magical Cirque Christmas proves that not only Santa's reindeer can defy gravity. Teetering atop rolling cylinders and stacked objects, a rolo bolo artist has superb balance. A chanteuse sings holiday carols. An acrobat rolls in a giant hoop. Clinging to her partner’s neck, a trapeze artist swings through the air. Kids from the audience assist a magician. Flyers Zoé Sanscartier and Virginie Gerbeau perform duo trapeze tricks.

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France. She arrived at the National Circus School of Montreal in 2012, where she soon found her partner in duo trapeze, an aerial dance where two people weave and spin around each other while performing acrobatics in mid-air. Born in Montreal, Zoé loved everything to do with the arts as a child. She was drawn to the circus, believing it could let her express herself as a performer. Zoé came back down to earth for a moment to chat with Windsor Life. WL: Lots of kids dream of joining the circus. In 2010, when you were only 11 years old, you began attending the National Circus School of Montreal. What did you learn at circus school? ZS: “We had reinforcement class to get stronger and flexibility class to not get injured; dance class, mostly ballet, to get the alignment; aerials, acrobatics, juggling and theatre. It was a very big schedule, from 8 in the morning until 6:30 at night for six years. We had four hours of regular school and four hours of circus school. We had to condense all the academic work. It kept us very busy.” WL: You met Virginie at the school in 2012. A year later, you started creating acts together. When you decided to be flyers and perform duo trapeze, what convinced you to trust that Virginie was your ideal partner? ZS: “I really liked aerials in general; I thought they were more fun and graceful than full acrobatics. The school made us try all types of aerials. I met Virginie to try this type of aerial – duo trapeze. It just clicked. We had the best time. Communication was great. We had opportunity to try different people, but it ended up Virginie and me. Trust: that took a little bit of time. I think we’ve mastered it by now. It’s not in our instincts to want to let somebody else control our life, right? Sometimes we really have to trust and be like, okay, I’m going to do nothing and Virginie is going to catch me and I have to not think about it. Because if I try to do something, I can mess it up myself. I’ve known her for a long time. Virginie is practically my sister.” WL: In A Magical Cirque Christmas, what is your favourite duo trapeze trick that you are performing?

ZS: We invented this catch. It’s a front salto and a full swing. We call it the square catch because it looks like a square. We’re really excited to be doing it in this show because


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it is our signature move and I think it is what makes us unique.” WL: When you are spinning and swinging through the air, the audience is thrilled, fascinated and a bit frightened for you. What are you feeling? ZS: “I’m feeling very focused because what I’m doing is very precise. It’s all about the action – when I have to do my actions and when Viriginie has to do her actions. I’m very aware of where my body is in the air. If we miss a finger and we can’t catch, we fall. We’ve got a little mattress below us. I’ve got to react fast if I fall. But usually, that doesn’t happen. I’m very happy to be performing in front of an audience and I’m just having a blast. I love what I do!” WL: Which act in the Christmas show makes you catch your breath when you are watching other entertainers? ZS: “Definitely rolo bolo [a difficult balancing act where the performer rocks from side to side on a board or other surface that rolls back and forth on a cylinder]. It’s a discipline that I find very fascinating. The precision that is needed for that kind of act is incredible. He’s stacking piece after piece and climbing on top. It’s impressive because it’s all about feeling – the rolo bolo artist doesn’t see what is underneath him. It gets my heart racing.” WL: The holiday season is filled with magic, mystery and music. Do you believe A Magical Cirque Christmas delivers all three? ZS: “One-hundred per cent. It’s going to be enchanting and breathtaking. It’s a high quality show. We have artists from every corner of the world. I personally know some of these acts and have seen them. They are amazing! I’m super-excited to be part of A Magical Cirque Christmas.” WL: What is your idea of a perfect Christmas? On Dec. 25, what are you doing and who are you going to be with?

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ZS: “I have the day off on Dec. 25. I will probably be on the road, on the bus with the cirque tour. My ideal Christmas would be with my family and close friends, of course. But this is what is so fun about circus: you get to be with a new little family of people you just recently met and who you perform your dream job with. I’m very excited and thankful for this.” Tickets for A Magical Cirque Christmas at The Colosseum start at $28 and are on sale now at WLM Back to Contents

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HER SOUND has an immediate orchestral feel, which translates into a grand sense of scale. But then, before the track can become too austere, a light, poppy beat edges into the mix, giving the song an electric jolt of momentum. There’s a multiplicity of genres and styles on display here, including traces of country, R&B, soul and pop. It’s music that is totally unique to Alyssa Gill, a Tecumseh-born Toronto-based musician. For Alyssa, discovering her own unique style involved a lifelong process of self-discovery that began at an early age with the piano. “I’ve been in music my whole life,” Alyssa states. “I used to play the piano, classically. Then I started singing. From there, I looked


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for activities and groups I could be a part of. Vocal class. Talent shows. Any sort of open mike nights. I never stopped. If there was something I could perform at, I was there. I did a lot of writing. A lot of reflecting on who I was as an artist.” Initially, Alyssa’s performances contained much more of a rural, country flavour, as opposed to the bubbling stew that her music would later become. “I originally started singing country music,” Alyssa recalls. “I was a country artist for quite some time. And then, once I finished university, I realized that as much as I love the genre, it’s a very linear sound. There’s not a lot that changes, which is part of the beauty of it. But I felt that I was evolving as an artist.”

When asked to characterize her trajectory as an artist, Alyssa just smiles. “I feel like now, my sound is more pop,” Alyssa states. “It’s the best way to describe it, because it’s pop culture. It’s very relatable. I would almost describe it as an epic sound. Very soundtrack-like. It’s my whole musical experience thus far. There’s some soul in there. A little bit of blues. A little bit of R&B. And even an alternative Adelestyle ballad. It encompasses a lot of different things. I think that’s just why it’s so special to me. Before, I felt I was trying to adapt a sound that wasn’t really mine. I was trying to copy a sound. Now, I have a sound that is just me.” Developing her own distinct musical fingerprint was a difficult mountain for Alyssa to climb. Aside from the years of rebranding and reverse engineering her own instincts, eking out her own identity primarily involved coming to terms with one thing: vulnerability. “I have this weird connection with vulnerability,” Alyssa admits. “Because I find it to be very scary and, at the same time, the most powerful and amazing thing in the world. I think that’s what a lot of people fear, that scariness. Because sometimes you have to go through your fear in order to reach that amazing love and empowerment and passion on the other side. You have to push those boundaries. Ask questions that you don’t want to. Do things that you’re not comfortable with. It can be so hard. I try to write about those tough moments, because they’re so relatable. When I’m listening to music, the music that I’ll put on repeat is the stuff that I can relate to. That’s just what touches me. I admire artists who can do that. And I want to do the same for my fans.” After embracing a more authentic portrait of herself as a person and an artist, Alyssa began the momentous overhaul of rebranding her image. “I feel like the image that I had before had a bit more of a sensual-sexy kind of vibe,” Alyssa explains. “Which, don’t get me wrong. I’m still a sensual person. And I still have that in my music. But right now I’m going for a bit of a real, raw kind of brand. This brand is a little bit darker, but still having a sort of lightness about it. But it’s very much about me being comfortable with me. I’m trying not to try as hard. I guess that’s the best way I can put it. It’s a mixture of raw and glam. I love glam. I love dressing up. Hair. Makeup. Photography. Art. But at the same time, my music is


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very real. It’s very literal. I write very literally. I think that’s where the two of them come together.” What’s more, Alyssa’s songs do not just explore her own internal world. Her music encompasses a broad range of voices and experiences. “I write from many different perspectives,” Alyssa states. “When someone I love feels something, I can feel that same emotion they’re feeling. Whenever someone that I care about is going through a hard time, I try to put myself in their situation to see how I would feel. And then, I draw from that. You can’t just write about yourself all the time. You have to expose yourself to different concepts. I love writing about new states of being.” Alyssa’s debut album, State of Being, drops this January. The first in a threepart series, the album deals with Alyssa’s trademark sense of authenticity and vulnerability. “I basically wrote this album as a concept,” Alyssa explains. “I wrote down all our song titles to see what I could come up with. I thought about the larger themes and they were vulnerability, anger and love. So this first chapter is all about being vulnerable. Anger is my second chapter. Love is my last chapter. Every single song encompasses those feelings. It all flows together.” Although Alyssa credits many people for the completion of her first album, she admits that this is primarily a journey she has undertaken alone. “It’s been quite a journey,” Alyssa states. “I’m so appreciative and thankful for everybody I’ve worked with, because they’ve pushed me to that next level. But I don’t have specific management. The main producer I’m working with is my current ‘acting manager,’ but in regards to contracts and logistics, I’m trying to do everything on my own. And, at the moment, there’s nothing more gratifying. I want to keep going down this path. A lot of artists are doing it on their own. And that’s a lot to be said, because there’s so much to do.” But for Alyssa, the be-all and end-all will always be the music itself. “I don’t see music as work,” Alyssa explains. “I see it as something I have to do. It’s never something that I’ll leave behind. It’s a part of me. If I were to stop making music, it would be like cutting my own arm off. Literally. Whether I become super-successful, whether I become an average artist, whether I become nothing—I’ll never stop making music. It just makes me so happy.” WLM Back to Contents

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Building The Community Through Collaboration TCI TITAN IS APPRECIATIVE that Windsor-Essex County truly understands how to raise young people who are productive and engaged citizens. “This community benefits from having outstanding institutions of higher learning where people can receive post-secondary education and training to prepare them for the workforce. At TCI Titan, we are proud that our staff is comprised primarily of graduates of the University of Windsor and St. Clair College,” says Art Ussoletti, president and founder of TCI Titan Contracting Group. The Windsor-based construction firm eagerly partners on projects that will enhance students’ learning experiences. “We are always excited to be brought in by the College and the University, where we have had many quality projects over the years,” Art says. “Currently, we are at St. Clair College, completing both sidewalk and Registrar’s Office renovations.” At the University of Windsor, TCI Titan has been on numerous builds and most recently helped transform a section of the Leddy Library into the Student Research Collaboratory. The innovative digital space is an active learning zone that brings together students and faculty as they share their research findings and develop collaborative relationships. Art and his Titan team certainly appreciate the value of collaboration. “We worked closely with Michael Di Maio at Di Maio Design Associates Architect Inc. to ensure the Student Research Collaboratory was completed on time while meeting our own high standards,” Art says. “It has been a pleasure to see students already enjoying this amazing new space.” “Actually, on many days I can see our whole family on campus,” Art chuckles. “My wife and business partner, Celina, is an instructor for the University of Windsor Faculty of Nursing Art Ussoletti, President program, while our daughter, Ceana, is in her second year of TCI Titan Group

“Building Trust”

University of Windsor, Leddy Library Student Research Collaboratory Criminology studies, and our son, Dante, is in the Dual Juris Doctor Canadian and American Law Degree program. As a family and a local business, it brings us great pride to have these connections.” Being entrusted to enhance Windsor institutions and commercial developments is “an honour,” Art says. He finds “the college and university staff in charge of construction projects to be true professionals.” Another important local project that TCI Titan is working on presently includes CHC The Deep Energy retrofit of a 20 storey, 300-unit apartment building at 255 Riverside Dr. E. in Windsor. It is the first high-rise retrofit project to occur in North America in an occupied building. The goal is to improve the energy consumption of the building. This project is expected to provide an approximate annual electricity reduction of 109,336 (kWh), demand reduction of 336 (kW) and a natural gas reduction of 28,800(m3), which will result in approximately $80,000 in annual savings. “TCI Titan is proud to be part of this project,” Art says. “We are also excited to gear up for the new Ambassador Bridge Enhancement Project, which we have just put to tender with hopes to award bids to many of our local sub-contractors.” “One thing I’ve come to realize over the years is that our community’s strong work ethic is matched by its generosity,” Art says. TCI Titan strives to do its part by supporting local charities, athletic sponsorships and humanitarian programs, including the Children’s Aid Society, Do Good Divas, Windsor Lancers Baseball Travel Programs, ALS Canada and many more. “Our team at TCI Titan wishes each of you all the joys of the season,” says Art, “and happiness throughout the coming year.”

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y h t l a e H & Happy n o s a e S y a d i Hol TEL: 519-977-1125 • FAX: 519-977-0352 2489 SEMINOLE STREET, WINDSOR, ON

WRITING HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Windsor Life Revisits Some Very Interesting Stories From Years Past STORY BY KAREN PATON-EVANS

Interesting people from past Windsor Life articles have sent holiday letters to let our readers know what they are doing now. The S’Aints A newly minted super-rock band with a heart was introduced to Windsor Life readers in 2011. Comprised of homegrown rockers Jeff Burrows (The Tea Party, Crash Karma), Jody Raffoul (solo artist) and their handpicked musicians, they called themselves the S’Aint’s, “emphasis on the ain’t,” Jody had quipped. The band’s name represented their relationship with St. Clair College, the home of the Saints and Ron Seguin, the college vice president who envisioned a holiday fundraising album and concert to support local charities. Well, Friends, this is the ninth year for The S’Aints, so that means we are releasing our ninth album. I’ve now officially recorded as many albums with The S’Aints as I have with The Tea Party. On our first try, we thought, ‘Let’s just see where this goes.’ Eventually we said we could donate our time for 10 years. Collaborating on this charitable project with the college, Caesars Windsor and other partners is always such a joy that I can see this going on and on. Our original band has grown. We pride ourselves on our harmonies, so we brought the Twisted Sisters Liz Robinson and Stephanie Baker fully into the fold three years ago. Then there are the originals: Wes Buckley, Kelly “Mr. Chill” Hoppe, David Cyrenne, Kelly Authier, Jody Raffoul and me. Our producer Marty Bak also plays percussion. These are the easiest people to work with - talented, professional, dedicated and fun. Guests, including our kids, have also joined us in the recording studio and onstage over the years. I invite all of you to come to our annual Sleighing Hunger concert on The Colosseum stage at Caesars Windsor, 8 pm, Fri., Dec. 20. Do something good for people in need while getting into the spirit with our holiday songs played with a rock edge and some funk and blues, too. There are also special surprises I can’t reveal yet.


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Our 2019 CD, Strike Hunger, is now on sale. We covered Hunger Strike, the heaviest song The S’Aints have ever done. The song is so powerful and deals with world hunger, which should be the simplest problem we can solve. There is more than enough food for everyone – we have to ensure it reaches people so there are no more empty bellies. Worldwide hunger is a major epidemic. Even right here in Windsor, one in five kids goes hungry every day. I’ve been fortunate enough to always put bread on the table but some of our neighbours are having such tough times, they’re worried about feeding their kids. The money our concert and CD is raising is benefiting 16 local foodbanks in partnership with the Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association and Chatham Outreach for Hunger. I love working with these people who are addressing hunger at the grassroots level. I hope you will visit and purchase the $10 CD and $25 concert ticket. Hard times won’t go away until we help one another. Donate and volunteer at a food bank. Help someone across the street. Hug your kids daily. Small acts of kindness mean a lot. That is what the Burrows have learned. Christmas at our home is more about being with being with family and friends, sharing laughs and little gifts. And not one device on for 48 hours – that’s my gift to me! – Jeff Amy Rivard Chatham-born, Windsor-raised entertainer Amy Rivard has toured the world singing with Celtic Woman, Riverdance and a Roy Orbison tribute band (with his brother Sam) at Tokyo Disneyland. Chatting with Windsor Life in 2007, Amy was ready to see where her life would take her next. Merry Christmas! It's been quite a journey since 2007! I've been in NYC for the last decade. The Windsor Life article helped me to get my green card to live in the U.S., qualifying me for the category of ‘alien of extraordinary ability.’ Thank you! I’ve been focused on writing my own music and singing in venues around NYC. Catch me every Sunday at Tavern on the Green in Central Park. One night years ago, I dropped into a restaurant in the Kaufman Astoria Studio. It’s one of the first movie studios in the world. Built in 1921, it was the original home to Paramount Pictures, and there before Hollywood even existed. The manager told me that apparently, the place is busy with the ghosts of silent film stars


Josh Jorgesen Ever hopeful the monster fish are biting, Windsor’s Josh Jorgesen captures his extreme angling adventures on his popular BlacktipH Fishing program, launched online in 2006. Guests include sports stars, celebrities and people who simply love to fish the big seas. Since Windsor Life recounted the Florida-based man’s real-life fish stories in Summer 2017, Josh’s logbook has become crammed with new entries.

Three wonderful things have happened to me recently. The first is my wife, Kaylin, expanded our home team with the birth of our daughter, Lila, 10 months ago. Big sisters Abigail, 4, and Ella, 2, are thrilled. I’m teaching our oldest girls to fish – and they are teaching me patience! They like dangling their hooks in the water but have very short attention spans. The next two news items tie for second place in my mind. I personally landed the second largest tripletail fish ever caught in Louisiana and the largest in the past 60 years. That was a satisfying moment. And my BlacktipH Fishing program scored the most watched video on YouTube one weekend last summer. On the superviral show, Strongest Men vs. Strongest Fish, ▼

Wishing you an Eighties Christmas that is radical to the extreme! – Amy

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who shot movies onsite. I was so inspired, I wrote a song, The Three Divas, about the ghosts of Gloria Swanson, Betty Bronson and Sylvia Sidney. I sang at the restaurant and the host said he often saw a female ghost watching me perform! In 2017, the studio and I made a music video for The Three Divas song, shot right there in the commissary where the silent film stars used to dine. Last year, I brought ghost hunters in with their energy meters. When a hunter asked aloud, ‘Do you like Amy singing here?’, the meter lit up. Yay, the ghosts like me! In 2018, I shot a music video in Windsor with Life in 360 Media and Drone Life Media. It’s a 360 degree music video for my song, When We Come Together. If you scroll around the video, you can see both sides of the Windsor/Detroit waterfronts and Windsorites, including students from Assumption and Candy Canadiana. (Google her and her YouTube series, What's Up Canuck?) The festive season has been on my mind for months now. You're going to see me on a holiday network show this coming December. I can’t say much, so please follow me on my social media channels, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook or Google me. I’m also happy to announce I’ll be releasing some new music, Skipping Stones, Sunny Skies and Perfect Harmony. I also just released Amy’s 80’s XMAS, which you can hear on all streaming platforms like Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon. Listening to 1980s music takes me back to being young, when I didn’t have a care in the world and my parents paid the rent. I figured my old glamour shots from Devonshire Mall would be perfect for the cover. I hope you’ll think it’s narley.


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I went fishing with JujiMufu (fitness freak and social media celebrity), Devon Larratt (World Arm Wrestling Champion and exspecial forces) and Layne Norton (World Champion powerlifter and fitness expert) to help these big guys haul in Goliath groupers. I hope you’ll check it out. Our videos are real and raw. We don’t do gimmicks and nonsense. There is no acting and the emotions are authentic. I think viewers appreciate that. Whether I’m taking out a private chartered tour or filming an episode, the fishing day typically starts before dawn and goes to till nighttime. BlacktipH Fishing shows have been filmed all over the United States. For next year, we have already planned trips in Oman in the Persian Gulf, the Seychelles, Madeira, Trinidad, the Bahamas, Mexico and Costa Rica. My company is also working with numerous government boards to promote their countries’ fisheries. Fishing is a massive part of outdoor tourism and I enjoy letting people know where they can discover their next challenge. One thing I definitely want to do in 2020 is return to Windsor and film where I began fishing as a kid in the local rivers and lakes. I’m looking forward to sharing my grassroots in freshwater fishing. It’s so great when I get to fish for fun – just go and do whatever I want without the clock ticking or burning money to get a show. Recreational fishing will always be my favourite way to unwind. I’m hoping to come back to Windsor for Christmas to see family and friends. The holidays are all about spending time with the people you care about. With our own little girls around us, Kaylin and I feel so thankful and blessed. We wish you and yours the best for the New Year. See you on the water! – Josh

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Christian Vegh LaSalle’s Christian Vegh was tearing it up on his guitar when Windsor Life spotlighted him in late 2016. Local radio stations were introducing his music to listeners. His proficiency had won him college scholarships, a place in the international Brotherhood of the Guitar and a trip to Las Vegas for a video and photo shoot with famed rock photographer Robert Knight. Hey, Everybody


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Music and majoring in song writing. It didn’t really feel like I was at school – I was doing what I always do, making music. It was a four-year program, but I finished it in three, so at the May 10, 2019 graduation ceremony, I did the whole walk across the stage thing and got my diploma. This past summer was busy as it was festival season and I got to play a lot. I’m 22 now and living in Detroit, where my label, Mi5 Recordings Universal Music Group, has an office. This diverse label has an artist development program and is helping me match my image and branding to my music. I’ve always known the music business is more than making music, but that’s becoming more evident to me. A highlight was working with Jack Endino, a Grammy winner and reputable producer and engineer who worked on albums for Soundgarden, Nirvana and loads of other artists. I recorded two of my original songs with Jack: Nineties Move and Shoot Me Down Gently. Both of those will be on my new album probably coming out this December. My music has an alt-rock hip-hop kind of vibe with some electric aspects. This year, I finished filming two music videos: I Think I’m Gonna Die Young which is already available and one that will release with my new album. I’m used to performing live in front of people, but not a camera, which is a strange but interesting experience. Two guys from my label had storyboards written to present each video’s story. How I was moving around, though – that was all me. When I was young, I danced hip-hop. At college, I did a bit of ballet and I’m trying to continue that now in Detroit. Dancing allows me to interpret the rhythm of the music and find my sense of groove. Once I get my technique and a strong foundation, I’ll do jazz stuff. I’m trying to invent a style of performing that’s unique to the music I’m playing. Outside of music, I go to the gym and travel when I get a chance. Recently, I visited a friend in the UK and I was in Maine playing a gig. What I do for fun and for my career usually blend. At Christmas, I will be back in LaSalle to celebrate with my mom, dad, mimma, papa, aunts, uncles and cousins. It’s going to be great! I’m super thankful for all the people who support me from my hometown and the media. Otherwise, I’d just be playing in my basement. Watch for news of my upcoming album launch party. Hope to see you there! – Christian WLM Back to Contents

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FACE TO FACE The Hospice of Windsor Fairley Family Transportation Program has once again exceeded its goal with the raising of $110,000 through the Face to Face campaign. Each year volunteers canvas the city and county asking for small donations. The fund is used to supply free of charge transportation for patients and families. More than 9,000 rides are supplied each year. Pictured here are committee chair John Fairley and Hospice director Colleen Reaume with the final total.

DECK THE DOLLS On Friday, November 1st, Deck the Dolls, hosted by Stephanie and Barry Zekelman, raised over $500,000 to support Transition to Betterness and The Dr. Lisa VentrellaLucente Greenhouse project and Community Kitchen. This project will be the first of its kind in Canada, located at HôtelDieu Grace Healthcare. The greenhouse portion is sponsored by Mucci Farms and Thermo Energy.

MANDALOUN This month, Mandaloun, a new Lebanese restaurant, opened up at 769 Erie Street East. Named after Lebanon’s distinctive mullioned windows, Mandaloun offers a world-class dining experience, featuring authentic, delectable Lebanese food, an exquisite fine dining atmosphere, pizza fresh from a wood-burning oven and a fully-stocked bar. Pictured is owner Sass Ammar. 519-253-6262.


BENTHIC SCUBA CENTRE Benthic Scuba Centre, Essex County’s premier dive facility, recently moved to a new location in Lakeshore. The new 9,200 sq ft building has a pool on site, classrooms and a state of the art showroom. This is a game changer in scuba training in the area. Owners Ron and Marion Waxman invite you to visit anytime. 519-944-1600.


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VINE + ASH Vine + Ash, a new restaurant at 13430 Tecumseh Road East, opened on Thursday, October 10th. The restaurant celebrated their grand opening with an invitation only “Vine + Ash Friends and Family” week, allowing the staff to adjust to the new menu. Pictured is owner Ryan Odette. 519-997-2091.

Libro Credit Union is pleased to introduce David Debergh, Branch Manager at Libro’s Kingsville location. David is a passionate Libro Coach dedicated to helping Libro customer/Owners have an exceptional banking experience. David and his family are long-time Kingsville residents, and he is excited to share his knowledge and experience with his hometown and the surrounding area. With a strong credit background and 19 years in financial services, David welcomes you to visit him at Libro Credit Union. 519-733-6521 ext. 2116.

FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON The Sunray Group celebrated the grand opening of Fionn MacCool’s and Four Points by Sheraton Windsor Downtown. The hotel features 147 spacious guest rooms, meeting event space and more! Pictured from left to right are Kristian Neill, Jordan Beaumier, Paula Beach, City of Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, Kenny Gibson, Sunray Group President, Christine Melnyk, Don Lougheed, Wes ElChaar, Gordon Orr and Jenn Graber. 519-256-4656.

ANCHOR COFFEE HOUSE Anchor Coffee House has opened a third location at Devonshire Mall. Anchor Coffee House’s mission is to give customers an exceptional coffee experience paired with delicious homemade creations. The business endeavors to use as many organic and local products as possible. Pictured are owners Ryan Larocque, Kyle Bondy and Rachel Bondy. 519-966-0888.



On Wednesday, October 23rd, the Windsor Exotic Car Club visited the special needs students at FJ Brennan Catholic High School as part of their Life Skills Program. The Windsor Exotic Car Club boasts of several high-end vehicles, and hosts a variety of exotic car meets and cruises. Pictured is the founder, 16-year-old Kegun Morkin.

In August, two young entrepreneurs launched their first company: Clean Solutions Canada. Clean Solutions Canada is a county premium cleaning company that specializes in all types of locations: residential, commercial and industrial. All products are eco-friendly. Pictured is co-owners Derrick McBounds and Jeremy Hebert. 519-704-0117.

BIBLIOASIS CHRISTMAS GHOST STORIES Biblioasis Press is thrilled to offer three new beautifully illustrated, collectible installments in their Christmas Ghost Stories series. This year, the books include The Sundial by R.H. Malden, The Apple Tree by Daphne Du Maurier and The Old Nurse’s Story by Elizabeth Gaskell. Each book is illustrated by Seth, a world-famous cartoonist. Pictured is Chole Moore, the Publicity Coordinator. 519-915-3930.

VITO’S PIZZERIA On October 29th, Vito’s Pizzeria won the 2019 ORHMA Restaurant of the Year Award. Vito’s Pizzeria is Windsor’s source for authentic Italian experience with a superb atmosphere and great service—great for business meetings or a night out. Pictured are owners Vito and Michelle Maggio. 519-915-6145. H o l i d a y

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WINDSOR POLICE SERVICES’ Deputy Chief Pam Mizuno knew something was up when she was invited to St. Catholic Elementary School last month. Pam’s story is one of intense dedication and tireless community service. Pam was born in Toronto, and raised in Brampton. After working in Kingston for a year, she enrolled in the University of Windsor’s Social Work program. However, she decided to make the leap from social work to policing when Windsor Police Services offered her a job as a Cadet in January 1994. “I wanted to help people,” Pam explains. “That’s what my interest is. Helping people. I liked the idea that, with policing, you weren’t tied to a desk. That you’re a bit more involved with the whole community, which interested me.” Pam attended the Ontario Police College in September of 1994. By December, she was promoted to Constable. “I’ve been with Windsor Police Services for 26 years,” Pam states. “I remained in patrol for about eight years. I patrolled the downtown area. At the time, we had the Downtown Station and the East End Station. So I only ever worked out of HQ. I enjoyed patrolling in the downtown area because it was busy. The call volume was high. There was a lot to learn.” And Pam has learned a lot during her years with Windsor Police Services. After spending almost a decade as a Constable, Pam became the first officer assigned to the Provincial Asset Forfeiture Unit where she worked out of the Drug Enforcement branch. Following that, Pam returned to patrol where she worked in Traffic, Breaking and Entering, Investigations and more. “There’s continuous learning,” Pam states. “That’s what attracted me to this career. To this day, we’re learning something every day. There’s always changes in legislation. You’re


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always having to keep up with changes in the community.” Pam was promoted to Sergeant in 2009. In addition, Pam spent three years working on the Windsor Police Services’ Human Rights Project. “The Human Rights Project was modelled after a similar project in Toronto,” Pam states. “The goal of the project was to identify, eliminate and prevent any discrimination within the police service and in our service to the community. It was successful. We had it evaluated by two professors from York University.” The project was a partnership between Windsor Police Services, the Windsor Police Services’ Board, the Ontario Police College and the Ontario Human Rights Commission. “The project’s focus was in four different areas,” Pam explains. “We had four different subcommittees. There was Accountability, Recruitment, Selection/Promotion and Accommodation. We also had a Public Liaison, to oversee our interactions with the public.” The project involved about 35 people, plus community consultation. “One of the things we were focusing on, and continue to focus on, is the recruitment piece,” Pam states. “Trying to diversify our service so that we’re more reflective of the community. And that’s an ongoing challenge. That’s always going to be something that Windsor Police Services focuses on.” When asked about her career’s defining moments, Pam reflects on her promotions and accolades, but remains focused on the community itself. “One of the moments that sticks out for me, that really keeps me focused on the importance of the police service, is when, as a newer Constable, I attended a fairly simple call with a family,” Pam recalls. “It was a child custody matter. And I assisted the family. I bumped into the gentleman a month later. He had written a thank you letter to the Service.” For Pam, that moment taught her, early in her career, the importance of every interaction a police officer has with the community. “Everything we do, whether it’s the smallest little thing—or those big dramatic events that happen—is important to the community,” Pam clarifies. “It’s those moments that remind us of the reason why we need to be professional at all times. And how, for

our day-to-day work. But for a community member, that might be the one and only interaction they ever have with a police officer. And they’re going to remember it forever. For me, it’s all those small tiny interactions that are those constant reminders of how important our work is. And how important it is for us to ensure that our officers are out there, providing the best service they can.” Pam credits her mentors with getting her to where she is today. “When I was younger, it started with my mother,” Pam states. “My mother did everything. She built a pot rack. She took woodworking classes. So, it was always, ‘You can do whatever you want to do, you just have to work hard at it.’ When they finished the basement, she was down there helping out with the electrical work and the framing. But she was also a stay-at-home mom. For me, she was a great example of what you can accomplish.” When the previous Chief of Police, Chief Al Frederick, retired in February, the board began searching for his successor. When the position opened up, Pam decided to apply. Last month, Pam took office as Windsor’s first female Chief of Police. Pam was presented with her badge by her two daughters and Mayor Drew Dilkens during a surprise assembly at St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School. “That was nice, to be able to share that moment with my two daughters. And they were so cute!” Pam explains. “I was very humbled and honoured to have been selected by the board.” Now that she’s taken office, Pam looks forward to serving Windsor as Chief of Police in the coming years. “It’s a challenging time for policing,” Pam admits. “Across Ontario, there’s issues with homelessness, addiction, mental health issues—all these things that we have to address in collaboration with our community. Our focus is public safety. But we can’t do that without collaborating with our community partners.” While the coming years will indeed be challenging, Pam maintains a characteristic optimism. “I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Pam states. “I have a very good Senior Leadership team, as well as every member of the Service, both civilian and sworn. I’m very fortunate. We really do have some outstanding people that work in this organization. And it’s exciting to have everyone working towards our goals.” WLM Back to Contents

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Out of the Box Education for Modern Learners University of Notre Dame anthropologist Augustin Fuentes once said that “the essence of creativity is to look at the world around us, see how it is and imagine other possibilities that are not immediately present.” Technology has created an accelerated pace of change that has challenged traditional assumptions about the role of education. Especially in regards to creativity. Professor Maureen Harris, Head of School for Lakeview Montessori, is an experienced music educator and performer and one of the many people arguing that passion and creativity are more important to today’s job market now than ever before. “Employers want problem solvers, they want critical thinkers,” Professor Harris stresses. “They want people who are collaborative, they want people who are creative and that contradicts traditional education.” Lakeview, a non-profit private school, is paving the way for how schools approach teaching and learning. At Lakeview, students are grouped by ability rather than age. Lessons stress hands-on learning activities, open-ended projects and questions and student-led discovery. Motivated by global competition and the realities of an ever-changing workforce, Lakeview educators continually evolve, re-evaluate and refine their approach in order to best support the future of their students. For example, Lakeview has also implemented a “Genius Hour” protocol. Similar to Google’s business model, where employees are allowed to spend 20% of their work time on creative projects, students at Lakeview are allowed to explore a subject they are passionate about. At the end of the project, the students present the results of their self-directed study to teachers and peers. Montessori students, Professor Harris stresses, tend to be fueled by intrinsic motivation and curiosity. Which, she argues, is incredibly important for learning, self-esteem, healthy minds and lifestyles. Once children are excited, engaged and intrigued, there’s no telling where their passions will guide them.

Architectual illustrations of the expansion. Artwork provided by Architectural Design Associates Inc.

RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY On October 29th, 2019, Lakeview Montessori held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony to usher in the next phase in the school’s development. Several proud Lakeview parents were in attendance, as well as members of the wider community, including the current Miss Tecumseh, Melina Svab. The ribbon was cut by Gary McNamara, the Mayor of Tecumseh, Nolan Ryerson, the Prime Minister of Lakeview’s Student Council, and Professor Maureen Harris, the Head of School. The new facility features a gymnasium, performance venue, healing garden, infant/toddler rooms, as well as a state-of-the-art tech and robotics centre.

PREVENTABLE FIRES 12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety STORY/PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL SEGUIN THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, the greatest gift you can give your family is safety. For the last several years, Windsor Fire and Rescue Services has developed a series of media launches to help communicate safe fire practices around the holiday season called “12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety.” Nancy Christ, the Public Education Officer, and John Lee, the Chief Fire Prevention Officer, explained each of the 12 steps in greater detail. Day 1: Water Fresh Trees Daily

Nothing says festive cheer like a Christmas tree. However, when using a real tree, it should remain hydrated at all times. “Check it! Some people will fill the base up with water and leave it for three weeks,” John explains. “But when you first put it in there, the tree will drink a gallon of water the first day or two.” As well, sometimes pets will steal water from the tree. Day 2: Check All Lights Before Decorating

Most people use LED Christmas lights, which only draw four watts. This is safer than older Christmas lights, which drew over a hundred. This is concerning, especially when those older lights were linked together and plugged into a single extension cord. “[The new lights] are much safer,” John states. “Some of them do have a built-in surge protector in the wire. But again, just be careful. If you’re going out, unplug the tree. Don’t leave it unattended.” Day 3: Make Sure Smoke Alarms Work And Replace Any Over 10 Years Old

Nancy and John recommend taking the smoke alarm off the ceiling and checking the date to ensure that the machine is functioning properly. If it does not have a date, John stresses, then it is too old. “They do have a shelf life, just like carbon monoxide detectors,” John states. “A device that’s over 10 years old is considered to be obsolete. That’s now a violation. If you have one that’s obsolete, you’re subjected to fines.” John explains that if the fire department attends a home where a fire has occurred and there’s deficient or non-functioning smoke alarms, then the homeowner will be charged. Day 4: It’s Now Law In Ontario To Protect Your Family With Carbon Monoxide Alarms

A carbon monoxide detector should be installed on every storey for optimal protection. “Carbon monoxide mixes with air,” John explains. “You can’t smell it, see it or taste it. You’re required to have a CO alarm outside your sleeping areas. People will commonly say, ‘Well why not in the basement where the furnace and hot water tank is?’ Well, if the CO detector is in the basement and you’re on the second floor where the bedrooms are, you’re not going to hear that alarm activate.”


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Above: John Lee, Chief Fire Prevention Officer and Nancy Christ, Public Education Officers.

CO is caused by incomplete combustion. A gas stove, a gas fireplace, even an attached garage with a car can contribute to a carbon monoxide leak. “If there’s a leak at nighttime, chances are you’ll die,” Nancy explains. “It displaces the white blood cells in your body. You just don’t wake up. With natural gas, you smell it. But with CO, there is no smell. You would not wake up.” As with smoke alarms, Windsor Fire recommends checking the date on the back of the machine to ensure that it is still functioning. If it is older than 10 years old, it should be immediately replaced. Day 5: Make Sure Everyone Knows How To Get Out Safely

Every home needs an escape plan. “You need to practice it,” John stresses. “You need to know where to meet. You have to call 911. Don’t assume that somebody else has done it. And don’t ever, under any circumstances, go back inside.” Fires grow at an exponential rate because of the synthetic materials used in new homes. “You have a minute to get out. Maximum” John explains. “In three to four minutes, we’re experiencing flashover conditions — where the whole room simultaneously combusts. Even the paint on the wall will burn.” Day 6: Use Extension Cords Wisely

Extension cords are at risk of overheating when used improperly. “We tell people not to plug two extension cords together,” Nancy states. “If you need a longer one, buy a longer one. Don’t put them under carpets. If you walk across them, you create friction. That wears off

the protective coating. Never plug any major appliances into an extension cord.” Power bars are also in danger of overheating when overloaded. Nancy recommends not plugging too many high-drawing appliances into a single circuit. In addition, Nancy recommends not purchasing cheap power bars. Counterfeit devices with fake stamps have been found in circulation. Many are even lacking surge protectors. When purchasing power bars, make sure to look for the ULC or CSA stickers and the surge protector. Day 7: Give Space Heaters Space

Space heaters should remain one meter away from anything combustible. “Those generate an awful lot of heat,” John explains. “You touch the grills, you will get burned. If it’s an old one, we recommend not using it. The newer ones have an auto shut off if they tip. However, you could still get a fire as a result of a hot grill that’s been tipped on a carpet or a blanket. If they’re in the bedroom, keep them away from your bed.” Day 8: Go Flameless

John and Nancy recommend making the switch to flameless candles. “Candles are

nice, but do not leave them unattended,” John explains. “If you leave the room, blow them out. There are LED ones available, we suggest using those.” In addition, candles should be placed on a solid surface, in a holder that fits. “Just be careful with them,” John states. “If there’s any sort of wind or draft, even from a furnace, its going to change the dynamics of how it burns.” Day 9: Keep Matches And Lighters Out Of The Sight And Reach Of Children

Matches and lighters can be deadly in the hands of children. If you smoke, keep only one lighter or box of matches in the house, and make sure it is on your person at all times.

catch on fire, don’t pour water on it,” Nancy explains. “Don’t even use a fire extinguisher, because it will displace that oil. Take a proper-fitting lid and just sweep it across. And take it off the heat.” Day 11: Encourage Smokers To Smoke Outside

There were four fatalities this year caused by careless smoking. “If you’re smoking cigarettes or cigars, smoke outside,” John explains. “Make sure they’re extinguished. Don’t throw them into the garbage or mulch. We’ve had mulch fires, even in winter. Mulch generates heat, it holds the warmth in. If you throw a cigarette butt in there and its smoldering, you could have a landscaping fire.”

Day 10: Watch What You Heat

Day 12: There’s More To Responsible Drinking Than Taking A Cab Home

Cooking is the number one cause of accidental fires. “If you’re using high heat, if you’re broiling or frying something, stay in the kitchen,” Nancy stresses. “Don’t leave the kitchen at all. If you have to leave the kitchen, turn the broiler off. When slowcooking, you can leave the kitchen, but don’t leave your home.” Sleeves, paper towels and rags should be kept away from heat sources. Handles should always be facing in. “If the pot does

Cooking while inebriated is playing with fire. Alcohol is a common factor in fire-related fatalities. With the holiday season approaching, John wants us all to remember that all accidental fires are preventable. “We just want people to be careful,” John states. “We want to make sure that people are cognizant of what they’re doing. Not leaving things unattended. We just want to make the citizens of Windsor safer and more aware.” WLM Back to Contents

FIRE FIGHTER’S PRAYER When I am called to duty, God Whenever flames may rage, Give me strength to save a life Whatever its age. Help me embrace a little child Before it is too late, Or some older person From the horror of that fate.

FIREFIGHTER MONUMENT Windsor’s downtown waterfront has recently seen a new addition. After 20 years, a memorial honouring fallen firefighters has been officially unveiled. The beautiful, haunting statue presents firefighters doing what they do best—saving lives. The statue was unveiled on Sunday, October 27th. More than 100 Windsorites were in attendance. Another ceremony will be held in April of next year, where the names of 32 firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty will be added to the statue. The cost for the monument was mostly paid for by the firefighters themselves.

Enable me to be alert And hear the weakest shout And quickly and efficiently Put the fire out. I want to fill my calling To give the best in me, To guard my neighbour And protect their property And if, according to Your Will I must answer death’s last call, Bless with Your Protecting hand My family one and all. H o l i d a y

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APPETIT! dining & nightlife guide

Capri Pizzeria - Check out our take-out menu and be tempted by our famous pizzas, great pastas, fresh salads and much more! Penny more, penny less, Capri Pizza is still the best! 3020 Dougall Ave. 519-969-6851

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Casa Mia Ristorante - Experience authentic Italian food, local wines and homemade desserts served in a casual, completely handicap accessible setting. For many years, chef and owner Frank Puccio has been making lunch and dinner fresh to order. Gluten free options. Closed Sunday and Holidays. 519-728-2224 523 Notre Dame St., Belle River. Cramdon’s Tap and Eatery - South Windsor’s friendly gathering place. Offering great food at affordable prices. Satellite sports and billiards in a pub-like setting. 2950 Dougall Ave. 519-966-1228 Frank Brewing Company - FRANK is pure, straight-to-the-point, old-fashioned beer crafted with dedication and pride. Beer-loving folk enjoy FRANK's small-batch brews made with only four natural and simple ingredients: water, hops, grain and yeast; and foodies enjoy the small plates, pizzas and sandwiches for pairing, and all the peanuts you can shell. 12000 Tecumseh Rd. E., Tecumseh, ON 519-956-9822 Fratelli Pasta Grill - Offering flavour drenched “woodfire” grilled steaks, seafood and pasta dishes. A fresh and healthy selection of modern and time tested classics. Located behind McDonald’s on Manning Rd. in Tecumseh. Take-out, catering, private parties. For reservations call 519-735-0355. The Hungry Wolf - The Hungry Wolf serves up Windsor’s best Greek, Canadian, Mexican and Lebanese food. Home of the best gyros in Windsor! 3422 Walker Rd., Windsor 519-250-0811. 25 Amy Croft Dr., Tecumseh 519-735-0072. Joe Schmoe’s Eats N’ Drinks - Family friendly restaurant in LaSalle. Handcrafted burgers, sandwiches and salads. Fresh ingredients and house made sauces. Local wines; 12 Ontario craft and commercial beers on tap. HDTVs. Fast, cheerful service. 5881 Malden Rd. (behind Rexall) 519-250-5522

Johnny Shotz - Tecumseh’s #1 roadhouse and home of the Chicken Deluxe. Serving Halibut every Friday. Breakfast served Sunday. 37 HD TVs, 15 beers on tap. Follow us on facebook. 13037 Tecumseh Rd. E. 519-735-7005


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“Home of the Best Gyros in Windsor” WHERE DO HUNGRY Windsorites go for phenomenal Greek, Canadian, Mexican and Lebanese food? Why, the Hungry Wolf of course! In a town like Windsor, with fantastic dining experiences around every corner, the Hungry Wolf stands out by consistently producing some of the best dishes in the city. Their menu is nearly a smorgasbord, covering a wide, expansive range of culinary options, featuring everything from Chicken Lemon Rice Soup, Quesadillas, Veal Cutlets and much, much more! Whatever your stomach is howling for, the Hungry Wolf has you covered. Most importantly, the Hungry Wolf is renowned for their famed gyros— “the best in Windsor!” The Hungry Wolf was purchased nine years ago by the Oraha brothers: Sadir, Amil, Sam and Sarmad. Having immigrated from Athens, the Hungry Wolf was the first restaurant the family ever owned or operated. However, the brothers never skipped a beat, delighting Windsor’s taste buds with meal after meal of insurmountable quality. And Windsor quickly began to take notice. Family is one of the Hungry Wolf ’s core values. The brothers’ parents, Zohor Alyas and Jamil Oraha, are involved at both locations, helping their sons whip up some truly spectacular dishes. The Hungry Wolf has recently expanded their reach across the city, opening a new location in Tecumseh, near Sobeys. The store is owned by the four brothers and operated by Sarmad and his wife Reta Asmaro.

And what’s more, the opening of the new location has sparked a groundswell of community support for the restaurant. Numerous Windsorites took to social media to share their love of the Hungry Wolf ’s stellar food and services. A few notable soundbites are: “Best gyro in town… hands down!” says Ramy. “Our favourite family restaurant,” says Angela. “Love this place!” says Tara. “Your lemon soup is awesome,” says Barb. “Both establishments have great food and great service,” says Mark. “I highly recommend them.” Sarmad and Reta were touched by the outpouring. In addition, the new Hungry Wolf in Tecumseh will shortly be expanding the scope of their dining experience by obtaining a liquor license in the coming months. Soon, beer and wine will be available at the new location! Visit for menus, directions and more information. The Hungry Wolf is one of Windsor’s most spectacular restaurants, and will continue satisfying Windsor’s appetites for many years to come. “We want to thank the customers for keeping us busy,” Sarmad states. “We couldn’t do any of this without them.”

WINDSOR SOUTH | 3422 Walker Road | 519.250.0811

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Kelsey’s - Social gathering and family friendly eatery located at 4115 WALKER RD (the old Casey’s site). Diverse menu from messy sammies, burgers, and wings with many healthy options too. Not to mention off the chart appies, bevvies, and sawwweeeet desserts! Open 7 days a week. Take out option available. 519-250-0802 Mandaloun – Erie Street’s newest addition. Enjoy authentic Lebanese cuisine located at the old La Zingara – 769 Erie Street East. Try the signature chef ’s plate: marinated beef tenderloin with potatoes, onions, tomatoes and mandaloun sauce. Open for lunch and dinner. 519-253-6262. Neros Gourmet Steakhouse - Indulge in the finer things in life at Neros where modern upscale dining meets traditional steakhouse fare. Fresh, local ingredients, an incredible wine selection and superb service. 1-800-991-7777 ext. 22481.


Nola’s, A Taste Of New Orleans - Located in Historic Walkerville. Cajun and Creole cuisine with the New Orleans Twist. Lunch dinner and lots of parking. 1526 Wyandotte Street East. 519-253-1234.


Olde Walkerville Pizzeria - Rustic Italian restaurant serving woodfired pizza, fresh pasta, veal, chicken, grilled steaks and seafood. Wonderful wine selection. Private party spaces. Food truck and portable pizza oven for offsite catering. 1731 Wyandotte St. E., Windsor. 519-915-6145.




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O’Maggio’s Kildare House - British-style pub. Award-winning halibut fish and chips, housemade burgers, Irish nachos and crispy chicken wings. 21 cold beers on tap. Live music several nights a week. Outdoor patio. Takeout or dine in. 1880 Wyandotte St. E., Windsor. 519-915-1066. Paramount Fine Foods - Serving flavourful Lebanese dishes like no other! Famous for charcoal BBQ meats, including vegetarian and vegan options. Dine in, take-out and catering. Kids play area available. 3184 Dougall Ave., Windsor 519-915-9020.

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The 19th at Wildwood Eatery and Banquet Room - Awesome home cooked meals, known for our Daily Specials, Genuine Broaster Chicken and Fish Friday’s. Open Seasonally May to October. Banquet room available for any type of celebration. The Best in the County. 519-726-6176 ext 17

1611 Manning Rd. 519-735-2795

For information on listings and advertising in Bon Appetit! please call 519-979-5433.

46 Tarek Fakhuri OWNER

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WINDSOR HAS ALWAYS possessed a uniquely rich historical tapestry. However, none of the patterns are quite as colorful, or quite as vivid, as the St. Nicholas Macedonian Orthodox Church. Established over 50 years ago, the church was created by Windsor’s Macedonian community. Shortly thereafter, the church expanded, developing a centre. Today, the site hosts two modern banquet halls and a fully-equipped kitchen. Located at 5225 Howard Ave in LaSalle, the centre offers catering and liquor services for weddings, private parties, meetings, rehearsals, anniversaries, political rallies, showers, conferences—and any other type of social event. The two fully-equipped, gorgeous banquet halls are the perfect backdrop for any type of gathering. The first, Alexander the Great, can accommodate up to 400 guests. The second, Philip II, has a capacity of 120. The banquet halls have featured an expansive variety of venues and festivals over the years, including events hosted by the Ministry of Transportation, the Town of LaSalle, the Rotary Club, the Questers and many, many more. The sublime halls offer a bright, exquisite atmosphere that is a delight to behold. What’s more, they combine several dichotomies: the historical and the contemporary, gravitas and romance, scale and intimacy. The St. Nicholas Macedonian Centre is a precious venue, built for precious moments. Regardless of your needs, the St. Nicholas Macedonian Centre can accommodate you! Most importantly, the food at the St. Nicholas Macedonian Centre is second to none. Whether a wedding, fundraiser, corporate event and all other types of gatherings, you can be sure that your culinary experience will be of an exceptional quality. The kitchen has

a long and proud tradition of outstanding original recipes, which have been passed down and much like the church itself, expanded upon. The St. Nicholas Macedonian Centre’s country and buffet style menus could be customized and enriched to suit your personal style, while keeping your budget in mind. Their fully-equipped bar offers an excellent selection of wine and other drinks, served by friendly and experienced bartenders. The St. Nicholas Macedonian Centre has a commitment to excellence few can match. It has a rich and breathless history and, regardless of the type of event you’re hosting, it can become part of your tapestry! Weddings are typically booked a year in advance. All inquiries can be directed to 519-966-6257.

5225 Howard Ave., LaSalle | 519.966.6257


WINDSOR, ONE COULD argue, is a city of misconceptions. One of the most common being that it is not a fertile community for artists. However, as both long-time residents and newcomers can attest to, Windsor is a city of staggering artistic depth. Painters. Actors. Writers. Sculptors. Crafters. Filmmakers. Windsor has never had a shortage of creative types who, without fail, provide another layer of texture to the world around them. Still, the misconception remains. That, if an artist wants to survive, they must leave the nest and strike out on their own. While there may be a kernel of truth to that, no one has shattered this belief with more gusto than filmmaker Mike Stasko. Mike has been dabbling in cinema and theatre since high school. After graduating, Mike embarked on an undergraduate program in Biochemistry at the University of Windsor. “I always thought film would be my hobby,” Mike states. “And then, after first year, I took one film elective and fell madly in love with it. I quickly realized that there was such a thing as a profession within film. That’s there’s all these things you can do.” Eventually, the road not taken won out and Mike decided to follow his passion. After completing film school at the University of Windsor, Mike went on to do a post-grad program at Sheridan College followed by a five-year Master of Fine Arts at Columbia University in New York City. For the last 10 years, Mike has taught film courses at Ryerson University, Western University, the University of Ottawa and eventually, the University of Windsor—all while continuing to make waves in the industry. Clockwise from the top: The boys...Ben (Jesse Camacho, in white), Hip-Hop (Romeo Carere, with a boombox) and Dale (Eric Osborne, in red); Mike Stasko, the writer and director of Boys vs. Girls; Coffee (Kevin McDonald) and Roger (Colin Mochrie); Amber (Rachel Dagenais, in blue) and Tiffany (Samantha Helt, in plaid).


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Mike co-wrote and starred in his first feature film, Things To Do, a year later. It was shot entirely in Windsor, and tells the story of a 25-year-old office worker who leaves the big city for his childhood home. From there, Mike went on to write and produce four more feature films, three of which he directed. All but one of which were shot entirely in his hometown. Boys vs. Girls, Mike’s fifth feature, releases this year. The film, set between the summer of 1989 and 1990, tells the story of the first year a summer camp went co-ed. “It’s very much a period piece,” Mike explains. “It’s loosely based on my own camp experience. The first summer I went to camp up in Northern Ontario, it went co-ed for the first time. It was partly for economic reasons. A lot of camps were going co-ed so that they could save on staff and costs.” The film, Mike explains, is a throwback to 80s and 90s camp comedies. “It’s a pure comedy where you’re going for laughs-persecond,” Mike states. “It’s like, how many nostalgic jokes can you fit in per second?” The film attracted some big names during pre-production. High-profile Canadian comic heavyweights Kevin McDonald and Colin Mochrie appear in the film as the Camp Caretaker and the Camp Director. Boys vs. Girls also stars Rachel Dagenais, a Toronto-based professional actress from Emeryville. Acting, Rachel explains, was something she pursued under some duress. “I started acting when I was in the eighth grade,” Rachel states. “I was a very awkward kid— as most of us are. Mom wanted me to do a play to be able to get out there and talk to people. So, I did a stage version of Grease, even though I didn’t want to.” Working on the play put Rachel in contact with Sarah Ilijanich, the owner of Fusion Talent Agency. They were casting a role for The Bird Men, another local feature film. “[Sarah] had everybody who was doing the play audition,” Rachel recalls. “She said, ‘Just do it. Just try it.’ And I said, ‘Okay. I have no idea what was going on, but okay.’ So I auditioned. I was very lost. I don’t think I took it very seriously. But it went better than I thought it did. It was very scary, but exciting.” Despite her reservations, Rachel’s first time on set sparked an almost spiritual awakening. “My first time on set, I said, ‘This is it. I love this.’ It was everything I ever wanted,” Rachel states. “Everyone

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on set was so nice and they were all so much like me. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I don’t even know how to explain it. It was just one of those things that felt right. I felt like I belonged there. It was a high I’d never felt before.” Since then, Rachel has starred in a number of music videos, commercials and TV series. Boys vs. Girls is her first time playing a lead in a feature film. Rachel stars as Amber, the “queen bee” of the girls at the summer camp. “Amber is the mother hen,” Rachel explains. “She’s the girl that everyone else goes to for help and advice. She runs the crowd. All the other characters are very archetypal. There’s the cheerleader, the goth, the scared girl. Amber’s very much an everyday kind of girl. She keeps her cool. She takes the initiative. She knows what she’s doing and is very good at doing what she does.” The film was shot over a period of two months, during the summer of 2018. Rachel admits that the irony of leaving Windsor to pursue an acting career… only to be called back home to star in her first feature film is not lost on her. “It was really exciting, and really nice,” Rachel admits. “Everybody kind of says that there’s not much going on in Windsor, that have to go to Toronto. And I did. But being able to bring my passion to my own community? I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be able to represent Windsor. Also, when I was on set I brought a lot of the cast around Windsor, just to show them what was going on!” However, perhaps the true star of the film is Windsor itself. “The perception [about Windsor] is there for a reason,” Mike explains. “For the first hundred years of filmmaking, you had to be in a hub of Toronto, Los Angeles or New York if you wanted 12 months of work. That perception was there for a very good reason. But, things have changed in the last 10-15 years. The scales have come down. Now, you get your finances from the studios and production houses that are located in the big city, but when it’s time to shoot the film, you could be anywhere. You don’t have to be on a studio lot. If you want to be a producer or a director, you can be anywhere.” Boys vs. Girls had its world premiere at the Wolf Performance Hall in London on October 25th, 2019, as part of the Forest City Film Festival. Learn more about future screenings at WLM Back to Contents

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EMILY ANNE LIVES HER LIFE by a simple motto: Live Luxe. Emily Anne, the owner of Luxe-Tique Nail Studio and Training Academy, has been providing excellence in the beauty business for over 20 years. She offers 18 different beauty services including nails, microblading, lash lifts, manicures, pedicures, acrylic enhancements, gel enhancements and much more. What’s more, in the last few years she’s expanded her services into three areas: paramedical 3D areola regimentation, the first training academy in Windsor and permanent makeup. PARAMEDICAL 3D AREOLA REGIMENTATION Emily currently practices paramedical 3D areola regimentation for patients who have undergone a mastectomy. The procedure entails determining the size and shape of the areola, based on the size of the breast mass. Areolas and nipples are then pre-drawn in place before the tattooing process begins. The entire areola and nipple are reconstructed and regimented in 3D using an areola tattoo pigment. Emily is certified, insured and prepared to completely create the entire areola and nipple on a nipple sparing mastectomy, a mastectomy, a lumpectomy and on a reconstruction, whether it be a TRAM flap, free flap, latissimus dorsi flap, pedicle flap or a mammoplasty. Emily hopes that, by offering this service, she can offer some light to women who are suffering. “It feels incredible,” Emily explains. “I’ve had a lady cry. She said she couldn’t believe how real it looks. That I’ve brought back her self-esteem, her body image. It’s exhilarating.” The benefits of the procedure cannot be understated. “It makes a huge positive impact on the body image of women who have just walked through the darkest journey of their life,” Emily states. “It really brings back their femininity.” Emily lost her mother to metastatic breast cancer only three years ago. “I wish I could have done this for her,” Emily states. “This service is almost like an ode to her. She would have loved to see me help bring back these women self-confidence.” TRAINING ACADEMY At Luxe-Tique Nail Studio Training Academy, you can learn all the necessary theory, techniques and product knowledge to make your mark on the beauty industry. Emily has had more than 90 students that are Windsor Essex county residents. “I’ve had a lot of girls tell me that they’ve always wanted to learn these skills, but that they don’t want to travel to Toronto as it almost triples the cost of tuition,” Emily explains. “A lot of girls want to get into this business. But there’s nowhere for them to go.”

Emily’s course not only teaches art, but industry as well. “The academy includes a business component,” Emily states. “I tell them where to go to buy supplies. I teach them how to grow a following on Instagram. I give them marketing skills. I tell them how to register their business.” Emily’s training academy provides her students with every tool they need to succeed. “A lot of the courses I’ve taken have set ladies up for failure,” Emily admits. “They teach you the basics and then you’re left to figure everything else out on your own—which is not really fair, when you’re paying thousands of dollars for something. My courses are super in-depth. We cover everything from A to Z.” PERMANENT MAKEUP Emily offers a number of permanent makeup services, including microblading, eyeliner, lip blush, powder brows and combo brows. Permanent makeup, Emily explains, is great way to liven up your face. “For a lot of people I can completely relocate their brows,” Emily states. “Or I can give them brow lifts and that alone can take years off their face.” Emily also offers correction services for people who have had permanent makeup improperly applied. “Permanent makeup lasts for two to five years,” Emily states. “You should have a touch up every year to refresh the colour and the shape. You lose pieces here and there.” Follow Luxe-Tique Nail Studio & Training Academy on Instagram: @luxetiquenailstudio.




“I’m fairly certain my mom invented fusion dining. Growing up, every special occasion meal included dishes representing Mom’s Armenian heritage, Dad’s Croatian heritage and our beloved Canadian traditions,” says Pam Mady, Manager of Communications & Community Engagement for the The Multicultural Council of Windsor & Essex County. “My mom would fill the table with a ridiculous amount of food: turkey, bread stuffing, hummus, stuffed grape leaves, cabbage rolls, schnitzel - and always the latest casserole making the rounds with her girlfriends. The combination may have seemed strange to guests, but the variety of flavours became our own family tradition. So, it’s no surprise that I’m happiest when cooking for friends and family.”

Croatian Knedle

Croatian Stuffed Peppers – Punjene Paprika Ingredients: • ½ kg of ground beef • ½ kg of ground pork • 1 egg • 1 cup of uncooked rice • 8 to 10 red, green and yellow peppers • 1 medium chopped onion • 3 cloves of minced garlic • 2 tablespoons of paprika

• 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley • 1 jar of tomato sauce (23.66 ounces) • 1 bay leaf • 1 tablespoon of flour • 2 tablespoons of olive oil • 1 cup of water • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Wash peppers. Using a knife, cut out the stem and remove the seeds. In a bowl, mix together the meat, egg, uncooked rice, half of the chopped onion, garlic, parsley and 1 tablespoon of paprika. Season with salt and pepper and mix with your hands. Stuff the mixture inside the peppers and place into a large pot. To create the sauce, heat olive oil, add remaining onion and cook until soft. Add 1 tablespoon of paprika and flour. Mix, then add water, tomato sauce and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Cover peppers with sauce and bake in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. Serve over mashed potatoes.


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Ingredients: • 4 to 5 medium-sized peeled potatoes • 3 tablespoons of butter • 2 eggs • 1 cup of flour • ¼ cup of breadcrumbs • Jam (strawberry works best, just don’t tell my aunt I don’t use plums) • ½ teaspoon of salt • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar • Cinnamon for sprinkling Instructions: Boil and mash potatoes, then add 1 tablespoon of butter, two eggs, flour and salt. Mix with your hands until a dough forms. Add more flour if dough becomes too sticky. Sprinkle flour on the countertop and roll out the dough to approximately 1” thick. Cut dough into 3” squares. Add jam to the centre of each square and bring up the sides of the dough to form a ball. Carefully drop the knedle balls into a pot of boiling water. Cook 15 minutes. While knedle are boiling, melt remaining butter in a skillet. Add breadcrumbs and brown. Using a slotted spook, remove knedle and roll them in the breadcrumb mixture. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.


“I feel my truest self when sharing something that has been made in my family for generations, even if my versions include a few short cuts.” – Pam Mady

Mom’s Armenian Chickpea Soup Ingredients: • 2 tablespoons of olive oil • 1 small chopped onion • 1 tablespoon of paprika • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley

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• 1 tablespoon of flour • 8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth • 1 cup of uncooked shell noodles • 1 can of drained chickpeas (19 ounces)

Instructions: Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Stir in paprika and flour and then slowly add broth. Bring to a boil and then add noodles, chickpeas and parsley. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. H o l i d a y

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General Forecast for 2020 BY LESLIE NADON



ry to remember, the planets are like a roadmap in the sky. They do not cause things to happen. They shine a spotlight on what is happening. WOW! How did 2020 get here so fast? So much activity has taken place. A lot of what we have done has set the ground work for the next chapter in our lives. Many of us still have a lot to do. However, the road ahead might help us to stabilize our positions. With five planets sitting in the sign Capricorn, life moves more slowly trying to cover all the bases. An eclipse on January tenth tends to point out that one of the main issues we need to address is work related, perhaps spending too much time at work – Capricorn, versus time spent with family, the Moon in the sign Cancer. In this changing world, personal time with family may be difficult to find due to ongoing struggles connected with the need to work. Also, children may feel left alone as they watch family members spending more time with phones or computers or they may be the ones who rarely put down their own phones in order to relate to close friends and loved ones. Issues can be hard to define, yet necessary to solve connected to some of the actions that may arise. Do not lose hope if things have not turned out the way you thought they would. Creative activity can give you another chance to do what you want to do. You may even surprise yourself by learning new skills and by doing things you never thought you could. Learning to carefully manage our actions is the best way, perhaps the key to achieving our goals instead of feeling overwhelmed at times. There is usually more than one way to reach your desired goals. Give yourself well-earned credit for staying the course and making changes that are necessary as you move on.

ARIES MAR 21 - APR 20:


You may want to break free of restrictions where financial matters are concerned. You may find yourself first going one way, then another. You will be moving into an area where you seek more reliability and stability and you will be more patient and willing to wait if need be. The game changes where finances are concerned. Sudden, unexpected expenses need to be investigated very carefully before you make any decisions. Not everything is what it looks like.

It may be possible that life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. Perhaps it could be about learning to dance in the rain. As you well know, there is rarely only one solution to a problem. If an elephant is standing in your way, you may need to look for a different answer. If you cannot go through it, perhaps you can go around it. You might have to take a different route to get where you want to go. Try to avoid people who always seem to like to argue.



Most likely, good news comes your way now in terms of being able to improvise and quickly take actions that can help you get what you want more than anything out of life. It is time to be creative and innovative with new, unusual techniques you never thought of before. You do not need anyone to tell you what to do. Wisdom can lead you forward. Look for answers in the fields of electronics, science or technical areas. Tame your imagination and succeed.

Try not to scatter your thoughts and energy by trying to do too many things at once. Sudden events in the area where you live could catch you by surprise. Even you who are usually very perceptive, might not be fully aware of what is going on around you. You may need to retrace your steps and finish something you have left undone. Do not get stuck in the same spot like a broken record. Try to tie up loose ends from the past. Head in a new direction.


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LEO JUL 24 - AUG 23: The difficult part for you can be moving from an old way of life to a new one. You are not comfortable with change and you may be rather stubborn at times. Perhaps you can bring the best parts of your past with you as you develop a new outlook on how things might be done. It might be easier than you thought it would be. One step at a time, step by step and you may wonder why you waited so long. Your dreams just might come true if you stay positive.

VIRGO AUG 24 - SEP 23: You are in the spotlight. It is time to put your best foot forward. Have you ever heard an old saying about stop sharpening your pencil and move on? You can make corrections along the way as you go. You need to take that first step! You are in a favourable position and when you help others you are helping yourself too. The rewards are there to share. The more you do, the better it gets. If you are baking a cake do not check it every five minutes.

LIBRA SEP 24 - OCT 23: Making decisions can be difficult. As soon as you decide what you want to do, something or someone comes along and everything seems to go off-track. Others look up to you for safety, security and guidance and you may begin to question yourself, wondering if you are doing the right thing. You set high standards for yourself and others. Give yourself more credit for what you manage to accomplish. Try to lower concerns about what others think about you.

SCORPIO OCT 24 - NOV 22: It may feel as if you are in a tug-of-war, back and forth, up and down, here and there. Try to remember that an iron hand in a velvet glove gains more victories. You will not put up with someone telling you what to do. But both of you find it hard to compromise, so you end up going to extremes and both

of you lose. Reaching to find some kind of positive balance is more likely to put you both in a favourable position. Try to find something you can both agree upon.

SAGITTARIUS NOV 23 - DEC 21: Try to avoid some kind of conflict where home and work are connected. You cannot be all things to all people all the time. What is meaningful to you may not be as meaningful to others and vice versa. A lot of people have a different way of looking at life nowadays, not necessarily wrong, just different. Do the best you can as you carry on. Each day is a new day, a new opportunity. Spend time with friends and family as well as learning about new technology at work.

CAPRICORN DEC 22 - JAN 20: You’ve got the power to move mountains. The more you share the more you earn, both physically and mentally. You may take on the role of a teacher or mentor to others, if you haven’t already done so. You tend to take a strong interest in new technology. You are not one to sit still very long and now travel could be on your mind. You seem to question everything going on around you. Why this? Why that? Where should I go? When is the best time?

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AQUARIUS JAN 21 - FEB 19: Look for new opportunities to express yourself. You may find yourself doing research on a subject that is slightly different than what you usually pay attention to. Or, you may combine the best of both older and new information to rise to a higher level of understanding. You will find that change is inevitable. You can use it to your advantage. You need to be patient with those who have a different outlook on what makes the world go around.

PISCES FEB 20 - MAR 20: It is time for a fresh start, perhaps a do-over. You may not see an opportunity right in front of you where you can make positive changes in your life-style. Others are willing to help if and when they can. Do not throw away the good things you have worked for so hard and that which you have accomplished. Maybe you should write a book about your life and others who you love and appreciate. They love you too and life can be better than ever before. WLM H o l i d a y

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ADVENTURE TOURISM The Foxes Meet The Polar Bears


RETURNING FROM SAFARI IN SOUTH AFRICA with their digital memory cards filled with images of elephants, giraffes and lions, Lynne and David Fox of Amherstburg were keen to go on safari again... Canadian-style. Flipping through Canadian Geographic magazine, Lynne spotted an ad for an Arctic safari promising the world’s only polar bear walking tour. “My husband and I love nature hikes and I have a passion for polar bears. We had to go.” They reserved their spots with the Churchill Wild tour company 18 months in advance, eager to be rookie artic adventurers from Aug. 19 to 29 in 2019. “The safari proved well worth the wait,” Lynne says. The couple flew to northern Manitoba to capture the world’s largest land carnivore, the king of the arctic, with their cameras on Aug. 19. What they found was so much more than wonderful polar bears.


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Clockwise from left: A polar bear playfully straddles canoes; head thrown back, a wolf howls for her pack; the king of the arctic basks in the late summer sun; on an arctic safari, Lynne and David Fox found the adventure of their lives “right in Canada's own backyard”; strolling across the tundra, a polar bear is curious to see the tourists standing ready with their cameras; the Northern Lights fill the sky above the wilderness eco-lodge the Foxes stayed in while visiting northern Manitoba.

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“Until we went to Churchill, the farthest north we’d been was Jasper,” says Lynne. The tour company greeted the Foxes at the airport and accompanied them on a short flight in an eight passenger plane to Seal River Heritage Lodge on the Hudson Bay shore. Later in the trip, they flew to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, both recognized by National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World and owned by Mike and Jeanne Reimer and their family. The Foxes were the only Canadians on the 16-guest safari. Travellers from Australia, New Zealand, Israel and the U.S. soon became friends. “All of the people working at the lodge were so knowledgeable. After the delicious arctic gourmet dinners, the guides gave presentations on the region, its people and wildlife,” David says. As an amateur photographer, he appreciated lessons given by a guide who is also a professional photographer. Before trekking into the wilderness, the guides laid down the rules for guests. When in the presence of a bear, “stand still. Don’t turn back, crouch, kneel – or even worse, run, which triggers the bear’s predatory instincts,” Lynne remembers.

On the safari’s first outing, “the photography conditions were challenging, with heavy rain pelting our faces and our teeth chattering,” David remembers. “But when we saw that bear in the viewfinder and took the photo, everything else was non-existent.” Fortunately, the lodge loaned the adventurers appropriate outerwear. Temperatures averaged a low 5 and a high 17 degrees Celsius. “In all, we had two days of sunshine, one clear night and the remainder of the time, it rained. We were glad we brought our cameras’ raincoats.” “The guides are respectful of the wildlife, while the animals are tolerant of us,” Lynne observes. “Approaching a polar bear, the guide simply talks to the bear in a calm, non-aggressive, loud voice, saying, ‘Hey, bear. Having a good day?’” If a bear got closer than 60 metres, the guide pulled stones out of his pocket and banged them together. If that didn’t halt the bear in his tracks, a starter pistol would be fired. “In all the years the safari company has operated, they’ve never discharged a gun,” says Lynne. One day, the safari group walked through

a sparse cove of willows and came upon a big male polar bear dozing behind a bush. “We startled him and he startled us. The polar bear walked away and then turned back. The guide said, ‘Okay, bear. That’s close enough.’ And the bear stopped.” Walking single file with a guide in the lead, another in the centre and a third bringing up the rear, the safari guests felt protected as they traversed over unmarked, uneven terrain and occasional ankle-deep muck. They rode in six-wheeled vehicles to cross rivers. With an animal in view, the guests stood shoulder to shoulder, set up their tripods and took photos for the next half hour or more. Sightings of several families of polar bears including a mom nursing her cubs; black bears; arctic ground squirrels (called siksik in Inuktitut); wolves and other wildlife made the safari a rewarding experience. Amongst the guests were a National Geographic film crew at work getting footage for a documentary on polar bears impacted by climate change. “We had dinner with the crew and learned so much,” David says. Lynne discovered “bears are good photo subjects. They’d acknowledge us and look




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right at us. With some bears, you could tell we were the first humans they’d come into contact. Others were relaxed around us, looking at every single one of us before closing their eyes.” “Polar bears rarely drink. They get everything from stores of fat they build up over winter. We didn’t see any polar bears that look emaciated. They all looked healthy,” Lynne notes. Curious to “get a polar bear’s perspective,” she laid down in a vacated day den a bear had dug into the shore. “It’s quite comfortable. I took a photo of what the bear would see while in the den.” She then got out fast - after the guide informed her that she’d look like a tasty seal to a bear. “Seals are the bears’ most important food source. The bear walks onto sea ice and eats and eats!” In one sitting, a bear can eat 20% of his bodyweight. Lynne says when ice melts in summer, “polar bears are lethargic as well as opportunistic, feeding on any dead carcass and snacking on berries or grass.” Mating season in the spring leads to a fresh batch of polar bears in winter. The mother often has two cubs. Weighing only 1 ½ pounds at birth, “the cubs stay in the den with mom till March,” Lynne says.

“The heaviest polar bear on record weighed 2,200 pounds and stood 15 feet tall.” Underneath the polar bear’s white fur, its skin is black. David was intrigued to learn “of the 19 polar bear populations recognized on the planet, 13 of them are in Canada. Our country has 66% of the world’s polar bear population. There are only approximately 35,000 polar bears left on the planet.” Visiting the arctic enabled the Foxes to have serendipitous encounters with wildlife. When a female wolf approached close to the lodge’s front porch, Lynne says, “she howled for her pack and they came. It was amazing to see.” Beluga whales presented the couple with a magical experience one Saturday. While drifting in Zodiacs on Hudson Bay, “we were surrounded by a hundred belugas, singing to us,” recalls Lynne. The aurora borealis set the night sky dancing with ethereal green flames for two hours. “The lights arced over our lodge,” Lynne says. “Our guide told us we were treated to one of only three times the northern lights appeared that summer and it was one of the top ten shows he had seen in his 20 years of guiding.”

“We also saw polar bears every day, which apparently doesn’t always happen on safari. The stars definitely aligned for us on our trip.” Impressed by Churchill Wild for triumphing “over the logistics of operating lodges in the wilderness,” the Foxes are grateful the company makes polar bear walking tours available. They also have great respect for Churchill’s 800 residents. “Hats off to them for being so resilient and making a community in tough circumstances,” Lynne says. When it was time to return home, nature gave the Foxes one more unexpected gift. High winds drove heavy rains horizontal. “All the planes were grounded and we had to stay at the lodge for two extra days,” Lynne happily reports. “One polar bear walked around the lodge’s perimeter both days. When he laid down, we added to the 5,000 photos we’d already shot.” Thrilled by the Arctic’s “rugged yet breathtaking beauty,” Lynne says, “I wanted to capture every moment possible. We were in our own country yet felt like we’d traveled to another world. It was a WLM dream to experience.” Back to Contents

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D.A. LOCKHART Black Moss Press’ New Book Explores Windsor’s Forgotten History STORY BY MICHAEL SEGUIN D.A. Lockhart opens Wënchikàneit Visions with a quote from Philip Levine’s “Winter Words”: “Once I slept beside a wide river whose currents pulled both night and day. I thought it began at the source of sweet water and took them through seven small seas to a great ocean tasting of salt and lives.” An apt comparison, because Lockhart’s writing style is like a river itself. It swerves, trickles and flows with breathless clarity. His words and images are always in motion, carrying the reader along on an unforgettable journey with effortless grace. Wënchikàneit Visions is a new collection of essays by D.A. Lockhart, a Windsor-born poet, author and publisher. Although he was born in Chatham, Lockhart identifies Windsor has his hometown. A Turtle Clan member of the Moravian of the Thames First Nations, Lockhart obtained his degree in Indigenous Studies from Trent University. A self-described wanderer at heart, Lockhart spent many years travelling around the States, working odd jobs while living in Detroit, Montana and Indianapolis. Lockhart is also the owner of Urban Farmhouse Press, a small literary press. “When I lived in Indianapolis and couldn’t find work, I started a small press,” Lockhart states. “We brought it with us [to Windsor]. It’s really a press that spans two borders. We do poetry, fiction and some chapbooks for science fiction when it hits us the right way.” It was also during his time in Indianapolis that Lockhart first began writing. “I became a professional writer just before graduate school in Indiana,” Lockhart recalls. “I studied fiction and poetry under Catherine Bowman and Maura Stanton—two very well-known American poets. Tony Ardizzone also helped me out a lot.” Lockhart returned home with his wife Emily in 2013. Around the same time, Lockhart began writing full-time after obtaining some grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. Lockhart is the author of five poetry collections, which have been exclusively published by Canadian literary presses such as Brick Books, Mansfield Press and most significantly, Windsor’s Black Moss Press. Wënchikàneit Visions was released by Black Moss Press, a local literary press founded by journalist Marty Gervais in 1969. The book itself was commissioned by Gervais as part of the publisher’s


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fiftieth anniversary celebrations. Fitting, considering the book’s themes of local history and forgotten stories. “Marty and I often have a lot of conversations about the history of Windsor,” Lockhart explains. “He’s a treasure trove of knowledge. He’s fascinated with the lost histories of Windsor. However, most of the writers he works with don’t go into the indigenous history. Whereas I will take a step back a little bit further.” Wënchikàneit Visions may be Lockhart’s most ambitious achievement to date. The book is a collection of essays that explores the connection to place and history through the lens of absence, forgetfulness and abandonment. The pieces and collection as a whole turn to often overlooked physical spaces in the region around Windsor, and consider their central role in both the past and the future. “The book was more of an experiment for me,” Lockhart admits. “It’s what we would call a lyric essay—a mix between an essay and a poem. It has its roots in American writers like Ted Kruuzer.” The collection is based on the Lenape Big House ceremony, with the Wënchikàneit referring to the male speaker of such traditions. The framing device, according to Lockhart, casts the entire collection of essays as a series of visions undertaken and shared by the speaker. “Let me sing of visions had in the places I have been blessed to walk through,” he writes. “Kishelëmùkònk allow these words to coax those west of our fires to return. That they shall come in song and in image, they shall come and speak of that which we have lost or willfully forgotten.”

What is perhaps most remarkable about Wënchikàneit Visions is Lockhart’s trademark writing style, and how it juxtaposes elements of prose and poetry. Paragraphs of vivid prose are intercut with stretches of verse. Oftentimes, these asides appear as songs. “Typically the visions arise from the everyday experiences that happen throughout the course of a year,” Lockhart explains. “This book was primarily set in the winter and the fall. It follows the experiences I would have had over that time. All those experiences were created from those moments. The text switches between those extrapolative parts: the expository prose and the lyrics.” Rather than being disruptive or indulgent, Lockhart masterfully weaves these two strands together into a braid. The result gives his writing a dream-like, almost ecstatic quality that rises and falls, ultimately granting the reader an intimate view of Windsor, Chatham and Detroit’s stories—past, present and future. The effect is a startlingly vivid portrait of Windsor. “The book places indigeneity at the centre of contemporary Canadian existence,” Lockhart states. “So, if we look at Devil in the Woods, my previous book, it’s letter poems to famous Canadians about particular things. This operates in the same way. It showcases people taking a bus through town and discovering old pathways. It’s reinserting our cultural mythology back into the everyday experience.” It’s a remarkable literary experience. An examination of the contemporary and the historical. An interrogation on place, time and space. A meditation on the mundane and mythical. “It functions as a strange homage to ceremony,” Lockhart clarifies. “But also to everyday existence.” Lockhart will also be appearing alongside Marty Gervais and Laurence Hutchman at the 2019 By the River Reading Series on Wednesday, December 11th at Mackenzie Hall. The event begins at 7pm. Books are available to be signed. Early in the collection, Lockhart states his intent to travel “pathways forgotten.” And in doing so, he delivers one of the most memorable literary experiences to come out of Southwestern Ontario. Wënchikàneit Visions is available at WLM Back to Contents

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Providing Non-invasive Treatment for Pain And Improving Health And Wellness Since 1990 Windsor Walk-In Chiropractic Clinics have on-the-spot treatment available from Monday to Friday, and Saturday morning. The Walk-In Chiropractic team, consisting of Dr. Tyson Joseph, Dr. David Piche and Dr. Curtis Semple, with their dedicated staff and two excellent Registered Massage Therapists work together to provide chiropractic care to the community. Patients don’t have to travel far, as their well-equipped clinics are located in both the east and west ends of the city. “For the last 30 years, Windsor Walk-In Chiropractic has provided the community with access to chiropractic care for pain relief, when they need it,” says chiropractor Dr. Tyson Joseph. The combined knowledge and many years’ experience of the chiropractors enable them to successfully assess, diagnose, treat and prevent disorders related to the spine, nervous system and joints of the extremities. “One area we have had success in the past is treating issues of the lower back using decompression therapy,” says Dr. David Piche. “Whether related to a disc herniation, acute strain or a sciatic nerve irritation, the lumbar spinal decompression table gently stretches the spine to alleviate pain and promote healing of the low back. Our particular lumbar spinal decompression table is well-received by patients because it is not aggressive, yet it gets results. With multiple lumbar traction tables at both clinics, patients won’t have to wait long for treatment.” Similar to the lumbar spinal traction table, cervical traction provides patients with relief from nerve irritation in the neck by decompressing the cervical spine in a gentle but effective manner. Radial Pulse Wave (Shockwave) Therapy is utilized by Walk-In

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Chiropractic to address conditions that are typically difficult to treat. “The noninvasive pulse wave goes deep to treat heel spurs, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, knee tendonitis and other nagging discomforts that people develop,” Dr. Curtis Semple remarks. With this treatment, along with other modalities, patients often experience less pain and improved movement in a timely manner. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Windsor Walk-In Chiropractic Clinics have served thousands of patients. Dr. Joseph credits his outstanding staff. “Some have been with us since day one, while others have been on our team for 5-10 years and longer. It’s a family atmosphere which allows patients to always feel welcome and develop a great rapport with our team.” Both clinics are located in complexes that have an X-ray, lab, walk-in medical clinic, pharmacy and free parking, which allows them to work in cooperation with other healthcare providers. Windsor Walk-In Chiropractic also offers massage therapy from a registered massage therapist. The first question new patients usually ask is, “Will I get treatment on my first visit?” “Absolutely,” says Dr. Joseph. “We design a treatment specifically for you, so we can set you on a path to wellness.” The next thing patients want to know is, “Do I have to commit to a rigid treatment plan for six months to a year?” “No,” Dr. Piche assures. “If you have an acute flare-up and are in urgent need of chiropractic help, we deal with that. Once that issue is alleviated - if you choose - you can return for maintenance on an ongoing basis. Or you can always come back to us should another issue arise.” Dr. Semple explains, “Our patients find there is freedom in the walk-in aspect of our clinics because it allows them to receive great treatment when it is convenient for even the busiest schedules.”

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TEACHING IN THAILAND UNIVERSITY STUDENT BRITTANY ROCHELEAU LEARNS LIFE LESSONS ABROAD THAI MUEANG, THAILAND is as far from Harrow as Brittany Rocheleau has ever travelled, yet it reminds her of her hometown. A small friendly community where everybody knows one another. The similarities end there. The Canadian woman increased Thai Mueang’s population by one when she began a short-term teaching position in an elementary school last spring. She had just wrapped up her first year toward earning a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Windsor. “I did four years of human kinetics beforehand and am aiming to teach physical education and social science,” says Brittany. Teaching in Thailand “was a spur of the moment decision. I’m 24 and was feeling a bit lost,” she says. “I knew I wanted to travel but didn’t have enough money. I figured I could teach English as a second language in a foreign country and was drawn to Thailand in Southeast Asia.” To get there, she turned to the Road Experience recruitment agency in Thailand. “They offered me a placement at a school in the busy city of Bangkok or in a quiet town in southern Thailand where the beaches are. I chose the beaches. The agency took care of visas and finding me a home five minutes from the school. I paid the agency’s fee and showed up for orientation in Thailand.” Landing May 8, Brittany committed to staying till Sept. 15. Despite her online research, “I didn’t know


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Teaching 13 classes from kindergarten to grade six, Harrow's Brittany Rocheleau found Thailand schools to be very different from those in Canada.

what to expect, other than I intended to enjoy myself in a beautiful country. Thailand proved amazing. The people are so welcoming and caring. I had the most challenging moments of my life, but they were also most rewarding.” She excitedly moved into her little beach bungalow on one of the town’s two streets. Dead cockroaches on the floor gave Brittany pause. “I didn’t name the lizards in the bathroom - we didn’t become that close - although I liked them as they kept mosquitos out of my house.” Beyond her front door, Brittany discovered “most toilets are basically a hole in the ground and you have to carry toilet paper. I adapted.” Culture shock also struck during her first two weeks in the classroom. “I was thrown into teaching 13 classes from kindergarten to grade six – with no curriculum. I taught every kid in the school.” “The language barrier was frustrating. 98% of the staff didn’t speak English. Google Translate was useful,” Brittany says. “One teacher, “One teacher, Ju Joop, spoke decent English and we became good friends. She helped translate and made my stay easier. The other teachers were also right there to help me.” There were many other reminders Brittany was not in a Canadian school. “The kids are given three breaks a day, kind of like we do recess. But instead of playing, they brush their teeth.” “Thai students don’t usually respond to Canada’s style of non-corporal

discipline. When kids misbehaved, a teacher lined them up and hit them, one by one, with a ruler. Sometimes the teacher did it to every student, which, surprisingly, fostered community in the classroom. If one kid misbehaved, the others told them to stop because if one got in trouble, they might all be in trouble.” “I couldn’t even think about hitting my students. Eventually, we got into a routine and enjoyed a good relationship. Some hugged me every day,” Brittany says. “My favourite part about teaching in Thailand was the connection we made. I went to bed every night grateful that these kids were changing my life.” In a third world country of more than 61 million people, students and staff deal with no air conditioning in tropical heat and a lack of personal hygiene items. Brittany says, “The Thai people I met make do with what they have and seem content. They appreciate life. That is what they taught me.” Everyone gathers Sunday nights for Thai Mueang’s street market. Brittany notes, “They are like one big family. They’d wave and smile at me. When I’d go for a run, they’d cheer me on. They wanted to talk with me even though they couldn’t. There was never a moment I didn’t feel welcomed – the people invited me to everything.” Honoured to be included on a two-night sleepover during Buddhist Lent, the teacher bunked down with her students on the temple floor. On weekends, “I’d ride my motorbike and go to touristy areas two or three hours away,” Brittany says. She loved Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, offering deep sea diving, white sand beaches, elephants and nightlife. When Brittany’s parents and cousins visited, they shopped, hiked and experienced different “beautiful, very clean beaches.” The scenery inland is gorgeous. “We climbed huge limestone cliffs.” All too soon, it was time to depart. Once again immersed in her university program, Brittany is juggling studies and working as a temporary part-time assembly line worker at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ plant and supply teaching in a before and after school program at the YMCA. “The Thai kids and I continue to FaceTime once or twice a week,” Brittany says. “I plan to see and hug them again if I get a yearlong teaching assignment in Australia after graduation and can country-hop.” Her teaching adventures have taught Brittany to “enjoy the moment you are in. Smile at people. Take chances – or you’ll WLM never know what life can offer.” Back to Contents

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november/december 2019


Tilbury’s Santa Clause Parade starts at 7 pm from the Fire Hall, goes along Queen Street and Stewart Street to Tilbury Memorial Park. Lions Christmas Light Festival switches on at 9 pm. 519-682-3040. Saturday, 30

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Willistead Manor is decorated for visitors. 1 to 4 pm, Sun., Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; 6 to 8 pm, Wed., Dec. 4 and 18. $6.25 per adult; $5.25 per student or senior; and $2.75 per child age 12 and under. Willistead Manor, 1899 Niagara St., Windsor. 519-253-2365. Friday, 6

Alan Doyle and the Beautiful Band steam into Windsor on the CP Holiday Train, performing music to benefit local food banks. CP Yard at Erie Street West and Janette Street. 5:20 to 6:30 pm. Free. Cash and food donations appreciated.

Till Tues., Jan. 7. Bright Lights Windsor sparkles with illuminated décor and a giant tree. Jackson Park, 125 Tecumseh Rd. E., Windsor. 5:30 to 10 pm nightly. Free.



Floats light up Ouellette Avenue and Riverside Drive West during the Windsor Santa Claus Parade. 6 to 8 pm. 519-254-2880.

Till Sunday. Live music, photo shoots, decorations and more are served at Jack Miner’s Country Christmas. Jack Miner Migratory Bird Sanctuary, 332 Rd. 3 W., Kingsville. 5:30 to 8 pm, Fri.; noon to 4 pm, Sat. and Sun.



Leamington Winter Nights Christmas Lights Parade marches down Georgia Avenue North and onto the Leamington Fairgrounds at 194 Erie St. N. 6 pm. 519-326-2721. BRENTWOOD CHRISTMAS CRAFT & BAKE SALE


Till Sun., Dec. 8. Elves on Strike – Christmas is Cancelled is a Migration Hall Kids original story and production. Migration Hall, 170 Main St. E., Kingsville. 8 pm, Saturday; 2 pm, Sunday. $20. 519-733-6200. Sunday, 8 CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY

Pioneer-style holiday celebrations are at John R. Park Homestead, 915 Essex County Rd. 50, Essex. Noon to 4 p.m. $6 per adult; $4 per child; $20 family maximum. 519-738-2029.

Till Sunday. Gift baskets, baked goods and more are selling at the Brentwood Christmas Craft & Bake Sale. Brentwood Recovery Home, 2335 Dougall Ave., Windsor. 9 am to 1 pm, Sat.; 9 am to 12:30 pm, Sun. 519-253-2441.

Saturday, 14



Windsor Police Department invites everyone to donate groceries to stuff a cruiser for the Kids First Food Bank. Real Canadian Superstore, 2430 Dougall Ave., Windsor. 10 am to 2 pm. 519-258-4501. Second Chance Animal Rescue hosts its

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Till Sun., Jan. 5. Light displays fill Amherstburg parks in the River of Lights Festival. 5 p.m. daily. Gingerbread Warming House is open 5:30 to 8:30 pm. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. King’s Navy Park, 252 Dalhousie St., Amherstburg. Free; donated canned goods welcome. 519-730-1309.

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adoption event at The Hungry Pooch, 486 Advance Blvd., Tecumseh. 11 am-2 pm.


Santa and friends on illuminated floats are on parade along Talbot Street in Essex. 6:30 pm. 519-254-2880. Friday, 20 Super-group The S’Aints is drumming up funds for local food banks with their new holiday album, Strike Hunger, and concert at the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor. 377 Riverside Dr. E., Windsor. 8 pm. $25 per ticket. $8.85 per album. 519-972-2727, ext. 4258.


The ABX Blues Project: Murray Nosanchuk, Owen Jones, Dave Morris and Neil Fowler.

WHEN ASKED TO DESCRIBE blues music, Neil Fowler of the ABX Blues Project points to the unity of the soundscape. “Basic. Raw. An old blues guy in Detroit used to call it the 1-23,” Neil states. “Everything is three chords. And the amazing thing about blues, to me, is how you can take a song that always has three chords, always has a verse that repeats the first line, and make thousands and thousands and thousands of songs.” This January, Windsor’s ABX Blues Project is heading down to Memphis, Tennessee, to take part in The Blues Foundation’s 36th annual International Blues Challenge. The ABX Blues Project is a local band consisting of four members: Neil Fowler, the guitarist/singer/songwriter, Owen Jones, the singer/drummer (and retired Music Editor for The Windsor Star), Dave Morris, the guitarist and Murray Nosanchuk, the bassist. “We’ve been together about 15 years,” Neil states. “We’ve all


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spread our roots here. It just started off as four friends getting together. We jammed for the better part of a year. We did our first gig in 2005.” At the time, the ABX Blues Project was known as Blue Steel. “We were blues guys and I played steel guitar,” Neil shrugs. “It was a no-brainer.” After a couple of years, Blue Steel underwent something of an ideological shift. “We changed our name to ABX in reference to Detroit Radio WABX,” Neil explains. “We started doing Beatles, the Stones, the Who, King Crimson, Frank Zappa. For a while, we were even doing Detroit Punk.” While the band has experimented with a wide variety of sounds and styles, Neil and the others could never quite rid their music of a faint undercurrent of blues.

“We all have a lot of musical interests,” Neil states. “So, we’ve done a lot of things in this band. But we’ve always gone back to our roots. We’re doing Southern Blues, British Blues, Chicago Blues. We’ve always been blues-based. We’ve always done one whole set of blues and steel guitar.” Neil points to the tradition blues music as part of its enduring appeal. “Blues is the basis for everything,” Neil explains. “Everything that we love, all classic rock, is based on the blues. It all goes back to Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. Chicago. The Mississippi Deltas, to take it back even further. It’s all built on that. And all the stuff we grew up with was just young British kids trying to imitate Muddy Waters!” In addition to serving as the guitarist for the band, Neil has also contributed a number of original pieces. “My process varies,” Neil admits. “It always starts with a hook, whether it’s a musical hook or a lyrical hook. The first song I wrote was called ‘Driving Out of Tupelo.’ I wrote it because I was driving out of Tupelo, Mississippi on my way to Memphis. It was a hook that came to me. We even recorded the song at Sun Studio in Memphis, last year. Which was amazing. It’s where everything began. In Memphis.” As Neil explains, Memphis is to blues and rock and roll what Nashville is to country music. Notable artists such as B.B. King, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley all got their start at Sun Studio. “When we saw the contest for the Canada South Blues Society, and that they were calling it the ‘Road to Memphis 2020,’ it just seemed natural,” Neil recalls. “I talked to the boys and said, ‘We should go into this.’ And we thought, ‘There’s a lot of great blues in town, but let’s just go have some fun.’” The Canada South Blues Society Blues Challenge took place in September. By the second night, ABX Blues Project was among three of the finalists, including the Blues Side and Harmonica Ray. To Neil’s astonishment, the ABX Blues Project was selected by the judges to compete in Memphis. “We did something to the judges,” Neil shakes his head. “I don’t know what. The other groups sounded so good. I just thought, ‘We’re here. We’re having fun. And we’re going home.’ And when they said ABX Blues Project, we said, ‘Huh?’” To help cover travel costs, the Canada South Blues Project hosted a fundraiser

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on Sunday November 3rd called the Road to Memphis Send-off Concert at the RockStar Music Hall. “The Blues Society kicks in a few thousand dollars to the winner of this competition,” Neil explains. “Then you do a fundraiser, and that raises more money to cover your expenses.” The 36th International Blues Challenge is a worldwide search for blues bands and blues performers ready to take the world stage. The event takes place from January 28th to February 1st, 2020. “There’s 260 groups from around the world, from as far away as Barcelona or Sydney, Australia,” Neil states. “Europe. Mexico. Just all over.” The competition takes place on Beal Street, in Memphis. “The clubs there are amazing,” Neil states. “Beal Street in Memphis is like Broadway in Nashville. It’s bar, bar, restaurant, souvenir shop, bar, bar, bar. There’s probably 30 or 40 bars within four or five blocks, both sides of the street. B.B. King’s is at one end, Jerry Lee Lewis’ is at the other. The regulars get out of town that week. And then, all these groups from around the world set up at each bar.” Neil describes the International Blues Challenge as a “big, big blues love-in!” “You’ll walk into one bar and hear a group from the Barcelona Blues Society,” Neil explains. “Or walk into the next bar and there will be a great band from Austin, Texas or Windsor, Ontario. We’re all doing half-hour sets.” When asked how the band is feeling going into the competition, Neil is characteristically nonchalant. “We’re excited,” Neil admits. “We’re not holding our breath to win it. There’s a lot of great players coming in. Jack the Kaiser was there last year, from the Toronto Blues Society. He’s a national act. There will be a lot of Canadian groups that we can hang around and have some fun with. That’s the other thing! When you’re not playing together you can jam with the others or take tours. I mean, there’s so many great, historic things in Memphis.” Regardless of whether or not they win or lose, Neil remains committed to ABX Blues Project’s main goal: playing. “ABX is the kind of group that just loves to play,” Neil states. “Whether we’re gigging or not, we’re still getting together to play. We’re writing music, we’re in the studio. We’re always rehearsing, always making music. The drive for this band is not to work, it’s to play.” WLM Back to Contents

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