"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Many Doors Open Ontario events still to come!

Norfolk Street United Church - Guelph, Ontario

TORONTO, August 30, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - With more than half of this year's Doors Open Ontario events taking place in September and October, there are still plenty of opportunities to discover the province's hidden heritage treasures.

Since its launch in 2002, Doors Open Ontario has grown from 17 events to 56, incorporating hundreds of communities. As the 10th anniversary season concludes this October, the program will have generated more than four million visits to 4,500 separate sites across the province. From an economic standpoint, spending by out-of-town visitors will surpass the $20 million mark.

Ontario's architectural showpieces, community landmarks and natural wonders are waiting to be explored - all free of charge.

Upcoming Doors Open Ontario events:


Belleville September 10
Cornwall-Seaway Valley September 10-11
Kawartha Lakes September 11
Amherstburg September 17
Haldimand County September 17
Newmarket September 17
Rideau Lakes-Westport September 17
St. Marys September 17
Waterloo Region September 17
London September 17-18
Middlesex (NEW) September 17-18
South Bruce Peninsula September 17-18
Merrickville (NEW) September 18
Brant September 24
East Elgin September 24
Oxford County September 24
Pembroke September 24
Grimsby (NEW) September 24-25
Oakville September 24-25
Oshawa September 24-25
Peterborough September 24-25


Barrie October 1
Misssissauga October 1
Pickering (NEW) October 1
Port Stanley-Sparta October 1
Gananoque October 1-2
St. Thomas October 1-2
Vaughan October 1-2
Kincardine October 15-16

Visit www.doorsopenontario.on.ca for more information on these events, and to participate in the Doors Open Ontario 2011 Digital Photo Contest or the "All-time favourite sites" visitor survey.

Sponsors of Doors Open Ontario 2011 include: The Globe and Mail, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation and the participating communities.

Doors Open Ontario is a program of the Ontario Heritage Trust - an agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage for present and future generations.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Doors Open Middlesex

photo credit: thecleversheep via Flickr

Discover how Middlesex County, and the spaces that give it its identity, have transformed over time. Experience our past and present, and the possibilities for Middlesex County’s future.
Doors Open Middlesex 2011

Doors Open Middlesex is a completely FREE 2 day event that offers visitors and current residents of Middlesex County to see buildings and sites that are not normally open to the public.

The event will take place on September 17th and 18th, 2011 from 10am-4pm

Sites to visit:

Arva Flour Mill -- Middlesex Centre

Dorchester Mill Pond -- Thames Centre

Four Seasons Gifts & Home and Garden -- North Middlesex

Holy Trinity Anglican Church -- Lucan-Biddulph

Ionic Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 328 G.R.C. -- Adelaide Metcalfe

Komoka Railway Museum -- Middlesex Centre

Moore’s Blacksmith Shop -- Strathroy-Caradoc

Mosa Forest (Skunk’s Misery) -- Newbury

Museum Strathroy-Caradoc -- Strathroy-Caradoc

Napier House General Store -- Adelaide Metcalfe

S.S. #3 Metcalfe School -- Adelaide Metcalfe

Ska-Nah-Doht Village and Museum -- Strathroy-Caradoc

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church -- Adelaide Metcalfe

St. James Anglican Church -- North Middlesex

St. Mary’s Anglican Church -- Adelaide Metcalfe

The "Currant" Organic General Store -- North Middlesex

The Barn Quilt Trail -- Southwest Middlesex

The Carnegie Library -- North Middlesex

The Clock Tower Inn -- Strathroy-Caradoc

The Donnelly Museum -- Lucan Biddulph

for more information visit their website here

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Canadian Inventors Honoured in New Stamps

Photo Credit: canadapost

from TreeHugger.com
by Bonnie Alter, London

Canadian inventors are being honoured on a new series of stamps by Canada Post.

And it's a pretty impressive list: the electric oven, the electric wheelchair and the cardiac pacemaker and BlackBerry (!). We're not complaining but only FOUR inventors? Surely there are more...

The inventions have changed and saved lives in Canada and around the world, but always in a typically modest Canadian way, eh?

According to Canada Post, "the world's first electric oven was invented in 1882 by Canadian Thomas Ahearn. It was originally made of brick and was hot enough to "roast an ox". Dr. John Hopps developed the cardiac pacemaker while he was studying hypothermia in 1950, though the first device was much too big to be placed inside the body. The electric wheelchair was created in 1952 by George J. Klein, one of Canada's most prolific inventors, for quadriplegics." And BlackBerry is BlackBerry.

But what about all those other great Canadian inventions, why don't they have a stamp? Why couldn't Canada Post make a series of ten and include some other brilliant Canadian innovations. Like Tim Horton's Donuts and plastic bags, ginger ale and ski-doos?

Or, even more importantly: insulin, Canada Arm, alkaline batteries, AC radio tube, acetylene, sonar, plexiglass, prosthetic arms and snow blowers. Let's hear it for Canada and get Canada Post on the ball.

Check out TreeHugger for 30+ fresh, green stories every day!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Canadian Government Invests in the Upper Canada Village Discovery Centre

MORRISBURG, Ontario, August 18, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Guy Lauzon, Member of Parliament (Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry), today congratulated Upper Canada Village on the grand opening of the Upper Canada Village Discovery Centre.

Upper Canada Village, operated by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, is a living pioneer village adjoining Crysler's Farm Battlefield National Historic Site. The new Upper Canada Discovery Centre sits just outside Upper Canada Village and will serve as a year-round multipurpose exhibition space for interactive historical exhibitions, program activities, festivals, and events. The new facility will provide visitors with an orientation to the site and its historical significance.

"Our Government is proud to invest in major infrastructure projects like the new Upper Canada Village Discovery Centre," said Minister Moore. "In doing so, we are stimulating the local economy and enhancing heritage facilities that enrich our knowledge and appreciation of our country's history and our shared Canadian identity."

"It is a great pleasure to be here today to see the tremendous results of our Government's investment in this important local heritage site," said Mr. Lauzon. "Residents and visitors to Morrisburg will benefit from this impressive addition to Upper Canada Village, which will inspire and educate all who come to visit the Centre."

"The St. Lawrence Parks Commission appreciates the support from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund for the exhibits in the Upper Canada Village Discovery Centre," said Darren Dalgleish, General Manager/CEO for the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. "This project has been a true collaboration with both the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture providing funding and numerous heritage and community partners who have participated in this project."

As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada provided $1,578,386 for the 2010-2011 fiscal year in support of the Centre through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing, visual, and media arts, and to museum collections and heritage displays.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Building Warmth: A Log Cabin Quilt Exhibit at Wellington County Museum & Archives

ABOYNE, Ontario August 15, 2011 – Enjoy the beauty and appreciate the skill and mastery of quilting in Wellington County.

Building Warmth: A Log Cabin Quilt opens at Wellington County Museum and Archives on
September 10, 2011.

“Quilts created in log cabin patterns were based on the design of the first settler homes.” said Susan Dunlop, Curator. “The log walls provided the shelter from the elements and the kitchen hearth gave light and warmth.”

Inspired by this image of warmth and protection, women created the log cabin quilt pattern from thousands of scraps. Colourful strips were sewn together as the walls of the cabin. A red square was placed in the centre, representing the heart of the home. These exquisite quilts are balanced designs rich in colour, texture and history.

This exhibit runs until March 25, 2012.

The Wellington County Museum and Archives is located on Wellington Road #18 between Fergus and Elora. The galleries are open weekdays from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm on weekends and holidays

Wellington County Museum and Archives
0536 Wellington County Rd. 18
Fergus, Centre Wellington,
Ontario, CANADA N1M 2W3

tel: 519.846.0916
TOLL FREE: 1.800.663.0750 ext. 5221

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Statue of Liberty Pictures: Rare Views, Inside and Out

Just a day after her 125th birthday party, the Statue of Liberty will undergo a safety makeover.

Lady Liberty's interior will be closed to visitors starting October 29th, 2011 and the plan is for the interior to reopen after a year.

After the September 11 attacks, the Statue of Liberty monument was closed because rescuers could not get them out in an emergency. After almost $7 million in renovations to fire and security systems the base, pedestal, and observation deck were reopened.

This time, the renovations will cost just over $27 million, and will include safety upgrades to the monument's stairs, elevators, and electrical and mechanical systems. Tourists will still be able to visit Liberty Island and views of the statue will remain "relatively unobstructed" during the renovation.

According to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, all of these new improvements to the Statue of Liberty will bring "a 19th century icon into the 21st century." Once the renovations are complete, the 3.5 million people who visit the Statue every year will most likely agree.

Links to more information:

The first link will take interested users to a piece from the New York Times about the upcoming Statue of Liberty closure.

The second link leads to a story from the June 1986 issue of Popular Science that describes in great detail the huge restoration of the Statue completed between 1984 and 1986.

The third link leads to a short video from the History Channel, deconstructing the Statue of Liberty.

Next, the fourth link leads to an extraordinary set of photos from National Geographic of some rare views of the Statue.

The fifth link will take visitors to a lesson plan from the National Endowment for the Humanities EDSITEment! website. The lesson helps teach students about American attitudes toward immigrants.

Finally, the last link leads to a fine set of curriculum materials from the National Park Service about Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2011.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sun Life Financial Supports Pay-What-You-Can Thursdays at the Bata Shoe Museum

TORONTO, August 11, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Bata Shoe Museum is pleased to announce Sun Life Financial as a new sponsor for its Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC) Thursday evening program. The PWYC program, which is open to all visitors to the Museum every Thursday between 5 pm - 8 pm, offers visitors the opportunity to experience one of Toronto's most unique attractions with a donation amount of their choice.

"The Bata Shoe Museum is very grateful to Sun Life Financial for its generous support of the Pay-What-You-Can program at the Museum" said Emanuele Lepri, Director of the Bata Shoe Museum. "Thanks to Sun Life, the Museum will be able to share its treasures with more than 10,000 people from across the GTA who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to visit."

"A core component of our sponsorship and philanthropy program is accessibility," said Linda MacKenzie, Assistant Vice-President, Sun Life Financial. "Through our award-winning Making the Arts More Accessible™ program, we provide free or reduced-price admission to a wide range of cultural offerings. We are delighted to include the Bata Shoe Museum among the many fine arts organizations we support across Canada."

About the Bata Shoe Museum

The Bata Shoe Museum is dedicated to uncovering the role of footwear in the social and cultural life of humanity. The Museum's growing international collection of over 13,000 objects touches on 4,500 years of history. A varied programme of events and exhibitions lets visitors discover the stories behind footwear from many lands and cultures. Further information is available at www.batashoemuseum.ca.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fergus Scottish Festival & Highland Games

photo credit: phil marion via Flickr

FERGUS, Ontario August 09, 2011 - From August 12th to the 14th, Fergus, Ontario will be the place to be if you have an interest in things Scottish.

There will a full genealogy program at the The Record & Guelph Mercury's Genealogy and Education Venue, which is situated beside the Heavy Events field within the picturesque Avenue of the Clans.

The site says it...

"Lectures from our featured author, book signing, Scottish musicians, The Chieftain, dance, Scottish and Celtic related lectures given by top Canadian academics, featured athletes, tartan and kilt making, weaponry, battles, geography, sculptor, croft display, the distillation of Scotch, the many uses of Highland heather and much more".

There is a Historical Research Centre, Genealogy Research Centre and Tartan Research Centre within the venue. The Scottish Athletic Hall of Fame is the only comprehensive exhibit in the world illustrating the recorded history of indigeneous Scottish sport.

The exhibit is interpreted by historian-author Lynn Boland Richardson and renowned sports author and Commonwealth official Mr. David P Webster O.B.E. Photo opportunities and athlete autographs are available.

Visit their website http://www.fergusscottishfestival.com/
or contact them at info@FergusScottishFestival.com

Monday, August 8, 2011

Canada Post salutes 50th anniversary of Miss Supertest III

"Miss Supertest III, Canada's three-time international championship hydroplane (CNW Group/Canada Post)"

OTTAWA, Aug. 8, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Canada Post today issued a domestic Permanent™ stamp to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic victory of the Canadian hydroplane Miss Supertest III. On August 7, 1961, tens of thousands of excited spectators stood on the banks of Lake Ontario at Long Ranch, near Picton, Ontario, as Miss Supertest III made history by capturing the International Harmsworth Trophy for a third time in a row.

"We are delighted to recognize the accomplishments of Miss Supertest III as the first non-U.S. Harmsworth Trophy winner in 39 years," said Jim Phillips, Director of Stamp Services for Canada Post. "People in the Picton area still speak of her accomplishments today."

Miss Supertest III was specifically designed for the Harmsworth Trophy competition. She featured a 2000 horsepower Rolls-Royce Griffon motor, originally used to power the Royal Air Force's Supermarine Spitfire single engine fighter. With other incremental innovations, Miss Supertest III quickly proved herself well suited to the Harmsworth Challenge.

The triumphant hydroplane was piloted by southwestern Ontario chicken farmer Bob Hayward who captured the prestigious international Harmsworth Trophy in 1959, 1960 and 1961. Miss Supertest III became a powerful example of Canadian ingenuity that still lives on in the hearts of Canadian hydroplane and speedboating enthusiasts.

Designer and speed enthusiast, Ivan Novotny, vice-president at Taylor Sprules Corporation said designing the Miss Supertest III stamps was a dream job. After spending time with the hydroplane's designer, Jim Thompson, Novotny set out to create a design that would pay homage to the speed and power and incredible grace that was Miss Supertest III and her team.

About the stamp

The self-adhesive Miss Supertest III stamp measures 48 mm x 24 mm (horizontal) with simulated perforation and are printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper using lithography in six colours, plus varnish. The official first day cover will be cancelled in Picton, Ontario. The stamps are available in booklets of 8 stamps. The issue also includes a souvenir sheet featuring one domestic PERMANENT™ stamp and one international rate stamp ($1.75), printed using lithography in seven colours, plus varnish.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Canadian Genealogy Survey Now Available Across the Country

OTTAWA, Ontario August 5, 2011 - Carleton University researchers are seeking family historians to complete an online survey detailing how they conduct their genealogy research.

Originally pilot-tested in Nova Scotia, the Canadian Genealogy Survey is now looking to attract a wider audience. Canadians researching their family's history in Canada or abroad are invited the complete the survey, available at http://www.cusurveycentre.ca/gensurvey.

The researchers are also inviting family historians who are researching their Canadian ancestry from outside the country to take part.

Associate Professor of Marketing, Leighann Neilson revealed that over 400 people completed the survey during the first 10 days after it became available.

"We've had a wonderful response from the genealogy community in Nova Scotia, Neilson said, Now we are trying to get the message out across the country."

While the majority of people completing the survey have been from Canada, responses have also come in from across the United States, the UK and as far away as South Africa.

Del Muise, Emeritus Professor of History at Carleton, is collaborating with Neilson on the survey.

"In addition to completing the survey, we've had a number of people send us their comments and suggestions via email or leave comments on our blog. It's the chance to have this kind of interaction with people taking the survey that makes it really interesting for us."

As the survey moves across the country, the public can follow its progress
at http://www.genealogyincanada.blogspot.com.

"Family historians, librarians, archivists and others interested in genealogy are able to comment and offer their opinions. As results become available, we'll be posting them on the site and inviting the community to react, Muise said."

For more information:

Del Muise
Emeritus Professor of History
Carleton University

Leighann Neilson
Associate Professor, Marketing
Carleton University
613-520-2600 x8511